15 Things to Do in Namur, Belgium in 2024

Last Updated on February 12, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Namur, the capital of Wallonia, Belgium, gracefully unfolds at the confluence of the Meuse and Sambre rivers, presenting a serene tableau of natural beauty intertwined with architectural elegance.

This city, with its fortress-crowned hills and riverside promenades, offers a peaceful retreat into a landscape where history and nature converge.

Namur’s cobbled streets lead adventurers through a narrative rich with medieval lore, baroque splendor, and the vibrancy of a modern cultural hub.

The Citadel of Namur, a historic sentinel, offers panoramic views that are a testament to the city’s strategic importance through the ages. Down below, the city’s heart beats in lively squares, buzzing with cafes, boutiques, and art galleries, inviting visitors to partake in the local joie de vivre.

ActivityDescription
Explore the Namur CitadelHistoric fortress with panoramic views and walking paths.
Wander Through Namur’s Historic HeartMedieval streets, St Aubin’s Cathedral, and historic sites.
Sail Through the City on the Meuse RiverBoat tours showcasing Namur’s architecture and landscapes.
Relax in Le Parc Louise MarieLush park with rose gardens and sculptures.
Visit St Aubin’s CathedralCathedral with Baroque art and impressive interiors.
Tour La Bourse Theater19th-century neoclassical theater with opulent interiors.
Treat Yourself to Local DelicaciesEnjoy regional specialties like strawberries and cheese.
Honey MuseumLearn about beekeeping and sample artisanal honeys.
Find Tranquility at Le Jardin des MoinesGarden with monastery ruins and contemplative landscapes.
Explore La Plante StudiosArtist neighborhood with galleries and unique souvenirs.
Annevoie GardensLandscaped gardens with fountains and a historical manor.
Le Loup Garou Kid’s Theme ParkFamily-friendly theme park with diverse attractions.
Explore the Meuse Valley by RailbikeRailbike tours through scenic landscapes.
Summer Music FestivalsVarious music festivals featuring diverse artists.
Marvel at Europe’s Largest Flower CarpetBiennial flower carpet event in August.

Namur is a haven for those who seek the tranquility of river landscapes, the intrigue of ancient ruins, and the inspiration of contemporary artistry. This guide aims to navigate you through 15 captivating experiences in Namur, ensuring that your journey through this beguiling city is as enriching as it is unforgettable.

Explore the Namur Citadel

Name and Location: Namur Citadel, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: The Citadel of Namur is a historic fortress at the confluence of the Meuse and Sambre rivers. Its strategic importance dates back to Roman times, and it has been expanded and fortified over the centuries, especially during the Dutch and Spanish occupations.

What to Expect: Expect panoramic views, historic structures, and underground passages. Guided tours often delve into its military history, and visitors can enjoy walking trails with scenic viewpoints over the city.

Visitor Information: The citadel is open year-round. There’s a visitor center, parking facilities, and a restaurant. Guided tours are available, and there are often special events and exhibitions.

Towering high over the city, the Namur Citadel is a formidable fortress that makes for an interesting visit. Walk along sections of this historical complex going back to Roman times for sweeping views over the valley. Visit sites like the medieval Donjon tower, 18th century Terra Nova barracks, and Artillery Memorial commemorating the battle scene from WWI. The adjacent Citadel Park offers pretty walking paths through the woods.

Wander Through Namur’s Historic Heart

Name and Location: Historic Centre, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: The historic heart of Namur is rich in architecture and history, reflecting its past as a significant medieval trading center and its role in various European conflicts.

What to Expect: Wander through charming streets lined with ancient buildings, visit the local shops and cafes, and see landmarks like the Belfry, St. Jacques Church, and the Old Meat Market.

Visitor Information: The area is best explored on foot. Guided walking tours are available. Many attractions and eateries are located in this area, making it a convenient spot for visitors.

