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Namur a city standing at the confluence of rivers Meuse and Sambre is the capital of Wallonia in South Belgium. On my recent visit to Belgium, I decided to spend a day exploring this beautiful city with the imposing citadel. Its compact size makes it very easy to explore on foot.
Here are a few things one can do in Namur:
What to do in Namur, Belgium
Explore the Citadel
The Citadel dominates the sky of Namur, standing between the rivers Meuse and Sambre. Built during the Roman era the citadel has been rebuilt several times since then and is considered one of the best-preserved fortresses in Europe. The climb can be steep but the breathtaking views of the valley, rivers and city will compensate you. On the citadel, there is the Terra Nova Visitor Centre where you can discover the urban and military history of Namur.
During the tourist season, April till October there are a number of tours also available.
- The Medieval Tour where you will learn about life in the Citadel during the Middle Ages.
- A tour of the Underground Galleries.
- Guided tour of the grounds with a tourist train.
Another interesting site is the Guy Delforge Perfumery, a unique centre in Nothern Europe that shows visitors how perfume is produced in the cellars of the citadel.
For more information visit: www.namurtourisme.be
Walk along the waterfront
Although I visited Namur during winter, I really enjoyed a walk on the banks of river Meuse, with the picturesque houses and the citadel on the back. During the summer the river comes alive where you can board on a cruise or take part in other water activities like stand up paddling or even renting a licence-free boat.
Visit Place d’Armes
Place d’ Armes is a square in the centre of Namur with impressive buildings like the Palais de Congres that used to be the old stock exchange and now is used as a convention centre. At the side of the building, you will see the statue of the famous snail, the unofficial symbol of the city and Françwès and Djoseph, two figures created by the painter and cartoonist Jean Legrand, which represent the tranquil philosophy of the people of Namur. Another important site at the square is the Belfry, declared as a UNESCO Heritage Site along with other Belfries across Belgium and France.
Explore the Old Town
The narrow streets of the old town with the colourful houses from the 17th and 18th century are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Along the way, you will also find many shops, cafes and restaurants. You will also see the baroque Church of Saint Loup and the Saint Aubin Cathedral built in late baroque style. Namur boasts a couple of interesting museums like the Felicien Rops museum that houses works of the homonym artist, the Archaeological museum with a collection of prehistoric and Gallo-Roman antiquities and the Provincial Museum of Ancient Art from the Namur region.
Enjoy the Gastronomy of the region
There are many local delicacies to enjoy in Namur. The area is famous for the Wepion strawberries (there is also a strawberry museum), the snails that are known as the “Petits-Gris de Namur”, and the “Blanche de Namur” the local white beer. During 2017 the tourism office of Namur organises guided gastronomical walks, some Saturdays and Sundays between May and October where you will discover the regional specialities.
Where to stay in Namur
During my visit in Namur, I stayed at The Hotel Les Tanneurs de Namur, a 4-star hotel situated in the old town, minutes away on foot from the central station, the river, the citadel and the historical centre. The hotel is actually 11 old houses connected, that give a certain charm and style to the premises. I had a spacious room with a comfortable double bed, a seating area and a big bathroom with a corner bathtub. Other room amenities included a writing desk, a fully stocked mini-bar, a TV, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. The breakfast buffet was served on the ground floor and had a variety of cooked and fresh products.
Even if you don’t stay at the hotel a visit to its restaurant, Le Grill des Tanneurs is a must (reservations are required). The restaurant serves charcoal-grilled dishes, fish and salads. We had one of our best meals there and totally recommend it.
Hotel Les Tanneurs de Namur, Rue des Tanneries, 13 5000 Namur Belgium, Tel: 0032 81 24 00 24
If you are planning a trip to Belgium, you should definitely include the charming city of Namur on your itinerary.
Have you been to Namur? Did you like it?
I was a guest of Visit Namur, but as always opinions are my own.