Home CULTURE Top 5 things to do in Belgium this Spring

Top 5 things to do in Belgium this Spring

Spring has sprung (or so we hope) so it’s a good time to highlight some of the best “outdoor” attractions in Brussels and Wallonia.

by Staff Reporter
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This website has selected (and in no particular order) a “top 5” of the best seasonal things to do now that Spring has arrived.

First, why not get out of the city and delight in the first wild hyacinths in Hallerbos, near Braine l’Alleud?
Each Spring, this wonderful wood is transformed into a purple floral carpet as millions of bluebells blossom.

Locals and even tourists flock to the 250 hectare wood for the arrival of the blue bells and what normally symbolises spring’s arrival.

The annual spectacle, draws between 60,000 and 80,000 visitors every year. Visitors must stay on marked paths.
Elsewhere, Dinant Evasion has reopened for the season with a range of activities, including a descent of the River Lesse by kayak on either the Gendron-Anseremme route (12 km) or the longer Houyet-Anseremme course (21 km).

Currently, access to the Lesse is under certain conditions due to the water level.The minimum age for a kayak trip is currently 12 years but it is hoped this will be cut to 5 years.There are also guided caving initiations.

Cruises on the River Meuse are also on the agenda. These depart from the famous Dinant Croisette and travel through the heart of the Meuse valley. Cruises are either 45 min or 2 hours and run every weekend in April and daily from May,
New this year is an accommodation offer, “Village du Caillou” which comprises eight apartments.

Nearer to Brussels, the Domain of the Battle of Waterloo has celebrated the start of its tourist season and a new cultural programme with a festive weekend of guided tours and activities.

A horse-drawn carriage takes visitors to the Hougoumont farm where a farmer and the animals of the educational farm await.

The site, on route du Lion, Braine l’Alleud, is more easily accessible now with the arrival of a special shuttle service called ‘navette 1815’.

Of course, Belgians love their café and restaurant terrace and the good news is that one such attraction has just reopened for the season at Bagheera, a pleasant restaurant in Uccle.

After being shut for winter, its large terrace, which can seat up to 60 people, is back in business.

As terraces go, it is probably one of the best in the city as it backs directly onto the delightful Bois de la Cambre.It makes for an ideal setting to enjoy, maybe, a cocktail or lunch created by the resto’s relatively new chef, Swiss-born Romain Longchamp, aged 30, who was previously sous chef at a nearby 2-star resto.

There are a couple of lunch options, a 2 course priced €29 and 3 course at €37 and the menu changes regularly so as to reflect the availability of the best seasonal products. Named after the Jungle Book character the resto’s modest façade belies an exciting and spacious interior.

The terrace is furnished with comfy soft benches and nicely decorated with elegant parasols which are reminiscent of trendy establishments in the south of France. It all makes for a pleasant setting to enjoy a good and eclectic meal (the chef is heavily into healthy eating and the use of vegetables in his dishes), hopefully in the sun. Worth noting this place also offers live music and a DJ until about 2am every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There’s also a large table which can be used for private events.

Try eating or drinking on its quiet and peaceful terrace and you forget you’re so close to Brussels (it has excellent transport links to the city centre).

Still in Brussels – and also new for the spring – is this year’s Iris Festival. A host of events and activities await visitors, with the Iris Tipik Electro Night, the Iris Festival in the Communes, the Iris Food Corner and the themed villages. It’s a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the capital from new angles.

On 6 unusual guided tours punctuate the day, including in the European Quarter and will end with the unmissable Iris Tipik Electro Night, which transforms Place des Palais into a genuine open-air dance floor. On May 7 the Royal Quarter and Brussels Park will be filled with a host of original activities to honour the region and vsitors will have the opportunity to treat themselves to a little culinary escapade at the Iris Food Corner, marvel at the performances of talented street artists and take their little ones to discover the Iris Kids Village, located on Place du Musée.

Because the Brussels-Capital Region is nothing without its communes, the Iris Festival is honouring seven of them. The participating communes are as follows: Anderlecht, Etterbeek, Ganshoren, Ixelles, Saint-Gilles, Saint-Josse and Schaerbeek. Many secret or usually closed sites, including several Art Nouveau buildings, will open their doors to the public. A number of activities will also be held.

Info:
www.dinant-evasion.be
www.bagheerarestaurant.com
www.irisfestival.brussels

La bataille de Waterloo 1815

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