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Namur

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Namur is the capital of Wallonia, the French-speaking southern part of Belgium.

Namur is located 60 km south-east of Belgium's capital city, Brussels. It is easily accessible by road (the E411 highway from Brussels), train or boat (the Meuse comes from France and the Samber flow through Namur where they actually meet).

Get around[edit]

Namur is a substantial city and might be too large to discover on foot. The layout of the city is complex and navigation is not easy.

Cycling does not appear to be very popular with the locals, perhaps due to the number of cobbled streets. On the other hand, many one-way streets are "except bicycles", so cyclists enjoy special privileges. Recently, the city has been trying to promote the usage of bikes thanks to the "li bia velo" program ( meaning "the nice bike" in Walloon). The program allows people to rent a bike with an automatic system. See http://en.libiavelo.be for more informations.

The city is small and have some pedestrian streets so parking can be an issue. The local bus company in Wallonia, the TEC provide "P+R" buses between two car parks in the outer city and the center of the city. The line number is 51 and the two car parks are named "P+R Saint-Nicolas" and "P+R Namur Expo". If you can speak french, you can check it out on the website of the TEC.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The biggest tourist attraction is the citadel. It is situated on a hill between to the river Meuse and the river Semois and the outdoors can be visited for free unless some fair happens. Most of its current building were built by the dutch people in the XVIIIth century. Also visitable is its quite remarkable networks of underground ways and caverns. See http://www.citadelle.namur.be for more details.
  • On a rainy day, the Museum of Old Namurois Art is also worth a visit. It has recorded guiding in English and a collection of Medieval and Renaissance Christian art. The Archaeological Museum, mostly displaying artifacts from Roman Namur, is less organised and interesting. You can also check the small museum of Felicien Rops, a XIXth century painter whose art was strongly influenced by Charles Baudelaire's poetry. If you are interested in XVIII century furniture, make sure to go through the museum of Groesbeeck de Croix.
  • Much of the old city is beautiful, in a rather French style. The most typical buildings include the theater and its place, the cathedral Saint-Aubain, the Churn Saint-Nicolas.
  • On no account should the treasure of Hugo d'Oignies be missed. [1]

Do[edit][add listing]

Hire a bicycle and cycle up and through the Citadel. Most of the access road is mostly wide and uninteresting, so if you want to walk, make sure to go by the stairs coming from the gronon (the car park between the Meuse and Sambre rivers next to where they join together). There is also a network of mountain bike itineraries beginning and ending in Namur, but the signage, which was very good at the beginning, with large coloured arrows painted on the road, suddenly vanished without explanation.

A tour company in nearby Dinant (Les Kayaks Bleus, www.lessekayaks.be) organises river kayaking trips. It would probably be possible to paddle downstream all the way to Holland and the North Sea.

One weekend per year, at the end of September or the beginning of October, a big fair called "Fêtes de Wallonies" takes place. It involves drinking a lot of alcohol, mainly the a local type called "Peket". During the afternoon, many concerts, some in Walloons, are given. Avoid staying too late as most activities ends after the evening and then streets consist mostly of a lot of drunk people.

There are public swimming pools in Salzinnes and Jambes.

Learn[edit]

  • University of Namur (Facultés universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix) [2]. More than 5,000 students.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Namur is often said to be an "open sky" shopping mall. Major shopping streets stretch from the Namur train station to Rue de Fer and Rue de l'Ange where you will find normal fashion outlets like H&M, Newlook,Zara, Kim Pie,Cool Cats, O' Appels, Charles Vogele Switzerland, Esprit, JBC, C& A, Women's secret, ICL Paris IV, Di, Camaieu among others.

The inner city supermarkets are one Match and one (smaller) Spar. Other supermarkets are Carrefour and COlruyt in Jambes and another Colruyt and Delhaize in Salzinnes among others.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Pâtisserie Café Dumont (Rue de Marchovelette 21) has waffles with whipped cream and melted chocolate that are downright decadent. Opening hours 07:30 to 18:30 Monday to Saturday (so one could have breakfast there), 14:30 to 18:30 on Sundays.
  • Le Panorama restaurant, on the Citadel (Route Merveilleuse 82, Tel. 081/222804) has a terrace with a great view over the city and the river and a free Wi-Fi hotspot. Plat du jour costs under €10.
  • Le Chemin du Cedre (Rue Saint Loup 4) has great Lebanese food at moderate prices. The 'prestige plate' is a very nice set of small dishes. Lovely nice garden.
  • Good open sandwiches at Le Père Gourmandin (Rue du Président 8).

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Galler is a chocolate shop-cum-café. The café is exquisitely old-fashioned and offers a wide range of hot chocolates. Les Thés de Sophie also sells and serves speciality teas.
  • Peanuts, Rue de l'Ouvrage 3. Nice beers and a cosy terrace.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • The Youth Hostel is right by the river and it has free unlimited Wi-Fi, a nice view, a good self-catering kitchen and a bar. They close all common areas by 23:00, however. Guests are required to wash their own dishes after breakfast.
  • Grand Hotel Le Flandre. Right in front of the railway station; the rooms are ok, breakfast is good. Check the regular sites (Booking.com, Tripadvisor etc.) for offers: double rooms can be had for as low as 69 euros.

Get out[edit]

Namur might also be your gateway to the Ardennes and Luxembourg. There is an international train going to Basel, Switzerland and from there to Zurich and Chur.



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