Spring in Flanders
Winter is almost gone. Hello, springtime! There’s the food, the beer, the terraces, the cycling and the overall fantastic atmosphere. Here’s six must-do’s when you visit Flanders in springtime. See you there? Of course we will.

1. Home of cycling

Cycling - ©Steven Ledoux
The bergs, the cobbles, the history of heroics. Flanders truly is home of cycling. And springtime will remind you of that. Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Prijs and Gent-Wevelgem form a rollercoaster of exhilarating races. And then there’s the most glorious one of them all, on the Holiest of all Sundays: the Ronde van Vlaanderen. It turns regular cyclists into immortal heroes. Come and live through the making of history, at the cradle of cycling.

2. Artistic milestones

M-HKA - ©Peter Schoemans
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is not just a defining masterpiece of European art, it’s also history’s most stolen artwork. What’s not to love? The Ghent Altarpiece is being renovated as we speak. On the 3rd of May the first results will be presented to the public. A must for art lovers. And that’s not Flanders only artistic milestone, this spring. The Museum of Contemporary Arts in Antwerp (M HKA) also has great news. The 27th of April is the official opening of its permanent collection. That contains a selection of essentials works of contemporary arts by internationally acclaimed artists such as Jan Fabre, Luc Tuymans and Panamarenko.

3. Stroll in the king's garden

Royal Green houses - ©Olivier Polet
Flanders is renowned for its picturesque outdoors: a perfect spot to smell nature’s finest aroma’s. Throughout the land you’ll find plenty of forests, parks and heathers to enjoy. But this time of year, our king himself will invite you to his personal patch of nature. Because the 14th of April, he opens his Royal Greenhouses to the public. Everyone can visit them until the 5th of May. And then they’re back to private for a whole year. A unique chance, in other words. Stroll through the glass city with blooming azalea, rotundas, cupolas and a magnificent collection of exotic plants, trees and flowers.

4. Festivities for foodies

Food - ©Kris Jacobs
Gastronomy is in Flanders’ DNA, it’s as simple as that. In spring we emphasize our love of flavours with some fantastic festivals. In March there’s the Antwerp Chocolate Week and in May there’s Taste of Antwerp, on a stunning location next to the river Scheldt. Ghent offers an alternative - or an addition, it depends on how you look at it – with Gent Smaakt. If you’re a fan of all things exotic, you can visit the traveling food truck festival Barrio Cantina. And if you’re a sweet tooth, make a note for the 25th of March: World Waffle Day. I can’t think of a better place to celebrate it than here.

5. Celebrate our liquid gold

Oude Markt in Leuven, beer - ©Milo Profi
We pretty much invented beer – you’re welcome! – and that’s an invention we love to celebrate. In springtime we do that with a couple of fantastic beer festivals, celebrating our flavoursome heritage. Come and bow for our nectar at the amazing Leuven Beer Weekend, get to know some specialties at Toer de Geuze and then go back to Leuven for a selection of what’s new at the Innovation Beer Festival. And last but not least: the return of ‘terrasjesweer’ (which means ‘terrace weather’). Those first rays of sunshine are a signal to go out, enjoy the weather and have a sip outdoors. Oh boy, can’t wait.

6. Where heritage meets history

Holy Blood Procession
Flanders is above all a region of extraordinary heritage. Bruges is a great example of that, especially in May. That’s when the annually The Procession of the Holy Blood is held. That’s a devout remembrance of the suffering of Jesus Christ. The centrepiece is the showing of a relic of the blood of Jesus himself. A unique experience, ideal to combine with a visit to Bruges historic monuments such as its cathedral, belfry and Church of our Lady.
Want to find even more springtime activities in Flanders. Check it out here.
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