Top 5 of Liège City (Wallonia - Belgium)

To begin with, I didn't know much about Liège. The only thing I knew was, its railway station in an architectural marvel and I had do some photography here and the UNESCO site of Blegny Mine


It 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.
1. Liège Guillemins Railway Station - Since its one of the only 3 High Speed Rail networks, the station is indeed large, but the fascinating thing is that its uber modern and ultra chic! Its designed by architect Santiago Calatrava and is made of white cement, steel and glass in 2009. I had a blast here, making poor Mr.V click endless shots! 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 cloudy-day effect!

2. Montagne de Bueren Steps and Liège Citadel - 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 sides. Yes, there's another motorable route to reach atop, but what if the house is half way through? People who live there have to climb up or down everyday!!! 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! Its 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)! Inspite 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 way marked trails, one of which goes into an almost jungle like path. Its unbelievable and that was my 1st shock that we were in a deep jungle, but in the heart of the city!
3. The secret gardens & Hillsides of the Citadel - 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 way marked walking routes which are categorized and 3 star 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 leads to the Terraces! Its 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 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 stair cases 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 home stay 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 available for rent!)
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 its 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 of a copy-cat done later.

5. One of the 7 Wonders of Belgium - There is an official list of 7 Wonders of Belgium, which includes Ghent Alterpiece, Relics of our Lady in Tournai Cathedral etc  as well. In this list comes the Baptismal Font of Saint-Barthélemy Collegiate Church. Though its 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. 
Let me overshoot and make this list to 6. Waffles - Obviously! Waffles have been named after the city, so you have to taste it here and I found the best 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!!!!!
The river bus was a let down. 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!

To Stay:
Hotels & B&Bs at all price points are available in Liege City Centre. 
Here’s my review of Hotel Neuvice, a renovated old building, where I stayed.

To Get There:
All these sites are within the city and are walkable from each other.



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 N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

7 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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