Tongeren (French: Tongres, German: Tongern) is a city and municipality located in the province of Limburg in the Flemish region of Belgium.


The city is the capital of both an administrative and a judicial district. The municipality has 30,000 inhabitants in an area of 87.56 km ². 17,000 people live in the old town. The slogan oldest town in Belgium as well as the famous Sunday antique and flea market make the city a popular tourist attraction.



Tongeren is located on ancient crossroads and finds probably its origin in the military camp Atuatuca Tungrorum. The settlement was the administrative centre of the district Tungri under Roman rule, which makes it the oldest town of Belgium. Christianity made its appearance during the arrival of St. Marternus who converted the region. At the end of the fourth century, the city was destroyed by the Alans and in 450 BC again by the Huns. St. Gongulfus rebuilt the city in 600 BC. During the Middle Ages Tongeren was an important city in the diocese of Liege. Unfortunately, the city was involved in many regional wars during that time. The great city fire in 1677, deliberately caused by French troops, was a sad bottom. Between 1794 and 1814 Tongeren was again occupied by French armies. In 1815 it became part of the province of Limburg within the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. After the separation of Belgium in 1830 Tongeren became part of the Belgian province of Limburg.

Tourist office

Get in

By car

East from Maastricht 18km over N79.

South from Liège 31km over E313.

North from Hasselt 29km over E313.

West from Sint-Truiden 22km over N79.

By train

Hourly trains from Liège Guillemins take 40 minutes to reach Tongeren. Trains also run hourly from Brussels, taking one hour 50 minutes.

Get around

On foot

Tongeren is a relatively small city, easy to navigate by foot to the major attractions.


The Tongeren Basilica


The antique and flea market

Visit the antique and flea market on Sunday morning. It is the largest antique market of the Benelux. The market is open from 6:00 until 13:00. Go there as early as possible to increase your chance obtaining unique stuff.



If you visit the town during a weekend, don't forget to visit the Antique and flea market. If not, don't panic as there are plenty antique and brocante shops in Tongeren. You will find some around the Leopoldswal.



You will find a lot of pubs and café on and around the Grote Markt square. Many offer snacks and even complete menus.


Go next

The Ardennes are close if you're looking for rest and beautiful nature. Liège, 30km south, is the main regional city and Belgium's third largest metropolis, after Brussels and Antwerp.

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