From 18 January to 9 February, the biennial Festival de Liège puts on a lively programme of contemporary theatre, music and dance, along with some spirited after-parties; tickets cost €15.
The MADmusée has found a permanent home in this leafy park. Dedicated to outsider art, it showcases the work of artists with learning difficulties from five continents, and is free to visit.
Terre mère is rammed at lunchtimes thanks to its inventive, organic veggie sandwiches and salads.
To stave off January colds, try the vitamin-packed homemade rosemary, thyme, lemon and grape juice. Boulets à la liégeoise (pork and beef meatballs in a sweet, fruity sauce) are a hearty local speciality: order a plateful at the low-key but much-loved Le Lulay Al’ Copète.
Dress up and enjoy the low-lit Tentation, a gastronomic French restaurant with a three-, fiveor seven-course tasting menu.
It’s worth investing in a Liège City Pass, which costs €12 and is valid for 48 hours. Sold at the tourist office, it grants free entry to all the main museums and allows you to buy a full-day bus pass for a bargain €3.
Don’t be deterred by the location of Husa de la Couronne (rooms from €50), just opposite the train station. Kitted out in pale woods with the odd flash of red, the sleek 77-room hotel offers incredible value for money.
For longer stays, check into the Appart Hotel Simi (apartments from €70/day), whose eight modern studios are available for bookings of five days and upwards. They’re equipped with neat kitchenettes, internet access and flatscreen TVs, and a weekly cleaner and towel laundry service are included as part of the deal.
Having started life online, Sit On Design now has its very first shop selling gifts and furniture designed by local artists. The affable owner, Stephanie, also has an on-site workshop where she makes papier-mâché artwork and lamps.
Equally fresh and fun is the cool concept store Hush Up, which sells highspec designer accessories and kooky objets d’art.
Smile Café is a friendly locals’ bar that organises gigs – mostly by Belgian metal bands – at the start of every month.
Tucked away in a crooked basement, the time-worn La Pierre Levée serves over 100 varieties of beer.