Much of Namur’s medieval history remains intact around the magnificent St Aubin’s Cathedral, congested side alleys, and pretty squares centered around administrative and religious buildings. Stroll pedestrianized Rue de Fer passing 16th century facades. Visit the fairytale Belfort belfry tower and see Place d’Armes flanked by an elegant townhouse and the 18th century Hôtel de Ville town hall featuring gilded decor.

Sail Through the City on the Meuse River

Name and Location: Meuse River, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: The Meuse River is an important waterway in Europe, historically significant for trade and transportation.

What to Expect: Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Meuse River, offering unique views of the city and surrounding landscapes. Many cruises offer commentary on the historical and cultural significance of the sights.

Visitor Information: River cruises are available from spring to early autumn. Various tour options are available, from short trips to longer excursions. Booking in advance is recommended.

Namur straddles the strategic Meuse River which played a key role throughout its history. Take sightseeing boat tours along the Meuse for scenic views of Namur’s tree-lined promenades, remarkable architecture spanning many eras, abundant greenery and passing river traffic. Several companies like Namourettes offer relaxing short rides or longer lunch and dinner cruises.

Relax in Le Parc Louise Marie

Name and Location: Le Parc Louise Marie, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: This urban park, named after the first Belgian queen, is a green oasis in the city. It’s been a public space since the 19th century and is known for its tranquility and natural beauty.

What to Expect: The park offers walking paths, play areas for children, and beautifully landscaped gardens. It’s a perfect spot for picnics, leisurely walks, or just relaxing.

Visitor Information: Open year-round, with no admission fee. The park is easily accessible by foot from the city center.

This lush park stretching along the north bank of the Meuse River provides the perfect nature respite without leaving the city. Shady tree avenues connect different zones like the fragrant rose garden. Seek out sculptures by Godefroid Devreese dotted throughout. Have a picnic on the grass or stops for a drink by the lake featuring a miniature Chinese pagoda style boathouse.

Visit the Treasures of St Aubin’s Cathedral

Name and Location: St Aubin’s Cathedral, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: This Baroque cathedral, built in the 18th century, is an important religious and historical site in Namur. It’s the seat of the Diocese of Namur and is renowned for its impressive architecture.

What to Expect: Visitors can marvel at the cathedral’s grandeur, intricate interior designs, and art pieces. The cathedral also hosts regular religious services and musical performances.

Visitor Information: The cathedral is open to the public daily. Entry is free, but donations are welcome. Guided tours are available.

Bearing imposing twin west towers, Saint Aubin’s Cathedral impresses both inside and out. The cream colored Namur limestone interior reveals many Baroque art masterpieces. Highlights include an ornate pulpit carved from oak, sublime works by G. de Crayer, striking stained glass windows and the upper choir stalls featuring exquisite relief scenes from the Bible.

Tour La Bourse Theater

Name and Location: La Bourse Theater, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: La Bourse Theater is a historical theater in Namur, known for its cultural and architectural significance. It has been a center for the performing arts in the region for many years.

What to Expect: Expect a range of performances, from drama to comedy and musicals. The theater’s interior is noted for its elegant design and acoustics.

Visitor Information: Performance schedules and ticket prices vary. It’s recommended to book tickets in advance. The theater is easily accessible from the city center.

One architectural marvel not to miss is Namur’s grand 19th century neoclassical theater, La Bourse. Even if you don’t catch a performance, theater tours allow you to see opulent interiors like the grand foyer with marble columns, the majestic auditorium capped by a domed ceiling fresco and Royal box loges retaining plush red velvet seats and gilded embellishments. Simply stunning!

Treat Yourself to Local Delicacies

Name and Location: Various locations, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: Namur is known for its rich culinary heritage, with influences from French and Belgian cuisines. Local specialties include Wallonian meats, Belgian chocolates, and a variety of beers.

