Events in Belgium

Sail to one of our ports in IJmuiden near Amsterdam, Calais or Dunkirk and from there you’re just a short drive away from the rich culture and much-celebrated heritage of Belgium.

The Belgians are big fans of a festival and the country is noted for the number of top events and carnivals that take place throughout the year. From religious processions to events covering art, music, film, history, and beer, Belgium has it all and there’s something for everyone.

As well as the more popular events in the Belgian calendar, you’re never far from a local carnival, fair or street party so make sure you check before you leave home.

Header image credit: H. Michael Miley

Gentse Feesten

Gentse Feesten

Held annually in Ghent, Gentse Feesten is said to be one of the biggest city carnivals in the world and attracts over 2 million people every year. The event features concerts and live theatre performances as well as street theatre, buskers and variety acts. All the performances are free so it’s a great festival to attend on a spontaneous whim, and it’s easy to hop from stage to stage.

Image credit: PRIME FUJIFILM

Brussels Ommegang

Brussels Ommegang

Brussels Ommegang is a medieval folk festival that takes place each year on the Grand-Place in Brussels. It features a historic parade, with over 1400 performers including folk and historic groups as well as horses, puppet theaters, giants and a lot of flags. It originally took place to honour the coming of Charles V to Brussels in 1549 but now it’s just a great excuse to dress up and join in with the festivities!

Image credit: ERIC DANHIER

Battle of Waterloo Re-enactment

Battle of Waterloo Re-enactment

Each June a re-enactment of the historic Battle of Waterloo takes place on the field of Waterloo where the original battle took place in 1815. The battle resulted in the end of Napoleon Bonaparte's reign and the end of France’s domination in Europe. The event attracts visitors from all over the world who head for the iconic battlefield on the weekend nearest to 18 June, the original date of this historic battle.

Image credit: crazy-croco

Chocolate festival of Mons

Chocolate Festival of Mons

Belgium is famed the world over for its exquisite chocolate, so it would be rude not to sample some of its sweet delights at the Chocolate Festival of Mons. A chocolate-themed line-up of cookery demonstrations and interactive activities allow visitors to savour every bit of this chocolate experience. One of the highlights is the Chic & Chocolate Gourmet Walk, with 500 metres of pure chocolatey gluttony which, fittingly, follows the theme of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Image credit: Everjean​

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