Dinant is located in central Belgium, along the Meuse river, in the province of Namur. Dinant is 65 km south of Brussels, 20 km south of Namur.
There are about 10,000 people in the town of Dinant.
There is a direct train from Brussels (North, Central and Midi stations) via Namur. Train and bus stations are found at Rue de la Station on the west bank of the Meuse (opposite bank from the citadel). By car, highway E411 via Namur (Exit 20). From Namur take N92 south skirting the valley of the Meuse. Dinant is less than 200 km from Reims, France and the Champagne region.
The Dinant Tourist Office is found on the Rue Grande, 37 - 5500 Dinant Telephone: (082) 22.28.70
The Saxophone and Dinant
Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, was born in Dinant in 1814. A special itinerary called "Sax and the City" lets you to discover the city's entertaining, musical tribute to its famous son:
- the "Art on Sax" urban exhibition (Pont Charles de Gaulle/Tourist Information Centre and Espace Sax);
- the Anamorphoses Trail (Rue Adolphe Sax);
- La Maison de Monsieur Sax (Mr Sax's House) (Rue Adolphe Sax);
- the Adolphe Sax bench, the work of the sculptor Jean-Marie Mathot (Rue Adolphe Sax);
- the "Espace Sax" (Place Collard);
- the Giant Saxophone (Rue St-Jacques);
- the Maison de la Pataphonie (51 Rue en Rhée)
- the portrait and bust of Adolphe Sax (entrance hall of the Hôtel de Ville/Town Hall).
Just pick up a leaflet entitled Sax and the City, containing a map of the city that shows the location of each of these sights, at the tourist office and explore at your own pace.
The Citadel overlooks Dinant from its 100 foot cliff. The Citadel you see today was built during the Dutch occupation in the early 1800s, the French destroyed an earlier fortification (build in 1051 and rebuilt in 1530) in 1703. To visit the Citadel, you can take a cable lift located next to the cathedral or climb 420 stairs, your choice. Inside is an arms museum, war museum, audio-visual presentation, tourist stuff, and great views. Open all year (except weekdays in January, and Fridays from November to March). Winter schedule: 10am - 4pm. Summer schedule: 10am - 6pm (Check current opening hours). Price: 8 € (Euro), children 6 €, includes cable lift.
Cathedral of Notre Dame was originally built as a Romanesque church at the end of the 12th century. In 1227 rockfall destroyed the tower and the church was partially rebuilt in Gothic Style. In the late-medieval Dinant became known for its metalworking capabilities, and many religious objects used in this valley were manufactured in Dinant and some are displayed in the Cathedral.
Boat Trips on the Meuse as well as other activities (like boat rental and kayaking) are found on the Dinant Tourism site: Leisure Activities.
Grotte La Merveilleuse, a show cave of Belgium. Magnificent waterfalls and stalactites--the entrance to the cave lies about 500 m from the Dinant Railway station. Open from April to the middle of November daily from 11am to 5pm (July/August till 6pm). Adults: 5 € (Euro) - children 3,50 € (Euro).
Dinant makes a fine day trip on your way from Brussels or Northern Belgium to France or Luxemburg.
Where to Stay in Dinant
Hotel Best Western Dinant Castel de Pont à Lesse (book direct) is one of the few lodging options in Dinant. There are other places to stay near the outskirts if you have a car.