With a cool climate that is prone to outbreaks of rain, it can be difficult to know the best time to visit Brussels, Belgium. With over 170 languages spoken, this surrealist city is jam-packed with culture. There are a number of festivals and events running year round to please visitors, but when is the best time to visit Brussels? Brussels weather is often cool and wet due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Over the course of the year temperatures remain fairly mild, reaching lows of 1°C in the winter and highs of 22°C in the summer months. Extreme weather is rare here but in circumstances where there is wind from Eastern Europe, it does snow in Brussels. But no matter when you visit, there are always plenty of sights to see in this bustling city!
Spring (along with autumn) is a cool and cloudy season. In the early months of March and April, the cooler temperatures of winter often hang around, with highs around 13 °C. Although the weather in Brussels is often wet, spring is the driest season of the year and the perfect time to explore local wonders like Brussels Park and Les Marolles without the fear of getting rained on. You may even spot some blossom at Abbaye de la Cambre if you’re lucky!
Things to do in Spring
Spring is a brilliant time to visit Brussels as the weather is perfect to see all the top sights in the city as well as enjoy all the events at this time of year. One perfect for cinema fans, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival celebrates the genres of fantasy, gore, horror, science-fiction, and thriller. Held every April, the festival shows over 150 films for the first time and welcomes over 50 thousand cinema-lovers each year. Another spectacle you may be lucky enough to catch in the springtime is the annual Zinneke Parade. Every May 1500 Brussels residents come together to form a parade of color, music, and dancing to celebrate the various communities within the city and the multicultural nature of Belgium
Summer is by far the best time to visit Brussels. With temperatures ranging from 15°C to 22°C, summer in Brussels is full of warm sunny days spent sipping local craft beer. Despite the occasional afternoon thunderstorm, the summer season has so much to offer visitors. This is the perfect time of year for a stroll around Brussels Park. You may notice as you are walking that this park has been designed in the shape of the Freemasons symbol; making this a great place to unwind and soak up some cultural history and beautiful architecture. With statues, fountains and well-kept grounds to explore, you can easily spend a summer afternoon enjoying this royal park.
Things to do in Summer
Summer in Brussels offers endless things to do and the warmer temperatures allow you to spend even longer exploring the city’s hidden gems. One must-see during your summer visit to Brussels is the famous Carpet of Flowers. Exhibited every other year on the weekend of August 15th, the Grand Place is decorated with 1,800m2 of flowers intricately arranged to create a technicolor marvel. Summer is also the perfect time for a Brussels Beer Experience at the BXL Beer Fest; held every August in the south of the city.
Autumn, like spring, is a cool and cloudy season. There is often rain and wind but temperatures remain mild (between 7 °C and 15 °C) which means that you can still enjoy all that this city has to offer. These rainy days are the perfect time to tour Le Sablon, the artisan chocolatier area of the city. Visit Wittamer and Artisan Chocolatier Mary; both of these stores hold the royal warrant of Belgium and are the best places to try the famous traditional pralines.
Things to do in Autumn
Autumn is the rainiest time of year in Brussels and so it’s a great time to see some of the city’s indoor sights. For a cultural experience, see the stunning art nouveau architecture of the Belgian Comic Books Museum and learn about famous characters such as Tin Tin and The Smurfs. This autumnal weather is also ideal for a couple of hours spent discovering one of the city’s hidden gems; Galerie Bortier. A history lover’s paradise, this antique bookshop is found behind Grand Place and is steeped in art nouveau architecture. The glass ceiling allows light to cascade in as you browse the curved shelves; this place is ideal for a rainy afternoon. Alternatively, you could use the cooler weather as an excuse to experience Brussels beer and chocolate, some of the main reasons that people visit this wonderful city.
Brussels in January features lows of about 3.5 °C with often cloudy skies and some rainy days. Although extreme weather is rare here, sometimes cold air is swept from Eastern Europe and causes the temperature to drop below freezing. At times like this, snow can fall throughout the country and create some beautiful landscapes in the city of Brussels. With cool weather and foggy skies, many winter visitors to Brussels choose to take refuge in Breweries such as Cantillon; where you can enjoy a traditional gueuze beer in the warm.
Things to do in Winter
On wintery days in Brussels, many visitors head to the Christmas market. It’s not hard to see why so many choose to spend Christmas in Brussels; With over 200 chalets selling festive treats, an ice rink, and Christmas carol concerts, the Grand Place is the perfect place to shelter from the cold. Visiting the Christmas market is a great way to sample some of the city’s must-eat dishes like frites and Vol au Vents. Visit in February and feast on all the chocolate your heart desires at the annual Salon de Chocolat.
So, when is the best time to visit Brussels?
The best time of year to visit Brussels is during the summer months. With temperatures ranging from 15°C to 22°C, summer in Brussels is full of warm sunny days spent sipping a local craft beer. Despite the occasional afternoon thunderstorm, the summer season has so much to offer visitors. Thousands of techno fans flood yearly to Tomorrowland; the biggest electronic festival in the world. A weekend of music, dancing and partying with friends, it’s not hard to see why, and Brussels Summer Festival also takes place every August. Offering live music, traditional food and beer, this is a great place to relax and have fun with your nearest and dearest.
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