Planning to visit Durbuy but you’re not sure what to do in the town? Then you’re in the right place because this detailed guide covers all the top attractions and things to do in Durbuy!
It’s often called the world’s smallest city, but that nickname doesn’t do it justice. Just because it’s a small place doesn’t mean it lacks things to offer to visitors.
There are plenty of fun and interesting things to do in Durbuy, whether you want to spend your time at a theme park, exploring museums, or just discovering the vast nature that surrounds Belgium’s smallest city, Durbuy will not disappoint. Keep reading to see a more detailed account of all the top things to do in Durbuy, Belgium!
Getting to Durbuy is a bit tricky, but it’s worth the effort. It’s not even tricky if you’re fine just renting a car at the airport and driving there – it’s a little more than an hour’s drive from Charleroi airport and about an hour and a half from the Brussels airport, which are the two international passenger airports closest to Durbuy.
If you’re not too keen on renting a car, you can travel by public transport. Trains are more common and quicker than buses, so traveling by train is the only alternative to renting a car. Travel by bus is possible, but there are no direct buses, and you might get stuck for hours in the middle of nowhere waiting for a connection.
There aren’t any direct trains either, but at least you don’t have to wait too long for connections. It’s quicker if you’re traveling from Brussels to Durbuy – the train ride takes between an hour and a half to two hours, while the ride from Charleroi usually takes between two and three hours.
From Brussels, you can take a train to Marloie, where you can catch a direct connection to Durbuy. You have a couple of different options from Charleroi – you can get to Durbuy via a connection at Liege, or you can take the train to Namur, catch a connection to Marloie, and then to Durbuy.
The best time to visit Durbuy depends on what you want to see in the town. If you want to explore the wonderful nature surrounding Durbuy, but also see some of the top town attractions in their full glory, then the best time to visit the smallest city in the world is during the summer.
This is the warmest season in Durbuy, but it still doesn’t get so ridiculously hot that you’re not able to walk around and explore. Average daily highs are in the low 20 degrees celsius, while the average daily lows linger around 15 degrees Celsius.
It’s worth noting that temperatures can and do exceed 30 degrees Celsius, but this usually happens in the second half of July and the first half of August. The summer is also the driest season in Durbuy, and the only season in which the town doesn’t see any snow on the ground.
On the other hand, if you’ve heard all about the Durbuy Christmas Market and you want to experience it in person, you’ll have to visit in December or January. The winter season is not the ideal time to visit Durbuy because many attractions remain inaccessible due to bad weather, but there’s certainly something special about the medieval village that transforms into a true winter wonderland.
Adventure Valley Durbuy is Belgium’s largest adventure park. It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush because the vast parks offer a variety of different outdoor activities that will get your heart racing. You can ride kayaks, get on a mega zip line, go mountain biking, rock climbing, explore escape rooms, and a lot more.
The massive indoor-outdoor park is one of Durbuy’s most popular attractions and it’s a great place for anyone who wants to spend time in nature. It offers plenty of fun courses and activities for both kids and adults, including an entire bike park, a 3D labyrinth, a tourist train, and climbing courses, among others.
The adventure park is open every day during the summer season, but winter usually sees it operating only on the weekends. The summer season is the ideal time to visit Belgium’s biggest adventure park, so keep that in mind if this is one of the main reasons why you’re heading to Durbuy in the first place.
Durbuy Vieille Ville is just what the French call the Durbuy Old town. It’s the heart of this small city, and the first part of Durbuy you should thoroughly explore. Walk through the narrow cobbled streets, admire the panoramic views of the river, and don’t be afraid to explore the restaurants in this part of the town either.
Durbuy’s city centre is known for its stone houses and overall medieval appearance. It’s fascinating just how well preserved most of the facades are, There are a few alleys in the town where you can truly feel like you’ve stepped back in time, and it’s one of the main things that makes this charming little place so amazing.
Tortuga bar is a pirate-themed bar in Durbuy old town and the best place in the city to visit if you’re craving a cocktail. The bar is fascinating – everything about it screams pirates, from the classic pirate flag just outside the bar to the myriad of skulls that decorate its interior.
Visit this bar if you want to feel like you’re on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean for a moment, but also if you’re just looking for a place to have a drink. Tortuga Bar isn’t known just for the impressive decorations – they’re very well known for their delicious cocktails, and they’re easily one of the best spots in town to grab a drink or two.
