Spotlight on Liège

April 6, 2018

Similar to many of its national siblings, Liège has an impressive heritage. In fact, the first Neanderthal skulls were found in caves near the city. In the most recent millennia, however, it has seen wars and revolutions, become a booming commercial metropolis and is home to one of the largest river ports on the continent. A city encircled by nature, green space surrounds Liège, with the Wallonian countryside just a stone’s throw away.

Things to do

• Step back into the history of the region at the Museum of Walloon Life, with exhibitions detailing Walloon life in the 19th century. The edifice itself ascribes to the provincial Mosan architecture, an extension of Romanesque art found in the area surrounding the Meuse River.

• Unmistakable for it’s candy-cane exterior, Church of Saint Bartholemew dates back as far as the 11th century and is a must-visit when in Liège, not just for its Mosan design and stunning French Baroque interior, but for the impressive art collection inside, too.

• Also notable for its exciting exterior, Curtius Museum is a boldly crimson structure housing an array of artefacts, including international artwork and sculptures, archaeology and more.

• Named after a military hero, Montagne de Bueren is a 374-step staircase that leads you to the old citadel from the city centre. Descending the stairway is difficult but rewarding, with hidden lanes and charming architecture to explore.

• Islanded in the Meuse River is Parc Boverie, a natural retreat with landscaped grounds, as well as more organic scenes. Enclosed within the greenery is La Boverie, a fine art museum.


What to eat

• Bright, modern, minimalistic décor and a farm-to-table vibe at Ma Ferme en Ville makes it incredibly popular with millennials and the environmentally conscious.

• Gaufre liégeoise is sweeter and doughier than its counterpart, the Belgian Waffle, and is a favourite among sweet tooths. If you are wondering where to find the best one, it is at Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette. Keep it simple with sugar and cinnamon to enjoy it like the locals.

• The home-cooked scents bursting from plates of ample portions tell you everything you need to know about As Ouhès. The menu offers a list of Walloon dishes: rich stews, fresh bread and local game. Cosy, rustic and a must for anyone looking for authentic cuisine.

• If the name ‘Chez Nathalie’ and the establishment’s façade, with Belgian and French flags and a quaint, cottage-like appearance, do not tell you enough at the patriotism of this eatery, the menu will. Served on red gingham tablecloths and encased in slightly charred greaseproof paper are comfort foods including scampi, casserole and creamy cheeses.


What to drink

• You cannot visit a new city in Belgium without trying the beer. For that, head to Vaudrée. Doubling up as a shop and bar, there are around 900 beers on offer here.

• The partygoer’s drink of choice has to be peket, a spirit made from juniper berries and often flavoured to take the edge off. La Maison du Peket Bar, an 18th century establishment in the historic quarter, offers around 30 fruity flavours as well as a whole lot of charm.

• Saga Café is a popular wine bar just a few minutes’ walk from the cathedral. Don’t be fooled by the casual setting, they take their wine very seriously.


How to get there

Liège’s location makes it easily accessible from any of our four ports on the continent. Hop on a ferry from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais and you are just 3 hours’ drive from Liège. Alternatively, there is our Newhaven to Dieppe crossing, from which you are only 4 hours’ drive from Liège. If you are travelling from the north or Scotland there is our overnight crossing to Amsterdam from Newcastle. From our Dutch port you are less than 3 hours’ drive from Liège.

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