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10 Things to Do in Brussels in August

Visiting Brussels in August is a fabulous idea. The city is full of fun activities in outdoor spaces. Here are all the details you need to know for your visit.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

10 Things to Do in Brussels in August

Sunset on Mont des Arts, Brussels | ©Najib Samatar

The month of August in Brussels is the hottest and most touristy month of the year. International tourists take advantage of the good weather and the summer atmosphere to visit the city, but the same Belgian tourists also decide to make internal trips. Many of them are mobilized by the large number of events all over Belgium.

Thus, Brussels maintains a constant festive atmosphere throughout the month, and has exhibitions, concerts, festivals and shows for all tastes. If you still don't know what to see and do in Brussels in August, I leave you this post with all the information.

1. Enjoy the most original festival: The Flower Carpet Festival

Flower Carpet Festival| ©Ivanphoto
Flower Carpet Festival| ©Ivanphoto

The Flower Carpet is one of the biggest traditions in Brussels. The first time the event was held was in 1971 and, since then, every August this huge floral tapestry is created and is quite a spectacle. Without a doubt, it is one of the best things to see in the center of Brussels in this month.

It may seem like a lot of work, but the carpet is assembled on the Grand Place in just 4 hours. The flower of choice is always the begonia, and they are brought especially from the city of Ghent. The design changes every year according to different inspirations and is a spectacle of light and color.

This work of art lasts only 3 days in the square and access to the carpet is free. If you want a slightly more privileged view, tickets are sold for the balcony of the Brussels City Hall, where you can see this incredible creation from a wider perspective.

Book a guided tour of Brussels

2. Listen to the best music at the Brussels Summer Festival

Brussels Summer Festival| ©bsfestival
Brussels Summer Festival| ©bsfestival

Brussels Summer Festival has become the music event of the summer par excellence. Also called BSF, it is a great pop music festival that brings together a wide variety of talents from the worlds of hip-hop, electro, techno and more.

Organized for the first time in 2002, it stages Belgian and international artists in the heart of the city. There are vouchers for days or for the entire festival, but in both cases I recommend you book your tickets in advance as they sell out quickly.

If you are visiting Brussels in August, you can attend this festival that has four stages spread around the museum area, a site with recognized cultural heritage of the capital. While you dance and enjoy the music, you will have the view of the Royal Palace or the Royal Library. An event you will not forget during your visit to the city.

3. Relax on the beaches

Ostend Beach| ©Ignacio F
Ostend Beach| ©Ignacio F

The beaches of Brussels are not those of crystal clear waters and fine white sand. But, with the heat of August, many tourists decide to take the opportunity to dive into the sea of the Belgian coast.

I recommend spending the afternoon at the seaside, especially at sunset. You can watch the sunset while enjoying an authentic Belgian beer and a pot of fresh mussels.

If you want to go for a swim in the Belgian waters, you can reach it comfortably from the city, as the streetcar connections are very convenient. In addition, some cities are very well connected by train, saving you even more time in transfers. Here is a list of the best options along its 68 kilometers of coastline.

Ostend Beach

It is one of the most famous and where you can find many bunkers, walls and fences of the World War. Its particular charm is due to the large sand dunes. It is one of the favorite beaches for those who love surfing.

Knokke-Heist beach

This beach is characterized by having a higher level because it is surrounded by luxury homes. It is located right next to the natural park of Zwin, where you can find a great variety of flora and fauna.

De Haan and Blankenberge beaches

This is, without a doubt, my favorite. The water is the clearest and the sand is the softest, compared to the previous ones on the list. In addition, the gastronomic offer is varied and reasonably priced.

4. Continue the celebrations at the Boombal Festival

People at the Boombal Festival| ©Bombal
People at the Boombal Festival| ©Bombal

The Boombal Festival is an event that offers the best of folk dance music in Europe and is the most appreciated folk dance festival in Belgium. During the 4 days of the festival, traditional music written by Belgium's best local singer-songwriters is presented.

This event is considered a reference for all those who are part of the folk music world. In addition to the music, the environment becomes perfect with all the lights and bonfires that are raised on these dates. So do not hesitate to buy your ticket and share this celebration with whoever you want during your visit to Brussels.

5. Enjoy the best terraces in Brussels

Terrace of the MIM| ©Maria A
Terrace of the MIM| ©Maria A

August in Brussels lends itself to spending as much time as possible outdoors. Whether it's time for lunch or just a beer, we want to do it with a nice view and in comfortable places.

If you are like me and love to enjoy the summer, don't settle for closed places and take note of these places with the best terraces in the city.

Terrace of the MIM

The Museum of Musical Instruments is one of the most famous in the city of Brussels. In fact, its Art Nouveau style dazzles everyone who passes by its facade. But it is not only its architecture, the rooftop of this building is becoming very popular because of its terrace and the panoramic view of the rooftops of the city that we can enjoy from there.

  • Where: Rue Montagne de la Cour 2, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Café Merlo

Café Merlo is a great bar that contains different details that make it a must on your visit to Brussels. Its wooden facade and its modern interior generate a contrast that attracts all visitors who walk around the area.

  • Where: Quai aux Briques 80, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Café Le Fontainas

This delicate café is a special place to take advantage of those hot days. Café Le Fontainas has a large terrace with chairs and tables, and a quiet and pleasant atmosphere.

It owes its name to the drinking water fountain in front of the café, called "La Fontaine Saint-Jacques", in reference to the Saint Jacques neighborhood.

