"The Fiery City in Wallonia" Top 5 Page for this destination Liège by BillNJ

Liège Travel Guide: 337 reviews and 1,060 photos

Largest Metropolitan Area in Wallonia

The Walloon Region, commonly called Wallonia, is one of the three Regions of Belgium (the Brussels-Capital Region and the Flemish Region are the other two). Wallonia represents approximately 33% of Belgium's population and 55% its territory. Wallonia is known as the French-speaking south of Belgium, but there are also some German-speaking municipalities in the east. The official languages of the Walloon Region are French and German. In the city of Liège itself, the primary language is French.

The Liège metropolitan area is the largest urban agglomeration in Wallonia. It is the the third largest metropolitan area in Belgium, behind the Brussels and Antwerp metropolitan areas.

In the most recent census, the city of Liège had a population of 187,086. Depending on where the boundaries are set, the Liège metropolitan area has a total population of between 476,000 and slightly more 600,000. Whatever the case, Liège is the principal economic and cultural center of Wallonia.

Struggling With the Decline of Industry

In the 19th century, the city of Liège was a leading industrial city in Europe. The Province of Liège is rich in many natural resources, especially coal and iron. Liège developed into an important steel-producer, and much of its steel was made into weapons.

When many of Liège's industrial plants began to shut down in the second half of the 20th century, the city's economy was badly hurt. Today, the city is still struggling with high rates for unemployment and crime.

Fast-paced and Vibrant City

In May 2008, I visited Liège for an afternoon as a side trip from Maastricht. Upon arriving at Liège, I noticed a big difference in the energy level as compared to Maastricht. Whereas the general pace of life in Maastricht is slow and leisurely, the pace in Liège is fast and somewhat chaotic.

As a tourist destination, I'm sure many will simply write Liège off as an industrial city in decline. While Liège is a little rough around the edges, I found it to be a fascinating place. I certainly wish that I had allocated more time to explore it because an afternoon is not nearly enough. Someday, I hope to make a return visit so that I can experience this fast-paced and vibrant city at more depth.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Good public transportation; Montagne de Bueren; Delicious waffles
  • Cons:Run-down in parts; English is not widely spoken
  • In a nutshell:Look Beyond Liège's Rough Exterior for the Treasure Within.
  • Last visit to Liège: May 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (12)

Comments (23)

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    I'm going to Liège this summer and can hardly find any information online, so your page was very helpful! Thanks! Already feel tired when thinking about the stairs ;-)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Liège is a city I had heard of but knew very little about. You have some beautiful photos here of both its historic buildings and nice foliage! Interesting information in your tips too. Loved the amazing stairs!!

  • 2Cities1Love's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2009 at 10:58 PM

    I think i might need a rest if i were to climb all the stairs lol.

  • Henrik_rrb's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    Another great page! I'm one of those who haven't had Liege on my "must see"-list, but after this I might have to change my mind. The stairs looks fantastic, althought I got tired just looking at the picture! :)

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2009 at 6:11 AM

    Interesting! I never knew about St. Lambert, and I'm supposedly a historian!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 11:40 PM

    What an interesting page on a town I have never heard of. Rather like Belgium, and this looks like another place to visit. All those steps, would definitely need my "asthma Puffer" to reach the top!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2009 at 3:50 AM

    Not been to this part of Belgium yet but the Gaufre de Liège sounds like it's worth the trip in itself. Not sure about that beer choice, Bill but don't tell Caro I said that. lol

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    I like your intro photo of the steps to Montagne de Bueren! I can understand the view is great from the top of the stairs!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Hello Bill from New Jersey. Greets from your northern neighbour. The Palace of Justice is quite impressive. Love Belgian waffles and also Belgian frites with a dollop of mayonnaise. Thanks for the virtual tour of Liege.

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    After climbing up all those steps everyone is entitled to some of the delicious waffles. Or is it the other way around, after having the waffles it's necessary to walk them off again by climbing up?


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