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Belgium is known for its rich art history, decadent cuisine, and gleaming canals that run through its scenic towns. Despite being one of Europe’s smallest countries, Belgium offers an incredibly vast array of sights and attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Belgium, you’ll want to know the best time to visit the country.
The best time to visit Belgium is from March to May and September to October. The weather is pleasantly mild, and crowds are low in spring and the fall. The average daily temperature is 66°F (18.8°C). Nightly hotel rates start at $80, and bookings are often paired with complimentary tickets to a popular Belgium attraction.
Belgium is one of Europe’s most complex and intriguing nations. Its famous tourist cities include Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, and Spa. In these magnificent cities, you can visit medieval castles, world-class museums, and breathtaking landscapes.
- Worst Time to Visit Belgium
- Cheapest Time to Visit Belgium
- What Time of the Year Has the Best Weather in Belgium?
- January: Best Month to Visit Belgium’s Castles
- February: Celebrate Belgium’s Carnival Season
- March: Best Month for the Foodies
- April: Enjoy Belgium’s Fields of Flowers
- May: Best Time for Historical Celebrations
- June: Best Month for Outdoor Activities
- July: Best Time for Music Festivals
- August: Experience Belgium’s Medieval History in Bouillon
- September: Best Time to Visit Belgium’s Parks
- October: Best Time to Visit Ghent
- November: Best Month for Indoor Activities
- December: Best Time for Holiday Markets
- When is the Best Time to Visit Belgium to Avoid Crowds?
- Best Time to Visit Belgium’s Castles
- Best Time to Visit Belgium for Families
- Best Time to Visit Historical Sites
- Best Time to Visit Belgium for its Festivals
- Best Time for Hiking Through Belgium
Worst Time to Visit Belgium
The worst time to visit Belgium is from June to August, when crowds are at their highest. Since Belgium is a small country, the peak season can congest cities and attractions. The coastal towns become especially packed as locals and tourists go swimming.
Due to the weather conditions, December to February can also be a poor time to visit Belgium. December is the rainiest month, and you’ll likely run into rain showers or snow during your stay. January is the darkest month of the year, so you won’t have many sunny hours to explore the outdoors. And if you’re not a fan of traveling in the snow, you’ll want to avoid Belgium in February.
Cheapest Time to Visit Belgium
The cheapest dates to fly to Belgium and stay in a hotel are from January to April 1st and from September to December. However, the most reasonable time to visit Belgium is in early May. In May, a trip to Belgium will cost around $118 per day.
Early May has the cheapest flights to Belgium; if you book in advance, you can save up to 44%. You can also find hotel rooms for as low as $70 per night during this time.
Belgium can be an expensive destination. Prices in Belgium are about 20% more expensive than comparable items in the U.S. Visiting Belgium in the off-season will open up accommodation deals.
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What Time of the Year Has the Best Weather in Belgium?
Belgium has the best weather from April to May, and September to October. The climate is moderate during these months, and there’s little rain. Flowers cover the countryside in spring, and the gorgeous foliage spreads over the country in fall.
During the spring and fall months, the average daily temperature is around 60 to 65°F (17-22°C). You’ll also have plenty hours of sunshine to explore Belgium’s historic cities.
July and August are Belgium’s hottest months, with daily temperatures rising to 90°F (28°C). If you visit during these months and need a way to cool down, consider spending your trip in one or two of Belgium’s coastal cities.
January: Best Month to Visit Belgium’s Castles
Daily temperatures in Belgium are freezing in January at an average 32°F (0°C). The country receives 5.7 inches of snow, and is rather dark with only 54 hours of sunshine throughout the month.
Belgium has over 3000 castles throughout the country. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale when you see the impressive castles with snow-capped roofs. Cleydael Castle is one of the most striking, with its enormous moat. It’s the most photogenic spot in the province of Aartselaar.
Wissekerke Castle, in the province of East Flanders, was built in the 15th century and features one of the oldest suspension bridges in Europe. To get to the castle, you must go through a beautiful park. There are daily tours, and a free one on the last Sunday of each month.
