When to Go

There’s a reason radio DJs in Belgium love the Beatles’ 1969 classic Here Comes the Sun . The weather here is fickle, and when the sun comes out everyone celebrates. To avoid major dampness coupled with biting cold, plan a visit for May to September (ie late spring to early autumn). The disadvantages of this time include considerable crowds and, depending on where exactly you go, a scarcity of accommodation – Bruges is the most problematic in both these areas. Brussels, on the other hand, is actually quieter during summer (mid-July to mid-September), and some hotels cut prices.

In April the weather is more fickle than ever – you’ll be catching sun on a terrace cafe one minute and scuttling for cover the next. Wretched is the only word suitable for the mild winter weather from November to March: the days are grey and wet with occasional light snow. Correspondingly, tourist numbers plummet. If you pack the right clothes and keep in mind that the daylight hours will be short, you can make the most of uncrowded museums. The lion’s share of events take place over summer. Outside this time, there are a few quirky festivals to consider, the highlight being carnival celebrations.


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