Belgium Europe Namur

Discover the Best of Namur, Belgium in One Day

Located between the Sambre and Meuse rivers, in the picturesque Wallonia Region, Namur, Belgium is the capital of both Wallonia and Namur province and is a perfect day trip from Brussels!

We spent one day in Namur during our trip to Edinburgh, Scotland and Brussels, Belgium. In this post, I’ll share all of the things we did during our one day in Namur, how we got from Brussels to Namur, where we ate in Namur, and more. Let’s dive in and discover the best of Namur, Belgium in one day!

Table of Contents

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    A Quick Intro to Namur, Belgium

    a bird's eye view of the city of Namur, Belgium

    Once a pre-Roman fortified town, Namur became the seat of the counts of Namur from 908 until 1421, when it passed to Burgundy. It’s now home to the Parliament of Wallonia, the Government of Wallonia, and its administration.

    The city is dominated by its medieval citadel, which sits atop a rocky promontory between the Sambre and Meuse rivers. In fact, a visit to the citadel is one of the best things to do in Namur—more on this later!

    Because of its location between Brussels and Luxembourg City and Lille and Liège, Namur, Belgium is an important rail junction. Namur is also a center for art, commerce, tourism, and industry. It’s known for products such as glass, paper, metals, leather goods, cement and porcelain.

    How to Get from Brussels to Namur

    Brussel-Centraal in Brussels, Belgium

    There are several ways to get from Brussels to Namur, the easiest and quickest being by train. Trains from Brussels to Namur run around every 30 minutes. You can purchase tickets online through Trainline (my preference) or in person at the train station. The journey takes about 1 to 1.5 hours, and trains depart from Brussels Central, Brussels Midi (South), and Brussels Nord (North).

    Another way to get from Brussels to Namur is by car, rideshare or taxi. The drive takes between 45 minutes to an hour via the E411 motorway from Brussels to Namur. However, taxiing may be expensive, given the distance.

    Traveling by bus from Brussels to Namur is a third option. FlixBus and TEC travel between Brussels and Namur, and the journey typically takes between 1.5 to 2 hours. Buses usually depart from Brussels North Station or Brussels South Station, and you can purchase tickets through the company’s website or directly at the bus stations.

    Is Namur, Belgium Walkable?

    the city of Namur Belgium as seen from the Citadel of Namur

    Namur is a walkable city—in fact, we did a lot of walking during our visit!—but public transportation and taxis are also widely available. That being said, be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes during your day trip to Namur.

    What Language is Spoken in Namur?

    La Bourse Namur, Belgium

    The primary language spoken in Namur, Belgium is French. Although English is also common in Namur, none of the waiters or waitresses knew English at the restaurant we ate at for lunch. This was a great opportunity to practice my many years of learning French!

    When is the Best Time to Visit Namur?

    the Meuse Valley in Namur Belgium

    As with many other destinations in Belgium (and in Europe), May through September is the best time to visit Namur. That being said, the shoulder seasons, i.e. late spring and early autumn, offer the best weather and fewer crowds.

    We visited Namur in the summer (in July), and it was pretty hot, but we still enjoyed our day here.

    Note that the weather in Namur is sometimes unpredictable, and it’s likely to snow in the winter months. Be sure to bring along your rain jacket and a light jacket, as it can get chilly in the evenings even in the summer.

    What to Wear in Namur, Belgium

    the girls in Namur, Belgium

    In case you wanted to shop my Namur, Belgium look, here’s what I was wearing during our one day in Namur:

    1-Day Namur, Belgium Itinerary

    a lovely view of the city of Namur

    Set amongst a picturesque backdrop, Namur is a charming city that offers a blend of history, culture, and delicious food. And, there’s plenty to do in Namur even if you only have a day to visit. Here’s how we spent our one day in Namur, Belgium.

    Take the Namur Cable Car

    the Namur Cable Car in Namur, Belgium

    After taking the train from Brussels to Namur, we made our way to the Téléphérique de la Citadelle de Namur, i.e. the cable car that links Namur and the Namur Citadel.

