The Best Time Of Year To Experience Belgium's Spectacular Festivals

A European adventure often means exploring the continent's largest countries. While iconic European cities and larger countries are certainly exciting, those searching for a smaller destination to enjoy packed with just as much charm, history, and culture can find it waiting for them in Belgium. According to WorldData, Belgium is the 19th smallest country in all of Europe and the 141st smallest in the world.

Whether you're a traveler with a passion for flavors, architecture, or a rich blend of cultural influences, Belgium has something exciting for you. It's a country that boasts palate-pleasing experiences, thanks in large part to a world-class chocolate scene. There are also specialties to be savored like Belgian waffles, and a variety of globally-renowned beers produced here too.

WorldOMeter puts Belgium's population at just over 11.7 million residents, but the country's many landmarks draw in plenty of tourists. From the iconic Belfry of Bruges to the Cathedral Of Our Lady in Antwerp and The Gravensteen in Ghent, the options for discovery are vast. On average, Statista puts Belgium's annual number of visitors coming to enjoy the sights at around 8.7 million.

A Belgium-bound vacation any time of year is worth a traveler's while. However, those who are interested in participating in some of the country's most beloved festivals will want to make more specific seasonal plans. From film festivals to gatherings focused on music and food, knowing the best time of year to make the most of the fun can make all the difference.

Fall festivals travelers will find fascinating

Fall is a fantastic time of year to visit Belgium for those who are looking to enjoy milder weather. According to Climates to Travel, average temperatures in the month of September in places like Brussels linger around 59.4 degrees Fahrenheit. It's also considered a shoulder season which means visitors can typically enjoy sightseeing and festival-going while contending with fewer crowds.

If you happen to make your way to Belgium in the fall, you'll be just in time to enjoy the Festival of Wallonia. Visit Wallonia states this festival is held every year in September and is a celebration of the country's independence as well as the intriguing Walloon identity. The heart of the celebration happens in Namur and festival highlights include stilt-walking, beer tasting, traditional dances, and a mass held in Walloon just to name a few.

Fall is also the season for cinema enthusiasts to enjoy the Ghent Film Festival. This is an October festival highlight that, according to the Ghent Film Festival website, is designed to promote the best of visual culture and filmmaking to a broad audience. It's also described as the largest film festival of its kind in the country.

Sensational spring festivals to check out while you're here

Belgium is a great place for travelers to explore in the spring. Climates to Travel estimates the highs to be around 50 degrees Fahrenheit this time of year. It's also one of the driest seasons making it an inviting opportunity for outdoor festival fun.

Visitors with a passion for all things tasty will find spring is the time to enjoy the Zythos Beer Festival. This April event is hosted in Kortrijk and according to theĀ Zythos Beer Festival website, the festival hosts approximately 700 beer companies. The website designates the festival as a Belgian craft beer showcase that welcomes visitors from more than 30 countries annually.

If music is what moves you, a spring trip should include a stop at the Brussels Jazz Marathon. Hosted every May, this jazz festival fills up a weekend with free concerts for locals and guests alike. According to the Carnifest website, this festival features Blues, Jazz, and World Music concerts held in local bars, clubs, and public squares across the city. There's no cost to attend and free shuttles are available to take visitors between performance areas.

When you have time to spare for travel, a trip to Belgium is bound to be inspiring. If you have a fondness for festivals, there's even more to enjoy. When you're picking the perfect time of year for the experience, a spring or fall getaway in this direction is always a good choice.