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Durbuy, die kleinste Stadt in Belgien, Bild: NAPA / shutterstock

Durbuy – the smallest city in Belgium

The city of Durbuy is the ideal destination for a weekend getaway with its size. It is located in the Belgian province of Luxembourg and in the Ardennes. Its location makes it an attractive starting point to explore the region with its rich history and charming landscape. Although the village of Durbuy has had city rights since the 14th century, its dimensions do not come close to that of a city. That’s what makes it so charming. It is clearly arranged and at the same time offers numerous sights. In addition to the historic old town, these include the Ourthe, on whose banks Durbuy is located. Near the city are charming destinations such as Wéris or Barvaux.

Old town and garden art in Durbuy

Old town of Durbuy
Old town of Durbuy, Image: NAPA / shutterstock

The highlight in Durbuy is the historic old town. The narrow, cobbled streets lead past well-kept half-timbered houses and remnants of the old city wall. Small shops and cafés make for a longer walk than the size of the old town would suggest. The Halle aux blés from the 16th century, which is part of Wallonia’s exceptional heritage, is worth seeing. Originally it was a grain hall, then an administration building. Nowadays, the house houses a museum of Belgian art on three floors. Rue Daufresne de la Chevalerie is considered the oldest street in the city and is completely paved with pebbles from the Ourthe. Above the old town is the Chateau d’Ursel, the castle of Durbuy. The castle creates a picturesque panorama, but cannot be visited.

The Parc des Topiaires is worth seeing. It is located on the banks of the Ourthe and shows topiary figures. The more than 200 figures made of boxwood attract families in particular. In addition to many animal figures, the shape trees also show people and scenes and stimulate the imagination. A visit to the park is suitable for friends of garden culture with its avenues, beds and trees. Another attraction of the city is the Homalius Rock or Roche à la Falize. On the one hand, it is the highest point in Durbuy. On the other hand, its special shape is a popular photo motif. If you don’t let yourself be distracted by the picturesque lake and the water features, you will discover the different rock layers of the rock formation. From the old town, a promenade leads to the rock.

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The historic town centre is small and the distances to the other attractions of the city are short. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile for visitors to take the tourist train, the Petit Train Touristique, as it provides excellent views.

Discover Durbuy culinary or on the river

Château de Durbuy
Durbuy Castle, Image: Sergey Dzyuba / shutterstock

In addition to the romantic, medieval ambience, Durbuy scores with culinary specialties. These include, for example, the crayfish, to which a separate festival is dedicated in summer. It is worth checking the calendar before visiting the city. In September, the Beer, Bread and Cheese Festival focuses on local producers. In addition to numerous stalls with local specialties, the festival includes music and other program items. A classical music festival takes place regularly in October and a Christmas market in winter.

If you want to try the specialties of the city, the Marckloff brasserie and the Saint-Amour manufactory are the right place for you. In the manufactory, jams, syrups and jellies are made from local fruits. In the brasserie there is a micro-brewery for the Marckloff beer produced here. In addition to insights into production, both companies offer the opportunity to taste and buy the products.

For more exercise and activity, head to the nearby Adventure Valley adventure park. The adventure park benefits from the surrounding nature and offers tours by kayak and mountain bike. A high ropes course and discovery tours are among the activities available there. Away from the adventure park, kayaks can also be rented in Durbuy to explore the Ourthe. The region is ideal for extensive hiking and cycling tours.

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Megaliths and labyrinths as excursion destinations near Durbuy

Only a few minutes’ drive away, the surroundings of Durbuy offer romantic nature with numerous hiking trails and man-made excursion destinations worth seeing. The labyrinth in Barvaux is not only entertaining for families with children. The labyrinth of plants is set up in such a way that you can rest in between. In addition to the large labyrinth, there are other smaller facilities and activities such as a barefoot path.

The village of Wéris and its surroundings impress with megaliths and megalithic tombs. Wéris is best known for its well-preserved dolmens and menhirs, which are considered cultural heritage. If you are interested in these Stone Age stone settings, you can find more information in the Musée des Mégalithes located there. The village centre with its typical Walloon architecture is also worth a walk.

For those interested in culinary delights, the trip to the Chèvrerie d’Ozo goat farm is worthwhile. Here you can discover environmentally conscious and authentic Belgian cheese and its producers. In addition to the farm’s own cheese sale, the farm can be explored with the goats. In addition, guided tours of the dairy are offered.

If you don’t just have a weekend for Durbuy, you will find numerous other historical destinations of the Ardennes and geological attractions such as caves and rock formations in the area. The more than ten villages around Durbuy offer deceleration and typical Walloon architecture.