Are you planning a trip to the Belgian Ardennes? Then Dinant is a must-visit destination for you. This picturesque town offers a diverse range of attractions for visitors, from its rich history and stunning natural beauty to its lively cultural scene.
How to Travel to Dinant
Dinant is the perfect destination for a day trip in Belgium. The town is quite compact and most highlights you can see in about 3-4 hours. Due to the geographical location, the greater area of the municipality of Dinant is also the perfect base for discovering the Ardennes region.
Dinant is located at about 30km’s south of Namur. Travelers with their own motorized vehicle can follow the E411 highway from Namur and take exit 20. Alternatively, the N92 offers a more scenic route from Namur to Dinant.
Trains to Dinant:
There are no direct trains from Brussels to Dinant, but you can take the IC train to Namur where you can switch to the IC train to Dinant.
|Brussels||Dinant||2 times / hour||+/- 2h|
|Liège||Dinant||2 times / hour||+/- 1h40|
For more information visit the Belgium Public Transport Guide.
Top Things to See and Do in Dinant
Dinant boasts a myriad of attractions that cater to all interests. Here are our top recommendations for things to see and do in Dinant:
Explore the Dinant Citadel – A Fortress of History and Breathtaking Views
Perched high above the town, the Dinant Citadel offers panoramic views of the surrounding area that will leave you in awe. Take a guided tour to delve into its fascinating history and explore the various exhibitions that showcase its significance. From ancient weaponry to captivating stories, the Dinant Citadel is a must-visit destination that will transport you back in time.
Visit the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame – A Gothic Masterpiece
Immerse yourself in the architectural splendor of the 12th-century Gothic-style Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame. Admire its intricate details and ascend its bell tower to enjoy panoramic views of the town. This iconic church is a testament to the rich heritage of Dinant and a sight not to be missed.
Embrace Outdoor Adventures on the Meuse River – Kayaking, Boat Tours, and More
The Meuse River gracefully flows through Dinant, offering a plethora of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. Embark on a thrilling kayaking adventure, or opt for a scenic boat tour to immerse yourself in the town’s natural splendor. Furthermore, Dinant is home to a network of hiking and biking trails that wind through the captivating countryside, allowing you to connect with nature and revel in its beauty.
Immerse Yourself in Cultural Events and Festivals – Experience the Vibrant Spirit of Dinant
Dinant’s cultural scene is vibrant and alive, hosting a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. One such event is the highly acclaimed Dinant Jazz Festival, which attracts renowned jazz musicians from around the world. Immerse yourself in the rhythm and melodies that resonate through the town, and let the cultural ambiance captivate your senses.
Discover the Grotte la Merveilleuse – Nature’s Subterranean Masterpiece
A short distance from Dinant, the Grotte la Merveilleuse invites you to venture into its limestone caverns and marvel at the stunning natural rock formations. Embark on a guided tour and witness the breathtaking beauty that lies beneath the surface. This unique experience will leave you with lasting memories of the subterranean wonders of Dinant.
Castles in Dinant and Surroundings
For those with a penchant for history and medieval architecture, Dinant and its surroundings are a treasure trove of magnificent castles. Here are some of the top castles to explore near Dinant:
Castle of Freÿr – A Riverside Marvel
Situated on the banks of the River Meuse, the Castle of Freÿr is a true architectural gem. Its exquisite gardens, elegant fountains, and picturesque terraces make it a sight to behold. Take a guided tour and immerse yourself in the grandeur of this historic castle, exploring its rooms and halls that bear witness to centuries of rich heritage.
Chateau du Vêves – Where Medieval Legends Come to Life
Step back in time as you visit the impressive Chateau du Vêves, a medieval castle dating back to the 13th century. With its moat, drawbridge, and meticulously maintained gardens, this castle offers a glimpse into the past and allows you to experience the enchantment of medieval life.
Chateau Crèvecoeur Castle Ruins – A Glimpse of the Past in a Natural Setting
Nestled in a picturesque natural setting, the castle ruins of Chateau Crèvecoeur provide a fascinating glimpse into history. Wander through the remnants of this once-majestic castle and immerse yourself in the captivating views of the surrounding countryside.
Chateau Poilvache Castle Ruins – Timeless Beauty by the River Meuse
Dating back to the 13th century, the castle ruins of Chateau Poilvache offer panoramic views of the River Meuse and its environs. Explore the remnants of this ancient stronghold, absorb the historical significance, and marvel at the stunning vistas that surround you.
