Visit the European Capital of Culture: Mons, Belgium

Visit the European Capital of Culture: Mons, Belgium

You may have never heard of Mons, Belgium, but that’s about to change. The latest CNN report on top travel destinations puts it in the spotlight as one of the prime places to visit in 2015, and for a good reason.

There are 300 major events scheduled in Mons this year, earning it the title of the European Capital of Culture. With seemingly endless exhibits, festivals, fashion and food shows, there are literally hundreds of compelling reasons to visit Belgium.

It’s easy and affordable to travel there, too.  There are plenty of good hotel rooms in the sub $100 category, and we’ll help you find an award flight.

The city is located about 40 miles from the capital, Brussels. It’s just a one hour drive or train ride away, making it your best option for getting to Mons with miles.

Getting to Brussels with the oneworld alliance

It’s easy to find an award flight to Brussels on oneworld alliance member airlines, and availability is pretty good throughout the year. Unfortunately, the only direct oneworld flight to Brussels from the U.S. is on US Airways from Philadelphia. Other options include flying Iberia via Madrid, Finnair via Helsinki, or starting in October, Niki (a subsidiary of airberlin) via Bratislava.

You could also fly to London on American Airlines, then hop to Brussels on a short British Airways flight. The taxes and fees are quite reasonable taking this route. Avoid using British Airways for long-hauls because they have very high fuel surcharges.

A round-trip AAdvantage award ticket to Brussels costs:

  • 40,000 miles for off-peak flights between October 15 and May 15
  • 60,000 for economy
  • 100,000 for business
  • 125,000 for first

Waltrude's Shrine Procession within The Ducasse de Mons (Doudou) celebrations
The procession of Waltrude’s Shrine during the Ducasse de Mons festival

Paying 40,000 miles for a round-trip flight to Brussels is hard to beat, so consider flying between October and May to get the off-peak rate.

Getting to Brussels with the Star Alliance

There are two Star Alliance carriers flying nonstop to Belgium.  United Airlines flies to Brussels from Chicago, New York (Newark) and Washington, DC (Dulles). Brussels Airlines flies nonstop from New York (JFK) and starting on April 25, Washington, DC (Dulles). Other Star Alliance airlines that fly to Brussels are:

  • Adria Airlines via Ljubljana or Tirana
  • Aegean via Athens
  • Air Canada via Montreal
  • Austrian Air via Vienna
  • Croatia Airlines via Zagreb
  • LOT via Warsaw
  • Lufthansa via Frankfurt and Munich
  • Scandinavian Airlines via Copenhagen, Oslo or Stockholm
  • Swiss Airlines via Zurich
  • TAP Portugal via Lisbon
  • Turkish via Istanbul

A round-trip award ticket to Brussels using MileagePlus miles costs:

  • 60,000 miles in economy
  • 115,000 in business on United or 140,000 on partner airlines
  • 160,000 in first on United or 220,000 on partner airlines

Mons Town Hall and central square
Mons Town Hall and central square

If you plan to fly to Brussels in a premium cabin using MileagePlus miles, try to find a flight on United. It’s notably cheaper than flying on a partner airline.

Getting to Brussels with SkyTeam

Delta Airlines flies directly to Brussels from Atlanta and New York (JFK). Other SkyTeam airlines flying to Brussels includes:

  • Aeroflot via Moscow
  • Air Europa via Madrid
  • Alitalia via Milan or Rome
  • Czech Airlines via Prague
  • KLM via Amsterdam

A round-trip SkyMiles award ticket to Brussels costs:

  • 60,000 miles in economy
  • 125,000 in business

You can’t book a first class ticket with SkyMiles.

However you get there, and whenever you go, there’s sure to be something to see in Mons this year. With hundreds of events, dozens of museums and beautiful medieval streets to explore, it’s the perfect European destination.