The medieval city of Dinant perches on a bluff overlooking the Meuse River. The cobbled streets and centuries-old buildings have seen their share of history, including a devastating fire in 1695 that destroyed most of the town. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Dinant was rebuilt and today is one of Belgium’s most popular tourist destinations.
Dinant is best known for its picturesque setting and outdoor activities. The city is surrounded by lush forests and towering cliffs, making it a popular spot for hiking and climbing. In the summer, the Meuse River is a perfect place to cool off with a swim or paddle in a canoe.
Listen to tales of ancient times in the Citadel
One of the highlights of a visit to Dinant is a trip up the hill to the citadel to enjoy stunning views of the town and the river below. The citadel was erected in the 10th century, on the orders of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders. It was designed to protect the city from invaders and has played a strategic role in many wars over the centuries.
Stroll the alleyways of the old town
The narrow streets of Dinant’s old town are a treasure trove of history and culture. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not wander around and explore the old buildings and churches that line the streets? No visit to Dinant is complete without a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral. The cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and a must-see for any visitor. Also take the time to admire Hôtel de Ville, one of Dinant’s most famous buildings. The beautiful architecture and stunning views make it well worth a visit. When you’re exploring the old town, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for hidden treasures.
Visit the fascinating Museum of Dinant History
The Museum of Dinant History is housed in a beautifully restored medieval building on the banks of the Meuse River. The museum tells the story of Dinant and its people from prehistory to the present day. Exhibits include artifacts from the city’s past, including a section on the 1695 fire that destroyed most of Dinant. The museum is a great place to learn about the city’s rich history and culture.
Admire the majestic Collégiale Notre-Dame de Dinant
Collégiale Notre-Dame de Dinant is a beautiful medieval church dating back to the 13th century. The structure features a striking tower that dominates the skyline of Dinant. The interior of the church is just as impressive as the exterior. The stained-glass windows are particularly stunning, and the choir is an amazing sight to behold. The crypt is also worth a visit, as it houses the remains of some of Dinant’s most famous residents. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a ghost or two!
Explore the depths of the earth in the Grotte la Merveilleuse
Don’t think twice before visiting Grotte la Merveilleuse. The cave was discovered in 1826 and is famous for its stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can explore the cave on a guided tour, which lasts about an hour.
Stroll along the promenade
After exploring the historic buildings of Dinant, take a walk along the promenade to enjoy the views of the river and surrounding countryside. This is a great place to relax and watch the world go by. If you’re feeling energetic, you can rent a bike and cycle along the river.
Take a boat ride on the Meuse River
The Meuse River flows through the heart of the city, and there are plenty of places to enjoy a peaceful stroll or take in the view. The river is ideal for fishing and swimming, and, in the summer months, it’s the perfect place to cool off. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities, and there are plenty of rental shops along the river. Whatever you do, be sure to take some time to appreciate the Meuse River. It’s one of the things that makes Dinant so special.
Enjoy some Belgian beer at one of the local pubs
If you’re in the mood for Belgian beer, there are a few great places to savor it in Dinant. One place that comes to mind is Bierhuis De Vriendschap. They have an extensive beer menu with plenty of Belgian beers to choose from. If you’re looking for something unique, try the Belgian beers on tap. Another great place to enjoy Belgian beer is Au Bon Vieux Temps. Here awaits a wide selection of bottled Belgian beers, as well as some on tap. Pair your beer with delicious traditional Belgian dishes.
Try the local specialties
If you’re looking for something delicious to eat in Dinant, try one of the local specialties. One dish you should never refuse is carbonnades flamandes, a traditional Belgian beef stew made with beer and served with fries. Another popular dish is waterzooi, a chicken or fish stew usually made with cream and vegetables. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely want to try one of Dinant’s famous gaufres, tasty Belgian waffles served with a variety of toppings, such as chocolate, fruit, or ice cream. And of course, no one should leave Dinant without buying chocolate. Dinant is home to a few great chocolatiers, such as Venco and Leonidas.
So, there you have it, a travel guide to Dinant, Belgium. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s history and culture, or just enjoy some delicious food and beer, Dinant has something for everyone.