Château fort de Montaigle Castle Ruins – A Testament to Medieval Might
Located near the town of Falaën, the castle ruins of Château fort de Montaigle beckon history enthusiasts. Delve into the strategic importance of this fortress during the Middle Ages, and imagine the tales of knights and battles that unfolded within its walls.
Outdoor activities in Dinant and surroundings
If you’re seeking an outdoor adventure, Dinant is an excellent destination to consider. The town is nestled in the picturesque Belgian Ardennes, and it offers a wide range of outdoor activities suitable for visitors of all ages. From kayaking on the River Lesse to hiking in Nature Parc Furfooz, there is something for everyone. Below are some of the top outdoor activities you can enjoy in Dinant and its surrounding areas:
Kayaking on the River Lesse – Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit
Rent a kayak from Dinant Evasion, conveniently located in Anseremme, just 3km from the city center. Embark on a thrilling journey along the Lesse River and immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural surroundings of the Lesse River Valley. Paddle through serene waters, witness picturesque landscapes, and create unforgettable memories.
Dinant Adventure Parc – A Playground for Thrill-Seekers
If you’re a thrill-seeker seeking an adrenaline rush, the Dinant Adventure Parc is the place to be. Challenge yourself with rope bridges, aerial courses, cable descents, and even a cave experience. This adventure park offers a range of activities that will test your limits and leave you with a sense of accomplishment.
Hiking – Wander through Nature’s Masterpiece
The surroundings of Dinant are a paradise for hikers, with numerous trails that showcase the region’s natural beauty. Nature Parc Furfooz, in particular, offers an ideal setting for family nature walks, featuring stunning views and captivating archaeological and geological highlights along the way. Lace up your hiking boots, breathe in the fresh air, and immerse yourself in the wonders of the Ardennes.
Railbiking – A Leisurely Adventure for the Whole Family
For a unique and leisurely outdoor experience, embark on a railbiking adventure with Les Draisnes de la Molignée. Traverse the picturesque Valley of the Molignée on a railbike, enjoying the scenic beauty at your own pace. This activity is perfect for families with kids and offers a delightful way to explore the enchanting landscapes of the region.
Where to stay in Dinant
The small town centre of Dinant only holds 2 regular Hotels: Ibis Dinant Centre and La Merveilleuse by Infiniti Resorts which is located in an old renovated monastery. Most other hotels in Dinant are located several kilometers outside the city centre. Alternatively there are several apartments and B&B’s for rent in the city centre.
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Couque de Dinant:
Couque de Dinant: This hard, crunchy, honey-flavored biscuit is a local specialty that has been made in Dinant since the 15th century. It’s made from a blend of flour, honey, and sugar, and is typically served with coffee or tea.
Don’t try biting these rock-hard biscuits or you’ll break your teeth! Instead you have to dip them in the coffee or tea and let it melt in your mouth.
The Flamiche is a cake from Dinant that is made with a boulette de Romedenne (a fatty cheese), butter, and eggs. The recipe is said to have originated from the imagination of a farmer’s wife who had stumbled with a bag full of butter, eggs, and cheese.
You can buy this local specialty at the bakery “Boulangerie Defossez”.
Fun fact: Every year on September 1st, a competition is held to see who can eat the most Flamiche.
Leffe Abbey gained international fame for their strong beers, although the production has moved to the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven. Leffe is available in blond and brown, with the latter one my absolute personal favorite. Which better place is there to drink it then at the Leffe Café in Dinant, offering you the best view on the river.
The Maredsous abbey also gained national fame for it’s beer as well as it’s cheese. Maredsous blond has a alcohol percentage of 6% Maredsous brown has 8% alcohol and Maredsous Amber holds 10% alcohol. Combine these strong beers with the delicious Maredsous cheese for the best tasting sensation.
Dinant is a hidden gem in Belgium that is definitely worth a visit. From its stunning natural scenery to its rich history and culture, there is something for everyone in this charming town. Whether you’re looking for adventure activities, cultural experiences, or simply a peaceful getaway, Dinant has it all. With our guide, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip and experience everything that Dinant has to offer.
Where to go next?
30 km to Namur
60 km to La Roche en Ardenne
50 km to Durbuy