Top 12 Things to do in Liège City (Wallonia - Belgium)

To begin with, I didn't know much about Liege. The only thing I knew was, its railway station is an architectural marvel where I had to do some photography and the UNESCO site of Blegny MineIt was only after some digging, I came to know Liège has so much to offer including the spellbinding Prehistomuseum & Val Saint Lambert Cristal Discovery. Going back to the first thing that attracted me to Liège - Guillemins Station. Apart from that, there are a few other very very fascinating features well inside the city itself! Here are some that you shouldn't miss.

TOP 10+ PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN LIÈGE
WHAT TO SEE IN LIEGE? WHAT TO DO IN LIEGE?
Things to do in Liege Belgium Guillemins photography

Things to do in Liege Guillemins photography

Things to do in Liege Belgium Montagne Bueren

Things to do in Liege Belgium Montagne Bueren

1. LIÈGE GUILLEMINS RAILWAY STATION  
Since Liège is one of the only 4 railway stations in Belgium that serves the High-Speed Rail networks (Thalys, ICE etc), the station is indeed large, but the fascinating thing is that it is uber-modern and ultra-chic! It has been designed by architect Santiago Calatrava and is made of white cement, steel and glass in 2009. I had so much fun here, shooting so so so many photos! Here are some of those in Fashion Panache blog. Unfortunately, it was a very cloudy day. The architecture would have shown itself so much better in sunlight, forming spectacular shadows. But unfortunately, we had settle for a cloudy-day effect!

Where is Liège Guillemins Railway Station (On Google Maps): Liège Guillemins Railway Station
Liège Guillemins Railway Station opening hours: 24 x 7

2. MONTAGNE DE BUEREN STEPS AND LIÈGE CITADEL (TOP LIÈGE ATTRACTIONS)
This was the first place early in the morning, I took Mr.V and his first words were - "This is Europe's Sabarimala"! Well, it has 374 steps... Going atop it is not the highlight. The highlight is watching joggers go up and down multiple times and residential houses located on either side. Yes, there's another motorable route to reach atop, but what if the house is halfway through? People who live there have to climb up or down every day!!! Many of these houses had a sticker on them that said something in the lines of - people live here, so don't shout & disturb!
Reaching atop, there's the war memorial - Monument to the 14th Line Regiment (Monument au 14ème Régiment de Ligne) of the 2nd World War. Further ahead of it is the Citadel.... or rather its ruins, of whatever is left of the citadel! It is so very picturesque and the view of the Liège city from atop here is just breathtaking (also you'll be breathless at this point after climbing 374 steps)! In spite of the day being sunny, this place is so well covered by trees that the sun hardly enters in.
From here back to the base, there are 4 waymarked trails, one of which goes into an almost jungle-like path. It is unbelievable and that was my 1st shock that we were in a deep jungle but in the heart of the city!

Where is Montagne de Bueren (On Google Maps): Montagne de Bueren
How to reach Montagne de Bueren: LeTEC buses 1 & 4 from Liège Guillemins Railway station to Place du Marché & walk 2 mins
Where is Monument au 14ème Régiment de Ligne (On Google Maps)Monument au 14ème Régiment de Ligne
Montagne de Bueren & Monument au 14ème Régiment de Ligne opening hours: 24 x 7

