COVID prevented last year’s edition from taking place, so it’s great to see that the 2022 edition of Floralia is going ahead. I last visited this exhibition in 2018. It’s an outstanding flower show held in the park of the castle of Groot-Bijgaarden just outside Brussels. It’s become quite a fixture, and an especially popular destination for Brusselaars keen to top up their vitamin D levels after the long winter.
More than one million bulbs have been planted in the grounds over the years. The result is 15 hectares of borders filled with daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other, lesser known bulb flowers. There’s also an indoor exhibition which this year features a huge range of plants, including roses, freesias, orchids, chrysanthemums, amaryllis and bonsai.
Floralia 2022 visiting information
- April 2 to May 3
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day
- Adults 15 EUR, children 5 EUR
- No picnicking allowed
- Cafetaria for light refreshments
- Address: Isidoor Van Beverenstraat 5, 1702 Groot-Bijgaarden
- More info here
If Floralia 2022 is anything like Floralia 2018 then it’s going to be well worth a visit. The flower displays were superb, and it’s in a lovely setting with the attractive castle and moat. There’s plenty of space for children to run around, and ramps are provided for buggies and wheelchairs. There’s also a small children’s playground area.
The keep (donjon) is also open, and provides a great view over Brussels from the top. Access is via a narrow stone circular staircase. As there’s only one staircase, this can lead to a few hair-raising moments when you meet oncoming traffic. But nothing that can’t be solved with a few tight squeezes or a bit of reversing.
The cafetaria is well stocked with drinks and light meals. As it’s Belgium you can of course get freshly fried frietjes. A stall also sells freshly prepared alcoholic (or not) fruit smoothies. There are plenty of tables and chairs to sit and eat outside. The public toilets are clean and easily accessible.
By the entrance there is an extensive shopping area where you can buy all sorts of bulbs, potted plants, cut flowers etc. So don’t forget your paper money.
I would imagine that weekend afternoons are extremely busy, so I would recommend getting there at 10 o’clock or thereabouts.
Have fun, and let me know how you get on. If you take any pictures you are especially proud of, let me know and I’ll add them to the post.