Historic City Centre of Tongeren

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Get your history fix and more in Belgium’s oldest town. Take a tour through history as you wander around the city centre and get a taste for Tongeren’s long and exciting past.

Even though much of Belgium’s oldest city has been modernised, there is still plenty of history to get your hands on here, right in the centre of Tongeren. You can check out the statue of an ancient Belgian hero, visit Roman archaeological sites, see buried treasures, inspect some Middle Age architecture and more, all within a 10-minute walk of each other.

Historic highlights

  • Basilica of Our Lady - At the heart of Tongeren is an impressive gothic-style cathedral which dates back to the 13th century. Fun fact: The belfry, the part of the steeple where you find the bells, is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Tuseum - On the cathedral site you’ll find this museum which has one of the richest collections of religious art in Belgium. You can also discover an archaeological site buried underneath the basilica, displaying 2000 years of the city’s history.
  • Statue of Ambiorix - This Belgic tribe leader led a resistance against Julius Caesar, you’ll find his statue opposite the basilica.
  • The Roman Wall - See the remains of Roman Tongeren on the Milestone trail - just follow the bronze rivets with the letter M.

A few minutes walk away from these historic gems is a small part of the city that’ll transport you back a few hundred years.

  • Sint Catharina Begijnhof - This mini UNESCO World Heritage Site was home Tongeren’s beguines from the 13th century onwards. Stroll through the cobblestone streets and soak in the enchanting atmosphere or visit the Beghina Museum to discover the beguinage’s history.
  • Moerenpoort - Tongeren’s only remaining Medieval gate, dating all the way back to 1379. Inside there is a little museum about the city’s military history (P.S. it's great for kids) and you get nice views over the town.

Start or end your history-themed tour of Tongeren by checking out the award-winning Gallo Roman Museum to learn about Belgian history from the Neanderthals to the end of the Roman times.

  • quatationmark

    When walking around, you can really feel the history. There is a lot of character in this beautiful small town.

    — Travel blogger at Travelaimes

Updated on 25 February 2022

Tips and Tricks

  • Visit Tongeren on a Sunday to enjoy the antique market! Head to Tourism Tongeren to pick up the entry code to Moerenpoort, it's free!

Getting There

  • By Car: free parking at De Motten near the old beguinage and on the other side near De Velinx. paid parking close to the city centre is available at 3 of Q-Park’s city parking places: ‘Julianus’, ‘Centrum’ and ‘Grote Markt’. De Motten car park is closest to the old beguinage area.

  • By Bus: Tongeren Bilzerpoort bus stop is a 5 min walk away from the city centre. It’s easily reached from Sint-Truiden, Hasselt, Genk, Liège and Maastricht.

  • By Train: the main station is a 10 min walk from the centre.


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