Situated in the administrative district of Thuin, the municipality was created with a merger of 14 old communes on January 1, 1977. The Trappist monastery of Scourmont Abbey is located in the town and is famous for the Chimay Brewery.
Chimay has traditionally hosted an annual motor racing event, run on a street circuit formed from local public roads. From the 1920s to 1960s the event was run for contemporary Grand Prix and sportscar categories, and included the famous Grand Prix des Frontières. In recent times, while the event has persisted it has been run for historic race series. The track briefly lost its licence in 2006 related to safety fears, but has since had it reinstated.