Things to do in Liege Belgium Montagne Bueren

Things to do in Liege Belgium Hillsides of the Citadel

Things to do in Liege Belgium Hillsides of the Citadel

Things to do in Liege Belgium Hillsides of the Citadel

Things to do in Liege Belgium Hillsides of the Citadel

3. THE SECRET GARDENS & HILLSIDES OF THE CITADEL (UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN LIÈGE)
As I said earlier, apart from the staircase, there's not only a motorable road by also many other ways to reach atop here. There are 4 waymarked walking routes which are categorized and 3 stars in Michelin guide! I went a walk through the Hill Sides of the Citadel with my lovely guide Ms.Michele Salden. Our walk started at Degrés des dentellières (the street of Lacemakers who lived just beside the townhall, and of such importance was their art).
A rather unsuspecting entrance on Rue Pierreuse leads to some stairs which lead to a brick building in ruins. Yes, that was a part of the citadel. A few more stairs from here lead to the Terraces! It is incredibly green with a touch of red bricks of the citadel ruins on one side and the gorgeous view of the townhall and Liège city from atop, on the other. This place has been in use since the middle ages for various purposes incl to grow medicinal plants, vineyards, culinary herbs & more.
A short walk ahead is what totally blew me over, or rather, my 2nd shock! There were these tiny little staircases everywhere, filled with greenery, that lead to various private residences (very very similar to Kerala). Honestly, the first thing in my mind was, 'how would a delivery guy find a house in here'! Called the blind alleys, some reach nowhere! The deepest and most beautiful of it is the Impasse des Ursulines, which has been in existence since 17th C CE.
Walking through this labyrinth, I came across a beautiful terrace seating of a cafe with a water body in it. Turns out to be a bar - Brasserie C. It also brews its own beer Curtius and a tour of their brewery can also be done. How was the beer? The breastfeeding me didn't manage to taste it! 
Exiting this leads to Mount Bueren Stairs, the other side of which is Rue Hors-Château which is one of the oldest streets in Liège. This was the street where rich people lived. Their servants had to live very close to them. So there are these tiny little streets (more impasse). Here was my 3rd shock. Just off the main road, was this lane, filled with greenery and looked straight out of a destination homestay and not like in the centre of a city! I walked in through Impasse Venta and walked out through Impasse de l'Ange. This place is frozen in time while Rue Hors-Château has become a busy street on this era. (If you're really really interested, I spotted some of these houses for rent in Liege!)

Where are the Liège Hillsides of the Citadel (on Google Maps)Terraces of the Citadel
Where's the entrance to Liège Hillsides of the Citadel (on Google Maps)Entrance to Hill Side walk on Rue Pierreuse
Where are the impasses in Liege (on Google Maps)? Impasse de l'Ange
How to reach the Liège Hillsides of the Citadel entrance: LeTEC buses 1 & 4 from Liège Guillemins Railway station to Place du Marché & walk 5 mins; 5 mins walk from Montagne de Bueren

Liège Hillsides of the Citadel map: Waymarked trails to reach the terraces, gardens & impasses (opens/downloads as pdf)

Where is Brasserie C - microbrewery in Liège (on Google Maps): Brasserie C
Brasserie C restaurant opening hours - Thu-Sat: Noon to midnight; Sun: 10:30AM to 8:00PM
Brasserie C tickets for microbrewery - €7
Brasserie C microbrewery tour timings - Specific timings and needs reservation via the official website of Brasserie C

Things to do in Liege Belgium Impasse

Things to do in Liege Belgium Impasse

Things to do in Liege Belgium Impasse

Things to do in Liege Belgium Impasse

Brasserie C Microbrewery Liege

4. THE RENAISSANCE BUILDINGS
A specific mention in the walking route, has to be made for Rue Pierreuse, one of the oldest streets in Liège which has been in existence since 13th C CE. There are some buildings built in 16th C CE which are still intact and renovated keeping their original wood intact. The X shaped planks that don't touch the corners of the surrounding frame are the tell-tale giveaway to whether is authentic or a copycat done later.

Where is Rue Pierreuse (On Google Maps)? Rue Pierreuse
How to reach Rue Pierreuse? LeTEC buses 1 & 4 from Liège Guillemins Railway station to Place du Marché & walk 5 mins

5. SAINT-BARTHELEMY CHURCH - ONE OF THE 7 WONDERS OF BELGIUM 
There is an official list of 7 Wonders of Belgium, which includes Ghent Altarpiece, Relics of our Lady in Tournai Cathedral as well. In this list comes the Baptismal Font of Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church. Though it is a 12th C CE Church, it doesn't feel so, as it has been very recently renovated. But the Baptismal Font is the best example of early 12th C Goldsmithery.