    The cable car starts from Place Maurice Servais in Namur’s historic city center and ends at the esplanade near Namur Citadel, crossing the Sambre River along the way. At its highest point, the Namur cable car reaches an altitude of 338 feet, and from here, you’ll have incredible, panoramic views of the city, the Namur Citadel, and some of Namur’s most picturesque landscapes.

    • Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 6:00 pm & Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
    • Time to Visit: 15 minutes
    • Cost:
      • Adults (18-64) – €5 one-way & €7.5 round-trip
      • Seniors (65+) – €4 one-way & €6 round-trip
      • Persons with reduced mobility – €3.5 one-way & €5 round-trip
      • Minors & students (6–17 & 18+ with a student card) – €4 one-way & €5.5 round-trip
      • Children (4-5) – €3.5 one-way & €5 round-trip
      • Infants (0-3) – Free

    Note that each car can accommodate six passengers at a time.

    Lunch at Panorama

    my meal at Le Panorama Restaurant in Namur, Belgium

    Located on the Route Merveilleuse, at the top of the Citadel of Namur, Le Panorama offers a unique culinary experience set in a warm atmosphere with a bird’s-eye view of the city of Namur. Le Panorama is a great spot for lunch, dinner, or an aperitif with friends or family before or after your visit to the Citadel of Namur.

    Though Namur, Belgium, is known for its Walloon cuisine, Michelin-starred Chef Yves Mattagne has created a menu that offers world-focused plates composed of fresh, local products—and everything is delicious!

    • Hours: Daily from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
    • Time to Visit: 1-2 hours
    • Cost: Depends on what you order!

    A Broad Recommendation: Leave plenty of time to enjoy your lunch with a view! Also note that some of the servers don’t speak English. Luckily, I knew enough French to get us by here.

    Explore the Citadel of Namur

    Namur Citadel as seen from below

    The Citadel of Namur is a must-do for any first time visitors to Namur, Belgium. It’s one of Europe’s largest fortresses and a testament to more than 2,000 years of human history and millions of years of geological history.

    Because of its strategic position between the two rivers, Namur was the scene of a number of battles and sieges, including the sieges of Namur during the War of the Grand Alliance, as well as World War I and World War II. The Citadel of Namur is now demilitarized and open to the public.

    There are several things to do at the Citadel of Namur. First, the Terra Nova Visitor Center is located in the old Terra Nova barracks and offers a journey back in time with its collections of films, plan-relief models, and documents. Exploring the barracks takes about an hour.

    Next, the Citadel of Namur is composed of a large network of underground passages, which can be explored on a guided tour. Guided tours last approximately 90 minutes and take visitors on a journey through the Citadel of Namur and its rich history and military past, which dates back to Roman times.

    Finally, a tourist train takes visitors around the site, which offers incredible views of the city of Namur, its two rivers, and the Sambre and Meuse valleys. The tour lasts about 20 minutes and is accompanied by an audio guide.

    • Hours: From April 1 through September 29, the Visitor Center is open from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm; hours for the Underground Galleries & Tourist Train vary, so check the Citadel of Namur website for more details
    • Time to Visit: 2-3 hours, depending on which activities you choose to do
    • Cost: Prices vary based on age, group size, and which activities you’d like to do, so check the Citadel of Namur website for more details

    A Broad Recommendation: Arrive early to beat the crowds and to take advantage of the morning light for photos. Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes like these NAOT Footwear Sabrina Women’s Sandal or these Women’s Weekend – Marble White, as a visit to the Namur Citadel requires quite a bit of walking.

    Stroll Along the Meuse River

    one of the bridges of Namur, Belgium

    After your visit to the Citadel of Namur, you can either take the Namur cable car or walk back down to Namur city center. The walk is mainly downhill and easy to navigate and offers stunning views of Namur from above. If you wore your walking shoes, I’d recommend going for a stroll!

