Aalst is an industrial city in a predominantly green region. It is located along a waterway that leads you through mediaeval villages. The Dender river in “Dendervallei” flows out into the Scheldt river. The “Waasland” surrounding the Scheldt river borders “Pajottenland” to the east of Aalst. The Flemish Ardennes are located to the south. These areas have retained their rural character. If you want to experience a city without being totally overwhelmed, Aalst is the perfect place. Many shops, well-known coffee houses, markets and much more. If you want to explore the region, make sure your batteries are fully charged! There is so much to see... There are many cycling and walking routes, scenic areas and forests in the immediate vicinity. Tower Hotel is looking forward to arranging the perfect holiday with you.
We have bicycles available for rent. These should be booked in advance.
The Aalst Carnival is a culture shock and a wonderful experience all in one. This annual three-day event transforms the city and includes a carnival parade. Eating and drinking are central in our culture and during carnival there is plenty of that around.
The city of Aalst celebrates its agricultural origin with the folkloric harvest festival Pikkeling, recognised by Unesco. A “pikkeling” is a sheaf that is drying on the stubble field. Since 1970, the “Faluintjes” (the formerly independent municipalities of Baardegem, Herdersem, Meldert and Moorsel) bring the agricultural society of the past back to live during this annual festival. Its focus lies on the harvest. All types of past and present agricultural elements are displayed. Activities are arranged in the historical farms in the region.
And there is plenty to taste too. Try the wonderful oven cakes, puddings, Dutch gin and other specialities. You can also go for a walk, watch popinjay and a chaffinch singing contest, feast your eyes on a carpet of flowers and visit exhibitions. The festival is concluded with a large bonfire. Each year the festival is held at a different location in one of the formerly independent municipalities. The exact location is announced well in advance on the website of the organising committee.
Visit the lecavzw.be website for similar authentic festivals.
Visit the following link to watch a video about Pikkeling: http://www.youtube.com/watch
Art and literature
During the period of industrial development, the Realism artistic movement began out of dissatisfaction with the economic situation and the way in which people were turning into capitalists’ tools. Louis Paul Boon expressed in words what Valerius de Saedeleer expressed in his paintings. And before they came on the scene, Adolf Daens was known for his socio-political involvement. Aalst honours the memory of these historic figures. There is a statue of Van Daens near the Administrative pearl of the city and both Boon and De Saedeleer have been immortalised in bronze. The books of the world-famous writer Boon can be relived along the cycling and walking routes. The tourist information office in Aalst can suggest wonderful routes and activities.
Enjoy the region’s rural character and pay a visit to authentic breweries such as “De Glazen Toren” and “Brouwerij De Ryck”. You can taste (and buy) regional beers at the nearby regional shop: Ambarosa.