Top Five Things to do in the Belgian City of Dinant

The charming city of Dinant is a Walloon (French-speaking) city snuggled up between the high rocky cliffs and the shore of the River Meuse. Dinant is well connected with the Belgian capital Brussels with a journey time of 90 minutes which makes it an easy day trip from Brussels.

As the train started to approach Dinant city the picturesque vistas of countryside cottages along the emerald color river flowing along the railway track were awe-inspiring. You know that you have arrived at the Dinant station when you are greeted with a picture-perfect view of the strikingly visible tulip bulb-shaped cathedral spire with a backdrop of rocky cliffs and citadel overlooking the charming town of Dinant and the River Meuse.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

To reach the cathedral one has to cross over the river through a spectacular bridge Charles-de-Gaulle bedecked with colorful saxophone on both sides probably commemorating the fact that Dinant is the hometown of Adolphe Sax, the famous Belgian musician who invented saxophone.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

1.Notre Dame de Dinant or The Collegiate Church of Our Lady

One of the major landmarks of the city the imposing pear-shaped or tulip bulb-shaped spire of the Collegiate Church of Our Lady with the city of Dinant and the River Meuse at its foot is a sight to behold. The church was rebuilt in the 13th century after been destroyed by a part of rock cliff destroying a previous church on this site. This church features remarkable stained glass, life-size statues, stone columns, and the large glass roof, which is one of the largest in Europe.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

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2. Dinant Caves or Grotte La Merveilleuse

The guided tour for around an hour in English, as well as Dutch, walks you through the gloomy yet intriguing caves backed by the phenomena of its existence. The temperature inside the caves is a constant 12 deg throughout the year and has an abundance of white stalactites and stalagmites well illuminated by lights.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

It is believed that the location of caves was once an ocean, which explains the formations of the limestone rocks inside the caves.

The cave was discovered during a railway line construction and was handed over to geologists for further investigation. We walked through narrow paths and stairs and at a point space widened into a magnificent chamber where as per the guide musical concerts are hosted. There is a small stream at the third and lowest level of the cave, which originally formed the cave and is often flooded in winter and is believed that the stream joins the river in downtown after meandering through a course of 7 days. During the Second World War, the cave had served as a refuge to hundreds of civilians.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

The tour costs around 9 euros and you can get a ticket combined with citadel or boat ride for a cheaper price.

3. La Citadelle Dinant

The fortified Citadel is perched on the rocky cliff overlooking the stunning panorama of the rooftops of the city of Dinant along the River Meuse and the pear-shaped Church spire.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

The citadel was built in the 11th century to protect the Meuse valley. Visitors can choose to climb the stairs with 408 steps or take the cable car to enjoy breathtaking scenery on the town of Dinant during the ascend. The cable car is believed to be one of the shortest and steepest.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

The Citadel is now home to Dinant’s Arms Museum, rooms depicting prisoners’ cells and torture room.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

Top 5 things to do in Dinant

Various multimedia shows and audio shows walk visitors back in time and narrate the history of the town of Dinant. The citadel also has a playground for children, a gift shop, and a cafe.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

4.Cruise or a leisurely Stroll

The land of Dinant is curled up in a steep valley between the high rocky cliffs and the fast flowing river and hence the city grew along the river. Strolling along the river taking in the wonderful views of the city and river is the best and relaxing way to explore the city. Or hop onto one of the cruises or ferries and explore the city attractions in Meuse valley and places of historical importance sailing on the River Meuse.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

One can also choose to ride electric boats and explore the city on their own.

5. Couques de Dinant – the local special biscuits

Couques de Dinant is a hard biscuit made up of honey-flour or honey-flour-sugar. The large biscuits in different shapes and sizes have beautiful and interesting imprints carved on them. The lady at the shop instructed us not to bite into the cookie instead break off pieces and chew. True to her words the biscuits are real hard to bite and break.

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

Top 5 things Dinant Belgium

One can also visit the Bayard rock, which is a 100ft. high needle standing between the road and the river and is another landmark feature of Dinant or Maison Leffe, which is an informative and interactive museum for Belgian beers.

Dinant also hosts various adventure activities like canoeing, rope bridges, nature walks, cross-country cycling and other adventures. More information here. Or plan to visit the unusual boat racing event held every year on August 15th on Meuse River, which also includes visitors showcasing homemade crafts and other local creations.

