When is the best time of year 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 savor the last bit of warmth before the winter creeps in. That said, Belgium is a beautiful country and you will no doubt have a fantastic trip no matter when you go.

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 such as the Ardennes hills. Summer is cool with an average high of 72°F/22°C in Brussels and slighter cooler temperatures along the coast, while winter is cold and wet with average highs of 39 to 43°F (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 slightly less rain in the summer months.

Average temperatures in Brussels, Belgium

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH (°F/°C)  

AVERAGE LOW (°F/°C)  

January 

43°F/6°C

33°F/1°C

February

44°F/7°C

33°F/1°C

March

50°F/10°C

39°F/4°C

April

57°F/14°C

43°F/6°C

May 64°F/18°C 48°F/9°C
June  68°F/20°C 54°F/12°C
July 72°F/22°C 57°F/14°C
August  72°F/22°C 55°F/13°C
September 66°F/19°C 52°F/11°C
October  57°F/14°C 46°F/8°C
November  48°F/9°C 41°F/5°C
December  43°F/6°C 35°F/2°C

Spring (March to May)

Highlights: 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 colorful wildflowers blanket the countryside, hills and city parks. Restaurants, cafes and bars start setting tables and chairs outside on the terraces and canals as the sun shines down, but it's not too busy to really soak up the charming atmosphere of Belgium’s most popular spots like Bruges. The weather is pleasant enough to explore and spend time outdoors with crisp mornings, slightly chilly evenings and mild, sunny days.

Summer (June to August)

Highlights: pleasant weather, festivals, hiking

Summer is a buzzing time to be in Belgium. The weather is generally warm, dryish 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 (or two), 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 in the summer, 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)

Highlights: thinner crowds, 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 from enjoying your travels.

Winter (December to February)

Highlights: 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. Despite the weather, winter is a relaxed time of year in Belgium 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, and the cold 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

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