It’s pretty, but what is the flower carpet?
Every 2 years, the Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium is completely covered in flowers according to the theme of the year. This year the theme was Mexico or more specifically the Guanajuato region of Mexico because of the deep flower tradition in the area. Stop by the famous Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in Brussels for a walk down memory lane of all the biennial flower carpets since the 1970’s.
Not only is the Grand Place decorated in flowers during this weekend, all of the streets around Brussels are done up for the extra visitors.
What to know before you go:
- Plan ahead if you want to make a day trip or stay a night or two in Brussels, because hotels will book up for this weekend. In particular, the hotel with the best view will sell out 6 months in advance of the event.
- We highly recommend taking the train to Brussels. The main station is about a 5 minute walk from the Grand Place and tickets are very inexpensive.
- You can pre-purchase tickets for the balcony of the City Hall in the Grand Place square starting from Thursday after 1pm for 6 EUR.
- If you want to watch the set up of the flower carpet or can’t make it to Brussels at all, you can actually watch everything from the live webcam.
If you want to make a daytrip to Brussels for the Flower Carpet
Arrive on the Thursday of the festival weekend, if possible, if you want to be there for the creation of the carpet. The carpet is fully complete by noon on Thursday and starting around 1pm you can go up to the City Hall building and see an areal view of the finished product. Believe me, the view from above is phenomenal compared to the view from the street. Also if you arrive on the opening day of the festival, you can stick around for the opening ceremony starting at dusk which includes a light show and fireworks! If you are only coming for the day – do yourself a favor and take the train!
If you want to stay the night (our recommendation)
Book a night or two at the Hotel Residence Le Quinze for the best views over the Grand Place and very reasonable rates for the location. This hotel is located right in the Grand Place square and is a very key location to view the Flower Carpet unobstructed right from your hotel window. Make sure you book the hotel room with a view, otherwise you will be looking out of the cute courtyard in the back of the hotel. Breakfast is included in the room rate and is served at a prominent café opposite the Grand Place from the hotel. Also, our favorite restaurant in Brussels, ‘T Kelderke, is on the bottom level of the hotel – how perfect!
Brussels is always such a special trip – it’s an easy, no-fuss city, the people are very friendly and there is always something new to try. We have been on a search for mussels that can top what we consider the “best mussels in Brussels”, but we have yet to find them anywhere else in the world. Now taking suggestions for more mussels places to try, but if you are going to be visiting Brussels soon see where we have found the best mussels in the world here. Until next time Brussels!