Liege Christmas Market is one of the largest Christmas markets in Belgium. The market takes place from November 24 to December 30, 2023, at the downtown plazas and squares of Liege based on the German Christmas traditions. This renowned market has been held in the same location along the banks of the Meuse River since the 14th century, making it one of the oldest ongoing Christmas markets in Europe, attracting over 2 million Christmas market visitors.
Hundreds of stalls by local Walloon artisans display handcrafted glassware, wooden figurines, lacework and other regional crafts. The market highlights theater productions like The Snow Queen, Nutcracker Soldiers and Gingerbread Men performing at the on-site Papé Noël Theater.
What is the Liege Christmas Market?
Liege Christmas Market, also known as the Christmas Village in Liège or Village de Noël de Liège, is one of the largest and oldest Christmas markets in Belgium. Liege Christmas market opens on Friday, November 24, 2023, with the market running daily until Saturday, December 30, 2023 and transforms the downtown plazas and squares of Liège, attracting over 2 million visitors each year.
Liege Christmas Market highlights the traditions of the Germans dating back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest ongoing Christmas markets in Europe. The Liege Christmas Market features over 200 charming wooden stalls selling traditional Christmas gifts, ornaments, foods and drinks from these stalls, offering items like handicrafts, toys, Christmas trees, mulled wine, Belgian beers, sweet treats like waffles and chocolates. The market has an extensive cultural program with live music, a Santa parade, an ice skating rink and more.
When does the Liege Christmas Market open for 2023?
Liege Christmas market opens on Friday, November 24, 2023 until Saturday, December 30, 2023. It will be running daily and the opening hours on Sunday to Thursday are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Fridays to Saturdays are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where is the Liege Christmas Market taking place?
Liege Christmas market is taking place in Place du Marché, 4000, Liège, in the center of downtown Liège. The market is primarily centered around Place du Marché, a large public square located at coordinates 50°38'46″N 5°34'16″E.
Why should you visit the Liege Christmas Market?
Listed below are the reasons why you should visit the Liege Christmas Market.
- Seasonal Flavours. Seasonal flavors of Belgian delicacies like Liege waffles, frites, crepes, hot chocolate, Glühwein, truffles, cured meats, cheeses and more. This also includes beers that are available during the holiday season, like Nostradamus Winter, Saint Feuillien Christmas, Val Dieu Spéciale Noël and others. Liege Christmas market features the mentioned authentic local food, flavors and drinks.
- Local Arts and Crafts. Local arts and crafts from the Liege artisans sell handmade glass, ceramics, woodwork, lace and other specialty items. Liege Christmas market showcases the Walloon craft heritage and artisanal skills passed through generations.
- Culture. A culture that is full of concerts, parades, performances and activities infuses the Liege Christmas market with bands showcasing Walloon, Flemish, French and German music traditions. Talented groups perform hourly for free right in the market square.
- Shows and Parades. Shows and parades of characters like the Snow Queen, nutcracker soldiers and gingerbread men act out tales in Papé Noël theatre. The arrival of Saint Nicholas' by boat on the Meuse River is a huge annual event at the Liege Christmas market.
What is the cost of entering the Liege Christmas Market?
Liege Christmas Market does not charge an entry fee. Access to the market square and streets is completely free. Visitors can wander the stalls, displays and attractions without needing to buy a ticket. The only optional costs involved would be fees for rides, ice skating, performances, food and drinks and souvenirs. Rides from carousels, bumper cars and other rides require individual tickets, price starts from €10 ($10, £8). Ice skating ring ticket prices start from €5 ($5, £4) for adults and children. Performance ticket prices vary but usually start from €5 ($5, £4). Food and drinks such as hot chocolate or a mug of mulled wine cost between €2 ($2, £1) to €8 ($8, £7). Souvenirs such as crafts, decorations and gifts can range from €5 ($5, £4) for small items to over €100 ($107, £87).
What are the attractions close to the Liege Christmas Market?
Listed below are the top things to do in Liege close to Liege Christmas Market.
- Grand Curtius Museum. Grand Curtius Museum is one of the top attractions and is 0.3 kilometers (0.18 miles) from Liege Christmas market. Its collections spanning archaeology, religious art, Mosan art and more provide a comprehensive overview of the city and region's history. The historic building draws crowds of 25,000-50,000 Christmas market visitors for its proximity and appeal as an indoor cultural site.
- Montagne de Bueren. Montagne de Bueren is an iconic 374-step outdoor staircase and is a famous landmark in Liege. Locals and tourists alike are drawn to climb and photograph the sweeping staircase that is 0.3 kilometers (0.18 miles) from Liege Christmas market. The staircase's proximity to the Christmas market makes it a popular spot, with Christmas market visitors of 30,000-40,000 during the festive period.
