There are many reasons why autumn is a good time of year to visit Belgium. One of them is the fact that the cities and countryside are bathed in stunning autumnal colors. The leaves begin to blush from green to orange, and the low light levels make the countryside look beautiful.
If you go to Belgium in October, you're going during one of the “shoulder months”. That means it’s on the edge of the tourist season. This makes it an ideal time to visit Belgium, as the number of tourists will be much lower, and prices generally drop
The availability of accommodation and travel is much better than summer, although it is still, as always, a good idea to book in advance.
One of the best things about Belgium is its manageable size, meaning you can cover quite a few destinations over the course of one trip. Cities like Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp are all close enough for day trips, and you can easily venture into nature from wherever you decide to base yourself.
Weather in Belgium in October
Belgium does have a bit of a reputation to uphold when it comes to weather and temperature, and as the country transitions from summer to autumn, you should prepare yourself for wet weather. The weather in October in Belgium generally includes about 19 days of rain on average, so make sure you pack that raincoat. However, there is plenty of sun and dry weather to enjoy at this time of year too, with an average of four hours of sunshine a day.
As for the temperature in Belgium in October, you should expect an average high temperature of 15°C / 59°F during the day, and an average low temperature of 8°C / 46°F at night.
Things to do in Belgium in October
October’s a great time of year to take a guided river tour. You can find tours like this all over the country but one fun option is a boat tour on the River Scheldt in Flanders – Rivertours offer some good routes.
There are indoor and outdoor areas on the boat and a tour guide giving live information through speakers. A relaxing way to travel across the country and learn about its flora, fauna, landscapes, and history.
Those looking for something a bit more high energy might be interested to know that the Brussels Marathon happens in October each year! If running is your thing, the route takes in a large part of the capital, starting in Brussels park. A half marathon and a kids marathon are held at the same time.
October is the start of wild game hunting season in Belgium, and you might spot extended menus featuring meats like boar, venison, guinea fowl, pigeon, and more. If you like the idea of trying some wild game, there are loads of top quality restaurants. In Brussels alone, you could head to a brasserie like Volle Gas or a classic eaterie like La Manufacture.
What to wear in Belgium in October
As the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, it’s recommended that you pack clothes for all types of weather. Levels of rainfall are high compared to the summer months, so as well as a rain mac, a foldable umbrella is a handy accessory for days when the skies look as if they might deceive you.
It won’t just be rainy weather though, so bring a mixture of warm and cool clothing to layer up. You might want a few jumpers and a hat, so you’re prepared for low temperatures too.
Events in Belgium in October
In Liège, a city on the Meuse river in Wallonia, the first Saturday of October gives way to the famous Nocturne des Coteaux event. This is a magical evening where the city and surrounding landscape is lit up.
There are 20,000 candles lighting up the famous 374-step stone staircase of Montagne de Bueren, and all the courtyards and alleyways of the city are illuminated. There are special animations, light shows, and musical concerts too. One not to miss.
Celebrate gin (or more specifically, jenever) in all its glory at the Hasseltse Jeneverfeesten. This takes place on the third weekend of October in Hasselt, just one hour east of Brussels, Belgium.
Go back 150 years and there were over 180 distillers of jenever in Hasselt, a number that has dwindled massively since. This is made up for with this one-weekend event.
Make sure you get there for 3 pm when a bronze fountain called Het Borrelmanneke (“The Barrel Man”) briefly stops spouting water and instead flows with gin for punters to drink!
If you’re into your cinema, you might want to make your trip coincide with the Ghent Film Festival which takes place in October. Ghent is a cultural honey pot at the best of times but for this 10-day event the city hosts screenings of over 200 shorts and feature-length films, exhibitions on cinema, and a high-profile awards ceremony.
The international event has a unique focus on the role of music in film, so there are concerts for film music too.
Places to visit in Belgium in October
There’s never a bad time of year to visit a museum, but between mid-September and early December, several of Brussels’ top museums open their doors till late in the evening each Thursday night. Not only can you loiter for as long as you like (well, until 10 pm) but they also host extra activities, events, and exhibits for this time only.
Autumn’s in the air and the trees look gorgeous – perfect for exploring. Head to the Jardins d’Ô in the Viroin valley of south Wallonia for some memorable autumnal scenes. You can roam to your heart’s content and discover picturesque waterfalls, lakes, canals, and woodlands. It’s even possible to hire a little row-boat for the day!
The valley is based at the confluence of the Eau Blanch and Eau Noire rivers and there are plenty of walking routes that look stunning at this time of year.
Want even more inspiration? Check out these fun things to do in Belgium.
This is just a smattering of ideas. October is generally considered a great time to visit the country, being out of tourist season and with fairly mild weather. Enjoy!
Where to stay in Belgium
With so much to do in Belgium, it's a good idea to stay for a while. I almost always use Booking.com for accommodation. It has an extensive list of hotel, apartment, and guesthouse options for all budgets and needs.
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets canceled, you get sick or hurt abroad, and sometimes even when your electronics break or get stolen. I always make sure I'm covered every trip I go on.
Don't have travel insurance yet? Check out SafetyWing. They offer super flexible plans that you can even sign up for while you're already on your trip. On top of that, they were the first travel insurance to cover COVID, and when I got COVID, they reimbursed all of my expenses without making a fuss. Their customer support team is great and I can personally recommend them.
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