November - December
LIÈGE, EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CHRISTMAS!
With the awarding of this title, Liège has gained recognition for several decades of cultivating the holiday season spirit and embellishing the city year upon year during the end of year festivities.
If you are looking for a simple Christmas Village, then look elsewhere.
In Liège, the entire city is decked out in the colours of celebration!
Whether it is the historical heart entirely illuminated by Christmas lights, 3 Christmas villages, a skating rink next to the cathedral, a craft village, a sound and light show in the Saint Paul Cathedral, or the European circus festival, there are plenty of good reasons to finish or start the year in Liège.
The Christmas Village - From 30/11 to 30/12
It just is not possible to visit Liège during the month of December without taking a detour via its famous Christmas Village, often cited as the oldest Christmas market in Belgium. With its 200 chalets, each year it attracts many people who come to taste the produce on offer and seek original gifts that can be found in its rows. More than just a market, the Christmas Village is an entity in itself with its councillors, mayor, citizens of honour, etc., who bring its wooden streets to life for more than a month. For 30 years, it has been the essential place to be for the end of year festivities.
Do not miss its big wheel, sledging run, souvenir photo terminals, famous public scribe, the village post office, etc.
Thanks to the title of European Capital of Christmas and a constant desire to enhance the Christmas spirit, exciting new elements will again be on the programme this year.
The Espace Châtellan will give pride of place to the special guest, the Châtel ski resort.
The PriviLiège Zone, a VIP enclosure for up to 60 people, will be located at the heart of the Christmas Village. It can be hired by the general public or businesses for a worthy celebration for the end of year festivities. Click here for information.
Many events have also been scheduled: concerts on Thursdays in the Village’s rows, as well as carol singing choirs, bands, singers and dancers who will all be performing on the central stage.
Lastly, two exhibitions, one featuring the photos of Jim Sumkay and a giant comic exhibition, will be visible inside the village.
Venue: Place Saint-Lambert and Place du Marché
Opening times: from 11.00 to 20.00 (22.00 from Sunday to Wednesday and midnight from Thursday to Saturday). Special opening hours on 24th December from 11.00 to 18.00 and on 25th December from 13.00 to 20.00 (22.00 at the latest)
"Cité Christmas" – 15th and 16th December
It is impossible to miss “Christmas City” when coming to Liège, but do you know about “Cité Christmas”? The neighbours of the famous Christmas Village on the Place du Marché square amicably declare independence for a weekend to promote the district of La Cité and its neighbouring shops.
On Saturday 15th December, the shops on Rue de la Boucherie, Rue de la Goffe and Rue du Pont, which surround the Halle aux Viandes former meat market, will be open at night in the season’s spirit. From 16.00 to midnight, discover the riches of this district in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Braziers, candles and mulled wine will accompany you as you shop until midnight.
On Sunday 16th December, a market of craftspeople and purveyors of regional produce will take place at the Halle aux Viandes. Puppets, chocolate, beer, spirits and confectionaries will be on offer in a venue decked out in seasonal decoration. Mother Christmas will be in attendance to read stories to well-behaved children, who will also have the opportunity to enjoy face-painting and discover balloon sculptures made by a funny clown. Musical group Les Mahingan will get everybody dancing and singing to Christmas songs. Finally, a brass band will be strolling through the district, from the Halle aux Viandes past all the shops in La Cité.
Programme of events:
Saturday: the shops will be open until midnight. DJs will be playing sets from 19.00 until midnight. Bars and snack kiosks available.
Christmas stories and children’s tales (in French): at 11.00 and 14.00. At the Halle aux Viandes / 15.00 and 16.00 at “La Bulle - Gipsy Yogi”
Les Mahigans, Christmas songs and other hits at 13.00 and 15.00 at the Halle aux Viandes
Face-painting and clown from 13.00 to 17.00.
Children’s workshops: Christmas badge making from 14.00 to 17.00, run by community services.
