Move aside grey! In the spring Brussels becomes a sea of colour. Europe’s greenest capital burst into colour: green in its parks and gardens, pink with its Japanese cherry blossom trees and blue with its wild bluebells.
You will find colour all over the city: down charming alleyways, in flower-covered gardens and an elegant castle on the city’s outskirts, at the Atomium’s feet and in magical greenhouses that house some foreign beauties. So go out, go for a wander, take in a breath of fresh air… you’ll find all sorts of beautiful colourful surprises!
Brussels in bloom
Opening of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken (14/04>05/05/2017)
If you thought that these greenhouses were only for a classical audience, then you would be mistaken. They are well worth a visit, and as they are only open three weeks of the year, you really should seize the chance. The architecture of these fabulous greenhouses alone make them a must-see. This glass Art Nouveau cathedral was created by Alphonse Balat, teacher of world-famous architect Victor Horta. The greenhouses are bursting with rare plants and flowers and exotic trees. It’s a real breath-taking experience.
Floralia Brussels (07/04>07/05/2017)
Tulips, daffodils, narcissus and snowdrops… All the world’s bulbous flowers will be in the park and greenhouses of Groot-Bijgaarden castle. More than 1 million bulbs have been planted, by hand, by the castle’s gardeners. Explore the rainbow labyrinth, a multi-coloured heart of tulips, rare rhododendrons and azaleas from the south west of England… flowers lovers are in for a treat.
Every two years, alternating with the flower carpet, Flowertime transforms the City Hall of Brussels into an idyllic spot. The rooms of this architectural gem and world heritage site are decorated with dozens of floral creations, created by Belgium’s best florists. With more than 100,000 flowers, Flowertime is a feast for your eyes! New this year: Flowernights – gastronomic tastings and festive floral activities.
Meise Botanical Gardens (Japanese cherry trees and magnolias flower in April)
Only a stone’s throw from the Atomium, this botanical garden is a veritable nature theme park which is among the largest botanical gardens in the world.
Of course there are the greenhouses, but the exterior collections are just as impressive: bamboo, conifers, perennials, shrubs, medicinal plants, oak trees… don’t miss it!
Halle Forest (the bluebells bloom between April and May)
A stone’s throw away from Brussels there is a magical forest that, for a few days a year turns a stunning shade of blue. Every spring, the floor of the Halle forest is transformed into a beautiful, fragrant carpet as millions of bluebells make the most of the first mild spring days to bloom at the feet of the forest’s majestic beech trees. Don’t miss this for the world!
The Logis and Floréal garden cities (Japanese cherry trees blossom in April)
Garden cities (a British concept from the beginning of the 20th century) were created to offer workers fulfilling living conditions that were in contact with nature. The Logis and Floréal garden cities offer streets lined with Japanese cherry blossom trees and beautiful little houses with small, flower-filled gardens. It’s a veritable postage stamp setting which has inspired many a filmmaker. The period of the year when the cherry trees blossom is a magical time to go for a stroll amidst the perfumed petals.
The van Buuren Museum Gardens
Now here’s a romantic walk! First you visit the superb Art Deco villa belonging to David and Alice van Buuren. Built in1928, all the original rare furniture, carpets, windows, sculptures and paintings by old masters are still present as they were, in this intimate private home that became a museum in 1975. Next you will discover the gardens, which are truly exceptional: the “Picturesque Garden”, the “Garden of Hearts” and a “Labyrinth” all make up a little green paradise in Brussels, which is superb whatever the season.
Jardin du Fleuriste du Stuyvenberg
A short stroll from the Laeken Royal palace, these gardens were another vision courtesy of King Léopold II. The majestic green stretch extended the Stuyvenberg domain. Since 1999 it has been a public park. Its different gardens reinterpret the site’s historical character with a refined modernity, while respecting the most stringent ecological standards. The high point of your visit will undoubtedly be the balconies that showcase a stunning panoramic view that stretches all the way to the Brussels Palace of Justice!
The Mont des Arts Garden
Located along Brussels’ north-south axis that links the lower, popular half of the city to the higher, aristocratic half, the Mont des Arts has a colourful past. The garden which was commissioned by King Léopold II for the Brussels International Exhibition of 1910 had disappeared before Expo 58 to make way for underground parking facilities. The new project has a wonderful line of plane trees that draw your gaze towards the City Hall of Brussels.
The Botanical Gardens of Brussels
The botanical gardens of Brussels were built at the beginning of the 19th century on the site of today’s Botanique, an unmissable cultural centre. Bought by the Belgian state in 1870, it was definitively moved out of the city, to the Bouchout domain, and became the Meise Botanical Gardens.
The current botanical gardens of Brussels was redesigned as a public park for Expo 58 and remains a site of huge botanical, architectural and artistic significance. You will find countless amazing species and one of the largest plane trees in Brussels.
The Petit Sablon Garden
A small flower garden in Flemish neo-renaissance style, the Petit Sablon Garden was renovated in 1890 along the new rue de la Régence. It’s a veritable open-air museum, with 10 statues adorning the garden’s gates that tell the story of Belgium in the 16th century through its great humanists.
Adjacent to Egmont Palace, where Brussels often hosts statesmen and women and ambassadors, is a hidden green portion with large trees and beautiful lawns. Egmont Park can be reached by the Marguerite Yourcenar path, which has a handful of philosophical thought engraved on its walls. The old orangery is now a restaurant with a very appealing terrace.
Cinquantenaire park and its pavilion were built to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Belgian independence. This green kingdom surrounds the arcade, the Royal Museums of Art and History, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, Autoworld and the Horta Pavillon.
Mini-map « flora walks »
This mini map guides visitors to all the horticultural marvels and green spaces that Brussels has to offer. It has more than 50 places and venues listed!
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For sale in the visit.brussels welcome centres at Brussels’ City Hall (Grand-Place) and in the BIP (2 rue Royale).