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A short way from place Cathédrale, the pedestrians-only Carré district is the most animated part of town, a place for shopping during the day and stepping out after dark until the wee small hours.

The Performing Arts

The highly acclaimed Opéra Royal de Wallonie performs at the Théâtre Royal de Liège, rue des Dominicains 1 (tel. 04/221-47-22; www.operaliege.be). The Théâtre Royal de LAC, near the Church of St. Jacques, presents concerts by the city's Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège (tel. 04/220-00-00; www.opl.be), along with opera and ballet. For schedules and prices of current performances, contact Infor-Spectacles, Feronstrée 92 (tel. 04/222-11-11; www.liege.be), Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Theaters staging puppet shows performed by the Théâtre des Marionettes (in dialect, but easy to follow) are at the Museum of Walloon Art, the Tchantchès Museum, and the Al Botroûle Museum, rue Hocheporte 3 (tel. 04/223-05-76). Liégeois wit is especially apparent in the puppets' appearance; each puppet is sized according to its historical importance -- for example, a huge Charles the Bold is attended by Lilliputian archers (though just how important Charles would have been without those archers is debatable!).

Cafes, Taverns & Other Nightspots

When the sun goes down (and even when it's still up), the Liégeois head for their pick of the city's hundreds of cafes and taverns to quaff Belgium's famous beers and engage in their favorite entertainment -- good conversation. If a quiet evening of the same appeals to you, you'll have no problem finding a locale. One of the best is Le Tchantchès-Nanèsse in the Outremeuse district. Café Lequet, quai sur Meuse 17 (tel. 04/222-21-34), a popular cafe/brasserie, is the place to encounter local characters speaking the Walloon dialect, in particular during the Sunday La Batte street market.

La Notte, rue Tête de BSuf 10 (tel. 04/223-07-32), close to place Cathédrale, has a group of eclectic musicians who seem equally at home with rock, samba, and French chanson française. If you're at all musical, they'll let you pick up an instrument and do your own thing; Thursday is jazz evening. Le Pot au Lait, rue SSur de Hasque 9 (tel. 04/222-07-94; www.potaulait.be), a cafe close to the university and popular with students, is always pretty animated.

If beer is your pleasure, you can't go wrong at Le Vaudrée 2, rue St-Gilles 149 (tel. 04/223-18-80; www.vaudree.be), which has a choice of some 900 different ales from around the world. If you're hungry, don't miss their delicious pavé sur pierre (a tender beef filet roasted on a hot stone) and the variety of dishes served in beer sauces.

In spite of having a beer cornucopia right on their doorstep, the city's imbibers are just as likely to favor the stiff Belgian perfumed grain liquor, or gin, commonly called jenever, and in Wallonia, genièvre or pèkèt. The table-topper in this league is La Maison du Peket, rue de l'Epée 4 (tel. 04/250-67-83; www.maisondupeket.be), a traditional old cafe (it's known also by its Walloon name: Li Mohone di Pèkèt) off place St-Lambert, which has 250 varieties of genièvre on its drinks list. The local favorite is Peket des Houyeux. In the same building, behind the cafe, is the restaurant Amon Nanesse, which serves up Liège specialties.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.