Tongeren Things to Do

  • Statue of Ambiorix Tongeren by aussirose
    Statue of Ambiorix Tongeren by aussirose
    by aussirose
  • Tongeren - map town centre
    Tongeren - map town centre
    by jojes
  • Tongeren - map town centre
    Tongeren - map town centre
    by jojes

Most Recent Things to Do in Tongeren

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    The Gallo-Roman museum - temporary exhibitions

    by jojes Updated Jan 12, 2014
    Tongeren - map town centre

    Besides the permanent exhibition, there are also regularly temporary exhibitions

    There have been exhibitions on 'Emperors on the Nile', 'Asterix & Europe', 'Ambiorix' (our hero from Tongeren), ...

    The most succesful ones were 'Neanderthals' (running 25/10/2003 - 09/01/2005 - 145.704 visitors) and 'Sagalassos' (running 29-10-2011 - 17-06-2012 - 145.900 visitors)

    The most recent one was 'The Etruscans - Una storia particolare'. It was scheduled from March 16 2013 until the end of August, but due to the success it was prolonged until November 11 2013. A total of 88.005 people visited this exhibition.

    During these temporary exhibitions, they try to link a certain aspect of the permanent collection and explore it further.

    I've been to a few myself (sorry to say I haven't seen them all) and always find them interesting and well brought.

    The exhibitions are always full of multi-media.

    The next temporary exhibition will run from October 18 2014 until March 15 2015. It will be titled 'Vikings!'.
    It's the museum's goal to shatter the common image most people have of Vikings ... They want to show they were not at all the destructive raiders and plunderers they are most commonly depicted for.

    On display will be evrything ranging from textiles, weapons and jewellery to an authentic Viking ship. Over 500 on display will be used to show the Vikings were also gifted craftsmen and artists.

    The National Museum of Antiquities in Stockholm is closely involved in the preparation of this upcoming exhibition.

    For more general information of for details on opening hours and prices, have a look at my tip The Gallo-Roman museum.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

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    The Gallo-Roman museum

    by jojes Updated Jan 12, 2014

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    Tongeren - map town centre

    The museum
    Tongeren has had a Gallo-Roman museum for many years. The first real museum opened in 1954. But the Royal Tongeren Historical and Archaeological Society collected items already as far back as 1854.
    In 1994, a new museum was opened, with better facilities to store and exhibit the large collection of historic remains.
    But very soon there was a huge boom is the number of visitors and it became clear after a few years that an even bigger museum was needed.

    During the construction of the museum as it is now, part of the collection was stored in the ancient jail on Tongeren, which was temporarily opened for public visits.

    On may 21 2009 the museum opened the (yet again) new doors for the public!
    It is now located a few steps from the market place with Ambiorix and the Basilica.

    The architecture has been kept very simple, so that all the attention can go to the objects on display. The museum is built "in the backyard" of the Basilica, so right in the centre of the town, on the remains of what once was a roman villa.

    This museum was chosen as 'European museum of the year' in 2011! I think that says enough ...

    Permanent exhibition
    The GRM turns a trip back into time into a pleasant, interesting and enjoyable one for people of all ages! The visitor gets an insight in the way of life and the history from 500.000 years ago until the present day.
    Over 2.500 objects in the permanent exhibition are exhibited in large open spaces, combined with the newest media features, maquettes and texttables. The total collection owned by the museum contains over 170.000 object, dating back even to the prehistoric time.

    Besides the permanent exhibitions, there regularly are temporary exhibitions (see my other tip).

    Practical information
    The featured films are in Dutch, French, German and English
    The written text on the infoboards are in Dutch only, but a booklet with the text in French, German and English is available free of charge at the reception.

    For a visit to the permanent collection you have to count at 1,5 hours. Combining this with a temporary exhibition will add about an hour.

    Opening hours :
    tuesday - Friday: 9h00 - 17h00
    saturday - sunday - holidays - Belgian school holidays: 10h00 - 18h00
    closed on mondays, except when this is a public holiday
    always closed on December 24th, December 25th, December 31st and January 1st.

    Entrance prices permanent exhibition:
    7 €: adults
    5 €: 55 +, invalides, groups (20 people and up)
    1 €: children, 4 - 26 years, schools
    15 €: family ticket

    Entrance price temporary exhibition:
    10 €: adults
    8 €: 55 +, invalides, groups
    1 €: children, 4 - 26 years, schools
    21 €: family ticket

    Combination ticket for both exhibitions:
    15 €: adults
    10 €: 55 +, invalides, groups
    1 €: children, 4 - 26 years, schools
    31 €: family ticket

    Included in the entrance price is the use of an audio guide.

    A visit with a guide is possible when booked in advance.

    Since there are many interactive and Multi-media features, kids can enjoy themselves too.
    There are also special programs and workshops for kids on specific dates/times.

    The museum is entirely accessible for wheelchair-users. There are also wheelchairs avaible for use free of charge.

    After a visit to the museum, you can take a look in the museumshop or have a relaxing drink in the museumcafé.