What to Expect: Visitors can enjoy local delicacies at various restaurants and cafes. Don’t miss trying the famous Belgian waffles, local cheeses, and artisanal chocolates.

Visitor Information: Many eateries are located in the city center. Food tours are also available for those who want to experience a variety of local flavors.

Namur and the surrounding area is known for producing fresh garden strawberries in the summer and crusty Herve cheese, a type of fine bloomy rind cheese, year-round. You’ll find these ingredients plus specialties like regional cacao, wines and microbrews showcased in dishes at local restaurants. Not to be missed are Namur’s famous sugared waffles usually paired with creamy vanilla ice cream!

Learn the Secrets of Beekeeping at the Honey Museum

Name and Location: Honey Museum, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: The Honey Museum is dedicated to the art and science of beekeeping, a practice with a long history in the region. The museum educates visitors about the importance of bees and honey production.

What to Expect: The museum offers interactive exhibits, live beekeeping demonstrations, and honey tasting sessions. It’s both educational and entertaining for all ages.

Visitor Information: The museum is open on specific days, so checking the schedule in advance is recommended. There is a small entrance fee.

The fascinating Honey Museum makes for a truly immersive experience where you’ll learn all about the world of beekeeping and sample unique artisanal honeys. See primitive hives and tools used by early beekeepers plus interactive exhibits outlining bees’ vital environmental roles. Best of all, guides give insight into making different honeys and beeswax products in their working apiary.

Find Tranquility at Le Jardin des Moines

Name and Location: Le Jardin des Moines, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: Le Jardin des Moines, or the Monks’ Garden, is a historic garden originally cultivated by monks. It’s known for its peaceful atmosphere and beautifully maintained gardens.

What to Expect: Visitors will find a serene environment, perfect for relaxation and contemplation. The garden features a variety of plants, flowers, and quiet paths.

Visitor Information: The garden is open to the public with no admission fee. It’s best visited during the spring and summer months when the flowers are in bloom.

This peaceful garden occupying a south-facing hillside on the city’s fringe transports visitors to a relaxing haven away from Namur’s hustle and bustle. Designed around the ruins of 12th century Carthusian monastery vaults, plants are artfully arranged to encourage contemplation as you meander along curving paths, over bridges and through rose arbors. Uplifting city views await from the top terraces.

Explore the Colorful Studios of La Plante

Name and Location: La Plante Studios, Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: La Plante is a vibrant area known for its artistic community. Artists and craftsmen have set up studios here, contributing to the cultural richness of Namur.

What to Expect: Visitors can explore a variety of studios and galleries, showcasing everything from painting and sculpture to crafts and design. It’s a great opportunity to meet local artists and purchase unique artworks.

Visitor Information: The studios have varying opening hours, so it’s best to check in advance. Some studios offer workshops and classes for visitors interested in learning a craft.

The vibrant artist neighborhood of La Plante centering around Countess Ermesinde street is dotted with open-to-the-public galleries, studios and eclectic shops that make for enjoyable browsing. Meet local painters, sculptors, ceramicists and other craftspeople busy creating unique works inside reconverted railway company workshops retaining industrial relics from 1908. A great place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs!

Experience Royal History at Annevoie Gardens

Name and Location: Annevoie Gardens, near Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: The Annevoie Gardens are a magnificent example of 18th-century garden design. They are unique in Belgium for their combination of French symmetry, Italian lightness, and English landscaping.

What to Expect: The gardens feature beautiful waterfalls, fountains, and a variety of plants and trees. They are a testament to the skill and artistry of landscape gardening.

Visitor Information: The gardens are open from spring to autumn.

Just 20km southeast of Namur, the magnificent landscaped gardens of the Domaine d’Annevoie are not to be missed! Water plays a starring role in this leafy wonderland dotted with graceful fountains, waterfalls and pools. Linger over canal boat tours or by shaded cascades and romantic grottoes. The 18th century manor house built for Charles-Alexis also impresses with opulent interiors.