- New Year’s Dive
- Brussels Jazz Fest
- Poeke Castle
- Laarne Castle
February: Celebrate Belgium’s Carnival Season
This month has at least six days of snowfall, which makes it the snowiest time in Belgium. Daily temperatures are no higher than 43°F (6.1°C).
Carnival celebrations are in full swing in February, especially in the Belgian countryside. Binche is home to Europe’s oldest street carnival, which began in the Middle Ages. It’s a fun spectacle with over-the-top costumes, musical parades, and plenty of drinks to go around.
In February, Brussels is lit up with thousands of lights for four nights. More than 20 light displays by local and international artists are placed throughout the royal district, the European quarter, and the Flagey district.
- Mont des Arts
- Bright Brussels
- Carnival in Binche
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March: Best Month for the Foodies
March is the first month of the spring in Brussels, with the daily average temperature varying between 41.5°F (5.3°C) and 57.6°F (14.2°C). There is little to no rainfall and plenty of sunshine for outdoor activities.
As temperatures warm up, cafes and restaurants take over Belgium’s sidewalks again. Taste your way around Brussels on Hungry Mary’s Famous Beer and Chocolate Tour. A guide will take you to the city’s best specialty chocolatiers and breweries.
Check out the 10 Tastings of Bruges with Locals tour for a gourmet experience through the enchanting old town. A guide will introduce you to Belgian specialties like waffles, Flemish seafood, fries, and more.
- The Famous Chocolate Story and Museum
- Mary’s Famous Beer and Chocolate Tour
- 10 Tastings of Bruges with Locals
- Klara Festival
April: Enjoy Belgium’s Fields of Flowers
Belgium sees the least amount of rainfall in April. It’s a mild spring month, with an average temperature of 57.6°F (14.2°C).
Floralia Brussels attracts more than 32,000 visitors every April. This spring flower exhibition takes place in the park of Groot-Bijgaarden Castle and features 14 hectares of flowers. The castle’s gardeners plant over a million bulbs of tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils.
Ever year in April, 80 breweries from all over the globe participate in Bruges Beer Festival. There are over 400 beers available for tasting. And the festival’s organizers have added debates, lectures, and a culinary showcase to the event’s festivities.
- Floralia Brussels
- Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
- Bruges Beer Festival
- Art Brussels
May: Best Time for Historical Celebrations
May has enjoyable weather with a daily average temperature of 64.6°F (18.1°C). Rainfall is moderate this month, but showers are short and infrequent.
Up to 40,000 attendees gather in Bruges every May to see the Procession of the Holy Blood on Ascension Day. It’s a colorful pageant that began in the 13th century to reenact the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even if you’re not religious, the medieval-themed costumes and displays are worth seeing.
The last weekend in May is Brussels Jazz Weekend. More than 200 free concerts occur in the city’s main four squares, clubs and bars. It’s become a meeting place for local and international jazz lovers alike. Enjoy complimentary shuttles from any hotel in Brussels.
- Procession of the Holy Blood
- Brussels Jazz Weekend
- 20km of Brussels
- Tour of Flanders
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June: Best Month for Outdoor Activities
Belgium’s summer season begins in June. It’s the month with the longest days of the year, with 16 hours and 26 minutes of daylight. Daily temperatures are as high as 70°F (21.1°C).
Outdoor activities ramp up in June since temperatures are warm. It’s the perfect time for hiking, cycling tours, and canal cruises. You can experience Belgium’s most historic towns by taking a cruise on La Nouvelle Etoile.
In addition, charming cycling tours will take you through Flanders’ flatlands and Wallonia’s rolling hills. Belgium has miles and miles of bike trails that wind through quaint villages, castles, and outdoor cafes.
- La Nouvelle Etoile Canal Cruise
- Tour Essence
- Oudenaarde Cycling Museum
- Rumbold’s Tower
July: Best Time for Music Festivals
July is a warm summer month, with temperatures in the mid-80s Fahrenheit. There’s little rain this month, and Belgium’s coast fills up with people trying to cool down.
