Get off the well-beaten track. Untouched by mass tourism, Lier has a rich history, two UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit, and lots to do for the family. Lier got the nickname “Lierke Plezierke” (Little Pleasure Lier) thanks to its pretty but often underappreciated architecture and sights. Some even call it “Little Bruges” because of Lier’s boat tour.
Uncover the easily missed but intriguing depths of Belgium’s local history, markets, and more. Meet the locals! Locals of Lier are known as “schapenkoppen” (sheep’s heads) because they chose to have an animal market instead of a university.
You may also come across Belgian locals paying a visit from nearby Antwerp and Mechelen.
Every town in Flanders has beautiful sights to see. But Lier is hardly busy and especially underappreciated. The city has a Beguinage, a communal space where single and widowed women once lived, one of the few in the country and one of the best preserved. Lier’s town hall is worth a look too as it’s in Rococo-style and stands out from the rest of the city. Go for a stroll around Lier and you’ll discover plenty of other gems such as the impressive church to the patron saint of the city, Saint Gummarus.
The most well-known symbol of Lier is it’s clock. This 14th century tower was made into a clock tower by Louis Zimmer in 1930. Zimmer was a clockmaker to the King of Belgium. His skill is shown off everyday in Lier when the clock chimes. The clock is right in the city centre and really worth seeing while you’re in the city. Lier’s city centre is always a lively place with plenty of markets and events held here.
It’s time to get inspired. Other than the nice architecture and classic Flanders sights, Lier has a rich literary history. Felix Timmermans, the most translated writer from Flanders, was a local writer of Lier. You’ll see traces of him in statues and museums all over the city. Sometimes Lier is even called “Pallierterstad” (the town of Pallieter) after one of Timmerman’s characters.
Books not your thing? No problem. Get inspired from the street art, modern art galleries in the city centre, or even try out glass art making in the outskirts of town at the Glassfarm. Art lovers are spoiled for choice.
Lier might be beautiful in every season, but it’s unique tradition of the Pigeon Market can only be seen at the start of the year. Lier isn’t as touristy as other towns, but does have some mini peaks of visitors in certain months.
Lier is easy to get to with your car. From Mechelen, you’ll be taking the N14 or from the N10 from Antwerp. Lier is an easy going 40 minute drive from Antwerp or 30 mins from Mechelen. From Brussels, it could take around an hour depending on the traffic from the E19.
Lier is easily reached by train from Antwerp - it’s a quick 20 minute 1 train trip. From Brussels, you can get a direct train to Lier that takes about 40 minutes. Lier is served by trains IC, ICT, L, P and S33.
Walking is the best and easiest way to get around Lier. The city isn’t super big and you can walk it easily. All the most well-known attractions are in the city centre. To get outside the city centre, you could walk, cycle or take the bus.
Lier is easily reachable by car, but as with most Belgian cities we recommend parking your car and going around on foot once you’re there. There’s plenty of affordable or free parking spaces available in the city.
Lier’s bus station is a short walk from the city centre. There are multiple bus stops in the city centre and further out. Getting around Lier by bus is easy and affordable. Lier’s buses are operated by De Lijn. You can buy tickets cheaper ahead of time and online from their website
Lier is cyclist friendly. Lier has multiple bike rental shops, including one just outside the bus and train station. Velocity also rents e-bikes and there is a charging station for electric bikes on Schapenkoppenstraat.
Address: Grote Markt 58, 2500 LIER
Phone: +32 3 8000 555