Best time to visit Belgium

The best time of year to travel to Belgium is during the shoulder seasons in late spring or early autumn when the weather is mild and it’s not too crowded. While many consider summer to be the best time to visit, summer coincides with the peak season and Belgium sees a huge rush of tourists, which often leads to an increase in flight and hotel prices. You might also find it too busy to really soak up the country's charming atmosphere.

There’s a fresh energy in the air in spring with summer just around the corner. Parks start getting busy with locals relishing the sun after the cold weather, people start wining and dining outside and the countryside looks extra beautiful with blossoming flowers. There’s something equally special about autumn when the hectic summer period winds down and people slow down to savour the last bit of warmth before the winter creeps in. That said, Belgium is a beautiful country and you'll have a fantastic trip no matter when you go.

Seasons in Belgium

Spring (March to May)

Best for: mild weather, wildflowers, smaller crowds

Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons in Belgium as nature wakes up from its winter slumber. Leaves turn the trees green once again and colourful wildflowers blanket the countryside, hills and city parks. Restaurants, cafes and bars start setting tables and chairs outside on the terraces and canals, but it's not too busy to soak up the charming atmosphere of Belgium’s most popular spots like Bruges. The weather is pleasant enough to spend time outdoors with crisp mornings, slightly chilly evenings and mild, sunny days.

Summer (June to August)

Best for: pleasant weather, festivals, hiking

Summer is a buzzing time to be in Belgium. The weather is generally warm, dry(ish) and sunny which is great for enjoying the lively atmosphere of Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges and other cities. It's a great time to pull up a chair at a canal-side bar and enjoy a cold beer, hit up some of the North Sea beaches or take advantage of the longer daylight hours and warmer weather on a hiking adventure in the lush Ardennes hills. The events calendar is also jam-packed with music and cultural festivals including the Ghent Festival, Brussels Summer Festival, Belgian Independence Day and the world-famous Tomorrowland dance music festival.

However, you'll need to factor in that summer is the peak season in Europe. Once summer is in full swing, tourists flock to Belgium in their thousands and prices for hotels and tourist activities can be more expensive. Popular spots like Bruges are packed, tourist activities may be fully booked and you may have to queue for a while to get a restaurant table. If you plan a summer trip, try to book in advance to avoid missing out.

Autumn (September to November)

Best for: thinner crowds and gorgeous autumn foliage

Autumn is a glorious time to visit Belgium. Crisp mornings and cooler evenings start creeping in, but the days are still fairly mild and you'll get to enjoy the country's cities, castles and medieval towns without shuffling through crowds or waiting in long queues. Fewer tourists also means that you might snag better deals and prices.

One of the biggest drawcards of autumn is the stunning red, gold and orange foliage that makes Belgium look even more magical. Just note that rainfall is moderate in autumn, but as long as you bring an umbrella and a rain jacket, there's no reason why it should stop you.

Winter (December to February)

Best for: winter festivities, Christmas markets, thin crowds

Winter in Belgium is wet and cold, but it can be a great time to enjoy the country without hordes of tourists and the higher prices that come with them. Winter is a relaxed time of year and you can explore at a much slower pace. Big cities host events and festivals to help locals get through the winter, including the much-anticipated Christmas Market in Brussels. There are plenty of pubs, breweries and bars with roaring log fires ready to welcome you in from the cold. Plus, the weather is the perfect excuse to enjoy some of the country's heavier, more comforting dishes such as waterzooi and Carbonnade Flamande or Flemish stew.

Learn more about what to eat in Belgium

What's the weather like in Belgium?

Belgium has a temperate maritime climate with four distinct seasons. As a small country, the weather doesn't vary too much, but the climate is more continental in the southeastern regions at higher elevations like the Ardennes hills. Summer is cool with an average high of 22°C in Brussels and slighter cooler temperatures along the coast, while winter is cold and wet with average highs of 4 to 6°C in January (the coldest month) and moderate to heavy snowfall in the southeastern regions. Rainfall is high throughout the year with less rain in the summer months.

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