Where is Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church (On Google Maps)Saint Bartholomew's Church
How to reach Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church? LeTEC buses 1 & 4 from Liège Guillemins Railway station to Grand Curtuis; 4 mins from Montagne de Beuren
Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church tickets - €2
Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church opening hours - 10:00AM to 12:00Noon; 2:00PM to 5:00PM

6. LIÈGE RIVER SHUTTLE - NAVETTE FLUVIALE
Personally, for me, the river shuttle was a letdown. I did want to travel by river bus, but it was only once every hour and it was very very slow that I ended up taking it once, only to get down at the previous pier to my place and walk up to my destination, as it was slower than my walking! 
The river shuttle is to be considered more like a cruise and not a mode of transport.
As of 2021, there's only one shuttle that's functional which stops at Coeur Historique, Pole Fluvial and Guillimins once every hour. 

Where are the River Shuttle stops in Liège (on Google Maps): Coeur HistoriquePole Fluvial and Guillimins
Liège River Shuttle Navette Fluviale functioning hours - All days 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Liège River Shuttle Navette Fluviale day-pass - €10
Where to buy Liège River Shuttle Navette Fluviale tickets - Onboard

Oldest buildings in Liege

Baptismal Font of Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church Liege

Baptismal Font of Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church Liege

Places to visit in Liege

7. ARCHÉOFORUM
The first time I was in Liège, I spent a weekend there with all outings on Saturday and since Archéoforum is closed on Sundays, I missed it! Archéoforum is the real historic Liège. It is quite fascinating to walk through it. It is entirely underground, under the Place Saint-Lambert which is a central square in Liege. It is a humongous 3000+ sqm area entirely underground. The self-guided tour goes through the prehistoric settlements, to Gallo-Romain settlements, to middle-ages to present-day incl. the thermal baths of the Roman villa, the foundations of the medieval Cathedral of Saint-Lambert. There are not only description boards but also little models that explain how things would have been originally, as well as digital recreations.

Where is Liège Archéoforum (on Google Maps): Archéoforum
How to reach Liège Archéoforum - LeTEC buses 1 & 4 from Liège Guillemins Railway station to Place Saint-Lambert & it's right there; 7 mins walk from Montagne de Bueren
Liège Archéoforum tickets - €6 (included in MuseumpassMusees)
Liège Archéoforum opening hours - Tue-Fri: 9:00AM to 4:00PM; Saturday: 10:00AM to 5:00PM

8. LIÈGE AQUARIUM MUSEUM
I visited Liège Aquarium & Natural History museum on my 2nd visit to Liège when Atyudarini was a bit older. This is one of the best places to visit in Liege with kids. This is 3 floors with the Natural History section on the top floor, temporary exhibition space on the ground floor and the Aquarium is on the underground floor. The Natural History museum section has various skeletons & stuffed animals including a skeleton of an adult blue whale. Really very very educational for kids. Atyuadarini loved it here. The underground floor is where the Aquarium is. Filled with various displays of various showcases of various fishes. It isn't as exciting or immersive like SeaLife, but this is really good too. 

Where is Liège Aquarium-Muséum (on Google Maps): Liege Aquarium-Museum
How to reach Liège Aquarium-Muséum - River shuttle from Guillemins to Pole Fluvial. Located just beside the River shuttle stop.
Liège Aquarium-Muséum tickets - €7.50 (included in MuseumpassMusees)
Liège Aquarium-Muséum opening hours - Weekdays: 9:00AM to 5:00PM; Weekends: 10:00AM to 6:00PM

9. OUTREMEUSE & PARC DE LA BOVERIE
You don't realize it at first, but a major portion of the city of Liège is actually an island sitting in the middle of Meuse river! Since it is connected by many bridges it doesn't feel like an island to begin with. The name of this island is Outremeuse. It is always fascinating to see the island from atop, standing on the bridges. Almost the edge of this island is the new location of Fine Arts Museum (Beaux Arts Musee (BAM), Liege) and around it, till the tip of the island is the Boverie Park. One of the things that I've been wanting to do is to go to the ending point of this island and just be there, see and feel the surroundings. Yet to do it, inspite of visiting Liege twice! Next time!

Where is the tip of Outremeuse island (on Google maps)? Southern tip of Outremeuse

Liege Archeoforum Cathedral of Saint-Lambert

Liege Archeoforum Places to visit with kids in Liege

Liege Archeoforum Roman Villa Model

Liege Archeoforum Roman Villa

10. LIÈGE STREET ART (HIDDDEN GEMS IN LIÈGE)
Liège has a very rich street-art scene. That should be pretty evident with the first pic of this article! That is the facade of the building that once house the Fine Arts Museum (BAM - Beaux Arts Musee, Liege).

