Belgium's Best Festivals and Parades
Collected by Alison Cornford-Matheson, AFAR Local Expert
You wouldn't expect a tiny country like Belgium to have thousands of festivals, every single year. But Belgian's love an excuse to party and whether that excuse is food, drink, history, nature, music, or the downright quirky, there is a festival here for everyone.
Rue au Beurre 46, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Brussels’ Grand Place is home to many festivals of all different themes: flowers, beer, international cultures, music, and seasonal holidays. But one festival, the Ommegang, full of colour and pageantry, has been taking place here since 1549. The...
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Every even-numbered year, for a week, in August, Brussels' beautiful Grand Place is even more stunning. The ground is covered in 600,000 flowers, creating a unique pattern. Thousands of visitors flood the market square to capture the perfect photo...
You'd be forgiven for thinking the largest Caribbean Festival in the world is in, oh I don't know, the Caribbean... If you're like me, the last place you would guess is in a farmer's field in rural Flanders Belgium. But that's exactly where the...
Kammenstraat 81, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Imagine listening to classical music while surrounded by the art and architecture of a former Augustine monastery. At the AMUZ concert hall in Antwerp, Belgium, you can do just that. AMUZ is home to the Laus Polyphoniea concert series each summer....
Barrestraat 3, 9000 Gent, Belgium
I assume Gent would be amazing at any time of year but we visited over the last weekend of their Gentse Feesten which was a blast. We really stumbled which reminded me that some of the best travel adventures are completely unplanned. What a fun...
Rue du Parc 2, 4577 Modave, Belgium
The Château de Modave sits, perched on a rock, 60 metres (200 feet) above the Hoyoux river in the province of Liège, Belgium. While it is open to the public all summer long, my favourite time to visit this pretty castle is during the Christmas...
This is a weekend dedicated to Belgian beers. Small and big breweries present their beer on the Grand-Place. The entrance is free, the tastings have to be paid. And if you are not a beer fan, go for the amazing, fresh oysters sold by different...
Grand Place 12, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Every year in the merry month of May you can find me in the main square in Mons partaking in the annual beerfest. Well, I say annual but really they tend to have impromptu beerfests there and about from time to time as well. Mons is in the south...
No summer passes without sand sculptures! And this year there is so much more to enjoy: posing next to Lady Gaga, footballing with David Beckham, sharing a frame with the Mona Lisa, giving a speech with Albert Einstein, stepping on board the...
Carrefour de l'Europe 3, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Everyone is familiar with the breathtaking Flower Carpet, which takes place in Brussels’ UNESCO-listed Grand Place. Sadly, it only happens for one week, every other year. In an effort to curb the disappointment of tourists who visit during the...
Groot-Bijgaarden, 1702 Dilbeek, Belgium
Most garden-lovers have heard of the Dutch tulip garden, Keukenhof, a few hours north of Belgium. Few, however, have heard of Belgium's own wonderful spring tulip garden at Groot-Bijgaarden Castle. Also called Grand Bigard (in French), the castle...
Avenue du Parc Royal 61, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
Each spring, the Belgian Royal family opens their private greenhouse complex to the public, for a short two weeks. It is well worth braving the crowds to visit. This incredible 2.5 hectare structure was built in the late 1800s and its architecture...
Rue du Château 30, 7021 Mons, Belgium
We had heard about this charming little castle in Le Havre and went to check it out and on that day there was a big Civil War reenactment right next to the castle. We could not believe our eyes and tried getting some info but nobody spoke English...
Route du Lion 1815, 1420 Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
Contrary to popular belief, the Battle of Waterloo took place in Belgium and not in England. The battle took place back on June 18th, 1815 and if most don't know who won, they at least know who lost. Every year the battle is celebrated but on...
Grand Place, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Northern France and Belgium have a tradition of "giants" left over from the 14th century religious ceremonies and folklore. In Belgium the towns of Dendermonde, Ath, Antwerp, Mechelen and Mons still honor these traditions. On a visit to Mons you...
Place de Belgique 1, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
Every October, wine-lovers in Brussels rejoice because they know the MegaVino expo is coming. For one full weekend, the Brussels expo centre plays host to over 300 exhibitors presenting wines from around the world. Exhibitors are organised by...
7070 Le Roeulx, Belgium
This year, Le Roeulx hosted the 50th International Rose Competition titled "Roses Nouvelles du Le Roeulx" . This competition takes place every year in this town, in the beginning of September. I took my son and went there. It was our mother-son...
Sentier de l'Embarcadère 1, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
There are dozens of foodie festivals in Belgium throughout the year, but my favourite, by far, is the EAT! Brussels restaurant festival, in early autumn. Located in the vast Bois de la Cambre Park, you can sample your way around the Brussels...
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