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
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, an exhibition, 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)
The Christmas Skating Rink – From 30th November to 5th 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 20.00.
Admission: free entry to the site, € 8 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
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.
Dance, circus, magic, enchanting music and plenty of strass are on the programme.
Liège - St-Paul Cathedral
Directed by: Luc Petit
Written by: Michel Teheux
Organised by: Nocturnales asbl
-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).
Train + bus = City Pass
For longer journeys, think about combining! Get a 24h City Pass for only € 6 to combine transport by train and by bus!
More info: www.cestlemomentdechangerdemode.be
Find all the coach parks available within the Liège urban area.