The best picnic spots in Brussels

Because of the covid restrictions we have had to come up with original ideas to meet up with our friends. But let’s be honest… Don’t we all just love a good old picnic?! Therefore, here are 5 exquisite parks/green spaces where you can have a comfortable picnic or a day off in Brussels.  

Leopold Park

Right on the edge of the big and busy city, you will find Leopold Park. Next to it is the House of European History located (definitely worth a visit!), across stands the European Parliament and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

Inside of Park Leopold you will experience a very calming atmosphere. There are benches available, but you could also sit by the lake on the grass. The fauna and flora consist of some interesting features. You will see some rare tree types and also some very amusing to watch type of birds. Such as the rose-ringed parakeets or Egyptian geese.

Don’t be surprised… around noon, a lot of students will probably join you around the lake to eat their lunch. Because the building in the middle is a school.   

Fun fact: Leopold Park used to be a zoo from 1851 to 1876.

The Park of Brussels (Parc Royal)

© Rania Bidani

The Park of Brussels was built in the late 1800’s. It was the first public park of Brussels. That’s why you will probably get a nostalgic feeling walking on these pathways. The path in the middle leads to the Royal Palace if you walk south. If you walk north, you will see the Belgian Federal Parliament, where all Belgian constitutions are made. The park of Brussels is very close to the centrum and therefore the ideal place for a midday snack. You can sit on one of the benches and enjoy a bit of silence and peace, while still being close to the city center. You could even buy food inside of the park itself, from Woodpecker.

The Sonian Forest /Bois de la Cambre

South of Brussels you will find a fascinating park, called bois de la Cambre (nl: ter Kamerenbos). It is connected to The Sonian Forest wich consists of more than 5 000 hectares green. The Sonian Forest is an ancient woodland. It is full of more than 200-year-old oak and old-beech trees. Some say that the Sonian forest are the lungs of the Brussels. Inside you can do many activities such as jogging, hiking, cycling. There even are 2 fishing lakes if you are interested in a little adventure. Because Bois de la Cambre and the Sonian forest are connected you could easily combine the 2 and make an awesome day trip. Wander around the forest, and then settle for a picknick next to the splendid still waters in Bois the la Cambre. Enjoy the view of the elegant swans swimming around.

Egmont Park

Next to Palais d’Egmont, you will find Egmont park. This park is completely surrounded by buildings so it can be quite hard to find an entrance.

This hidden secret only has 3 very discrete entries.

You might be pleasantly surprised, because often there aren’t a lot of people in the park. Which makes for a very intimate and personal atmosphere.

It is hard not to fall in love with this small spot of peace and silence in the middle of roaring Brussels. Right in the middle of Egmont park stands a restaurant called ‘La Fabrique’ with an adorable a terrace.

Laeken Park

Laeken Park is enclosed by 5 other parks. Combining these makes up for an amazing tour around Northern Brussels. Close by, there are the Far East Museums. Here you find the charmingly detailed Chinese Pavilion and Japanese Tower. Definitely worth it to have a look while you are in the area. If you want to have a closer look at the Atomium. Without question, you should go to Osseghem Park. The silence is hauntingly relaxing. There is an open-air theatre and during the summer are often held concerts. The other parks close by are Colonial Garden, Sobiesky Park and Florist’s Gardens. All these are within walking distance to Laeken Park.

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