I often say that Brussels makes one of the best bases for exploring Belgium. But when it comes to seeing the south, the capital of Wallonia, Namur, makes an even better base.
Last week I wrote about the city of Namur. This quiet little city has a slow moving vibe and isn’t full of many attractions itself, but there is a lot to be explored near by.
This day trip from Namur includes two main stops and can be completed either by public transport or with your own transportation. We did the journey on public bus.
Gardens of Annevoie
Designed between 1758 and 1776 by Charles-Alexis de Montpellier, these gardens are often called some of the most beautiful in Belgium. The gardens delightfully winding paths take you past 50 fountains and cascades, and several little ponds, making this a wonderful place to enjoy the fresh country air while clearing your mind and enjoying the scenery.
The castle is only open daily from 4 April to 8 November from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (till 6:30 pm in July and August). Visits are unguided with explanatory leaflet and a map
Admission is 7.80 € for adults, and 5.20 € for children. There is also a restaurant and a café with terrace in the castle’s orangerie.
To get here using public transports, take bus No 21 from Namur station. The journey takes about 30min and stops right in front of the gardens.
Maredsous Abbey, like most abbeys it seems in Belgium, makes beer and cheese. This abbey is not one of the trappist abbeys, but it is still worth a visit.
The abbey was founded in 1872 by Benedictine monks and still a working abbey today. The beer and cheese that you buy here, or from the supermarket, is still made by actual monks.
This is on of the abbeys that is better set up to receive tourists. There are guided tours available (only available in French and Dutch), a playground for children, and a large dining hall and shop where you can taste and purchase the local products.
The main thing to come to Maredsous for is the beer and the cheese which is produced here.
To get here from the Annevoie gardens, get back on bus number 21 to the stop called Maredsous Abbey. To get back to Namur, simply hop back on the number 21 heading back in that direction.