Have you been to Dinant, what other places do you recommend in Dinant? Share with us in comments.

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39 Comment

  1. Dr.Mohanraj. R says: Reply

    Very beautiful and interesting city. Nice pictures of saxophone and good to know that the inventor of saxophone belongs to this city.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  2. I have been to Belgium a number of times, but not to this place, it looks very interesting, not sure I like the look of the biscuits…

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We completely understand Francis the biscuits arent tempting to us either πŸ™‚

  3. Andrea says: Reply

    Reminds me of the cathedrals in Spain. Beautiful photographs and I love your detailed descriptions.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Andrea would love to check out the cathedrals in Spain too

  4. Kerry says: Reply

    Everything looks great, however I don’t think the caves would be my cup of tea. I’m very claustrophobic so I would probably freak out! Love the rustic and gothic feel to the church!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Kerry but can assure you the caves arent any spooky its beautiful rather πŸ˜‰

  5. Couques de Dinant the local special biscuits look amazing and I shall remember not to bite into them because I certainly do not want my teeth to fall out lol!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      lol Ana.. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Looks really nice and interesting place! Never been there but maybe one day I have a chance to pay a visit there. The saxophones look great and funny on the bridge and that’s a great piece of information that it’s the home town of them πŸ™‚

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True Tiina we were also surprised by the great information we discovered πŸ™‚

  7. I have to admit, I haven’t heard of this city before. Very beautiful indeed! I would gladly visit it. And I would definitely try those buscuits, hahaha. Thank you for sharing such great photos! πŸ™‚

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Rodanthi..Glad you liked the post!

  8. Oh wow! I’d definitely have to spend a lot of time exploring. These pictures are amazing. There’s so much to see!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Liz πŸ™‚

  9. The buildings along the water with the rock in the background is so pretty! I hope that one day I can make it to Belgium in my travels. I had not heard of this place before your post.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Bella they are pretty indeed πŸ™‚

  10. Denisa says: Reply

    Gorgeous city! Looks like a very interesting place to be and man , those biscuit’s will pair with my soy latte (my mouth is watering). Thank you for sharing

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Denisa.. Would love to try biscuits with your Latte too πŸ˜‰

  11. Alison says: Reply

    Your pictures completely captivated me and really caught my interest! I loved seeing all of these places! I definitely want to add this to places to go!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thats awesome Alison.. Glad you liked it πŸ™‚

  12. Never heard of this town before but I love the architecture and it’s interesting that it’s French speaking πŸ™‚ I study French so I’d love to visit!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thats nice Laura.. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. I remember nearly breaking my teeth when I first tried Couques de Dinant, they are yummy though! The photos look great, a beautiful city in a beautiful country, and as a french speaker myself, I’d love to visit one day!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Oh wow Freya where had you tried them was it in Dinant? Thanks for the compliments πŸ™‚

  14. Kusum says: Reply

    Lovely photos and description! I almost want to pack my bags and go there now. Couques de Dinant you said, oh yum!!!
    xx, Kusum |

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Kusum πŸ™‚

  15. Wow this is absolutely incredible! What a gorgeous city to visit. THank you for sharing the amazing photography and sites.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Sure Jennifer.. Glad you liked them πŸ™‚

  16. Sonnie says: Reply

    The view of the Cathedral is the most imposing, and tallest structure in the community. But like other catholic churches, the interiors are very similar to the rest. The pics are refreshing, and by the looks of it, it seems like the temperature is cold but still comfortable.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True Sonnie the exterior of cathedral is the most imposing. It was a sunny day but very windy πŸ™‚

  17. It looks like a very lovely town πŸ™‚
    Those caves look very interesting πŸ™‚

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree Teky. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Beautiful places! I find the local special biscuits interesting. I like how detailed they are. I wonder what`s the taste of the biscuit you ate? How much are they?

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      As already mentioned there were only two flavors and we chose with sugar.. Well don’t remember the cost πŸ™‚

  19. Eloise says: Reply

    some day I’ll be able to go there and see it in person… what an incredible experience, thanks for the pictures so that I can imagine myself there : )

  20. Lily says: Reply

    It’s great that you can have a day trip to Brussels too. Id love to see the caves! These photos make me want to be there too. I’ve been to Brussels but never dinant.

  21. I like your detailed descriptions! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos with all of us! We can only imagine! I would like to visit Brussels too! Btw.: I love your blog and your adventures! Have a nice day! πŸ™‚

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