Home to Belgium’s biggest amusement park, Wavre is a historical city in Walloon Brabant. It has a total area of just under 42 square kilometers, and a resident population of just above 33,000: making a relatively small town that, nonetheless, attracts many visitors. Wavre was an important town from the medieval town, and it retains that importance to-date: being as it is, the headquarters of the local Walloon Brabant province.
The fact that Wavre attracts extremely huge numbers of visitors consistently on a year to year, season to season basis is due to the fact that it has many potential tourist attractions: some historical and some modern. Historically, for instance, it is worth noting that this was the theater of the Napoleonic-era Battle of Wavre, which went on simultaneously with the more famous Battle of Waterloo.
Getting around Wavre
Wavre is served by a train service, meaning that you can take a train from, say, Brussels or Luxembourg to the town. As with most small towns though, Wavre is not really a place you get around by train. Once the train drops you at the station, you have to get around using other means.
One of those other means you can use to get around Wavre is by bus. Wavre is one of the places served by the remarkably comfortable (and also efficient) De Lijn buses.
You could also decide to grab a local taxi, or even hire a personal car and then drive yourself around, then in the process have a nice chance to try savoring the sights of Wavre.
The nature of Wavre is also such that it is a small enough town to be walked through. You just set aside three or so hours to walk on the well-kept Wavre pavements, and by the end of that duration, you will have managed to ‘take in’ most of Wavre’s sights. This sort of experience (savoring Wavre while walking) can also be more memorable than a rushed-through trip by car.
Things to see and do in Wavre
One of Wavre’s most enduring and beautiful monuments is the Church of Saint John the Baptist. This medieval building is arguably one of the world’s best gothic structures. It is also historically notable: completed, as we are told, in 1475. Besides the gothic church structure itself, you will find its carillon remarkable: this being a unique carillon with a strength of 50 bells.
As with most other older Belgian towns and cities, Wavre has a remarkable town hall. This particular town’s town hall was put up in the 1700s, and it is quite a beautiful edifice, even judging using the advanced architectural standards of today. Apparently, the town hall is not the first structure to occupy the space where it stands: for we are told that long before the town hall was built, the Carmelites used to have a nice church there.
Then there is the Walibi Amusement Park, the feature that draws more than 1 million people to Wavre annually. This is the biggest amusement park in Belgium we alluded to early in the introduction. Unlike other amusement parks that seem to be designed to be fun for kids alone, Walibi is unique that it seems to be designed to act as an amusement park for all ages. As with any other proper amusement park, Walibi offers not just a huge variety of things to see, but also a huge variety of things to do. In terms of things to do, you can, for instance, opt to go-kart or opt to take part in treetop adventures… and pretty much anything else you can think of in between. There are, for instance, swinging logs to enjoy yourself on, rope bridges that are both scary and exciting to walk on at the same time, zip wires and so much more. As far as amusement parks go, Walibi is truly in a class of its own.