9 must see parks in Brussels

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Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is a hub for European culture with many important institutions and close to 90 amazing museums. Lots of people love Brussels because of its amazing dining scene, namely Belgian beer and chocolate, and if you make your way to the Old Town you'll have the chance to wander around streets filled with incredible architectural wonders. Brussels isn't a very big city and most of it can be explored by foot or on a bike, two of the best ways to get around Brussels and discover the incredible hidden gems that its streets hold.

Nearly half of the city of Brussels is made up of parks and gardens, and it's a place where nature is a part of everyday life. The numerous green spaces are loved by locals and are a big draw for tourists as well, but with so many to choose from it can be hard to know where to start. We've got you covered with a fun list of the best Brussels parks. Choose a few to visit the next time you have a free afternoon.

Whether meandering the streets of Brussels to admire European history in the city's incredible buildings or trekking the trails of green spaces like Cinquantenaire Park, Brussels will keep you walking. Wondering where to stow your stuff when exploring the sights in magnificent cities like Brussels? Download the Bounce app, book luggage storage in Brussels and enjoy every minute of your day.

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Royal Park

Royal Park is a popular site for recreation and leisure in Brussels and is also one of its most beautiful parks. This large oasis spans for nearly 125 hectares in total and is divided into two parts; an upper and lower section. Both parts have different attractions and overall it's a fantastic place to go with the entire family.

The upper part of the park is home to a small zoo which is always a big hit with children. The grounds were designed by talented landscape architect Edouard Frere and are absolutely gorgeous. Making your way to the lower section you'll find natural beauty in the waterfalls and ponds, and if you brought food along, you can have a lovely picnic in a shaded spot under a tree. Some of the big trees in Royal Park originate from places like America and Japan.

The wide alleys and paved pathways that span the length of the park make it a popular location for joggers and other athletes to go for a run. By exploring the perimeter of the park you'll get to see some beautiful buildings and landmarks, including the Federal Parliament and the Royal Palace.

Botanical Garden of Brussels

Everyone should visit the Botanical Garden of Brussels, also called Botanique, at least once. It's situated on the bank of the Senne River and, being founded back in 1845 by King Leopold I is actually one of Belgium's oldest botanical gardens.

The gardens house an impressive collection of plants with nearly 15,000 unique species located around the grounds. Inside the orchid house, you'll find about 2,500 species of flora which originate from places all across the globe. Some of the tropical plants that can be found here were even collected by Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, the Belgian explorer.

The gardens are a nice setting in which to escape the city while not being too far away, and from inside the park, you'll still be able to spot skyscrapers towering above you. The glass house located inside the park is also used as a cultural center and a venue for events like concerts.

Tenbosch Park

Although it's a fairly small park, Tenbosch still offers a wonderful place to have a picnic, go for a short walk or just relax amongst nature. This park is situated in Ixelles and has something for people of all ages to enjoy.

Inside this public green space, you'll see a nice playground which is the perfect place for kids to let their energy out. There are also some sports facilities on site including a petanque terrain and a football pitch. If you want to play some friendly games with fellow parkgoers be sure to bring your equipment.

There are lots of quiet areas where you can settle down with a snack but if you've forgotten to pack food, there's no need to worry. All of the streets surrounding the park have small cafes or coffee shops so you can easily find a bite to eat nearby.

Cinquantenaire Park

Cinquantenaire Park, also known as Parc du Cinquantenaire, is located in Brussels between the Avenue de Tervuren and the European Quarter. This 30-acre park is unmistakable with a grand archway at the entrance and is quite popular among tourists. Many people love to come here to watch the sunset so try to plan your trip for the evening if you're interested in seeing the spectacular sight for yourself.

The green space dates back to 1880 when it was built in dedication to 50 years of Belgium's independence. The grounds feature gardens and wide open spaces with fountains and tall trees that you can stop and rest at. One of the best-known landmarks in the park is La Renaissance, an obelisk of a young woman holding scales and a torch that was added in 1887. It's meant to represent justice and equality, and surrounding the perimeter of the park you'll get to admire even more gorgeous buildings.

The park is located in close proximity to lots of famous monuments and museums and has its own restaurants and snack bars. If you're hungry, grab refreshments to eat while admiring the beautiful fountain. Parc du Cinquantenaire is often used as a venue for concerts and similar community events, so check the schedule to see if there's anything going on during your visit.

Laeken Park

Often called Parc de Laeken, this park is a green lung for Brussels and spans for an incredible 186 hectares. It has been around since the reign of Leopold II and has a distinctly British style. It's one of the best Brussels parks and is also home to the Royal Palace of Laeken as well as the royal greenhouses, although they are only open to the public once a year in April.

