The summer sunshine is still sticking around for a few weeks when you visit Belgium in September and temperatures are generally warm and comfortable. This and the fact that kids are back at school and most Belgians back at work, make it a great month to visit.
You’ll also find that museums are emptier, and accommodation and restaurants are much less full. This means prices drop down and services are not overstretched. September is considered a ‘shoulder month’ – because July and August are peak tourist season, while September holds much of their appeal but is a little bit quieter.
Weather in Belgium in September
Belgian weather in September is, like most months, a mixed bag. You’ll get a bit of rain, but there’s a high likelihood you’ll see a few weeks of the last of the summer sun too! The average high temperature is 19°C / 66°F, which is what you’ll experience during the day, while the average low temperature is 11°C / 52°F (at night).
The days are a little shorter than in August, with on average five hours of sunshine each day. There are roughly 17 days of rainfall in September.
Things to do in Belgium in September
One of the best quintessential Belgian experiences is eating mussels in the sun, and it’s finally the right time of year to do that. According to an age-old saying, you should only eat mussels when there is an “r” in the name of the month, because of breeding and fishing periods.
So now it’s September, moules frites here we come! You’ll find mussels on pretty much any and every restaurant menu throughout the country, from fine dining in Brussels to rough and ready street eateries in rural towns.
Note: mussels have become available earlier every year but some people still refer to that saying.
September temperatures make it also a great time for camping. Because it’s still tourist season, there are some amazing campsites in Belgium for low to high budgets but you should still try to book ahead to get a place at the site of your choice.
It's an amazing opportunity to explore new areas and experience nature at the same time!
What to wear in Belgium in September
There’s no set dress code but you’ll probably want to use layers to be ready for any temperature September decides to throw at you. The weather can be a bit variable so you should dress for the day for the probability of warm temperature but the possibility of rain.
Pack a day bag and put in a sweater and a raincoat so you’re prepared for any weather.
Events in Belgium in September
September is action-packed when it comes to events! As usual, you can expect to see local events that are specific to different towns and cities, but there are also a couple of large regional celebrations that take place in September too that are a perfect way to make the most of the high temperatures.
Across the French-speaking part of southern Belgium, the Festival of Wallonia (Fêtes de Wallonie) takes place. The city of Namur is its epicenter, which attracts as many as 250 thousand people each year for the festivities!
The Festival of Wallonia remembers and celebrates the country’s independence which took place in September 1830, when Belgium officially became a country. This is also marked by French Community Day which is the 27th September (although it’s good to bear in mind that the wider festivities vary date-wise year to year).
The celebrations began in 1923 and are now a staple part of the region’s traditions. Today, they include a heartwarming mass and traditional dances by the famous folkloric dance group the Frairie des Masuis et Cotelis Jambois.
This is also where you’ll witness a hilarious tradition called the “Combat de l’Echasse d’Or” (the Fight for the Golden Stilt). On Place St Aubain in Namur, two groups of contestants stand opposite each other wearing stilts. They then have to launch themselves into battle and push the other side off their stilts by only using their own stilts or their elbows. The aim is to be the last one standing.
Brussels is home to some great events in September. If you’re into your food, then you’ll be delighted to hear that for four days every September, Brussels Royal Park transforms into a culinary celebration of top gastronomy. The event is called “Eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux” and chefs from Brussels and beyond are invited to set up pop-up kitchens to serve up their own signature dishes.
There’s the popular “Wine Pass” which means you can play at being a sommelier and try a wide range of Bordeaux wines. As well as eating and drinking, you can take part in workshops and learn more about the world of gourmet food.
For those that find this a bit too fancy, there’s also the famous Belgian Beer Festival which takes over Brussels Grote Markt (Grand Place), one of the most beautiful town squares in the world.
There’s a very good reason that Belgium is known worldwide for its beer production, and this gives the ideal opportunity to sample many fine Belgian beers, from a wide range of different sized breweries.
The Belgian Grand Prix has been taking place at the beginning of September as part of the Formula One World Championship ever since 1925, and you can attend the race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps racecourse (often thought of as the best course for its beautiful scenery). It’s renowned for its unpredictable weather, with drivers often driving through sun and rain on the same circuit.
There was a time in the race’s past where the Belgian Grand Prix had experienced rainy weather for 20 years in a row.
Every second Sunday of September the people of Tournai turn out onto the streets in a colorful and elaborate procession that’s not to miss if you’re in the area. This is the Grand Historical Procession of Tournai (also known as the Procession of Our Lady of the Infirm, or the Procession of the Plague). It is a reverential remembrance of the end of the Plague that took place in 1092.
You can witness the treasures of the cathedral solemnly taken through the city, serenaded by music and choirs.
Places to visit in Belgium in September
With the last few weeks of warm temperature and summer weather, there are so many places that are fantastic to visit at this time of year. Something it’s really good to be aware of is that in September, a great number of heritage sites are made available for free entry if you know when and where to go.
So first on your list of where to visit in Belgium at this time are some of the country’s sites of historic interest.
In Flanders, the Open Monumentendag takes place on the second Sunday. Throughout Flanders, hundreds of historic destinations open their doors free of charge and create special experiences for sight-seers to enjoy.
The idea is also to make the public aware of what goes into the maintenance and conservation of these special places.
Wallonia has its own equivalent with its Cultural Heritage Days (“Journées du Patrimoine”) which give members of public the chance to see behind closed doors of places they wouldn’t normally get the chance, from listed properties to stunning parks. Brussels has a similar opening of heritage sites.
While the temperature is warm and the weather hasn’t plunged into autumn, it’s possibly the best time of the year to travel to the city of Dinant. This city on the River Meuse is around 90 km / 56 miles to the south-east of Brussels.
It’s a must-see for its remarkable geography and more specifically, geology. It’s wedged low down in a deep-side valley at the foot of an impressive rockface. You definitely won’t want to forget your camera to catch the gorgeous September light reflecting the Dinant town-scape low on the water.
Want even more inspiration? Check out these fun things to do in Belgium.
If you had been wondering what to do in Belgium in September, from beer-tasting in Brussels to sightseeing in Dinant, this post should get some ideas swimming around.
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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