At the beginning of the Christmas Market season, we had already decided to travel beyond the borders of Germany and see a few other places. We had already looked into Valkenburg and a few other areas nearby, but fate and availability led us into Belgium. Since it was central to our other planned visits, we decided to stay in Liege.
The drive into Liege was too easy (2 hours from KMC)… so is Valkenburg (2-1/2). We visited the Christmas market inside the caves first before checking in our B&B in Liege (about 30 minutes apart). Our host recommended the market and showed us how to get there by foot (not realizing we drove). We walked for about half an hour to the first location of the city’s Christmas market. Situated under the Cathedral, it was very easy to find and very similar to the neighboring markets in Germany. Most of the food served however, had Belgian and French influences. We loved the variety of waffles (of course) as well as varieties of cheese and beer.
At this site, there was a rink setup with a live cover band surrounded by a small crowd of dancing couples. Kids were sliding back and forth across the solid, slippery block of ice. Vin Chaud (Gluwein) was served as well as other warm non-alcoholic drinks around the rink. A very special chocolate filled fried waffle is served near the rink too. Since it was EXTREMELY COLD and windy, we walked back to our B&B.
The next morning we visited the main area (Village de Noel) near the Opera House and Place St Lambert. This area has the larger rides and more stands. This area also has more Liegeois-style foods and is located around shopping centers (for comfort). We bought most of our souvenirs here and did some extensive sightseeing since our host spent a great deal of time explaining where everything is on a map for us the night before. Also, we visited the tourist information center and one of their stands inside the market for more goodies.
There were a host of events taking place in conjunction with the market, but again, it was getting windy and cold, so we would huddle inside a cafe or a bar and order something warm to escape the bitter chill. Parking around the market is easy as long as you use the Opera House or St. Paul parking garages.