Genk Mini Guide
About The City
Genk is situated on the Albert Canal, halfway between Liege and Antwerp
, in the province of Limburg. Although it was a village of Celtic origin, in the 19th century it was the home of artists and writers. By the 20th century, coal had been discovered and the mining industry developed. Later, when the mines closed, car manufacturing took over as the main industry. Today, Genk is still an industrial centre and is well known for being friendly and multicultural.
How do I Get There?
From Brussels Charleroi Airport
, Genk is only 44 miles away. There is an hourly rail service from Brussels Midi station to Genk with a journey time of 1 hour 40 minutes.
What Can I See There?
If you would like a trip into the past, the open air museum ‘Bokrijk’ is well worth a visit. It has original 17th-19th century buildings from Flanders and re-enactments of village life are held there - you can see how people used to live and see traditional crafts, like basket making. Genk is the gateway to the first national park in Flanders, which opened in 2006, the Hoge Kempen National Park, perfect for some peace and tranquillity. If you want to learn how the mining industry used to be, you can visit the old houses and mine buildings and see the ‘black mountains’ at Zwartberg,Watershei and Winterslag.
What Can I do There?
Although the city's heritage is so industrial, Genk has been nicknamed the Green City. There are many green areas to enjoy, at Sundial Park and the De Maten Nature Reserve. You can also visit Kattevennen, a recreational area with the Europlanetarium and observatory.
Eating and Drinking
The restaurants and cafés in Genk very much reflect the cities multicultural population, with Greek, Italian, French and Turkish food being very popular. Local Belgian cuisine is also available.
Any Special Events?
‘Motives Festival’ is held every November and celebrates the local Jazz music scene, attracting musicians from all over Europe. On Ash Wednesday, a carnival is held in the city and in May, they have the May Queen celebrations, with lots of flowers and fireworks. St Martin of Tours is remembered, with a special procession, as he is the most popular saint in Flanders.