If you’re on a mission to discover the beauty of Belgium, I have the best recommendation for you. Belgium is a small country with many different landscapes, and today, this small Belgian town will surprise you. There are many places to explore in Belgium. You could be traveling within Belgian borders or to the neighboring countries. Take the train, and in 2 hours you are in Paris or London. You can also travel quickly to Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, and even Switzerland. Even going to southern France might be a quick and excellent option to catch up on some much-needed sun. Nevertheless, Belgium is an exciting territory to explore, and today, I will present you with a great choice.
A lovely town with a population of around 15,000 people, it is located in Wallonia municipality in the province of Namur. To get to Dinant from Brussels, it’s pretty easy. With a weekend ticket for 15.80 Euros, you can take the train from Brussels Central Station and in around 2 hours you are in Dinant. My train was not direct, and I had to change in Namur. The weekend ticket is a round trip, allowing you to travel with the same ticket until the next day at the same price. I would say that the railway prices are not crazy expensive when traveling in Belgium, but if you want to travel to Paris, the price could double or even triple.
Dinant is easy to explore, and depending on what you want to do, you can spend half a day, a day, or even more. As you approach Dinant and once you arrive, you will notice the main attraction, the Meuse River. Dinant is built along this major European river spanning over 950 km, which rises in France flows through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea through the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. Soon after, you will see the cathedral, the Citadel, the colorful houses, and the cruises. A good atmosphere, fun, and relaxation are what characterize Dinant. Here, you will see what forms of entertainment Belgians have, especially when it’s a sunny, warm day. When I visited in September, it was 32° C/89.6° F, quite hot for Belgium, and the last summer day of 2023. Now let’s explore all you can do and see in Dinant.
- Dinant Citadel
When I arrived, I decided to go to the highest point to get a panoramic view of the city and learn about its history. And what better place than the Citadel that overlooks the entire Meuse Valley? The entrance is 12 Euros for one adult with the cable car, or if you’re in for some physical activity, you can take the 408-step staircase. The price is the same for either option. If you want to make sure the citadel is open when you go,
check their website. The opening hours are shortened during the low season and might be closed on some days. Once you’re in the citadel, you will soon realize there’s a lot of space up there. Many rooms display historical events and battles between the French and the Belgians. I liked, in particular, how one room makes you feel. And that’s because the terrain is not straight but inclined, and walking there gives you a strange feeling. There is a statue of Charles the Gaulle by the river and the bridge, probably because he was hurt during WWI when the French and Germans were fighting over Dinant.
- Notre Dame de Dinant
This impressive gothic-style church, placed right in the middle of Dinant, is difficult to miss. You have a spectacular view from the terrace of the citadel, too. You can also visit it. The interior must be stunning as well.
- Cruises on the Meuse River
A sunny and warm day would be the perfect scenario for boat travel. Unfortunately, the Belgian weather doesn’t always allow that, but you can still enjoy it. Along the Meuse River, there are several cruise companies with more or less the same prices. For 45 min, 11 euros for adults, 8 for children, and 9.50 euros for elders. You can also book a package tour where you have the citadel with the cable car plus a cruise on the Meuse to the Freÿr Castle included. You can check out Le Croisiers de Mosanes for the package tour. Many people have boats or rent one to explore the Meuse, so there’s a lot of activity on the river.
- Eat on the Meuse River banks
There are several restaurants along the river for you to try. I only ordered a smoothie and some water as I was not hungry, but none of the restaurants caught my attention. Most people were eating ice cream, waffles, pizza, and mussels. I feel that Dinant has no dishes that cannot be found in Brussels, for example.
- Camp in Dinant
To explore Dinant more in-depth, you can camp by the river. I saw many campervans when I passed by. It’s just a 20-minute walk from the center. The nature around is fantastic, and there are many hiking routes. For example, you could stop by the Grotte de Dinant La Merveilleuse, a cave filled with white stalactites & stalagmites. South-east of Belgium, where Dinant is located, is the Ardennes region, known for its rich fauna, flora, rivers, forests, and picturesque villages. This region extends to Luxembourg, Germany, and France.
Thank you for following me on my journeys. If you want to plan your next adventures, you can check this page.