A visit to Floralia Brussels at Groot-Bijgaarden Castle

Hi guys! I’m finally back with a new blog post. It’s been a while, I know… But with all the covid restrictions and the horrible weather we had in Belgium the last couple of months, it wasn’t that easy to explore new spots. Now that restrictions are slowly lifting and we were able to enjoy some sun, it was time to hit the road again. Last week, my family and I visited Floralia Brussels, a unique flower experience in the park and the greenhouses of the castle of Groot-Bijgaarden. Once a year, for one month only, the domain of Groot-Bijgaarden opens its door to the public. The flower exhibition is called “Floralia Brussels” as Groot-Bijgaarden, or Grand-Bigard in French, is located just a 10-minute car ride from our capital Brussels. This year was already the 18th edition of the flower show, and as it’s the closest thing us Belgians have to the Keukenhof, I needed to check it out.

The park of 14 hectares incorporates nearly all spring bulb varieties. For the new flowering time, the gardeners of the castle have planted more than one million bulbs by hand. Can you imagine how much work that most have been? Special attention goes to my favorite flowers, the tulips, with almost 400 varieties, but hyacinths and daffodils are well represented too.

Unfortunately the castle itself isn’t open to visitors. It was built in the 17th century, a vast edifice and a wonderful example of the Flemish Renaissance style. The castle is only accessible if you host or attend an event there. A pity right?! I would have gladly visited the castle on the inside too. The dungeon tower, dating back to the 14th century, does open to the public during Monument’s Day. Rumor has it, that the climb up to the rooftop terrace is worth it for the view over Brussels and the Flemish countryside.

Practical information:

  • I visited the park in the morning on a weekday and it was not crowded. Making it very easy to take beautiful photos. As there is a limit of daily visitors I’ would recommend that you buy the ticket (€14) online.
  • Covid measures: masks are obligatory during your walk around the premises. It’s safe to take a photo without a mask on though, as it wasn’t crowded and other visitors were usually more than 5 meters away from us.
  • Transportation: there’s a free carpark near the entrance of the castle. If you travel with public transportation, take bus 136 at Brussel Zuid Station or bus 355 at Brussels Noord Station. Hop off at the stop ‘Kerk’. From there it’s a 2 minute walk towards the entrance of the castle.

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