Belgium’s music festival season begins in July. Dour Festival is an international music fest that has been taking place annually in Dour for over 30 years. 250,000 people attend the five-day, eco-friendly event to enjoy the music, food, and craft vendors.
Another great event to catch this month is the Cactus Festival. This outdoor world music concert has been happening for over 20 years in Bruges’ Minnewater Park. With only one stage, the musical event is a more intimate experience.
- Dour Festival
- Cactus Festival
- Gentse Feesten
- Rock Werchter
August: Experience Belgium’s Medieval History in Bouillon
This is the last month of summer in Belgium. You can expect pleasant temperatures around 74°F (23.3°C).
One of August’s best events is the annual Medieval Festival of Bouillon. You’ll transport back to 13th and 14th century Belgium. Dozens of craft vendors offer best-selling products from the Middle Ages. Enjoy the spectacles of jousting, mock invasions and battles, and hundreds of people in their best medieval dress.
August is the perfect month to kayak on the Lesse River. The river runs through stunning landscapes with prehistoric caves, enormous rock formations, and of course, medieval castles. Some of these views can only be enjoyed from a kayak or canoe along the river.
- Medieval Festival of Bouillon
- Procession of the Giants
- Jazz Middelheim
- Lesse River Kayaks
September: Best Time to Visit Belgium’s Parks
September is the first month of autumn and offers tourists beautiful weather to see the sights in. The average daily temperature is around 66°F (19°C).
Mini- Europe, an open-air museum in Bruparck, is one of Belgium’s most fascinating features. The park features all of Europe’s wonders as mini-sets. There are 350 monument reproductions and thousands of lifelike figures and animations. The two-hour walk is as educational as it is entertaining.
It’s also a perfect month to visit one of Europe’s best theme parks, Bobbejaanland. This 30-hectare park opened in 1961 and contains 50 attractions and rides. Notable rides include the Dreamcatcher (the longest junior rollercoaster in the world) and the Giant Sledgehammer rollercoaster, which reaches up to 110 km/hour.
- Festival of Wallonia
- Belgian Beer Weekend
October: Best Time to Visit Ghent
October is another mild autumn month with clear skies and cool breezes. The daily temperature fluctuates between 54 and 58°F (10-14°C).
Ghent, one of Europe’s hidden gems, is the perfect city for a day trip. Ghent is full of great food, beer, and history. The most popular attraction here is the Castle of the Counts, which houses the Arms Museum and the Museum of Judicial Objects.
The streets of Graslei and Korenlei are Ghent’s most magical attraction. The buildings and warehouses that line either side of the River Lys date back to the 11th century. The gothic architecture is gorgeous at night with all the buildings lights reflecting on the river.
The International Film Fest Gent takes place every October and is Belgium’s largest film festival. The event has become integral to the Flemish and international culture scene. Attendees enjoy films, concerts, and interviews with many film artists.
- International Film Fest Gent
- Castle of the Counts
- Arms Museum
- Museum of Judicial Objects
- Graslei and Korenlei
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November: Best Month for Indoor Activities
November is a frosty month, with temperatures dipping into the low 40s Fahrenheit. Snowfall typically begins this month, but November only sees 2.4 snowfall days.
Keep out of the cold by visiting the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. The exhibits will take you through 12 centuries of military history. From weapons to uniforms and heavy machinery, you can see artifacts and replicas of Belgium’s means of protection throughout time.
Another famous museum to visit is the Musee Magritte Museum in Brussels. It’s located on the Place Royale and features more than 230 works of Belgian artist Rene Magritte. The expansive collection includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, and various painted objects.
- Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History
- Musee Magritte Museum
- Euro Space Center
- For Freedom Museum
- Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
December: Best Time for Holiday Markets
December is chilly, with lows of 34.9°F (1.6°C). It has the most rainfall days at 19.3 days and 4.6 snow days.
December is truly a magical month to visit Belgium. The cities come alive with carousels, choirs, and wooden stalls selling handmade goods. Brussels’ Winter Wonders Christmas Market is Europe’s most original Christmas market. It offers plenty of entertainment, with 260 vendors, an ice-skating rink, carnival rides, and a light and sound show.