Liege Street Art map: via Visitez Liege (opens/downloads as pdf) 

11. WAFFLES & MORE (LOCAL FOODS TO TRY IN LIÈGE)
Obviously! Waffles have been named after Liege, so you have to taste waffles in Liege. I found the best waffles in Liege at Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette. A tiny little family-run store, you'll find a queue outside of it all the time! The lady who owns it gives a small complementary piece to every customer which makes the whole experience incredibly........ sweet!!!!! Just opposite their Waffles shop is their bakery and icecream shop. The icecream counter is absolutely divine. There's not only icecreams but also gelatos. Absolutely divine on a hot day! 

Where is Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette (on Google Maps)Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette
How to reach Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette? LeTEC buses 1 & 4 from Liège Guillemins Railway station to Place du Marché. It's right there; 3 mins walk from Montagne de Bueren.
Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette opening hours: 7:30AM to 6:00PM on all days except Monday

12. MARCHÉ DE LA BATTE
The largest & oldest Sunday market in Belgium. It is open every Sunday 8:00AM to 4:30PM. That said, as someone who has been to many markets in Brussels including Clamenceau Market, Marolles Market etc, it didn't feel very special. 

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN LIÈGE & LIÈGE ATTRACTIONS
Other Churches in Liège Cathédrale Saint-Paul de Liège, Collegiate Church Saint-Jacques, Church of Saint Servatius of Liège 
Other Museums in Liège - Le Grand Curtuis Museum, Museum of Walloon Life (Musée de la Vie wallonne), Museum of Religious Art & Mosan Art (Musee d'Art Religieux et d'Art Mosan), Trinkhall museum (MADmusée), La Boveire (Fine Arts & Contemporary Art Museum), Museum of Public Transport in Wallonia (Musée des Transports en commun de Wallonie).
Other Liège Attractions - Parc d'Avroy, Royal Opera of Wallonia - Liège, The Perron Column 

DAY TRIPS FROM LIÈGE 

places to visit in Liege with kids Aquarium Museum

places to visit in Liege with kids Aquarium Natural History Museum

places to visit in Liege with kids Aquarium Natural History Museum

Liege Waffles une gaufrette saperlipopette

LIÈGE HOTELS
Liège Hotels & B&Bs at all price points are available in the city centre. Here’s my review of Hotel Neuvice, a renovated old building, where I stayed. 

HOW TO REACH LIÈGE 
Liège is served by Belgian Train SNCB-NMBS. As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, Liège Guillemins is a major railway station served by the High-Speed Rail network. So all international trains from east, from Austria, Germany etc, have their first stop in Belgium at Liège. So, train is definitely the best way to reach Liège. Check here to find cheap Belgian Train tickets. Liège falls under the Euregio ticket as well.

WHERE TO EAT IN LIÈGE
Being a vegetarian, my restaurant options are pretty limited in most European cities, but Liège is an exception. There are vegan restaurants in here - Como n Casa for a proper sit-down lunch/dinner & Green Burger for quick bites. That said, definitely visit Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette to taste the best Liege Waffles. 

LIÈGE ITINERARIES
How many days do you need in Liège: Liège is a large city and you can spend quite a few days exploring in and around Liège. I've been to Liège on a weekend trip and then a day trip and still I haven't even been to all the major museums and parks of the city. So yeah, I'd say, atleast a weekend!

One day in Liège
  • Morning - Montagne Bueren, Liège Citadel & its hillsides, 
  • Noon - Brasserie C microbrewery tour 
  • Lunch at Brasserie 
  • Afternoon - Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church, Archeoforum
  • Evening - Photoshoot at Liège Guillemins railway station.
One day in Liège with kids
  • Morning - Montagne Bueren, Liège Citadel & its hillsides
  • Lunch at Brasserie C 
  • Afternoon - Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church, Archeoforum, Liège Aquarium Museum
  • Evening - Photoshoot at Liège Guillemins railway station.
Weekend in Liège 
  • Day 1 - Montagne Bueren, Liège Citadel & its hillsides, Brasserie C microbrewery, Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church, Archeoforum
  • Day 2 option 1 - Day out from Liège - Val Saint Lambert Cristal Discovery, Préhistomuseum, 
  • Day 2 option 2 - Half-day out from Liège - Blegny Mine; Back in Liège - La Boverie Fine Arts museum, edge of Outremeuse island, Street art of Liège 
Weekend in Liège with kids 
  • Day 1 - Same as one Day in Liège with kids
  • Day 2 - Préhistomuseum, Street art of Liège if time permits