If you’re into hiking and mountain biking and you’re up for exploring the fabulous nature that surrounds the world’s smallest town, Funtrail Durbuy is the perfect sports center for you. They offer guided hikes on electric all-terrain scooters, which is certainly a unique way of exploring the different natural attractions around Durbuy.
The scooters are two-wheel drive, they’re entirely electrical and charged by solar power. They don’t produce any polluting emissions, which is absolutely amazing considering what they’re being used for.
Also, it’s worth noting that anyone can ride the electrical scooters with Funtrail Durbuy, as long as they’re at least ten years old. They require zero previous experience, plus the guides will show you exactly how to properly use them.
Durbuy has a Museum of Modern and Contemporary art and it’s situated in the heart of its old town. It’s not a very big museum so you shouldn’t plan to spend too much time there, but it is worth going inside the building and seeing all the wonderful art.
The museum is easy to find – its dark red facade sticks out like a sore thumb among the rest of the stone buildings in the city centre. The building is actually an old market hall and it’s considered an extraordinary heritage of Wallonia. If you go on a tour of Durbuy old town you will eventually stumble upon this museum, and going inside is worth it if you want to see some extraordinary artworks.
This museum promotes Belgian art with both its permanent and temporary collections. The permanent collection mostly features artworks by Marcel Lucas, a Belgian artist from the 20th century. The temporary collections vary, but they do share the same goal – the promotion of Belgian artists.
The village of Hotton is home to the Riveo center, which is the best place in the region for everything related to fish. They have aquariums you can visit and see the different kinds of fish that are common in the Durubuy rivers, and you can also arrange for one of their guides to take you (and your group) fly fishing in the wilderness.
Riveo is a fishing school, so you don’t need to worry about getting permits or anything. You can even bring along friends or family who have never held a fishing rod in their life – if they’re willing to learn, they might enjoy their first lessons at fly fishing.
If you’re traveling to Durbuy with children, you have to take them to the Labyrinth of Barvaux-sur-Ourthe. It’s a massive corn maze with many ways to have fun and even more ways to get lost, and it’s an incredibly fun experience for the entire family.
As you make your way through the cast corn maze, you’ll stumble upon animators in several sections of the maze. There’s a different theme for the maze every year, which impacts the narrative of the adventure and the appearance of the animators.
In addition to the huge corn maze, there’s also a maze of wooden doors. Visitors can also explore the labyrinth of diversity, which features more than 600 species of plants and flowers. There are also vegetable gardens in the area, slides, and a myriad of other fun activities that will keep the entity family entertained for the day.
Saint Nicolas Church is a Roman Catholic church in Durbuy. It was constructed in the mid-17th century and enlarged in the 18th century – the front part of the church is its original structure. It’s not necessarily an impressive sight on the outside, but the old church does boast some beautiful baptismal fonts from the 16th century.
It was initially known as the Récollets church, and the Récollets convent once stood right next to the church. The old buildings are nowadays used as shops, apartments, and a public garden. The entrance into Chateau Durbuy is opposite the Saint Nicolas Church, so it’s definitely an attraction you can’t miss while you’re exploring the Durbuy old town.
Hotton is another small town in Wallonia, just some 10 minutes south of Durbuy. You can drive there or take the train – whatever you decide, it shouldn’t take you more than 10-15 minutes to get to the wonderful town of Hotton.
It’s widely agreed that the Caves of Hotton are some of the prettiest caves in all of Belgium. Go on a guided tour to see all the stalagmites and stalactites in the cave, but also to discover an underground river! It’s worth noting that it gets pretty cold in the caves even in the summer, so you’ll want to bring some warmer clothes, even on a hot summer day.
Radhadesh is a Hare Krishna temple situated in a castle close to Durbuy town. You should definitely visit the area if you want to experience something different in the region – this is the largest Hare Krishna temple (and the most famous) in Belgium, and it’s definitely a unique attraction.
It’s situated in Château de Petite Somme, a 12th-century castle that wonderfully blends medieval European scenery with ancient eastern culture. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore spiritual art galleries, ethnic souvenir shops, and the only fully vegetarian restaurant in this entire region.
Daily tours in French, Dutch, and English are also offered, and they’re the best way to explore the place. It’s worth noting that it’s also possible to go on yoga retreats here, and you can even just rent their massive yoga studio for private sessions.
Dolmen of Wéris is an archeological site close to Durbuy town, and it’s a fascinating place to visit if you’re into historical landmarks. The megalithic tomb is surrounded by menhirs, and it’s estimated that these archaeological remains date back to 3000 BC.
