As the first signs of spring finally emerge, Brussels parks and lush green spaces are coming back to life. The warming rays of sun and the vibrant hues of blossoming trees signal a refreshing change after a dreary and grey winter.
Blessed with a diverse range of parks and green areas that span throughout different neighbourhoods of the city, it comes as no surprise that Brussels has earned its reputation as one of the greenest capitals in the European Union.
For those seeking to soak up the fresh air and green landscapes this spring, we have compiled an incomplete list of our favourite parks to inspire your next outing.
Royal Park/Brussels Park
Brussels Park, also known as the Royal Park, is the largest green oasis in the heart of the city. A double row of lime trees acts as a buffer, shielding the park from the busy streets nearby. It’s a must see park in Brussels. Don’t miss Muziekkiosk or Vaux Hall, where a variety of concerts are held throughout the summer. If you need a refreshment, head to Woodpecker or Kiosk Radio, which are open almost year-round.
The Botanical Garden of Brussels, formerly located on Rue Royale in the Saint-Josse-ten-Noode neighbourhood, was a popular recreational area for the bourgeoisie throughout the 19th century. The garden also served as a source of inspiration for artists, with the Belgian state commissioning various fountains and sculptures to stimulate creativity.
In fact, During his first visit to Brussels, in 1852, Victor Hugo declared the garden to be one of the city’s two unique wonders. However, in 1930s, it was decided to relocate the botanical gardens to Meise on the outskirts of the city and thus, Jardin Botanique was reduced in size.
Nowadays, the Orangerie ‑ the garden’ main building ‑ serves as a cultural complex and music venue known as Le Botanique.
Abbaye de la Cambre
Abbaye de La Cambre/Abdij Ter Kameren is a former abbey in the Ixelles area. Today, the abbey church serves as a Catholic parish and a home to a community of Norbertine canons, while other parts of the monastery house the National Geographic Institute and a prestigious visual arts school, La Cambre. However, it is the picturesque gardens of the abbey that steal the show – sprawling across multiple levels, they offering a feast for the senses. A visit is a must for anyone.
Citizens’ Garden is one of the newest additions to the Brussels’ park scene. It is well hidden, tucked away between premisses of the European Parliament and Museum Wiertz. Cultural activities are often organised on the grounds, such as summer concerts. It is also an ideal spot for some peaceful reading.
Parc du Cinquantenaire
This is one of most iconic landmarks in Brussels. Parc du Cinquantenaire or Jubelpark comprises of a vast set of gardens dotted with monuments and museums. It is dominated by a magnificent triumphal arch with a bronze quadriga atop.
Park Tenbosch is the 19th century brainchild of Jean‑Louis Semet and his gardener Hector Noyer, who aimed to create an arboretum of rare trees in Brussels. They carefully curated an assortment of remarkable trees and bushes, some of which were unparalleled in the city. This gem became a public park in 1981 – beloved to Brussels’ residents.
Square Frere Orban Park
Nestled in the heart of the EU Quarter, Square Frère Orban Park offers a tranquil escape from the bustling streets nearby. It is a well-kept secret among the lunchtime crowd of nearby offices.
Domaine Du Rouge Cloitre, Auderghem
Located in Auderghem, this domaine is a charming destination that takes you back in time to the 14th century. The scattered remains of the former monastery can still be found here, including the south wing, farm, barns, and stables. The domaine transports you into an another era and far, far away from reality into a land of pure relaxation and beauty. Great place for exploring with kids.
Bois de la Cambre
Covering an area of 123 hectares, Bois de la Cambre is an extension of the Sonian Forest. Designated as a special Natura 2000 protection area in 2004, it boasts over 80 exceptional trees that are listed in the Brussels‑Capital Region’s inventory of exceptional trees..
This urban oasis is a great place to relax with friends and family. During the summer months, it’s the ideal place to escape the heat and hustle-bustle of the city. It’s then that you see its vast lawns being taken over by groups of friends, families or colleagues enjoying a picnic, sunbathing, biking or jogging. While there, don’t miss a drink at Le Kiosque.
Located in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood of Brussels, Park Josaphat offers a beautiful mixture of luscious open lawns, massive trees and small ponds. While you’re there, find some great views of the city skyline and pathways lined with cherry trees in spring.
Nestled behind bustling city streets, Parc d’Egmont is easily the loveliest city park. The park is relatively small, but grab a book and a coffee and enjoy some local scenes and neighbourhood feel. The park is named after the Egmont Palace, which is located nearby.
