Spa is a town in the Liège province in Belgium, known as the "original" spa, i.e. a place where tourists came in to enjoy the health and wellness benefits of water and hot springs in particular. The springs in Spa became so popular that the name became genericized to mean any such place, with other versions of how it came to be also created over the years. Apart from the mineral waters, Spa also draws crowds several times a year when racing and other events are held at the nearby Spa-Francorchamps track.
The town is famous for its hot springs and its mineral water. The word spa comes from the name of this town, though folk etymologies — and several marketing campaigns — claim the word to be an acronym of "sanitus per aqua" or some other Latin phrase.
Spa is connected to the Belgian railway network by a side line branching out in Pepinster from the Liege-Aachen line. The 1 Spa Railway Station is just west of the city center. Direct local trains connect Spa to Aachen and Verviers but not to Liege, and getting to Spa from most origins in Belgium by train requires at least one change of trains. One can of course also arrive by car, the journey from Brussels takes around 1.5 h.
The centre of Spa is relatively small, but many attractions are in farther villages and neighbouring municipalities. TEC runs a network of bus lines connecting them.
- 1 Église Saint-Remacle. This ancient-looking church was built to follow late Roman style prevalent in the region closely, but was in fact built in 1885.
- 2 Bains de Spa. The old building of the city baths has been closed since 2005 and projects are underway to turn it into a luxury hotel. The baths are now in a modern facility in the woods.
- 3 Pouhon Pierre le Grand. Spa's emblematic building houses the mineral water fountain named after the Russian Tsar Peter the Great, who visited the city in the 18th century and became a big fan of its healing and wellness qualities.
- 4 Musée de la ville d'eaux (Villa royale Marie-Henriette). The city museum collects artifacts of the history of Spa with focus on its springs and related developments. It is housed in a villa that was built for the Belgian queen Marie-Henriette in 1863.
- 1 Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Route du Circuit 55, 4970 Stavelot. Venue of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix, and of the Spa 24 Hours and 1000 km Spa endurance races.
- 2 Casino de Spa, Rue Royale 4, ☏ . Built in 1762 it claims to be the oldest casino in the world.
- 3 Thermes de Spa, Colline d’Annette et Lubin, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Wellness centre on top of the hill in the town.