Take the Kids to Le Loup Garou Kid’s Theme Park

Name and Location: Le Loup Garou Kid’s Theme Park is located in the town of Rochefort, Belgium.

History and Significance: Le Loup Garou opened in 2010 as Belgium’s first theme park aimed solely at young children under the age of 10. It is significant for its numerous play areas and kid-friendly rides.

What to Expect: Expect miniature rollercoasters, a water play zone, fairytale forest, and stages with daily musical shows. There are also areas for arts, crafts, and dress up.

Visitor Information: Le Loup Garou is open March-October. Strollers can be rented. Food options include snacks, light meals, and several cafés.

For exciting family fun just 5 minutes from central Namur, Le Loup Garou theme park promises thrills with over 20 attractions like the looping rollercoaster, giant swing pendulum, log flume ride and more set across five themed lands. Smaller kids will love gentle rides plus five playground areas, petting farm animals and energetic entertainment. The perfect place to spend a day in Namur with kids of all ages!

Explore the Meuse Valley by Railbike

Name and Location: The Meuse Valley Railbikes are located along the Meuse River between Dinant and Hastière in Belgium.

History and Significance: Railbiking along this picturesque valley began in 2008. It provides a unique way to take in the sights of the Meuse countryside.

What to Expect: Expect a 2-4 hour pedal-powered ride on specially designed four-wheeled bikes built for two. The trail follows both banks of the river.

Visitor Information: Railbike tours run Saturdays and Sundays from April – October, as well as everyday in July and August. Reservations required.

Discover a unique way to appreciate the pretty Meuse Valley scenery surrounding Namur – by railbike! Set off along disused rail tracks winding through forest, farmland and riverside vistas. Railway-adapted bicycles built for two or four riders make it easy for riders of all fitness levels to pedal using the tracks while guides share insights into points of interest. A memorable, eco-friendly experience!

Visit Namur During the Summer Music Festival Season

Name and Location: The Namur Summer Music Festival takes place annually in July in Namur, Belgium.

History and Significance: Namur has hosted this large music festival for over 20 years. It features Belgian and international pop, rock, jazz artists across various venues.

What to Expect: Expect concerts throughout the city, food trucks, pop-up bars, street performers, music on the river, and a festive atmosphere.

Visitor Information: Over 10 days in July. Book lodging/transportation early. Single day and full festival passes available.

During the summer, Namur hosts several popular music festivals that see the city come alive with revelry. Top events feature Belgian and international pop, rock, jazz and classical artists on outdoor stages with partying continuing into the night. Some of the best festivals in Namur worth catching include Namur en Mai, Foire aux Plaisirs d’été and Musical Dayze.

Marvel at Europe’s Largest Flower Carpet

Name and Location: The Flower Carpet in Brussels is laid out in the Grand Place in downtown Brussels, Belgium every 2 years in August.

History and Significance: The custom began in 1971 and the Flower Carpet has been created every 2 years since 1987, becoming larger and more elaborate each time.

What to Expect: An enormous, brightly colored carpet made of hundreds of thousands of begonias arranged in decorative patterns. Display lasts about 4 days.

Visitor Information: Free event occurring mid August on even number years. Expect crowds. Public transport encouraged. Photography allowed.

Every two years over the Assumption Day public holiday weekend in mid-August, Namur creates a spectacular live flower carpet filling the expansive Place d’Armes square next to the striking St Aubin’s Cathedral. Using over 700,000 begonias, flower artisans weave intricate patterns that pay tribute to different cultural themes and remain on public display for several days. It’s a breathtaking sight not to miss!

Conclusion

With its rich history, abundant nature and relaxed provincial charm combined with great shopping, dining and summertime cultural festivities, the strategically situated city of Namur on the Meuse River makes an idyllic and often overlooked Belgian destination. Use our 2024 Namur bucket list to fully experience this vibrant small city.

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