  • Where: Rue du Marché au Charbon Kolenmarkt 91, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

Le Plattesteen

This place is a very busy beer garden for locals in the city of Brussels. Le Plattesteen has a terrace that is practically full all day long, but has an incomparable atmosphere if you are lucky enough to get a table.

  • Where: Rue du Marché au Charbon 41.

Suspended Gardens

This building is only open during the summer season, so August is perfect for a visit. This terrace is full of umbrellas and extremely comfortable chairs to make you feel on vacation and enjoy the best tapas menu.

  • Where: Rue du Marché aux Poulets 7, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

6. Take a trip to Bruges and enjoy the Klinkers

Enjoy walking through the streets of Bruges.| ©Dan Visan
Enjoy walking through the streets of Bruges.| ©Dan Visan

During the first days of August, the Klinkers Music Festival takes place in the city of Bruges, only 1 hour away from Brussels.

The aim of this event is to bring artists from all over the world on stage, related to the traditional rhythms of different cultures, such as flamenco, fado, rumba, or Cuban salsa.

This massive event takes place in different special places in the city of Bruges: in front of the facades of the City Hall on the epic Burg Square, at the Gruthuse Museum and in Astridpark.

Book an excursion to Bruges from Brussels

7. Discover new music at the Pukkelpop festival

Pukkelpop| ©BelgiumVis
Pukkelpop| ©BelgiumVis

Pukkelpop is an alternative music festival that lasts 4 full days. This event is known worldwide as the pioneer of the music festival trend and has grown so much year after year that, nowadays, it is one of the most popular in Belgium.

To attend the festival you must go to Hasselt-Kiewit, about 1 hour from the city of Brussels. I advise you to be part of these special dates in your visit to the city in August and enjoy the great offer of alternative music, recognized for its progressive and contemporary character.

8. Keep dancing at the Dranouter Festival

Enjoying the Dranouter Festival| ©Jotawi
Enjoying the Dranouter Festival| ©Jotawi

On the first weekend in August, the village of Dranouter is considerably crowded, as the Dranouter Festival is attended by around 80,000 people every year. During the festival, great artists perform at the largest folk and electronic music festival of its kind in Europe.

Dranouter is a four-day folk festival that has been growing in popularity since the 1980s. The particularity of this experience is that you can camp in 3 perfectly conditioned sites within the enclosure, so that you can fully immerse yourself in this festival so lively and fun.

9. Cool off with a beer in Brussels' best breweries

At the Delirium brewery| ©Alex L
At the Delirium brewery| ©Alex L

In Belgium, beer is called the yellow gold, and is a major part of its general and gastronomic culture. A trip to the city without tasting the best beers is really an incomplete trip. But you should know where to go, depending on what you prefer and what you are looking for.

Whether they are internationally famous or have kept their original charm, the different options of breweries are very varied.

Delirium Tremens

To talk about beer in Brussels is to talk about Delirium Tremens, since it is the brewery par excellence of the whole city. It opened in 2003 and a year later it was already in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most extensive beer menu in the world.

Do not hesitate to go at least once during your visit to the city. Although keep in mind that they offer 2500 different varieties. The brewery characterized by the pink elephant is waiting for you to have your say about it too.

  • Where: Impasse de la Fidélité 4, 1000 Brussels

Cantillon

The yellow doors that separate Cantillon from the world are the doors to an unknown but attractive world. It is the most famous brewery in Brussels and those who know about this drink dare to qualify it as one of the best in the whole world.

Beyond tasting beer, you can also choose to take a guided tour where you will visit different rooms related to different stages of the brewing process. The tour includes the boilers, the granary, the barrel warehouse and the cellar.

  • Where: Rue Gheude 56, 1070 Brussels

Moeder Lambic

At Moeder Lambic you will find the world's cradle of craft beer. Not only can you opt for Belgian wonders, but you can also taste beers from every country you can think of.

In addition to enjoying the beer of your choice, this brewery organizes activities, workshops and special tastings for specific groups, which is a further step in the culture of beer.

  • Where: Fontainas Plein 8, 1000 Brussels

Book a beer tasting in Brussels

10. Take a cruise on the city's canals

Waterbus on the canals| ©BrusselsVisit
Waterbus on the canals| ©BrusselsVisit

And coming to the last place on this list, I recommend you to take a boat ride on the canals of Brussels. This city is a preferential place to get on a boat and take a sightseeing tour from the river.

Don't miss out on a pleasant ride between brick facades and beautiful bridges from the comfort of the boat. It is also a good way to cope with hot days, as the temperature we experience on the canals is much cooler.

You can choose the boat rides on their own or as part of a tour that includes other attractions. I recommend you to consult the different options according to your preferences to choose the tour that suits you best.

Temperatures in August

Summer in Brussels| ©Juan Sarasua
Summer in Brussels| ©Juan Sarasua

August is the hottest month of the year in the city of Brussels. Daily maximum temperatures are around 23 °C and rarely drop below 17 °C or exceed 29 °C.

While you will be able to wear your blouse with short sleeves on your visit in the city, you will not suffer from excessive heat. The weather will not prevent you from enjoying the summer but you will be able to stroll leisurely through the streets or attend outdoor events.

Remember to always bring some warm clothes for the evenings, as the temperature drops considerably, but don't forget your bathing suit for a nice day at the beach in the sun.