- Meuse River. Meuse River is a central feature of the Liege Christmas market due to its scenic riverside walks and promenades. The Christmas market is located right along the riverbanks, which makes the area very popular for strolls and taking in river views during the market. Christmas visitor numbers along the river are at 30,000-50,000 during this peak time.
- Palace of the Prince Bishops. The Palace of the Prince Bishops is a historic palace and was the residence of the Prince Bishops who ruled Liege. It has been turned into a museum displaying artifacts from the history of the Prince Bishops. Its grand architecture and proximity of 0.3 kilometers (0.18 miles) to the Liege Christmas market make it a popular spot for 15,000-25,000 Christmas market visitors.
- Place de la République. Place de la République is a central square located right next to the Liege Christmas market. It features landmarks like the Opera House and the Perron Fountain. It sees major foot traffic from the market, with visitor numbers increasing by an estimated 40,000-60,000 Christmas market visitors.
Is there an alternative name for Liege Christmas Market?
Yes, Liege Christmas market is called by the names “Christmas Village in Liège” and “Village de Noël de Liège”. Christmas Village in Liège is an English alternate name used to refer to the Liege Christmas Market. Village de Noël de Liège is the French alternate name meaning “Christmas Village of Liege”.
What are the Liege Christmas Markets' Impacts on the Local Economy and Tourism?
Liege Christmas Markets have a significant positive impact on the local economy and tourism in Liege. These attract international tourism, generate hotel occupancy and restaurant sales and are major income sources for artisans and vendors. The markets gain global publicity and draw foreign visitors, boosting Liege's reputation as a holiday destination. The influx of visitors during the one-month period fills hotel rooms, Airbnbs and restaurants throughout the city, marking the peak of the holiday tourism season. The 200+ stalls offer direct sales opportunities for local Walloon artisans, crafters, food producers and more. For many vendors, the Christmas market provides a large portion of their annual sales and revenue.
Is Liege Christmas Market better than Dinant Christmas Market?
It depends. Both Liege Christmas Market and Dinant Christmas Market offer unique experiences within the Belgian holiday festivities. Liege Christmas Market, one of Belgium's largest, with over 200 stalls, features handcrafted items, local specialties like Liege waffles and frites and cultural performances highlighting Walloon traditions. The market's long history dates back to the 14th century, making it one of Europe's oldest ongoing Christmas markets. The Dinant Christmas Market takes place annually along the Meuse River in the medieval Town of Citadel and Croisette. It caters to over 100 artisan stalls near the Collegiate Church of Our Lady, offering locally crafted items like ceramics, wood carvings and candles. Visitors can savor authentic Belgian cuisines such as Dinant sausages, waffles and sweet couque de Dinant honey cakes. Entertainment includes live music, a Christmas circus and Santa Claus and his donkey, adding to the festive ambiance.
Both markets offer free entry and a range of optional expenses for rides, ice skating, performances, food, drinks and souvenirs. They contribute significantly to the local economy by attracting tourists, providing sales opportunities for artisans and boosting hospitality sectors. Each market showcases unique regional delights and crafts, fostering a sense of tradition and festivity during the holiday season. Both have unique qualities, determining which is “better” depends on personal preferences.
What food can visitors eat at the Liege Christmas Market?
Listed below are the foods visitors can eat in the Liege Christmas market.
- Mosselen-friet. Mosselen-friet is a classic dish of steamed mussels served with fries in a creamy herb and white wine broth is a specialty at the Liege Christmas market.
- Stoofvlees. Stoofvless traditional and considered one of the best Belgian foods made from beef and slow-cooked with beer, herbs and mustard, can be found at certain food booths at the Liege Christmas market. It is perfectly served with fries or crusty bread.
- Hutsepot. Hutsepot is a hearty winter vegetable stew made with potatoes, carrots and onion and is served in bread bowls at some booths at the Liege Christmas market.
- Cuberdons. Cuberdons are cone-shaped raspberry and cherry-flavored purple candies that are a Belgian specialty. You can purchase bags of cuberdons from candy vendors at the Liege Christmas market.
What to drink in the Liege Christmas Market?
Listed below are the drinks you can have in Liege Christmas Market.
- Glühwein (Mulled Wine). Glühwein is a traditional hot spiced red wine that is a must-have drink at any Christmas market in Europe. Glühwein is available in the Liege Christmas market. The rich red wine is infused with orange, lemon, cinnamon, star anise and cloves. It is usually served in commemorative mugs that you can take home.
- Hot Chocolate. Hot Chocolate, made from melted chocolate shavings and steamed milk is a traditional drink available at many vendors in Liege Christmas market that is topped with piles of whipped cream or marshmallows.
