Last December, we spent an enchanting long weekend in Namur, right before Christmas. The city was decked out for Christmas and looked magical. This was my fifth visit to Namur but the first time I visited during December.

The old town of Namur is one of its main qualities. The narrow cobblestone streets are for pedestrians only and are so charming. In fact, one of the best things you can do in Namur is to wander through all of those streets. The buildings are beautiful and all so unique.

The official capital of Wallonia, Namur has changed quite a lot in the past few years. Frankly, some parts of it are unrecognizable. And I mean that in the best way possible! Grégory used to study here and the change was even more obvious for him. We were both pleasantly surprised at how many great restaurants we found, as well as small shops selling local products.

château de namur hotel

I’m always looking for cute and cozy cafés and I definitely found one in Namur. Les Cup’inn is an adorable-looking coffee shop that focuses on cupcakes. Considering my obsession with all things spéculoos, I couldn’t resist trying one of the cupcakes. The interior is lovely, being inside a building with exposed wooden beams and bricks. Overall, it was the perfect place for warming up with some hot chocolate!

Where to eat in Namur

During our stay in Namur, we tried out two restaurants, the first of them being Château de Namur. Situated inside the castle on top of the city, the restaurant is a part of the 4-star hotel. However, you can have dinner there without spending the night. The three-course menu was a delight, and available for vegetarians too!

The second night, we dined at the newly opened La Confluence. Right next to where the two rivers meet, La Confluence provides a twist on traditional Belgian cuisine. With a seasonal menu and ingredients from local farms, they focus on sustainability. One thing to note, the three-course menu will leave you feeling like you could burst! On the whole, the portions are generous and the food is amazing.

The citadel is the most popular attraction in Namur and last year, the city introduced a cable car. Not the first of its kind, the first funicular railway was built in 1898. Then the first cable car opened in 1956 before closing in 1997. This brings us to today and the newest cable car that opened its doors in 2021. It offers splendid views of the city, climbing high above the citadel! When up on the citadel, you can also take a guided tour through the underground tunnels.

view of frosty namur from the citadel

Regarding accommodation, there are a handful of unique places where you can spend the night in Namur. One of them is La Villa Balat, a stunning B&B overlooking the citadel. It’s a gorgeous place anyway but the Christmas decorations turned it into pure magic! Dating back to 1906, it offers three distinct bedrooms and has an alluring interior. You can expect a separate blog post on it because I adore this place so much! As for the second lodging we stayed in, you can read more about Le Temps de Livresse here.

Spending a weekend in Namur

In summary, your best itinerary for visiting Namur will include walking through the old town and climbing up to the citadel. Make sure to walk past Place d’Armes and the belfry hiding right behind it. Don’t forget the cathedral and the even more magnificent church of Saint-Loup. Soak in the history reflected in the architecture of Namur and venture across the river to the neighborhood of Jambes to spot some Art Nouveau buildings!

place d'armes in namur

One of my favorite places we visited that weekend was the Museum of Decorative Arts of Namur. It is also known as Hôtel de Groesbeeck – de Croix, named after two different owners in the 18th century. While the exposed items are interesting, I found myself fascinated by the interior. I couldn’t believe this museum is free to visit because it is simply beguiling!

You’d think a long weekend in Namur would be enough time to see everything but it really isn’t. Plus, we did a few day trips from Namur so that meant less time. We missed out on a street art tour where you follow a map directing you to many artworks. We also didn’t have enough time for the Félicien Rops museum. He was a painter and illustrator from Namur so I’ll probably be visiting this place in the future.

christmas market street in namur

All in all, Namur is the perfect destination for a weekend in Wallonia. Easily accessible by train from any Belgian city, it’s also great because you can walk around the city. Not too big and not too small, it offers so many things for everyone. Even though I’ve visited before, I have a feeling I’ll be returning to Namur much more often from now on. This city is a place to look out for!

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