The Christmas Skating Rink – From 30th December to 6th January
Since 1999, the Christmas Skating Rink in Liège has been an integral part of the end of year festivities. It is set up for 5 weeks on the Place Cathédrale square, at the heart of the liveliest shopping district in the City of Liège and provides all the regulars to this exceptional meeting place with a special ambiance and illumination. Each year, it welcomes more than 20,000 skaters!
Many events are held here also: concerts, gala evenings, etc. The programme is available on the official web site of the Christmas Skating Rink.
Venue: Place Cathédrale and Vinâve d'île – 4000 Liège.
Opening times: from 10.00 to 20.00, Sunday to Thursday and from 10.00 to 22.00 on Friday and Saturday. Special opening hours on 24th and 31st December: from 10.00 to 18.00. Special opening hours on 25th December and 1st January: from 13.00 to 22.00.
Admission: free entry to the site, € 7 euros for 2 hours access to the rink and hire of skates.
Information: + 32 4 368 51 82 – www.patinoiredenoel.be.
The European Circus Festival
For 27 years, the talented Stefan Agnessen has taken up residence in Liège at Christmas to invite the best circus artists in Europe for a grand sequence of performances. Children and adults alike can marvel at the skills of the acrobats, clowns and tamers for almost one month, in a festive and friendly atmosphere, typical of the end of year festivities.
On completion of the run of performances, at a closing gala, the European Circus Festival awards ceremony is held.
From 13th December to 6th January.
For information and pricing, see the event's official web site.
Christmas in the Cathedrals
The wind is blowing and immense sand dunes line the far-off horizon.
The heat is unbearable and yet, an inexplicable force drives you on.
Shadows approach and take shape.
There are three of them.
Three Wise Men seeking the Star of Bethlehem
Take an extraordinary journey and help them to find the light among mountains and mirages, so far that this voyage could make you dizzy thanks to an astounding and unique performance!
Once again, the magician of the stage Luc Petit sweeps you up in his dream and, for the duration of the performance, immerses you in his magic universe in the finest Cathedrals of Brussels and Wallonia.
Climb onto your camel, hang on to your children and be ready to encounter the unexpected.
Dance, circus, magic, enchanting music and plenty of strass are on the programme.
Liège - St-Paul Cathedral
from 26th to 30th December 2018 and 1st to 2nd January 2019
Directed by: Luc Petit
Written by: Michel Teheux
Produced by: Anne Roelandt
Organised by: Nocturnales asbl
Price: € 9 to € 35
Free for children under 2 years old.
10% reduction for category 2 places for groups with a minimum of 20 people
Information and tickets: http://noeldescathedrales.be/tickets/
Tickets are also available on our web site.
+32 2 616 45 29
+32 470 92 42 29
EXCEPTIONAL OPENING TIMES:
* The shops in Liège will be opening their doors on Sunday 16th and 23rd December 2018 from 11.00 to 18.00.
* The shops in the Carré district, based on a “Magic Christmas” theme, will also open in the evening on Thursday 6th December until 21.00.
* On Thursdays, the shops in the historical centre will remain open until 21.00.
* On Saturday 16th December, the shops in the district of La Cité (Rue du Pont, Rue de la Boucherie, Rue de la Goffe) will remain open until MIDNIGHT in a festive atmosphere.
Parking is easy in the various paid parking car parks around the city centre (in the districts of Cité, Opéra, Saint Denis, Saint Georges, etc.) and beneath the Christmas Village in the Saint Lambert car park (which can be directly accessed via the Liège Burenville motorway exit).
Find all the coach parks available within the Liège urban area.
Pay and display machines
Pay and display parking spaces will be free from Saturday 15th September 2018 to Sunday 6th January 2019 inclusive. Don’t forget to display your parking disc in your windscreen!
You can also use the TEC free Christmas shuttles to enjoy Liège Christmas City in full peace of mind on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd December from 10.00 to 19.00.