- Fruit Wines. Fruit Wines using strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and other fruits are a specialty in Liege. Fruit wines are often sweetened and sometimes fortified with brandy or other spirits. These fruit wines are available in the Liege Christmas market.
- Beer. Beer is what Belgium is known for and the Liege Christmas market offers a chance for visitors to try traditional festive holiday beers from local breweries. Look for special editions brewed with warming spices like gingerbread, cinnamon and orange peel.
What can people buy at the Liege Christmas Market?
Listed below are the things you can buy at Liege Christmas Market.
- Handcrafted Nativity Scenes. Handcrafted Nativity Scenes are done by skilled artisans who sell beautiful miniature nativity scenes carved from wood, molded from clay or made using other materials. These traditional figures like Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus are lovely Christmas collectibles available in the Liege Christmas market.
- Decorated Glassware. Decorated Glassware such as glass flutes, mugs, bowls and ornaments that have been etched or painted with holiday motifs like snowflakes, holly leaves and poinsettias. These are available in the Liege Christmas market.
- Traditional Walloon Dolls. Traditional Walloon Dolls Traditional cloth dolls wearing folk costumes from the Wallonia region are a popular gift item. Each one has a unique handmade outfit and can be purchased at the Liege Christmas market.
- Lace Products. Lace Products using fine Belgian lacework, including lace scarves, table runners and doilies, make elegant gifts. These beautiful lace items like scarves, bookmarks and tablecloths are handmade by local artisans and available for purchase at various stalls in the Liege Christmas market.
How to get to the Liege Christmas Market?
There are four ways to get to Liege Christmas Market. These are by plane, train, metro, taxi and on foot. Firstly, by train, Liege has two main stations – Liege-Guillemins and Liege-Palais. Both are well connected to Brussels and other major Belgian cities. Take a train to either station and then walk or public transport to the city center where the Liege Christmas market is held. Secondly, by bus, there are regular bus services from Brussels and other Belgian cities to Liege. The main bus station in Liege is located 15 15-minute walk from the Christmas market area. Thirdly, by car, take the E40 motorway and exit at Liege Center. Parking can be tricky during the busy Christmas market period, so public transport is recommended if possible. Lastly, on foot, the Christmas market is held in Liege's historical city center, which is compact and walkable. You can easily walk there in 10-15 minutes.
Where to stay in Liege during the Liege Christmas Market?
Listed below are the best hotels to stay near Liege Christmas Market.
- Hotel Neuvice. Hotel Neuvice is a modern 4-star hotel located 0.35 kilometers (0.2 miles) from the Liege Christmas market in the city center. Hotel Neuvice stands as a mix of history and modernity. Guests are immediately welcomed by a courtyard. It offers rooms with free WiFi, a fitness center and an on-site restaurant serving Belgian cuisine.
- Maison Noppius. Maison Noppius is one of the best hotels in Liege that offers an exclusive, boutique hotel experience in the locale of Liège, with city activities still within reach, making it the best stay in Belgium. It is located 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the Liege Christmas market. Guests can stay in decorated, traditional rooms and enjoy a daily breakfast buffet.
- LaGrange-Chambres d'hôtes. LaGrange-Chambres d'hôtes is 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the Liege Christmas market. The hotel is strategically located for easy access to urban dining and entertainment options, making it a versatile choice for various types of travelers with classic rooms with garden views.
What are the best restaurants to eat in Liege?
Listed below are the best restaurants in Liege.
- XHO. XHO is a contemporary and stylish gourmet sushi restaurant located 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) from Liege Christmas Market. Their menu features the Sea Bream Carpaccio with thin slices of sea bream with yuzu, truffle oil and salmon roe. XHO has cocktails like Yuzu Mojito and live DJs on weekend nights. A meal at XHO costs €40 ($44, £36) per person.
- Les Sabots d'Hélène. Les Sabots d'Hélène serves elevated versions of traditional Walloon cuisine. Their menu highlights fork-tender Carbonnade de Boeuf à la Bière Brune, a beef stew braised in brown beer that costs €35 ($39, £32) per meal. It is located 0.5 kilometers (0.3 miles) from Liege Christmas market. Reservations are recommended for it is popular with the locals. Les Sabots d'Hélène is a great option for eating in Belgium with its traditional Walloon cuisine and proximity to the Liege Christmas market.
- La Cuisine de Yannick. La Cuisine de Yannick is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from Liege Christmas market. Chef Yannick draws inspiration from French and Belgian cuisines and local ingredients to create a seasonal tasting menu that changes regularly. The average cost of eating at this restaurant starts at €50 ($55, £45) per meal.
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