Please sign in to post.

Help with Itinerary + places to stay in Dinant?

I am still planning my trip to Belgium and will be leaving from Amsterdam. I had planned to take a day trip from Brussels to Dinant, but am considering spending two to three days in Dinant, as it looks charming, and perhaps could do take a day trip to France. Here's what I am thinking:

2 nights in Bruges
2nights in Ghent
2 - 3 nights in Dinant
4 nights in Brussels

I will be traveling solo and also looking for inexpensive lodging in all of the above. I'll be using public transportation.
I welcome suggestions regarding my itinerary and for safe, and inexpensive lodging

Thanks so much!

Posted by
306 posts

If Dinant sounds like your town, consider it as your base. Then you don't have to move every couple of days. You could also base in Ghent which would give you your flexibility for your day trips to Bruges, Dinant, etc. However, if you want more flavor of the night life in each city, stick with your plan, but you might add Antwerp for a couple of nights and reduce your nights in Brussels to two or even one (spending your last night in Brussels before taking your flight)
Have only stayed in Ghent at the Hotel Carlton which was exceptional. It is a well-run establishment within walking distance of the train station, in a quiet neighborhood and is reasonably priced.
Have fun planning your trip!

Posted by
156 posts

Thanks for your replies!

According to Google Maps it takes approximately 3 hours one way to get to Dinant from Ghent (or vice versa). I'll be using public transportation. Does this sound right?

Thanks!

Posted by
1669 posts

That 2½ hour train journey from Ghent to Dinant is not so much a problem, but I’m afraid using public transport from the latter for visiting nearby places can be quite time consuming. Like going from Dinant to Bouillon will take with a car an hour, but with the train and bus the same time as Ghent to Dinant. So I think best is having an idea what you want to visit there and see how much time it will cost moving around with public transport before deciding using it as a base for exploring the region. The trip Dinant to Bouillon involves a train ride in France from Givet – Charleville-Mézières – Sedan. Givet is not outstanding, but nice for a walk along the river Meuse and it has like Dinant a citadel. Really worth in Charlesville- Mézières is Place Ducal and in Sedan the huge medieval fortress there.

Posted by
5484 posts

I have not been to Dinant, but I advise against spending that much time on trains. I once took the train from Antwerp to Lille for the day (specifically to see the art at Palais de Beaux Artes.) But the three hours and three trains (sometimes two) were a lot of lost time.

I encourage you to select a location that has either a higher density of local options, or a place (like Antwerp or, much lower priority, Brussels) that has many things to do in one city. Honestly, Bruges can be done in a day, but it's pretty enough to stroll in for a second day. But you'd really be better off (except in winter) daytripping from Bruges to Ostend and maybe also taking the beach-tram to another place if the weather is good.

Do you know that Cologne is just over two hours from Brussels on the train. (Didn't check the rail schedule this year!) Aachen is even closer. And you can visit Dusseldorf if you sleep over in Cologne. I suggest you spend some time with Google Maps, and then confirm times with the rail company ticket tool.

Have you already seen the Netherlands, or at least all the daytrips by train from Amsterdam?

Posted by
616 posts

I recommend you to visit Dinant and its surrounding area, full of beautiful nature, full of castles ( Vêves, Freyr and wonderful villages such as Celles lez Houyet).
In Celles, I recommend you this beautiful hotel and restaurant. http://www.laclochette.be/
I went there with my aunt some time ago and it was delicious. I never always heard good comments on this place.
I really recommend it to you.
If you go in the Summer, try doing some canoeing on the river Lesse, it is great fun.
Also to visit the region, just rent a car in Dinant and go through the Fagnes, the Lesse, La Roche, the Meuse Valley.
Enjoy it. It’s better than Amsterdam, especially if food is important to your holidays.

Posted by
156 posts

Tim,

Yes, too much time spent on public transportation and not enough time visiting can be an issue. However, I'm wanting to stay on a low budget, and not feeling so comfortable driving. With that said, I am currently in the Netherlands, and public transportation is expensive. I'd be perfectly happy spending two nights in Dinant, before or after Brussels, and had found affordable lodging, but they only have rooms available on the weekends, and not when I'm free. It would have been the perfect solution.

Francoise,

I've heard Cologne is quite lovely, as is Luxembourg. According to www.rome2rio.com, it takes 3 or more hours one way to get to Cologne by train and bus; €40-75 o/w. Luxembourg is the same amount of time, though much cheaper.

I'll be on the end of a 6-week solo trip, and needing to take it easy (-:

Thanks for your continued replies.

Posted by
156 posts

Hello again,

I have a couple of potential places to stay in Ghent, Bruges and Brussels, and possibly Dinant, and again, will have 10 days in total. Wondering what your feedback is for the following plan:

3 nights in Ghent (I've done a bit more reading and it sounds lovely)
2 nights Bruges
5 nights Brussels with day trips to Dinant and Luxembourg. (Luxembourg is not a must, but if I have the time, it might be fun to spend a day there.)

2 night in Dinanat
3 nights in Brussels
Luxembourg is not a must, but if I have the time, it might be fun to spend a day there.

Due to my lodging options, if I were to spend two in Dinants, I would be leaving from Bruges, which looks like it entails up four train / bus changes, with luggage. If I were to do a day trip from Brussels, I could leave my luggage where I'm staying, which would save a lot of hassle.

I'm probably making this more complicated than needed, but there are so many great options!

Thanks again for your feedback!

Posted by
1669 posts

Just my idea: Instead of Dinant you can consider staying in Luxembourg. It’s a small country with excellent public transport and nice places like Vianden, Esch-sur-Sûre and Trier is just across the border within easy reach. Dinant is lovely, but a bit past glory to my opinion as Luxembourg is wealthy and everything is well maintained and so more likeable. Outdoor options are as good as in Wallonia. This makes everything not so easy as there are indeed so many options. But don't change plans if Dinant is the place you want to go.

Posted by
156 posts

Dear Wil and Jazz+Travels,

Thanks for your replies. For some reason, I'm not getting alerts when I receive a message, although I've checked the email alert tab. I was feeling a bit pressured to finalize my reservations, as someone was holding a room for me. So, as it stands, I'll sped 3 nights in Ghent, 2 in Bruges, and 4 in Brussels. Luxembourg has been on my list of "go to" places, so will look into a day trip for sure!

Posted by
1669 posts

Staying in Brussels you can do daytrips to Mechelen en Leuven too, both are lovely places and within a half hour by train. And if of interest you can go from there to Antwerp but from Ghent too, from the latter just needing a little bit more time. Depending where you stay in Ghent you can take the train from Station Dampoort instead of Sint-Pieters.

Posted by
156 posts

Thanks Wil. I've added your suggestions to my list. (-:

Posted by
323 posts

It would be quite easy to spend more time in the South of Belgium. With a car you can explore into France (champagne) as well as the surrounding areas. The war history in this region is humbling.
Dinant is quante and a nice place to visit, especially for a musician or beer lover.
One of my favorite places to visit is here:
http://bocq.be/fr/
If you are lucky (we were) you might get a private tour. The tasting room is a party central experience where you will find very few Americans but locals, Europeans and maybe a few Aussies. For our trip through France, Belgium and the Netherlands this was a place where we had a lot of fun.

Posted by
142 posts

I am just curious how you will fill your time spending 4 nights in Brussels. Aside from the Grand Place, I can't find much I want to see. We will be there for only a half day and night before we catch our flight.