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“Magnificent Caverns, but too long a tour for tiny ones...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grottes de Han

Grottes de Han
Rue J. Lamotte 2, Han-sur-Lesse 5580, Belgium
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Type: Historic Sites, Caverns/ Caves, Cultural
Attraction details
Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Magnificent Caverns, but too long a tour for tiny ones...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

We visited the caves during the last week of our three week tour of Europe. We'd had absolutely stunning weather down through France, across into Italy, up through Switzerland and Germany. Unfortunately we arrived in Belgium the weather was less kind to us, with drizzle and grim skies greeting us.

Anyway a cave visit seemed ideal to get us out of the miserable weather. Parking was limited in the town, and we did struggle to find somewhere to park. Once in the main building, it was bustling with visitors, and there were long queues at the ticket desks. We opted to use a touchscreen which was free to order our tickets.

We then walked to the nearby train, and had a half hour wait. When we approached to board the train, we realised that we should have left the pushchair in the building. My Wife fought her way through the queuing crowd, only to be met with very unwelcoming faces in the main building. No one wanted to help her. In the end she had to dash back to us at the waiting train with the pushchair in hand still. Not great customer service. It meant that I had to carry the pushchair the entire way around the caves, not ideal, and certainly not easy.

When we came to board the train, I'm carrying a pushchair, a toddler, and my Wife was carrying our one year old, coupled with two older girls who we're trying to make sure get on safely too. I've never come across such a "rugby scrum" and rude people who literally pushed past us. It wasn't a great start to the visit. As I struggled with the pushchair, and the rude folks pushing past me, I guided our three year old to a vacant seat, just then the whole train lurched forward throwing me, the pram, and my little girl flying. The rackety train took us to the cave entrance. I think ear defenders would've been in order.. what a incredibly noisy ride it was. Another thought on the train, and that was despite there been lots of people waiting, the young lad who was looking at tickets, only looked at ours and a couple of others... not very clever really. How many people boarded without tickets is anyone's guess.

The caves were stunning, but they are so immense that it felt like we were walking forever. We're not a family of lazy people who don't like to walk, but with a little girl who suddenly didn't want to walk any more, and a pram to carry it became a nightmare. Towards the end of the tour it became a bit too much, and personally I couldn't wait to get out.

There were other aspects to the tour included in our ticket price, but we chose to go back to the car.

It has to be said that when we left the caves, and walked out of the area, we struggled to get out bearings. There were no signs showing where to exit. We sort of just walked through the town, and eventually found the car. The exit of the caves is a long long way from the entrance building. Bearing in mind that you've taken a train to get there, there is no train back! Fine, we don't mind walking, but come on give us a clue as to where the 'eck we are, and just point us in a rough direction back to the building!! :-)

Tour guides spoke in French and Dutch, so for English speakers on the tour it wasn't very informative.

So to sum up, the caves are fantastic, but the train isn't, customers service in the form of being helpful is somewhat lacking, as was any form of signage to get us back to the entrance, but if you like caves, and a good long walk, then I'm sure you'll enjoy it. If you are a family with babies or toddlers, I'd bear in mind that this is a very very long walk for small ones... oh and remember to leave your pram in the car.

Thanks for reading.

Visited August 2013
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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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  • English first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Not for those who don't speak French”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

While the caves are impressive, we could not understand a single word of the commentary given by the tour guide because she spoke only in French. When we bought our tickets at the counter, we were told that the guides would speak in English only if there were enough English speakers on the tour. So as it turned out, there weren't enough English speakers on the tour I went on.

The number of English speakers on your tour being a hit-and-miss affair, I would advise those who speak only English to avoid these caves and go see some others elsewhere.

We were given a printed guide in English to read while on the tour, but it was hard to know which parts of the cave the printed guide was referring to so we mostly felt lost during the tour.

We also went on the animal safari, which I felt was a cop-out because the number of animals featured were small. But my husband liked that he got to see animals such as deer roaming around in the vast open fields. The mountainous terrain the animal safari was set on was pretty scenic too, but that was about it.

To top off our lacklustre experience here was that signage around the caves complex is very poor. We spent ages just trying to find the ticketing counter for the caves. We were also confused over what time the trams left for the various attractions, or even where they left from because there were no signs.

The restaurant outside the exit of the caves served a limited choice of mediocre fare but you had no choice, there being nowhere else to eat.

The only good thing was that it had a nice children's playground which my three-year-old child enjoyed.

Visited June 2013
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Hod Hasharon
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“See only the cave! No extra”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013 via mobile

The caves are huge and beautiful ! I've seen a few similar caves in the U.S. and France and these are the best !
The other attractions are a reap off . The safari tour and the 4 D movie are a waist of your money and time!
I highly recomend the cave and that's it !!!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great natural wonder, pathetic begging guides”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Absolutely worth going to ( just the caves) coz all the rest is really poor entertainment and meant for young schoolkids. Avoid high season and be prepared at the end of the tour for a begging guide. Furthermore don't eat in the village ( expensive and poor quality), Oh yes, the caves are pretty cold !!

Visited June 2013
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Gent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Magnificent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

I was Verry impressed with the enormous ancient caves, this is definitely a must-see for all who are a bit interested in nature. Had a fun guide, the caves were beautiful and intriguing.

At a sudden moment the guide puts out the lights in a gigantic underground hall, through which the river flows very loudly. This was terrifyingly beautiful, a moment I wont forget lightly.

Visited May 2013
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