    A visit to the museum is also possible in combination with a trainticket : ask for "B-dagtrip 134", available in every Belgian railwaystation.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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    Walk the "Mijlpaalroute"

    by jojes Updated Jul 2, 2013

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    The "Mijlpaalroute - Mile stone route" replaces the formar "Ambiorix-route".
    The goal is still the same though ... Discovering Tongeren and it's rich culture and history by walking these routes.

    There are 3 connecting routes in different colours - red, blue and green. The routes allow you to discover the historic town centre, the area just outside the centre and they let you connect to the walk at 'Beukenberg' (forest area).
    You can start at 3 sites: Plinius (just outside town - direction Hasselt), the city park "De Motten" or at the trainstation.
    The route is clearly marked by bronze rivets with the letter "M" (M being in the colour of the route you're on).
    Large 'milestones' and nice boards inform you along the way.
    There's a brochure for sale (5 euros) at the Tourist Office. This brochure gives you more information on the various sites along the routes.

    Of course the route can be walked at all times and is never really difficult.
    The only thing you have to keep in mind are the opening times of the Tourist Office, which you can find here

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    Walk the Ambiorix-route

    by jojes Updated Jul 2, 2013

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    Bronze rivet at the Ambiorix-route

    UPDATE: these routes are no longer called Ambiorix-route. They are now called "Mijlpaalroute - Mile stone route"

    To discover the city and it's main monuments, you can walk the Ambiorix-route.
    It's a 4,5 km walk through town. The route is marked with bronze rivets (see picture) in the surface of the road. It takes you along the must-see monuments and some other nice spots in town.
    At the tourist office, you can get a special brochure for 2,5€. Along the route there also are 30 boards with information to provide you of additional information.

    The route can be walked any time. If you want the special brochure, here are the details of the tourist office :
    Opening hours :
    1 october - 31 march:
    weekdays : 8.30 - 12.00 & 13.00 - 17.00
    weekends & holidays : 10.00 - 16.00
    1 april - 30 september
    weekdays :8.30 - 12.00 & 13.00 - 17.00
    weekends & holidays : 9.30 - 17.00
    july & august :
    weekdays : 8.30 - 17.00
    weekends & holidays 9.30 - 17.00

    Closed on :
    17 september 2009
    25 & 26 december 2009
    24 & 31 december 2009 from 12.00
    1 & 2 januari 2010

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    The Tourist Office in Tongeren

    by jojes Updated Jul 2, 2013

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    Tongeren - map town centre

    This is not really a "thing to do" in the sence that it is a site to visit ... But as everywhere, the tourist office can provide you with very useful information for your visit.

    They have a range of brochures available on what to see and do ...
    They also sell the brochure on the 'Mijlpaalroute/Mile stone route' here.
    If you like a guided visit, they can arrange one for you.
    And of course they have several items on sale that are typical for Tongeren and the region.

    Opening hours
    * from October 1 to March 31:
    weekdays: 08h30 - 12h00 and 13h00u - 17h00
    weekends & holidays: 10h00 - 16h00

    * from April 1 to September 30:
    weekdays: 08h30 - 12h00 and 13h00 - 17h00
    weekends & holidays: 09h30 - 17h00

    * July & August
    weekdays: 08h30 - 17h00
    weekends & holidays: 09h30 - 17h00

    Closed in 2013 on:
    January 1 & 2
    September 12
    November 15
    December 25 and 26
    December 24 and 31 closed as off 12h00

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  • aussirose's Profile Photo

    Statue of Ambiorix Tongeren

    by aussirose Updated Jan 1, 2013

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    Statue of Ambiorix Tongeren by aussirose

    You can't miss this statue in the main square of Tongeren. This is a fella called Ambiorix who stopped Ceasar from invading and taking over the town.

    What a hero!!

    Aparently Tongeren is the oldest town in Belgium.....and we visited here all because of Kirsty! That is exciting!! :o)

    To Travelogue.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

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    Gallo Roman Museum

    by yashiko Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Gallo Roman Museum

    The museum has 18,000 artifacts dating from prehistory through the Roman and Merovingian periods. The Roman period is especially well-represented, and includes huge and important collections of relics from Roman Atuatuca Tungrorum, its cemetery, and the surrounding countryside. In fact, from the province of Limburg alone, there are collections of Roman-era pottery, glassware, bronze articles, terra-cotta, and sculptures. They are organized by theme to illustrate everyday life in the countryside and the city, including exhibits on religious practices and traditions.

    Opening hours:
    monday: 12 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    tuesday to friday : 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
    sat - sun - public holidays : 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

    Admission :
    adults : 5 euro
    55+ , disabled, students : 4 euro
    children -7 year : free
    children 7-14 year : 2 euro

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  • Gallo-Roman Museum

    by Maeve_81 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Tongeren - dodecaeder

    One of the best Gallo-Roman collections of Belgium.
    It's also a great museum for kids, they'll love it there!

    Visiting hours :
    monday : 12 pm - 5 pm
    tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday : 9 am- 5 pm
    saturday, sunday, holidays : 10 am - 6 pm
    24/12 + 31/12 : 9 am - 12 pm

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

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    Take a ride on the tourist train

    by jojes Written May 29, 2009

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    The Tongeren tourist train takes you to the most of the important tourists spots and main attractions and sights.