    Beginning at the Citadel of Namur, make your way to the main exit and follow the path that leads downhill from the citadel, i.e. the path that follows the main road, Route Merveilleuse. You should see signs that point towards “Centre-Ville” or “Namur Centre”. Once you reach the bottom of the hill, cross the Pont de Jambes, which will bring you directly into the heart of Namur city center.

    The walk from the Citadel of Namur to the Namur city center only takes about 20 minutes, and from here, you can explore the various attractions in the city center, such as Namur Cathedral, the Belfry of Namur, and the bustling Place d’Armes. There are also lots of cafes, restaurants, and shops to enjoy.

    • Hours: N/A
    • Time to Visit: 20-30 minutes
    • Cost: Free

    A Broad Recommendation: If you prefer a more scenic route, you can take the footpaths and staircases that wind down the hillside. These paths offer beautiful views of the city and the Meuse River, but they’re also steeper and less direct than the main road.

    Ice Cream at Maurice Glacier

    Maurice Glacier in Namur, Belgium

    Speaking of shops, we found Maurice Glacier, a cute little ice cream shop that serves homemade ice cream, sorbet, sweet crêpes, iced teas, milkshakes, and more. This place is the perfect spot for an afternoon pick-me-up!

    • Hours: Daily from 1:30 – 6:30 pm
    • Time to Visit: 20 minutes
    • Cost: Depends on what you order

    Take a Namur River Cruise

    Meuse-Ardennes Boat Tour in Namur, Belgium

    We ended our visit to Namur with a Meuse & Sambre Cruise through Namur Croisières. During our river cruise, we got to see the city of Namur, the Citadel of Namur, and some of Namur’s other key landmarks from the water.

    We visited during peak tourist season in July and still were able to find a boat no problem the day of. We just walked along the pier and asked if a captain would take our group out. Luckily, there were five of us, including one of my friend’s little ones, so we had enough people for a private boat tour!

    This was such a fun and unique experience, and we’re grateful we were able to get out on the water for a bit!

    • Hours:
      • From March 30 – April 26 & October 1 – November 3, Saturday, Sunday & public holidays: departure at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 & 4:30 pm
      • From April 27 – June 30 & September 1 – 30, every day except Monday: departure at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 & 4:30 pm
      • From July 1 – August 31, Monday to Thursday: departure at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm & 5:30 pm; Friday, Saturday, Sundays & public holidays: departure at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30, 4:30 pm & 5:30 pm 
    • Time to Visit: 50 minutes
    • Cost: Adult – €11, Child (4-12) & Senior (65+) – €10 & Child (3 & under) – free

    Other Things to Do in Namur, Belgium

    Namur Cathedral in Namur, Belgium

    One day in Namur is the perfect amount of time to see some of the city’s highlights, but it’s hard to see everything in just one day. Here are some things I’d like to do on my next visit to Namur, Belgium.

    • Saint Aubin’s Cathedral: an impressive 18th-century cathedral known for its unique, Baroque architecture, beautiful interior, and historical significance
    • Félicien Rops Museum: a comprehensive collection of the works of Félicien Rops, a famous Belgian artist known for his provocative and often controversial art
    • Namur Archaeological Museum: set in a beautiful 17th-century building, this museum hosts artifacts and exhibits that trace the history of Namur from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages
    • Halle al’Chair: once a meat market, this historical building now houses the Namur Archaeological Society and various exhibitions
    • Parc Louise-Marie: a lovely park located near the city center
    • Day Trips from Namur, Belgium:
      • Dinant: just a short drive or train ride away, Dinant is another beautiful town along the Meuse River that’s known for its impressive citadel, the birthplace of Adolphe Sax (the inventor of the saxophone), and its picturesque scenery
      • The Ardennes: about 1.5 hours from Namur, Belgium, the Ardennes region offers stunning natural landscapes and is a great place for outdoor activities like hiking and cycling

    Well, there you have it! That’s our one-day Namur, Belgium itinerary. Have you been to Namur, Belgium? If so, what activities would you add to this list? If not, what would you like to do first?

    XOXO Sara at Travel A-Broads

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