Ready for a new adventure? Let’s discover ancient castles, a historic Citadel, incredible rock formations, and stunning nature in the region of the iconic city Dinant. In this article, we will discuss what to do in and around Dinant.
Dinant is a well-known city in the Condroz region alongside the Meuse River, which is famous for its incredible architecture and history. You should know that Dinant was already inhabited in the 7th century and the name Dinant meaning “Sacred Valley” was invented by the Celts. This city has seen many wars, legends, and settlements. This is why the Citadel of Dinant, which was built to control the Meuse Valley from its enemies, is such an important building.
Citadel of Dinant
Planning a visit to Dinant? Never skip a visit to the wonderful Citadel on top of the vertical rock behind The Collegiate Church of Our Lady. This building will take you back in time to a period of knights, canons, and battles that greatly impacted the heritage of the city.
You can choose to take the cable car to the entrance of the Citadel or take your courage into your own hands and face the 408 steps to the top. There is an entrance behind The Collegiate Church of Our Lady or you can also park on top of the Citadel and skip the cable car or the steps. The parking on top of the Citadel is recommended for people who have difficulty with steps and is also free. Address. Chemin de la Citadelle, 1 B-5500 Dinant (parking)
The viewpoint at the end is so worth it, you have a panoramic view over the Meuse river and the center of Dinant. Inside different rooms will guide you through the history of the city and its many battles.
You can buy a standard ticket for the Citadel and the cable car which is 10 euros for an adult or 8 euros for a child. There is also a version with an amazing cruise trip on the Meuse river included in the entrance ticket which is 17 euros for adults and 13 euros for children.
The Citadel is dog-friendly, so you can take your four-legged friend with you on your journey back in time.
The Collegiate Church of Our Lady
The Collégiale Notre-Dame de Dinant or also called The Collegiate Church of Our Lady is a magnificent 13th-century Gothic cathedral in the middle of the city center of Dinant. This iconic place has been restored many times throughout the years.
The size of the cathedral is impressive and has one of the largest stained-glass windows of Europe created by Gustave Ladon. Its most iconic part is the separate 16th-century pear-shaped bell tower.
Next to the cathedral, you will find beautiful colored houses and amazing bars with terraces alongside the river. To enjoy this view you can cross the bridge and take a lovely picture from the other river bank.
Address: Rue Adolphe Sax 1, 5500 Dinant
Driving through Dinant you may arrive at a certain peculiar street where you will find the impressive “Rocher Bayard”. This rock is split in two, and although the passage seems small, cars, busses, and even trucks pass this road every day to enter the city.
It’s an incredible drive, and it will blow your mind that this is still in Belgium as the scenery will let you believe that this could easily be in Switzerland.
Address: Rue Defoin, 5500 Dinant
Find the hidden spot of Station Royal de l'Ardenne
The ´hunt´´ after this Instagram spot has been a real challenge, a lot of people tried to find the Station Royal de L´Ardenne to take a unique picture of this hidden place. The Station Royal or also called Station Château dÁrdenne is a former railway station alongside the old line 166 railway that connected Dinant and Bertrix.
You can find this spot in Houyet located to the north of the Ardenne tunnel and enjoy a beautiful hike in the surrounding nature of Dinant, but that's all I will say because the search after this hidden building is the best part of course!
Only 5 km from the city center of Dinant you will find the beautiful castle Frëyr and its exquisite gardens. This domain has been for 20 generations in the family of the former Dukes of Beaufort-Spontin. The Renaissance gardens are fascinating and will leave young and old astonished by their beauty. Discover the prices and opening hours of the castle.
Do you want a unique panoramic view of the castle? Take your car and drive to this address: Avenue Général Hodges 49, 5500 Dinant.
Are you fond of castles and their intriguing history? Another beautiful place you must not miss out on during your trip to the region of Dinant is castle Walzin. It always astonishes me how this building was built right on the edge of a massive cliff, with the Lesse river flowing beneath it.
You can choose to enjoy a visit to the castle or to go on a walk to a secret viewpoint where you can take the most lovely pictures.
Address: Rue de Walzin 1, 5500 Dinant
TIP: Do you like to have a picnic on a beautiful viewpoint? Discover the 10 most beautiful viewpoints of Belgium.
Looking for a castle straight from a fairy tale? Castle Vêves is a remarkable castle with military architecture that dates from the 15th century. What I like the most about this castle are its unique treasure hunts for families. Every child will get their own knight or princess costume and together they will do little quests to find the treasure.
The surroundings or castle Vêves are magnificent and are perfect for a stroll on a beautiful day. Would you like to combine castle Walzin and Castle Vêves? There is a beautiful walk, which you can do on foot or by bike of 15 km that connects both castles.
Address: Rue de Furfooz 3, 5561 Houyet
Grotte la Merveilleuse (caves of Dinant)
After discovering the beautiful city center of Dinant and her castles, let's discover the depths of the hidden caves underneath the city. The Merveilleuse caves were discovered in 1904 and are known as the most beautiful caves of Belgium.
You can admire the stalactites, stalagmites, and underground waterfalls on your journey under the surface. Deeper into the cave you will be astonished by colorful rock curtains and impressive halls. The tour is about one hour long and is accessible for young and old.
There is parking at: Rue de Philippeville 142, 5500 Dinant.
Not far from Dinant you have the beautiful park of Furfooz, which will leave you breathless with its amazing rock formations. This is a perfect place for a family walk of 4 km through forests, meadows, and the Lesse riverbanks.
The park is 50 hectares and has 15 special sites along the way. Go through tunnels, take natural stairs and watch the sheep who help to maintain this beautiful reserve. Currently, reservation is needed on their website.
Do you like to hike? Read more about beautiful hiking spots in Belgium.
Find your next activity
Would you like to have a carefree day and book an excursion where you can enjoy one or more splendid locations from this article? GetYourGuide has some of the best excursions of Dinant for all ages.
Do you want to combine everything on this list and enjoy a lovely holiday in the region of Dinant? Stay in the middle of nature in a holiday home where you can combine your daily trips with the necessary dose of relaxation. Jacuzzi, swimming pool, private garden, cozy by the fireplace... You can choose between more than 500 holiday homes in the region of Dinant.
I prefer a holiday home over a hotel because you have so much more space, you can cook together as a family or with friends, you don't have to worry about things such as check-out, you have a living room and a garden to all come together for a nice drink, and you have so much more facilities to enjoy!
There is a train station in Dinant which is close to the center. It's an easy way to enjoy the city for people who prefer public transportation. Plan your trip on the website of the NMBS.
If you want to combine multiple stops during your stay, you can opt for a rental car to see all the castles and the surroundings of Dinant. Or you could also opt for tour buses that will guide you through the region.
What to bring with you?
What do you take with you on a day trip to Dinant? This obviously depends on your situation, if you have kids, if you are coming with friends ... But things that are always nice to bring along are:
A backpack to bring along some snakcs, water and everything you might need
A picnic set if (like me) you like to spend some time in nature and picnic in front of the Walzin castle
Good walking shoes, if you are planning on seeing multiple places in Dinant. Nothing is more disturbing than having to walk a whole day in uncomfortable shoes
You smartphone or camera to eternalize all the memories from this trip
I hope you will enjoy these stunning places on your next road trip to Dinant. I wish you an amazing moment while discovering the beauty of Belgium!
Keep on exploring & Fly Along!