Verviers has been an early industrial centre thanks to ample supply of water power and developed into a major production hub for textiles and especially wool products. While the light industry mostly disappeared in the latter half of the 20th century, Verviers retains quite a bit of industrial heritage, a museum dedicated to it and is still a seat of water management bodies for the region. It is also quite a beautiful town thanks to its picturesquely hilly landscape and elegant 19th-century buildings in the centre. Finally, Verviers lays the claim to being the origin of tarte au riz, a pie popular in the region and one of Belgium's culinary highlights.
The easiest is to take a train. Direct destinations from Verviers include Liège, Brussels, Ghent, Ostend, Leuven and Kortrijk. A local line connects Verviers to Aachen in Germany and Spa. Travel time from Brussels is under 1,5h and just around 20 minutes from Liège and 30 minutes from Aachen.
TEC operates a number of bus lines crossing Verviers, most of which continue to neighbouring municipalities. The hub is the Gare Centrale railway station.
- 1 Wool and Fashion Tourist Centre (Centre Touristique Laine & Mode), Rue de la Chapelle 30, ☏ . It is housed in a beautiful former factory with a Neoclassical-style façade. €6 regular, €5 concession.
- 2 Grand Theatre (La Bonbonnière). It was built in the same style at the end of the 19th century.
- 3 The Grand Poste. It was built in the Neogothic style.
- 4 Palais de Justice (Palace of Justice), Rue du Tribunal 4.
- 5 Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), Place du Marché 55.
- 1 Société Royale d'Harmonie (http://www.srhverviers.be/), Rue de l'Harmonie 49, ☏ . A historic venue hosting a variety of concerts and cultural events.
- 1 Grand Bazar. A historic shopping centre bought back by the city in 2015 in order to redevelop into a new commercial hub for the city centre.
- 2 Crescend d'Eau. A regular strip mall with a selection of chain stores
A regional speciality of the Verviers region is the tarte au riz. Its golden appearance and rice cooked in creamy milk make it an exquisite dessert to try out. In Verviers you can buy tartes au riz made by local producers in the following places:
- 1 Boulangerie Darcis, Rue Crapaurue 121-123-125, ☏ .
- 2 Boulangerie Georges, Rue des Minières 55, ☏ .
- 3 Boulangerie Larondelle, Grand Place 47, Ensival, ☏ .
- 1 Hôtel des Ardennes, Rue de la Station 4, ☏ . Right next to the Verviers-Central train station this hotel is a convenient place to start discovering the city.
- 2 Van der Valk Hotel Verviers, Rue De La Station 4, ☏ . Located in an ornate former railway station building, the hotel is geared towards leisure and conferences much like the others in the Dutch chain. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a gym, sauna and massage facilities, Suites come with bubble baths or jacuzzis. Conference rooms can seat up to 300 people.
Verviers is not a very large city and you may find yourself running out of things to see and do. Fortunately, in this densely-populated region of Europe, there are many interesting destinations within about half an hour by train:
- Verviers is one of the few Belgian cities with a direct train connection to Spa - yes, the original spa, with a Formula 1 racing circuit to boot!
- The same trains continue in the other direction to the historic German city of Aachen
- Liège, the provincial capital and largest city of Wallonia is also within 20 minutes by train