Brussels in the fall is a magical time to visit. The Belgian capital may be a superb year-round destination, but by the time fall rolls around it takes on a new look and feel that make it what many consider to be the best time to visit Brussels.
By fall, most of the summer tourists have left, the city feels quieter and easier to manage, and there’s an anticipation for the cooler months ahead. There are also several festivals in Brussels you shouldn’t miss, like the Brussels Fall Fair. What’s more, Brussels weather is still manageable over the months of September, October and November, with the true cold temperatures yet to arrive, and all the traditional activities and attractions are still open for business. But if you’re wondering what to do in Brussels in the fall, one of these events and activities should have you covered!
Take a walk in Tervuren
One of the best things to do in Brussels in September is to take a walk in the fresh fall air. At this time of year, one of the best places to visit is the Park of Tervuren, which is just outside the main city centre. It’s a beautiful park, popular among runners and walkers, and if the weather is warm enough, you’ll find some fishermen there too over the weekends. A visit here is also one of the best things to do in Brussels in the fall, as the leaves of many of the large trees in the park start to change color. It’s a phenomenon that runs right through to the middle of fall and is well worth including in your Brussels itinerary.
Sample fine wine at Brussels’ annual wine expo
With the weather in Brussels during October starting to become slightly unpredictable, it’s a good idea to have a few indoor ideas in your itinerary. Fortunately, October is also time for one of the city’s best annual festivals for lovers of fine wines! Between the 11th and 13th of October, this year is MegaVino Expo, where hundreds of exhibitors gather to present their wines to eagerly waiting for visitors. It’s the perfect place to taste the best of Belgium’s wines - something you may not have tried before - and the traditional food stores which dot the festival add to the festivities. The atmosphere at the festival is always warm, and whether you’re a dedicated wine connoisseur or just a casual fan of food and drink, it’s one of the best things to do in Brussels in the fall.
Sample the best of Belgian beer at the Brussels Beer Weekend
If you’re a fan of Belgian beer, and you want to sample the very best country’s famous brews, then September is the best time to visit Brussels. That’s because it’s time for the Brussels Beer Weekend. In 2019 it’s taking place from the 5th to the 7th of September in the Grand Place, and you can expect a huge array of beers on offer for purchase or tasting. Both small and large breweries participate in the event, which means it’s a great time to sample more obscure beers, and in true Belgian style there will be plenty of food and other festivities to accompany the beer. Entrance to the event is free, though you’ll need to pay for any tastings and purchases.
Enjoy the fall leaves in Brussels Park
If you’re looking for the most beautiful fall foliage in Brussels, you’ll struggle to do better than Parc de Bruxelles. Although most Brussels parks are worth a visit if you’re wondering what to do in Brussels in the fall, there’s something special about Park Royale. It dates back to the 1700s, and you’ll find it between the Belgian Parliament and Royal Palace. It’s popular among runners and dog walkers, but also perfect for a leisurely walk as the green leaves start to change.
Dine out at one of the year’s best food festivals
Brussels is no stranger to fantastic food festivals that take place throughout the year, but one of the best is reserved for early autumn. EAT! Brussels Restaurant Festival takes place in the first and second week of September in the beautiful Bois de la Cambre Park. A visit here is one of the best ways to sample the best of the city’s famous cuisine. Dozens of restaurants set up stalls and sell some of their most popular dishes, and if you’re a foodie looking for the best activities in Brussels in the fall, you can’t go wrong with this.
Reflect on the past at In Flanders Fields Museum
Flanders Fields Museum is one of the busiest museums in the city during the summer months, but come fall it’s the perfect time to reflect on the Great War. It’s generally quieter and more somber, and In Flanders Fields Museum offers a fascinating insight into the soldiers who fought through it. You’ll find a variety of moving memorabilia on display, from photographs to artifacts, and it’s an ideal day trip from the city if you’re interested in the region’s history.
Explore Coudenberg Palace
Between the 12th and 18th centuries, Coudenberg Palace was home to many of the region’s most powerful leaders. It was a palace that towered above the city until it burnt down in a dramatic fire. The palace disappeared almost overnight, but the ruins and its underground passages have since been opened to the public. It’s a fascinating archeological site popular among children and adults, and particularly good to visit if the fall weather turns slightly cooler. By the end of fall, the weather in Brussels in November is definitely on the chilly side, so this is an unusual thing to do in Brussels that will keep you out of the cold!
Warm up in a chocolate shop
Belgium’s chocolate is celebrated around the world, and there’s no better selection of the sweet treat than in the Belgian capital. Chocolate shops abound, and fall is the perfect time to dip into one of the famous stores to sample some pralines and truffles, or even warm up with a decadently rich hot chocolate. Wittamer is a store renowned for their pralines, so much so that this is where the Belgian royal household buy their chocolate, whilst Laurent Gerbaud is known for crafting some crazy flavors of truffles, from ginger to olive oil to curry!
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