When is the best time to travel to Belgium?
Just like the Netherlands next door, Belgium has a maritime climate with mild summers and often rainy winters. In fact, it can rain throughout the year, but temperatures are rarely extreme. Depending on what your interests are, any time of year offers advantages and disadvantages, so you’re never at a loss of things to do. Most of the castle hotels are open year round, with a few closing in the winter months.
The main tourist season runs from April to mid-October, with July and August being the peak. In the middle of summer you can expect comfortable weather as a backdrop to plenty of outdoor festivals and activities. Hotels can be crowded—especially in the Ardennes—so make reservations early if you have your heart set on a particular accommodation.
Prices don’t really drop during the shoulder seasons, roughly April through June and September through October, but still, it’s a great time to visit. Hotels, museums, and attractions are still open and less crowded.
November through February is generally cold and wet. On the coast you can expect rainy days, but in the Ardennes you can give cross country skiing a try. During some especially cold winters, the lakes and canals in Bruges and Ghent can freeze over, creating a new venue for ice skating!
Special times of year are during the pre-Lenten carnival season in February or March when Belgium can boast some of the best festivities in Europe and in October in the Ardennes when the leaves burst into gorgeous fall colors.