Discover Flanders' charm on this five-day journey around northern Belgium. You'll start by visiting Antwerp, a port city known for its Renaissance buildings and quaint historic center. Sample Belgian waffles and other regional delicacies on a food tour before continuing to Ghent. With picturesque canals, lively squares dominated by cathedrals and churches, and a medieval castle, you'll see the sights on a guided cycling tour, stopping to try locally brewed Belgian beers along the way.
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When is the best time to visit Belgium?
Belgium is a country that can really be visited year-round. Even in the chilly winter months, you are still able to enjoy a stroll through the park or a cup of mulled wine at a local market. Situated on the coast of the North Sea, Belgium experiences moderate marine temperatures during Spring (March-May) and fall (September-November), colder temperatures in the winter (December- February) and warm, but manageable temperatures during the summer months (June-August). Spontaneous rainfalls can occur year-round, with the heaviest rains falling in October and November.
Where should you go?
The North of the country is called Flandres. The Flemish speaking people here have built some of the most charming cities like Bruges and Ghent, with canals, cobblestone squares and impressive buildings. In the west you find the North Sea Coast, with some interesting beach towns. The French-speaking South is called Wallonia. The rolling hills of the Ardennes here is where you head if nature is more your speed. The region also boasts cities like Liege, Namur and Tournai. Cosmopolitan capital Brussels is home to both EU and NATO headquarters.
How many days do you need?
In 5 days, you can experience all of the highlights of Flanders, like the port city of Antwerp combined with charming Ghent or Bruges and end your trip in Brussels. Enjoy the food, the cold beers and some great art museums boasting works from the Flemish masters.
If you have 7 to 10 days to spend, you can visit more off-the-beaten-track places like the North Sea Coast and the enchanting caves and hills of the Ardennes.
October is fall in Belgium, with cool but not very cold temperatures and few tourists around. It's a great time of year to enjoy the colors of nature, especially the forests of the hilly Ardennes region. The autumn colors provide a beautiful backdrop to the small country's hundreds of castles, from Renaissance palaces to turreted fairy-tale-like castles. Read on to learn more about traveling to Belgium in October.
While there's no wrong time for waffles, beer, chocolate, and castles, Belgium's four distinct seasons offer four very different experiences. Fall and spring are the best times to visit, with pleasant weather, fewer people, and more affordable rates. Summer is warm and welcoming, with festivals and crowds. And if it's cold enough, winter can bring ice skating over frozen lakes and canals and cross-country skiing.
With five days in Belgium, travelers can focus on a city's highlights, like Brussels, and incorporate the surrounding countryside. Seven days is ideal for exploring additional historical sites and using the capital as a jumping-off point for nearby Ghent and Bruges. If you have 10 days, you can partake in outdoor activities like hiking or opt to cross the border to visit the Netherlands.
December is winter in Belgium, but the country doesn't get as cold as some other Northern European countries, so you can still enjoy a city break in generally comfortable conditions. With Christmas markets set up around the country throughout the month (and sometimes as early as November), visitors can enjoy shopping, food and drink, fairground rides, and pretty decorations. Learn more about travel to Belgium in December.
March is the start of spring in Belgium, and although temperatures can still be quite cold, excitement for the end of winter is in the air. A major reason to visit Belgium this month is to attend a traditional Lent parade, such as the centuries-old Carnival of Binche in French-speaking Wallonia. Flower lovers are also in luck, with the first spring blossoms appearing. Here's where to go and what to do in Belgium in March.
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