The ancient Citadel is Namur’s most striking landmark, towering above the city. Guided tours explore life in the medieval fort and underground passages beneath, and there’s also a fascinating free photography exhibition documenting life in the Grognon through the centuries.
The ancient Halle al’Chair on the bank of the Sambre River has an eclectic history: originally a meat market, it has also been a hospital, a theatre and a chapel for invading Dutch forces over the years. It now houses Namur’s Archeology Museum, with an impressive collection of local finds spanning more than 1,000 years of history.
Le Bon Vin is a cosy, wood-beamed bistro that prides itself on offering traditional, homemade cooking that uses mostly organic produce; look out for the local petits-gris snails.
Michelin-starred Cuisinémoi serves exquisite, deceptively simple food in a narrow, tiled dining room, while next door you’ll find a tiny but well-stocked deli. The best deals are to be had on weekday lunchtimes, when three courses cost €33.
From 30 November to 31 December, Namur’s Christmas Market colonises the Place d’Armes, Place du Grognon and Rue de Fer, with around 100 chalets selling gifts, mulled wine and snacks. Check noelanamur.be for the city’s full line-up of seasonal activities, including concerts, pony and cart rides and an ice rink on Place du Grognon.
Try and get a peep at the beautiful Théâtre Royal de Namur, a 19th-century structure with a frescoed ceiling and vast chandelier. It will soon be hosting acclaimed Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel (15 December), along with a season of children’s shows.
Set in a narrow, yellow-painted townhouse, Les Gîtes du Vieux Namur (rooms from €85 per night) has four apartments that are light, bright and well equipped, with good-sized kitchens, free Wi-Fi and a welcome basket of provisions.
Les Tanneurs (rooms from €40) is a collection of typical 17th-century brick houses, assembled into a chic boutique hotel. The restaurant, L’Espièglerie, is one of the city’s best.
Coccinelle is a colourful cavern of children’s toys and games, with plenty of ingenious stocking fillers and seasonal gift ideas.
For culinary inspiration, explore Les Secrets du Chef, which sells high-end kitchenware and accessories as well as hosting classes on everything from cupcakes to molecular gastronomy.
Wine bar VinoVino showcases a different grape or region every month, and owner Marc Detraux makes great tapas, mainly of the charcuterie and cheese variety. It gets busy, so booking is advised.
Namur’s biggest concert venue and club, Le Belvedère has a mixed programme ranging from folk and indie to hip hop and electro.