Popular Activities and Amazing Places to Visit in Stavelot, Belgium
Situated in the Belgium province of Liege, Stavelot is a municipality town that is famous for being the capital of Malmedy. This small town has a fair share of attractions including the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the iconic venue of Belgium Grand Prix as well as the Spa 24 Hours endurance race. Stavelot is also home to a number of traditional carnivals such as Laetare des Blancs-Moussis.
If you are planning a trip to this small town at the center of Haute Ardenne, we have compiled a list of 15 best attractions you can add to your bucket list.
Explore Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Perhaps the most famous attraction in Stavelot, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is the home of Belgium Grand Prix. You can find this iconic track five minutes from town in an arboreal valley, a location that has earned it the hyping of the most stunning racetrack on the planet.
There is a tract tour that is organized between March and November, which takes visitors through the different F1 paddocks as well as the famous Spa 24 Hours, commentators’ booths, podium, state-of-the-art Race Control Room, and press quarters.
Tour Abbaye de Stavelot
Founded way back in 651, the Benedictine Stavelot Abbey is one of the first monasteries in Belgium and worth a visit if you find yourself in Stavelot.
From the 10th century, this abbey became the seat of the then highly religious territory, but things went downhill after the French Revolution. The abbey was demolished and its 100-meters bell tower was auctioned.
Today, visitors can explore the ruins along with the still-standing parts of the building including three museums.
Learn the history of the town at Musee de la Principaute de Stavelot-Malmedy
Before even you get inside this museum, you will already tell from the entrance what it is all about – religion, politics, and economic history of the town.
Here, you can learn a thousand-year-old history of Stavelot and discover the influential abbots of the 7th-century era. The museum includes an interactive experience through panels, three-dimensional reconstruction, and multimedia.
Visitors can discover thousands of artifacts including ancient engravings, sarcophagi, liturgical books, contemporary paintings of abbots, and elaborate fireplace firebacks among others.
Visit Musee du Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
If you are an F1 buff, then the Musee du Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is a must-visit. The first thing you will encounter at this hall is the old crypts of the Abbaye de Stavelot.
From there, you can immerse yourself into a century-old history of this famous circuit and learn about its evolution over the years.
There is also an exhibition of F1 racecars from different stages of the circuit’s history, which dates back to 1924. Among the cars you can find are Lotus, Minardi, Talbot-Lago, Arrows, Ford, Porsche, and BMW.
Hike around RAVel Ligne 45
During the industrial revolution of the 18th century, the region of Wallonia become home to numerous railway lines. Though most of them are now decommissioned the region has been transformed into a system of greenways, forming some beautiful rugged landscape ideal for walking.
The paths follow the old rail-beds and give you a chance to explore Stavelot country-side.
Cooldown at Cascade de Coo
If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of the falling waters of the Cascade de Coo from any location in Stavelot. After all, this is the largest waterfall in Belgium, and therefore, should not be missed.
The waterfall is actually not entirely natural.
In the 15th century, the Abbaye de Stavelot monks created a millrace to protect the nearby Petit-Coo village from erosion, which resulted in the fall that is today used to generate power.
Dropping some 15 meters, visitors can climb up the fall with a chairlift and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Haute Ardenne.
Explore Place Saint-Remacle
Covered with cobblestones, Place Saint-Remacle is the town’s main square, located on a steep slope running eastwards. Though there is not much to do here, you can enjoy the architecture and the surrounding landscape since the square is slanted.
The architecture around the square is the top draw attraction, with a combination of 18th and 19th-century styles.
Visit Plopsa Coo
Located just a walking distance from the Cascade de Coo, Plopsa Coo is a theme park operated by Studio 100.
The park is ideal for young kids from 1 to 10 thanks to the shows that the broadcaster studio creates every day.
Take a bath at Stavelot Plage
Stavelot Plage is located along the Ambleve River and offers a quiet and serene spot to relax and take a bath in the river.
The area is well-paved and features a picnic shelter with a BBQ grill.
Generally, this is a great place for a picnic and unwinding.
Check the oldest neighborhood of Stavelot
Set aside five or ten minutes to explore the oldest part of the town called Vinave. This neighborhood is punctuated with old alleys and Stavelot style houses with slate tiles façades.
You can also find the 18th-century fountain.
Check out the remnant of the Second World War
For historians, you already know the importance of Stavelot during the battle between the Allied Forces and the Axis Powers.
The battle of the Bulge took place between 1944 and 1945 and more than 100 civilians and prisoners of war were killed in Stavelot. A memorial was erected at the scene with Belgium, Walloon, and the American flag.
Visit Musee de Guillaume Apollinaire
If you are familiar with the works of popular French art critic and writer Guillaume Apollinaire, visit a museum dedicated to his works at the Abbaye de Stavelot.
Worship at Eglise Saint-Sebastien
Located at the edge of Place du Vinave, Eglise Saint Sebastien is a must-visit landmark in Stavelot. Aside from worship, the church is home to numerous treasures and other artifacts from Abbaye de Stavelot.
Its Baroque-style façade is also worth checking out.
Celebrate Laetare de Stavelot with the locals
Stavelot is known for its religious roots and every fourth Sunday of Lent, the locals come together to celebrate one of the most popular traditions of the region.
The procession starts on Saturday and is followed by a parade with more than 2,000 participants.
Dine at Auberge St-Remacle
Last but not least, make sure you sample local food at Auberge St-Remacle in Ave Ferdinand Nicolay 9!
Stavelot Travel and Tour Packages
To help you plan out your visit to Stavelot, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities to do in Stavelot, Belgium. We also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Stavelot hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.