Liege with kids pinterest Places to visit in Liege Pinterest

Things to do in Liege Pinterest Liege Waffles Pinterest


P.S: I was invited by Liège Tourisme and Wallonia Tourism to experience the city for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 78 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of Sept 2020. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands

19 comments:

  1. The train station definitely looks pretty cool. I can't believe there'd be people who'd have to climb 300+ steps to get to their homes every day! The Liege Citadel definitely looks like its worth visiting.

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  2. I really need to return to Belgium to see Liege! You always seem to find these hidden places, and I think the Renaissance buildings there are just striking. The rail station is gorgeous too, I've not heard of the architect before, but will look up his other work!

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  3. Liege sounds like a great destination. Even the river bus sounds fascinating to me although you didn't like it :D
    Belgian architects seem to take their train stations very seriously - I was awestruck by the beauty of Antwerp Centraal, and now this.

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  4. I had never considered Lieges as a destination before. Those steps make it look like quite the workout to get around! Though it was frustrating, the river bus sounds like an awesome way to see the city from a different view point. I love that you also went for the waffles!

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  5. Those 374 stairs are something else! The incline reminded me of a similar experience I had in Dunedin, New Zealand which boasts having the steepest street in the world - and similar to these stairs, people were living on either side. I just love the look and feel of this city and the many alley ways, abundance of flora throughout the city and of course the historical gorgeous architecture. Would love to visit here.

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  6. I never knew of Liege city before reading your post. Thanks for all the tips and information about this city. I loved the hidden garden, courtyard and narrow alleys in Leige Citadel. Also it is great to know that one of the 7 wonders of Belgium is in Liege. Climbing Bueren steps must be fun thing to do here.

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  7. Interesting architecture there. But is it really that empty? I am not much into architecture photography, but like shooting streets, which means there should be people :)

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  8. I love those little lanes and houses with the greenery. Nice that it reminds you of Kerala.

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  9. I like the mix of modern and the traditional european architecticture im seeing from your pics! I've only been to Brussels so I'm going to use your post on Liege on my next visit. Do you have any recommendations for a specific dish to try while in Liege?

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  10. All I know about Liege is its got great waffles. We passed by on the train, and now I'm really wishing we had stepped out!

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  11. I am totally fascinated by the fact that there were joggers going up and down those 370 odd steps and people who climb them up everyday because they live there. Liege looks like that quaint little European city with a lot of character. Would love to visit one day.

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  12. Wow! Liege looks extremely fascinating. I love the architecture of Guillemins Railway Station. Venturing into those narrow alleys and stairs of the 17th century must be a great experience. Liège Citadel is something I would love to visit. I like everything about the castle including the views from the top. It's interesting to know that people take more than 300 stairs everyday to reach their homes.

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  13. Your walk down the blind alleys and secret gardens sounds like the perfect adventure. I love discovering local gems like this! And a labyrinth that leads to a bar that brews Its own beer? Um yes please.

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  14. Sometimes, getting lost in a city is the best way to find its beauty, which sounds like what you did here. What a wonder, to see alleyways covered in greenery. Not sure my knees like the idea of 350(ish) steps though!

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  15. This is certainly a little gem I'd never heard of. Looks like such a lovely place!

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  16. Great post! But I missed Liege when I as in Belgium and only made it to Brudge! Well, gives me another reason to visit now :)
    Anna

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  17. Apart from waffles, I had no idea that Liege has so many splendid things to offer! That Liège Guillemins Railway Station reminds me of Oculus in NYC!

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  18. I can see myself living in such a city- only because i can walk the 300 stairs and get fit while dong it.
    Oh how i would be excited to take the river bus!!

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