Every year, the seaside city of Oostende also transforms into a wonderland. Visitors walk through a 188-meter illuminated tunnel through Adolf Buylstraat shopping street. The canopy has over 200,000 lights. There’s shopping, ice-skating, and plenty of food. Visitors come back on January 4th for the annual New Year’s Dive.
- Winter Wonders Christmas Market
- Winter in Oostende
- Ghent Winter Festival
- Bruges Christmas Market
When is the Best Time to Visit Belgium to Avoid Crowds?
January to February and September are the least crowded months of the year in the Belgium. After the new year celebrations end, tourist numbers are low through the rest of winter. If you don’t mind traveling during the winter or encountering snow, February is a peaceful time to visit Belgium.
If you want to avoid crowds, don’t travel to Belgium from June to August. These are Belgium’s warmest months, and attract the largest number of visitors.
Best Time to Visit Belgium’s Castles
The best months to visit Belgium’s castles are March to May, and late August to October. Despite having over 3,000 castles in the country, only 400 of them can be toured. Many castles reopen their doors after the winter months.
April is your one chance of the year to visit the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. The greenhouses are open to the public, but only for three weeks. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Alphonse Balat’s famous architecture
If you want to see a pink castle, visit Poeke Castle. It is surrounded by a moat and 56 hectares of park. You have to cross a cobbled stone bridge to enter the castle and its gardens. The municipality of Aalter now uses the site for cultural meetings and festivities.
Best Time to Visit Belgium for Families
Though the summer is peak tourist season, June through August features the most events for families.
The best museum for kids in Belgium is the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, also known as the “Dinosaur Museum.” The museum features the largest dinosaur exhibition in Europe. You’ll see impressive dinosaur skeletons, some of which are suspended from the ceilings.
Another favorite spot for kids is Choco-Story Brussels. A master chocolatier tells the story of how the cocoa bean conquered Europe while making pralines for you to sample. There’s a cute gift shop if you want more chocolate!
Best Time to Visit Historical Sites
July is the best month in Belgium to visit historical sites. There are cultural programs and special events at many of Belgium’s museums. If you buy tickets in advance, you can often get discounts on admissions.
For a rich museum experience, few places top the prestigious art collection at Francois Duesberg Museum in Mons. The collections include exquisite objects from the 18thand 19thcenturies. These include jewelry, porcelain, Neoclassical-inspired sculptures, and more than 300 clocks.
You can also visit Waterloo Battlefield, the site of the final battle of the Napoleonic Wars. It’s a popular tourist site and includes numerous monuments. You can take an audio tour or guided tour, and see several films, and battle recreations.
Best Time to Visit Belgium for its Festivals
Belgium is a celebratory country, and has festivals all throughout the year. However, February, April, and July have the most festivals. The weather is perfect for outdoor fun!
In February, you can attend the Procession of the Giants parade in Ath. The carnival features seven larger-than-life giants from the bible and local folklore. UNESCO recognizes the parade as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
In July, Tomorrowland is a fun Belgian electronic dance music festival held annually in Flanders. It’s the world’s largest dance music festival. Tomorrowland is known for drawing people from over 200 countries, making it one of Europe’s most culturally diverse experience.
Best Time for Hiking Through Belgium
The best time to walk through Belgium’s countrysides is during April to May, and October to November. Daily temperatures are warm without being too hot.
Enjoy a hike through the Belgian Ardennes on the Roches Craay and Vallon du Ninglinspo. The 3.8-mile loop trail is an easy route that’s perfect for walking or running. You’ll get to walk alongside the only mountain river in Belgium, the Ninglinspo.
You can walk through Brussel’s famous Mont des Arts. The classical gardens connect Brussel’s downtown to uptown. You can climb up to the royal library’s rooftop from the garden for iconic views over the city.
Head outside the city center, to see one of the most beautiful parks near Brussels. Behind the Royal Museum for Central Africa is Tervuren Park. There is a network of paths through the forests. It’s also home to Flanders’ largest Giant Redwood tree.