    The tour takes about 45 minutes and takes you around in the centre as well as outside the city walls.

    When ? :
    * april - 30 september : daily (exc. thursdays) 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
    * march and october : every sunday 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
    * half-term holidays (spring & autumn) : daily (exc. thursdays) 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
    * groups can make an appointment all year round (15 - 50 persons)
    * no operation during the local fiar from 7 - 21 september

    Prices :
    * individuals : 4€
    * 55+ : 3€
    * children & students (ages 4 to 26) : 2€
    * children -4 years : free
    * groups : 3€
    * special family ticket (family with no more than 4 children) : 10€

    During the coronation celebrations, special tours are offered.

    A special combined ticket with the Gallo-Roman museum is offered :
    Family : 25€
    Individuals : 8€

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    Discovering Haspengouw

    by jojes Updated May 29, 2009

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    With Tongeren as a base, you can easily discover the surrounding area called Haspengouw.

    There are a lo o walking and cycling routes with signposts to guide you on your way whilst you are looking for a peaceful and suiet time discovering the nature and the neighbouring towns.

    On the way you can find a lot of (outdoor) cafés or restaurants to take a break.

    For the cycling tour, you can get free bicycles at the Tongeren Tourist office (from April 1 to September 30). It only takes a 10€ deposit which you get back when returning the bicycle.
    The Tourist office also offers the map with the cycling route Limburg for 7,5€.

    The tourist office has these opening hours :
    1 october - 31 march:
    weekdays : 8.30 - 12.00 & 13.00 - 17.00
    weekends & holidays : 10.00 - 16.00
    1 april - 30 september
    weekdays :8.30 - 12.00 & 13.00 - 17.00
    weekends & holidays : 9.30 - 17.00
    july & august :
    weekdays : 8.30 - 17.00
    weekends & holidays 9.30 - 17.00

    Closed on :
    17 september 2009
    25 & 26 december 2009
    24 & 31 december 2009 from 12.00
    1 & 2 januari 2010

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Cycling
    • Hiking and Walking

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    The beguinage - Saint Catherine's church

    by jojes Updated May 29, 2009

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    In the wonderful beguinage in Tongeren, you can visit the church of Saint Catherine (St.-Catharinakerk / Begijnhofkerk).
    Built in 1294, this early-Gothic church has had a lot of renovations and re-builds.
    It contains a rich collection of art. Especially the woodcarvings and the paintings are an eyecathcher.

    Unless in group and with a guide, it can (regrettably) only be visited during the times of special exhibitions.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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    The beguinage

    by jojes Written May 29, 2009

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    The Clothmaker's tower (Lakenmakerstoren)
    1 more image

    Tongeren has a wonderful beguinage !
    It is one of the oldest beguinages in Flanders and has been recognized as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1998.

    This beguinage was founded in the middle of the 13th century. It was a "small town in a town" and was located near the river Jeker.
    The pittoresque houses are very well renovated, without loosing any of their charm. This in combination with cosy squares makes this beguinage a perfect place for artists. But everyone will enjoy a walk through this miniature town with it's romantic atmosphere.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    The Basilica of Our Lady

    by jojes Updated May 29, 2009

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    The Basilica

    The "Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Basiliek" with the impressive gothic bell tower are located in the centre of Tongeren, right on the market place (Grote Markt).
    The bell tower dominates the town and the surroundings, it can already be seen kilometres out of town.
    It took more than 300 years to build this Basilica. It is one of the finest religious buildings inthe country.
    At the treasury inside you can see many treasures of art. The best known piece of art is without a doubt the statue of "Causa Nostrae Laetitiae". This walnut carves statue pictures the Madonna of Tongeren, known as "the cause of our joy". It is dated around 1479.
    The Basilica's cloister dates back to the 12th century. It is one of the rare pieces of evidence that the Romanesque architecture also reached Belgium.

    Opening hours and entrance prices :
    The Basilica : daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Entrance price : free

    Treasury : open 1 april to 30 september from 10 a.m. to noon & frm 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. - closed on monday mornings
    Entrance price : 2,50 € - 55+/students : 2€ - -6 : free - 6 to 12 : 0,50€ - groups of 10 & + : 1,75€ - schools and disableds : 0,50€

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

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    Street "Ladies"

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 20, 2006

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    1 more image

    We found these "Ladies" taking their time in the downtown square, but could not find any information on them or their sculptor. As you can see in the second picture it was not a real good day for seeking information...this was taken in the middle of the late morning and there were NO PEOPLE. I admit it was a cool (about 10 degrees) and rainy morning, but no wind as you can see by the umbrella Zohara is carrying.
    So if anyone recognizes this work of art, please let me know, I tried several search engines for art in Belgium, but no luck.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Basilica of Our Lady

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 20, 2006

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    Basilica of Our Lady, Tongren, Belgium
    2 more images

    Sorry that on the day we visited Tongren the Basilica was closed, not sure why, but no entrance was possible. If you want to find out more, follow this link.
    http://www.trabel.com/tongeren/tongeren-basilica.htm

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

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