Not quite Wallonia’s biggest city, but certainly its most lively and one of its most cultural, Liège has a modern and vibrant nightlife, and fantastic culture which is sure to stick in the memory of visitors.
The city is the birthplace of Emperor Charlemagne and boasts a fascinating history. It also has a rich artistic and architectural heritage, making it one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities of the Wallonia Region.
Header image credit: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier
Liège is the most easterly of Wallonia’s major cities and therefore it takes a little longer to get to from our French ports. You can reach Liège from Dunkirk in less than 3 hours and from Calais in just over 3 hours.
Alternatively, head to our port in IJmuiden, near Amsterdam, and you can drive to Liège in under 3 hours.
Why visit Liège?
Liège is one of Belgium’s university cities, and for this reason has a vivacious nightlife and social culture which makes it attractive to younger tourists and visitors. However its medieval architecture, palaces and museums are sure to attract older visitors and culture-vultures.
Image credit: JP Remy
What to see
Prince-Bishops Palace was originally built in the 10th century, and was restored in 1526. The building houses the provincial government and the law court. You can see the beautiful façade of the palace and the first courtyard at any time, but you must receive written approval to see the whole palace.
There are seven collegiate churches in the city of Liège. Of these the most famous are the Collegial Church of Saint Bartholomew - which contains a baptismal font which is known for being one of Belgium’s most famous national treasures - and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, which was built in the 10th century and is wonderfully decorated.
Liège is home to a number of famous museums including the Grand Curtis Museum which has a number of archaeological discoveries and Napoleonic memorabilia, and the Arms Museum which contains a selection of antique and modern weapons.
Spring 2016 heralded the opening of La Boverie, a brand new Fine Arts museum that was created in partnership with the Louvres Museum in Paris. Situated in the grounds of the lovely Parc de la Boverie in the centre of Liège, it houses a permanent collection of world-class fine art, and visiting exhibitions from around the world.
Less than 1km from La Boverie you can see another artistic and architectural gem - the Liège -Guillemins train station. Designed by Catalan architect Santiago Calatrava, this vast, modern structure with its sweeping curves and glass vaulted roof is not just the busiest high-speed rail hub in the region, it also stages exhibitions of work by artists such as Salvador Dali.
Treasures of a different kind can be found every Sunday as La Batte, the oldest and largest market in Belgium, springs to life along the banks of the Meuse. Clothes, jewellery, books, bags, flowers and fresh Wallonia vegetables are all to be found on this one-mile stretch of pure local colour and character.
Visit Liège during the festive season and you can enjoy the magical sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Belgium’s best loved Christmas Market. With hundreds of chalets decked with twinkling lights, it’s a fairytale setting in which to buy and browse all manner of tempting Christmas gifts and goodies, from traditional wooden nativity scenes and handmade cards to delicious creations in gingerbread, chocolate and marzipan.
For shopping all year round, head to Liège city centre where a number of chic designer boutiques grace the pedestrianized zone. And for partying all night, there are pubs in the Carré district of the old town that promise to stay open until the last customer is ready to leave!
Lastly, for a truly unforgettable view of the city, climb the 374 steps to the top of the Montagne de Bueren, a staircase built in memory of the noble Vincent de Bueren, who defended Liège against the Duke of Burgundy in the 15th century.
Image credit: Alain Janssens
Where to stay
Head to our accommodation partner Booking.com and you’ll find a huge selection of hotels, B&Bs, apartments to ensure you have a perfect stay in Europe.
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