Institut Zoologique


Built in 1888, this palatial building has a deep-eyed bust of Darwin on its central pediment, best spotted from the river-ferry as it approaches the Pôle Fluviale jetty. Even if your French isn't sufficient to warrant visiting the building's two educational museums, it's still worth nipping inside the foyer to admire Genesis, a remarkable 1960 mural by celebrated Belgian artist Paul Delvaux.

If you have more time, the new science museum has several interactive experiences good for inspiring youngsters about physics, and it's free for children. The 'Aquarium' goes beyond fish and displays a major zoological collection and hosts exhibitions. However, neither have much that's in English. Hidden in the grounds behind, fascinating Labo4 has very originally recycled a 1963 university laboratory into a quality restaurant.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Liège attractions

1. Outremeuse

0.23 MILES

Across the River Meuse from the city centre is the gritty urban island of Outremeuse, whose working-class residents consider it a ‘Free Republic’. Their…

2. Trésor

0.31 MILES

Off the closed-in cloister of Cathédrale St-Paul, the slickly presented three-level Trésor guards many artworks, vestments and chalices rescued from St…

3. Cathédrale St-Paul

0.32 MILES

Cathédrale St-Paul's highlights include a big 19th-century painting depicting the legend of St-Lambert's assassination, and the saint's ornate silver…

4. Église St-Jacques


Arguably Liège's most fascinating church, this architectural hotchpotch was founded in 1015 and retains a heavily patched-up 1170 west end whose…

5. Hôtel de Ville

0.47 MILES

At night the 1719 city hall glows lugubriously in its blood-red spotlights. By day it commands Liège’s charming, if modestly sized, original main square,…

6. Tchantchès Pilot Sculpture

0.48 MILES

Beside the St-Lambert bus stops is this cartoonesque figure piloting a little metal aeroplane: Liège’s mascot and oldest ‘citizen’, the big-nosed wooden…

7. Archéoforum

0.51 MILES

Once one of the greatest churches in northern Europe, St-Lambert’s Cathedral was demolished from 1793 in the aftermath of the Révolution Liégeoise, very…

8. Former Palace of the Prince-Bishops

0.54 MILES

Behind an Italian Renaissance facade, this former palace is reputedly one of the largest secular Gothic buildings anywhere in the world. Prior to 1789 it…