Genk Tourist Information
General summary of city:
Genk, a city in Belgium, is part of the Limburg province. Other cities contained within the province of Limburg include Hasselt: As, Beringen, Diepenbeek, Gingelom, Halen, Ham, Hasselt, Herk-de-Stad, Heusden-Zolder, Leopoldsburg, Lummen, Nieuwerkerken, Opglabbeek, Sint-Truiden, Tessenderlo, Zonhoven, and Zutendaal. In terms of locality, Genk is situated nearest to Hasselt in the province of Limburg.
The city of Genk has a population of over 63,000 people. The city of Genk is believed to have some history rooted in the Celtic peoples, and that the once small village of Genk was later, during the tenth century, converted to Christianity. Due to the fact that Genk had such small beginnings and it was not officially deemed a city until the year 2000, the city itself was not really recognized until the early 1900’s, thanks to Andre Dumont. Andre Dumont discovered a good quantity of coal in the Limburg region of Belgium, and it wasn’t long before coal miners discovered that Genk had plenty of coal to be had. The city soon grew with the mass movement of immigrants and when the drive for coal finally settled down in the late 1960’s, Genk merely adapted its industrial pursuits to more suitable industries: successful industries that focused on car manufacturing. The primary car manufacturing company in present day Genk is the Ford Motor company.
Places of Interest:
The Bokrijk in Genk nearby the Hasselt territory attracts many tourists every year. The Bokrijk is essentially an open-air museum, offering travelers the opportunity to enjoy nineteenth century architectural design. Within the museum tourists can see reconstructions of the Flemish buildings that once existed in Flanders. A number of enjoyable activities are offered at the Bokrijk, as well as re-enactments for viewing. Due to the fact that the Bokrijk is a large, open-aired museum, the location is filled with scenic gardens, wooded areas, grass lands and small bodies of water. Children are most welcome at the Bokrijk and a playground is readily available to children. The museum is open to tourists from the end of March until late September, every day, from 10 am to 6 pm. The cost of admission is 10 Euros for adults, 8.50 Euros for seniors, 5 Euros for children between the ages of 6 to 12.
Tourists also like to visit the Green City in Genk, the home of De Maten, a beautiful nature reserve. There are 35 ponds in the De Maten, and different species of fish are purposefully bred within the ponds, in an effort to promote aquatic life. Water birds have adapted to the area in De Maten and plants, including cotton grass, sundew, and roth grow in the area. Finally, the De Maten is home to a variety of different dragon flies and tree frogs. The De Maten is closed to tourists when it comes time for breeding.
Things to do:
Every year in Genk, tourists are welcomed at the Motives Festival, a music festival focusing on the genre of jazz. The Motives Festival is revered for its line up of fantastic jazz musicians and past performers have included Joshua Redman, Leafcutter John, and Esbjörn Svensson Trio, just to name a few of many.
Within the heart of Genk, travelers can enjoy an entire day of shopping at any one of the three shopping locales. The shopping centres are referred to as Centres 1, 2, and 3 respectively, and travelers can purchase souvenirs, hardwares, housewares, groceries, books, and the like. After a fine day of shopping in the city’s centre, travelers can then rest and dine and any number of accessible cafes.
In Molenvijvers Park in Genk, tourists are always amazed by the Sundial displays. There are a total of 12, unique sundials within Molenvijvers Park; one in particular looks like an ancient book! Truly, the Molenvijvers Park is an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience.
Alternatively, within the Kattevennen, the Europlanetarum offers families an opportunity to explore the science of astronomy. Travellers have the opportunity to view unique displays about space, stars, planets and the like. Travellers can also enjoy a fine laser show, and view movies on a 360 degree dome ceiling—much like looking out into space.
Food & Drink:
There certainly is no shortage of delicious food and drink in Genk. At, El Greco, a Greek Restaurant, at Hoevenzavellaan 68A, tourists can sample vegetarian dishes and there is a special kid’s menu. Tourists can even order take out if they desire; public parking is available and the location is handicapped accessible. A full bar and an amazing wine list are available for those who are looking the quench their thirst. The El Greco Restaurant’s hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm, and Sunday from noon to 2:30pm. On Monday and Tuesday the restaurant is closed.
The Ganghista located at Stationsstraat 1 in Genk offers both Dutch and Belgian cuisine to the hungry traveller looking to sample some of Belgium’s fantastic foods. Past guests frequently recommend the seafood delights offered at the Ganghista. The Ganghista primarily serves dinner dishes and accepts a variety of different payments. Alternatively, for those who may be craving French cuisine, the Troje at Centrumlaan 36-38 in Genk offers a variety of French dishes, as well as a children’s menu. The Troje has street parking, serves both lunch and dinner, and is open daily from noon to 2:30 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm.
Hotels & Accommodation:
Best Western Hotel Atlantis
Hampshire Inn – ECU Genk
NH Genk Hotel
Whether exploring one of many Genk’s recreational locations, or viewing historic monuments in Genk, there is always something to do in this fine city. Filled with opportunities to shop, dine, and explore the countryside, Genk is an excellent destination for tourists. Individuals and families can stroll through the gorgeous parks in Genk, or walk the streets in Genk’s city centre. Further, because Genk is situated in central Limburg, it gives the traveller easy access to fantastic recreational pursuits in the cities surrounding Genk. For instance, Hasselt borders Genk and travelers, once they have completed their exploration of Genk, can visit Hasselt and view some of the city’s popular attractions. In Hasselt, tourists will find a number of favourite attractions including one of the largest outdoor skate parks in Belgium; the abbey of Herckenrode in Kuringen; myriad historical buildings and museums; a Japanese garden; Hasselt’s Kapermolenpark; the Kiewit the Sint-Quintinus Cathedral; and the Virga-Jesse Basilica, among numerous other attractions. Finally, tourists can also take advantage of the recreational offerings, dining facilities, nightlife activities and cultural destinations situated in nearby Hasselt.