The Kleine Zavel is a charming garden that was designed by architect Henri Beyaert and opened to the public in 1890. In the centre of the garden lies a fountain‑sculpture of Counts Egmont and Horne, who were symbols of resistance. This picturesque park is always worth a visit.
Parc de Wolvendael
Parc de Wolvendael dates back to the 13th century, when it was first mentioned. The modern‑day park stands on a slope of the Ukkelbeek valley. The site belonged to various owners who each contributed to its development.
Palais des Académies
Palais des Académies houses five Belgian academies including the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium. Its gardens have opened to public in 2021. In spring and summer, you may admire thousands of beautiful rose bulbs. It’s a perfect place to hide away from crowds on the warm summer days.
Jardins du Fleuriste du Stuyvenberg
One of our favourite Brussels’ parks. It is another well‑hidden gem in this city and you may easily miss it. We bet many of you do not even know about it. But the park and the skyline views leave everyone mesmerised, so we suggest that you explore it come spring and summer.
Jardin Jean‑Félix Hap
Hidden behind the wall, Jean‑Félix Hap Garden is undoubtedly the most beautiful park in Etterbeek. It offers its visitors the beauty and peacefulness. The brewer Albert‑Joseph Hap bought the site in 1804. In 2005, the Brussels‑Capital Region developed the parcel.
Park Élisabeth is located on the plateau of Koekelberg and presents a long network of walkways with a perspective of the Basilique du Sacré‑Coeur and Boulevard Leopold II with beautiful views.
Forêt de Soignes ‑ Zoniënwoud
Extending over an area of more than 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) at the southeast edge of Brussels, you can immerse into total calmness in the midst of magnificent woodlands as far as your eyes can reach.
Park van Tervuren
Located in the heart of Tervuren – so technically outside of Brussels region – and easily reachable with the tram 44 from the Montgomery tram station. It is a perfect escape from the city centre on any given day. Originally, the land was once the hunting estate of the Dukes of Brabant. Today it is also the home to the Royal Museum of Central Africa.
Park Léopold is a small green island in the heart of the European (EU) district. A must visit park, which houses the Museum of the Institute of Natural Sciences, House of European History and several EU institutions. This site used to be a Brussels’ zoo, which was then moved to Antwerp.
Park Duden is situated in the Forest neighbourhood of Brussels and not-surprisingly it offers a forest-like setting with slopes and meadows. One can also enjoy a must see panorama of Brussels from the highest point of the park.
Parc de Forest
Another perfect park for sunny days in the Forest area of Brussels. In fact, it is almost connected to Park Duden. Various slopes and hills offer spectacular views.
It once belonged to Georges Brugmann and nowadays, it is a municipal park that comprises a vast beech woodland.
Located in the neighbourhood of Watermael ‑ Boitsfort in the 19th century, Parc Tournay‑Solvay used to be a private garden of the Solvays, a prominent Belgian family.
Nowadays, the park exhibits the work of the artists associated with the European Space for Sculpture, an association dedicated to promoting the work of contemporary visual artists from the EU.
Parc Roi Baudouin
King Baudouin Park in Jette municipality was created in 1977 to protect the natural landscape of Brabant in the Brussels Region. This initiative enabled the creation of a landscape extending over more than 100 hectares and bringing together the vast beech woods of Laerbeek, Poelbos and Dieleghem, with meadows, marshland, ponds and grassy expanses.
Park of Laken
In the close vicinity of the Royal Estate, there is the Laeken Park. When there, you can stroll all the way to the Atomium but we like it the most for its wonderful views of downtown Brussels.
Parc du Viaduc / Viaduct Park
This Ixelles neighbourhood park is another hidden green space in the city. Recently it underwent refurbishment. The park offers pleasant pathways and the garden is well maintained. When you are there, do not miss to see the walkway next to the train tracks and which leads to the European Parliament.
Park Tour & Taxis
The park is a perfect place for jogging, exercising, meeting friends or simply for relaxing. Recently it has been extended all the way to Bockstael making it a great biking route for anyone living in this part of the city. One thing we love is a chance to enjoy unique views of the Brussels urban landscape and observe rapid development of this area of the city.
The National Botanic Garden of Belgium is located in Meise. It houses the largest greenhouse in Belgium. The gardens are a centre of excellence for research on tropical and European botany since 1930s. We highly recommend it!
Let us know if we’ve missed your favourite park/green space in the city. Also, if you head to our Instagram you can save this guide of green spaces and utilise the IG map for later reference.