There’s a magical forest near Brussels in Belgium that turns blue every year during spring. Somewhere around mid-April, millions of wild hyacinths start blooming and form a blue carpet of blossom. The forest, which is called the Hallerbos, is transformed into a fairytale-like landscape for about two weeks. During this period, tourists and locals alike, flock to this dreamy place to see the hyacinths. As I live really close to this forest, I try to visit it every year and it hasn’t disappointed me so far. Here’s everything you need to know if you want to visit the Hallerbos in Belgium.
Hallerbos: A guide to the Blue Forest of Belgium
Visiting the Hallerbos in Belgium
Although every time I’ve visited the forest, I started walking randomly, there are two bluebell walking routes that you can follow. This is definitely something I’ll try next year. Because I always tend to visit the same part of the forest, which is the part around parking lot 5.
Walking through the blue forest truly feels as if you were in a fairytale. The carpet of bluebells is immense, and did I mention the smell! Every season is different because of the variation in weather. Some years the flowers bloom before the beech trees gain new leaves, while other years, the flowers bloom afterwards. One thing is certain though: the Hallerbos looks stunning in every season and any type of weather, and when the hyacinths bloom, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Belgium!
An important thing to know when you visit this forest is that you have to stay on the path. Although it might be tempting to take a picture in the middle of the flowers, if you walk in between them, they won’t grow back next year.
How to get to the Hallerbos
The easiest way to reach the forest is by car. It’s a 30-minute drive from Brussels, and there are several parking lots. It’s also possible to reach it using public transport. You’ll first need to take the train to Halle and then:
- During the week: Take TEC bus 114 to the stop ‘Vlasmarkt‘ (9 minutes on the bus), this stop is a 5-minute walk from parking lot 2: Bosmuseum.
- During weekends and holidays (option 1): Take De Lijn bus 156 to the stop ‘Lembeek Congo‘ (17 minutes on the bus), this stop is a 15-minute walk to parking lot 3: Vlasmarktdreef.
- During weekends and holidays (option 2): Take De Lijn bus 155 to the stop ‘Essenbeek Mooi Vergezicht‘ (15 minutes on the bus), this stop is a 15-minute walk to parking lot 1: Hogebermweg.
Tips for visiting the Hallerbos
- There’s no entrance fee to visit the Hallerbos and it can be visited all year round. But if you want to see the bluebells, you’ll want to visit the forest around mid-April. Check if the bluebells are blooming on the official Hallerbos website. They post daily updates about the condition of the bluebells.
- Stay on the path and don’t pick flowers. If you walk in between the flowers, every spot you set foot on will be bald next year. Hyacinths won’t be able to grow there anymore.
- Bring enough water and snacks, there are picnic tables in the forest. There’s one restaurant called ”t Kriekske’ at the entrance of the forest at parking lot 5 but that’s about it.
- Try visiting the Hallerbos on a weekday if you can. It will be less crowded than during weekends.
If you enjoy visiting places like the Blue Forest, you will love this post: 31 Best Day Trips from Brussels, Belgium
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