Possessing the third largest river port in Europe, Liege is directly connected to Antwerp , Rotterdam and Germany via the River Meuse and Albert Canal. Its airport is one of the most important cargo airports in Europe. Despite a new passenger terminal opened in 2005, it is used mainly for charter flights. Bus number fifty-seven will take you from the airport to the city centre. Trains from Liege-Guillemins provide direct railway connections with nearby cities such as Brussels and Maastricht, while a high-speed Thalys train will get you to Paris in just over two hours. Buses number one and four will take you to and from the train station to the city centre.
The most traditional dish from the region is ‘la Liegoise’ (Liege meatballs). Prepared with pork and beef meat, meatballs are served with fries and a sweet sauce – a mixture of pears and apple syrup, wine and onions. Liege waffles are not to be missed. Invented in the city in the 18th century, they are made with with chucks of sugar which caramelize and form a crispy, crunchy coating. ‘Fricassee’ (an omelet with bacon and sausage) and ‘Salade Liegoise’ (green beans, potatoes and diced bacon) are also high up the list of Liege’s gastronomy wonders.
Among the many events going on throughout the year in Liege, their array of Belgian folk festivals are perhaps most prominent, with the pick of the bunch being ‘Le Quinze Aout’. Taking place annually on August 15 and based around the Outre-Meuse quarter, the event welcomes crowds of over 300, 000 who come to savour the processions, market stalls and fine cuisine. Other highlights include the International Jazz Festival of Liege in May, the Festival of Walking in August and the Christmas Village, with over 100 stalls in May.
Liege’s town mascot and most beloved of symbols is Tchantches, a puppet that has been the spokesman of the streets since the 1850s. Dressed in a blue smock, patched trousers, tasselled floppy hat and red scarf, he's constantly either grumbling or espousing every noble cause in sight - the personification of your average, everyday Liégeois (Liege local).