You already know that the Netherlands are famous for their blossoming springtime tulips. Those endless colorful fields (and associated activities and events) have drawn American tourists for decades.
But these same tourists have often mistakenly overlooked neighboring Belgium, which boasts its own flower-centric festivities – most notably, Floralia Brussels. The blooms in Brussels are lesser known, but not of lesser quality, and should be on any Europhile’s travel bucket list.
Whether you travel to Brussels exclusively, or add a stop there one to a longer European visit, we have all the information you need in our insider’s guide to the Floralia Brussels flower festival:
What is Floralia Brussels?
Floralia Brussels is an annual flower festival held on the grounds of Kasteel van Groot-Bijgaarden (in English, the Groot-Bijgaarden Castle), just a few short miles from downtown Brussels, Belgium. Dating from the 17th Century, the castle features an extensive garden and greenhouse, where expert gardeners plant more than one million flower bulbs by hand in anticipation of the big event.
What are the dates of the festival?
The next Floralia Brussels is scheduled to run from April 2 to May 3, 2022.
What can you see at Floralia Brussels?
The Castle gardens and greenhouses will be in full bloom, with tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths leading the charge. More than 400 varieties of tulips alone will be on display. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Castle and related buildings itself.
Is there anything interesting to know about Groot-Bijgaarden Castle?
Absolutely! The castle is a destination in and of itself. Lords and ladies have lived on the grounds of Groot-Bijgaarden since 1110, while the main structure that you see today was built in the 17th Century. The area is surrounded by a moat. The nearly 100-foot tall tower near the caste’s fortified entrance was built in 1347 and you can still climb it today for a panoramic view of the Atomium and Brussels.
Where should I stay while visiting Brussels?
Brussels has multiple 4 and 5-star hotels to offer. The Sofitel Brussels Le Louise sits in the heart of the high-end shopping district and has a restaurant whose menu was created my Michelin-starred French chef Isabelle Arpin. Enjoy a cocktail on their sprawling, sunny terrace – a perfect springtime activity.
Another luxury option is Hotel Amigo, part of the Rocco Forte family of hotels. Amigo is located in Brussels’ Old Town, just steps away from the famed Grand Place. Rooms and suites are unique and exquisitely decorated with works by local artists, contemporary furniture, and classic European charm. The Grand Place Suite comes with a private outdoor terrace and views of the surrounding historic buildings.
Are there any other flower-centric events taking place in Brussels?
Absolutely! If you can’t make it to Europe this spring, but still want to see an epic flower festival, plan for a visit to Brussels in August for the Flower Carpet – a tapestry of more than one million flowers weaved to create a work of art in the Grand Place. The biennial event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID, but is set to be back on for 2022.
Another option is a tour of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. For a few weeks every spring, the Belgian Royal Family opens their enormous greenhouses and surrounding gardens to the public. The royal botanical collection on display dates to the 1800s, and includes native and African varietals.
Where should I go next if I’d like to take a longer European vacation?
One of Brussels’ biggest advantages is its close proximity to other top European destinations. Both Paris and Amsterdam are just a little more than a two-hour train ride away, as is London via the high-speed Eurostar.
Other nearby cities include Cologne, Germany and Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. And don’t forget that Belgium itself has numerous great cities and towns to visit, including Bruges and Ghent, all easily reachable by first-class train or private car from Brussels.
Our Flowers in Spring custom luxury tour will take you from Amsterdam to Paris via Belgium – a complete, guided experience through this ideal springtime destination.
How to book your Floralia Brussels getaway
Now that you’re familiar with the insider’s guide to the Floralia Brussels flower festival, it’s the right time to reserve your flights, entrance tickets, lodging, and other trip essentials to ensure your spot for spring 2022. Lugos Travel will guide you through creating a personalized, high-end vacation that fits your own travel style – start planning today!