This stunning Brussels park has lush green fields and several gardens, including the Florist's Garden to the west and the Japanese Garden to the east. If you visit the Japanese Garden, you'll get to see the incredible Japanese Tower which is quite a sight.

Heading to the northern part of the park you'll find Ossgempark, a hidden gem that features unbeatable views of the Atomium, originally built for Expo 58. Whether you're looking for somewhere to go on a quiet walk or just need to take a short break from the busy city, this park is a wonderful place to spend a sunny day in Brussels.

Bois de la Cambre

Bois de la Cambre is a huge forest park situated at the end of Avenue Louise at the edge of the city limits. It's a spacious park, in fact, it's one of the very biggest in the city, and a perfect example of undisrupted nature with lush trees and a variety of plants, animals and bugs. In total, you can observe close to 1,500 different species of trees here and even more birds and insects.

During the springtime, the park comes to life with color as the flowers begin to bloom. Aside from open fields and dense forests, this Brussels park also has a lake with a restaurant called Chalet Robinson located on an island in the middle of the water which you can reach using a small ferry. You'll find a few places where you can grab food, or opt to bring your own meal and have a picnic instead.

When the weather gets particularly hot, a great way to cool off is to rent a boat and get out onto the lakes. Many locals love to come here for a run and you'll see quite a few people using the paths on a busy day.

Egmont Park

Back in the 16th century, this beautiful park was the home of the widow of Count Jean d'Egmont, Princess Francoise de Luxembourg. She lived in the grand Egmont Palace which was also used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and eventually became a place for important conferences and diplomatic receptions.

Today Egmont Park is home to English gardens with historic sites and beautiful sculptures. You'll find bronze statues scattered around the grounds, and some of the trees that call the park home are centuries old. Lots of people come here to place down a blanket and relax in the sun and there are also smooth paved paths where you can go for a stroll.

Since the park is situated atop the hill of Mont des Arts you can admire some nice views of the city from here. It has some cafes and restaurants on site and is home to several museums including the Palais de la Nation and the Palais de Justice.

Sonian Forest

Sonian Forest is directly connected to the Bois de la Cambre that was introduced above. It used to be a hunting ground for the Habsburg Imperial family and back in 2017, it became a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. In total, the area encompasses 4,421 hectares of space and spans all the way to the Flanders Region.

There's plenty to do in this forest park from hiking on the trails by foot, exploring it on a bike, or even taking a journey through the grounds on horseback. The park is open year-round and is absolutely stunning during the fall season when the leaves on the beautiful trees are brightly colored.

If you're looking for a quiet place to escape the busyness of Brussels, this park is perfect since the pure size of the dense forest drowns out all the noise of the city. Spend some time here relaxing and enjoying the sounds of nature around you. If you're lucky you'll catch a glimpse of the wildlife in this park, which is home to an abundance of animals. Foxes, rabbits, boars and deer are some of the creatures you may see.

Woluwe Park

As one of the biggest parks in Brussels, Woluwe is a grand place and a favorite among families all over the city. With playgrounds and lots of room for running around or throwing a ball, there's enough space for the young ones to get their energy out. Small kids will love riding on the miniature railway that'll bring you around the grounds.

The park is situated within the city but as soon as you walk through the entrance you'll forget that you're surrounded by cars and buildings. Take your time to enjoy the fresh air as you explore the various walking trails, like the Green Trail which continues on for 63 kilometers.

You can explore a variety of landscapes throughout the grounds, from open spaces to pristine lakes. The ponds and water features are often inhabited by ducks, swans and geese, and the rest of the park is home to different kinds of birds and wildlife. As one of the best parks in the city, you'll find plenty of people here as well, but since it's so big you can easily find a shaded space to claim for yourself.

Get to know the best parks in Brussels

Whether arriving via Brussels Airport or Brussels Central Station, you'll have a glimpse of the parks as you make your way into the city. The parks in Brussels have beautiful flowers, fun playgrounds, sports facilities and lots of natural landscapes to explore. There are many wonderful green spaces in Brussels and we weren't able to mention all of them.

If you're looking for more parks to take a walk in, visit Leopold Park, Georges Henri Park, Duden Park, Elisabeth Park or Josaphat Park. When you need somewhere to relax or stretch your legs, the parks and gardens in Brussels are never too far away.

Nature lovers who are looking for somewhere to take a break can spend the day sunbathing at the best beaches near Brussels or you can get your exercise while discovering the terrific shopping, including the Christmas Markets in winter.

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