Here’s why you should visit Flanders in springtime
Winter has come to an end and the smell of spring is in the air! This is the perfect time in Flanders to enjoy great food, a good glass of beer, the terraces, heroic cycling races and much more. Here’s six must-do’s when you visit Flanders in springtime. See you there? Of course we will!
1. Home of cycling
Mountains, cobbles, and duels on two wheels – Flanders truly is the home of cycling. And springtime will remind you of that.
Competitions such as Dwars door Vlaanderen, the E3 Prijs, and Gent-Wevelgem form an exhilarating rollercoaster of races and then there is the greatest classic of them all, on the Holiest of all Sundays: the Tour of Flanders. It’s a race that turns ordinary cyclists into immortal heroes. Come and live through the making of history, at the cradle of cycling.
This spring you can experience not one, but two triennials in Flanders. At the end of March, Beaufort 2018 will begin, which is the sixth edition of this art triennial on the Flemish coast. International artists will create an artistic trail along the coastline of the North Sea. From this spring onwards, Bruges will again be dominated by ‘Liquid City’, the central theme of the Bruges triennial. Springing up around the historic city centre will be impressive constructions by contemporary artists and architects; they will formulate their answers to the consequences of the ‘liquid’ society in which we live.
3. Stroll in the king's garden
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 invites you to his personal patch of nature. On 20 April, he will once again open his Royal Greenhouses to the public, which can be visited until 11 May before they once more become private for another year. In other words, this is a unique chance! Stroll through the glass city with blooming azalea, rotundas, cupolas and a magnificent collection of exotic plants, trees and flowers.
4. Festivities for foodies
Gastronomy is in Flanders’ DNA, it’s as simple as that. In spring we celebrate our love of flavours with some fantastic festivals. In March there’s the Antwerp Chocolate Week and in May there’s Taste of Antwerp, held in a stunning location next to the river Scheldt. Ghent offers an alternative – or an addition, depending on how you look at it – with Gent Smaakt. And if you have a sweet tooth, make a note in your diary for the 25th of March: World Waffle Day. There’s no better place to celebrate it than here!
5. Celebrate our liquid gold
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 pay homage to the beer at the amazing Leuven Beer Weekends, with a selection of what’s new at the Innovation Beer Festival or get to know some lambic and gueuze specialties at Toer de Geuze near Brussels. And finally, 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 drink outdoors.
6. An ode to the diamond capital
Antwerp is the capital of the diamond. These precious stones have been traded there since at least 1447. As soon as the first diamond industry began, it marked the start of a beautiful story, and one that is far from over. From 7 May, the new DIVA will pay tribute to the Antwerp diamond. This magnificent experience museum will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the unparalleled craftsmanship behind those sparkling stones and the fascinating stories that flow from them.
7. Where heritage meets history
Flanders is above all a region of extraordinary heritage. Bruges is a great example of that, especially in May. That’s when the annual The Procession of the Holy Blood is held, 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.
Story created on March 20, 2018