Gardens and Parks in Belgium

Belgium is not only known for its historic buildings but also for the vast green spaces – parks and park systems, gardens and even former castle and abbey grounds converted into promenade areas are important parts of the Belgian landscape. Here are some of the most beautiful green jewels in the country.

Woluwe Park (Brussels). Stretching over 71 hectares of green space is one of Belgium’s largest parks. It lies in the intersection of Tervuren Avenue and Sovereign Boulevard. It has an English-style landscape and is home to over 180 species of shrubs, trees and plants including the rare Giant sequoia tree. There is a restaurant, a tennis club and a minigolf course, as well as biking and walking paths.

Dodaine Park (Wallonia Brabant). Enjoy the open air in either of its English-style of French-style landscaped gardens, or have a picnic by the pond or the fishing lake. Dodaine Park also has areas for basketball, volleyball, a covered swimming pool, a sports field and a water park. 

City Gardens of the Historical Centre of Mons. It may be a small city, but Mons boasts of a park system right in the centre consisting of a number of wooded green spaces: the Franklin Roosevelt Square, the Saint Germain Square, the Castle Park, the rose gardens in the inner garden of the Hotel de Graty, the Place du Parc, and the Garden of Le Mayeur. Aside from walking and biking opportunities, there are several interesting sights within the parks such as unique and commemorative monuments, water fountains and old species of trees and plants.

La Boverie Park (Liege). Located at the southern tip at the confluence of the River Meuse and a diversion canal, this historical park and garden has been around for centuries. It was the site of the Universal Exhibition of 1905 and home to the Palais des Congress. Inside the park is the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Castle of Rossignol Park (Luxembourg). This 12-hectare park is part of an old fort that has been rebuilt in the early 17th century. Now a cultural centre in Luxembourg, it is a popular destination for the annual music festival held every summer – the Gaume Jazz Festival.

Bois de la Cambre (Brussels). This is the largest urban green space in Brussels, covering over 120 hectares together with the wooded area of the Soignes Forest. The English-style park has some interesting features: an artificial lake with an island in the center (Robinson Island) complete with a cable-drawn ferry that takes visitors to the island and back to the park, a hippodrome, a theater and a cycle-track. It also houses a privately-owned tennis club.

The Garden of Scents (Namur). Situated in the Castle of Namur Park on the Citadel is a unique garden with over 350 species of plants that were specifically chosen for their smells. Be prepared for a heady walk among the colourful assortment of plants such as lavender, basil and roses.

Antwerp Zoo (Antwerp). Opened in 1843, it is the oldest animal park in Belgium, one of the oldest in the world and is today one of the leading zoos in the world that promotes science and education. It covers over 10 hectares and is home to about 5000 animals such as the King Penguin, Siberian tiger, Okapis, Spectacled Owl, Babiroussa and the Western lowland gorilla.  Inside the zoo is a tropical greenhouse called the Winter Zone. It was named as “the most romantic and best preserved 19th century zoo” in 2007.

Ghent University Botanical Gardens (Ghent). Lying just outside the Citadel Park in Ghent, this 18th century botanical garden was originally housed in the Baudeloo Abbey. This popular destination is home to about 10,000 plant species. It has a rock garden, an arboretum and greenhouses which cover over 40,000 sq. meters.

Osseghem Park (Brussels). One of the most popular destinations in the capital as it is very near the Atomium, an important Brussels monument. The park also has a big open-air theater called the Green Theater which can hold about 3000 spectators. It is a favorite venue for summer musical events and festivals.

Astridpark (Bruges). A 19th century public park named after former Belgian queen Astrid. It is small but there is a diverse array of trees which give most of the park area ample shading making it perfect for walking, jogging, biking or simply lazing away by the pond. There’s white maple, willow trees, red beech, Japanese elms and Dutch tulips. Watch the lush foliage explode in breathtaking colors in the autumn.