The vast open-air space is located right next to the road, so it’s pretty hard to miss it. The ancient remains are spread over an area that’s more than five miles long, and you can walk that entire length if you want to see all the ancient rocks.
It’s worth noting that this is one of two surviving dolmens in the area. The other one is Dolmen of Oppange, situated just southwest of Wéris. There’s also a museum dedicated to the megaliths in the village of Wéris, which is just a short drive away from Durbuy’s archeological sites.
Situated just a five minutes walk away from the Durbuy old town, the Anticlinal de Durbuy is an impressive rock formation that’s absolutely worth seeing. You really don’t need to know anything about rocks to be able to admire the beauty of this natural attraction, and you can’t really discover Durbuy properly if you haven’t seen its most impressive natural landmarks.
The Anticlinas de Durbuy is situated on the eastern side of the town, just a short walk away from the city center. There’s also a small anticlinal – it’s close to the river bank, just opposite the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Durbuy. Both are fascinating, and we’d suggest seeing the smaller rock formation first, and then heading to the original anticline for a truly astounding sight.
If you happen to visit Durbuy in the off-season, you’ll have the unique opportunity to discover one of Belgium’s best Chrismas Markets. The smallest city in the world hosts a pretty big Christmas Market that takes over its old town, and which manages to attract artisans from Belgium and all the nearby countries.
In addition to sparkling lights and a myriad of food stalls, visitors can also shop for all kinds of souvenirs and presents. Artisans from France, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium make their way to Durbuy to set up stalls to sell their goods, so you will have a unique opportunity to shop handmade crafts.
Kids and adults can also have fun at the ice rink and there’s usually at least one other ride or attraction meant for kids. In terms of fun activities for adults, mulled wine stalls usually get the highest ratings.
Thanks to its wonderful location, Durbuy is a popular destination for equestrian and countryside vacations. La Ferme de Durbuy is suitable for both experienced equestrians and newbies to horseback riding – as long as you’re willing to listen and learn, you can have a blast with the horses.
It’s worth noting that the experience of horseback riding at the Durbuy Farm can’t compare to going to an equestrian center. Here you’re free-riding horses out in the wilderness, led by an experienced guide. It’s one of the best things to do in all of Wallonia if you want to get away from the urban crowds and just relax surrounded by pristine nature and wonderful animals.
In case you make it to the village of Wéris for the ancient megalithic rocks, be sure to also stop by Église Sainte-Walburge. The church is special because its central part is more than a thousand years old, and it’s always fascinating to see something that’s such an important testament to the rich and long history of a place.
This entire village is very small and the church is just a couple of minutes away from the museum. Take five minutes to admire the Romanesque building and its wonderful surroundings. There’s really no need to go inside the church – it’s very small on the inside and there’s nothing too special about it.
La Chevrerie d’Ozo is a goat farm northeast of Durbuy town, and it’s one of the best places to visit for families with children. You can discover the ways of life of the farmers, see the mechanized feeding equipment that’s one-of-a-kind in Belgium, and taste the various different products that are produced at this farm.
Even if you can’t afford to spend an entire day here, it’s worth visiting if you want to shop for some locally produced milk and cheeses. They’re truly delicious, plus you can watch a video that showcases a day of life on the farm. It’s a fun experience for both kids and adults, but the youngest visitors will likely be the most thrilled to spend a couple of hours among ghosts and other farm animals.
Mini golf is surprisingly popular in Durbuy, with a few different courses throughout town. It’s certainly a fun thing to do for an afternoon, but not necessarily a tourist attraction you should go out of your way to see.
There are miniature golf courses in the Durbuy center and in Adventure Valley Durbuy. There’s also a proper golf course a bit outside town, so avid golfers can really have a good time in this Belgian city. It’s a pretty good golf course with lots of height difference between the holes, so it’s challenging enough even for more experienced golfers.
The Topiary Park is a botanical garden across the bridge from the heart of Durbuy. It’s best known for the many topiaries that are shaped like animals, people, and objects, as well as some nice statues and colorful flowers.
However, the Topiary Park isn’t always in such great shape – a lot of visitors complained about the lack of maintenance in the off-season, so chances are you’ll have a good time in this botanical garden only if you visit during peak tourist season.
Also, it’s worth noting that this garden can be explored in under an hour, so it’s one of those places you can stop by if you’ve already seen everything else in Durbuy. Tickets are affordable (around 5 Euros), but there’s a fixed parking fee of 7 Euros whether you stay for 5 minutes or five hours, so keep that in mind.
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