With an ancient citadel, a gothic cathedral and a museum dedicated to the creator of the saxophone, this riverside town in southern Belgium has a lot to offer.
From the medieval citadel atop limestone cliffs, you can see how the picturesque town of Dinant is packed tightly between the River Meuse and the rock walls that tower over it. See an outstanding example of gothic architecture, cruise along the river, explore a cliff top castle and dine on regional specialties.
The town’s most striking features are its cathedral and citadel. The gothic Notre Dame Cathedral de Dinant dates back to the 13th century, with the addition of a pear-shaped bell tower in the 16th century. After touring the majestic church, take the cable car that runs from here up to the Citadel.
Wander through the rooms and corridors of this vast medieval fortress and view its weaponry exhibits. From the terrace café, enjoy unsurpassed views of the Meuse Valley and Dinant.
When you are back down in the town, go to Adolph Sax House, where the inventor of the saxophone grew up. Today, it is a museum where you can learn about the origin of the woodwind instrument.At Maison de la Pataphonie, play with everyday objects such as bottles and cutlery that have been turned into musical instruments.
Across the river is the Museum of Meuse Medieval Heritage, where you will see examples of Dinant’s brassware, an important craft industry here since medieval times. Close to Dinant’s railway station is one of the town’s most fascinating sights, La Merveilleuse. Go on a guided tour of the cave to see an abundance of stalagmites and stalactites.
When you visit the town’s cafés, try the regional specialties. Dinant is known for its Flamiche, a type of cheese tart and honey flavored Couque de Dinant biscuits. Dunk these sweet treats in a warm drink before biting into them because their hard consistency is legendary.
Reach Dinant by flying into Brussels and then drive or take the train south for approximately 60 miles (97 kilometers). Many of the town's main attractions are within a short walking distance of each other. A nice way to get a feel for Dinant’s architecture, history and scenic beauty is on a boat cruise along the river.