Have you heard of the Brussels Flower Carpet? This post is going to tell you all about it. So, mark your calendars (the official 2024 Flower Carpet dates are below), because you’re in for a beautiful treat.
This breathtaking floral event is one you won’t want to miss.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about seeing the Flower Carpet in 2024, including the best places to see it, where to park, where to stay, and what to do after you’ve marveled at the carpet.
When is the 2024 Flower Carpet in Brussels?
Unlike the tulips in the Netherlands, this isn’t a yearly event.
So you won’t be like me and think this happens yearly, the Flower Carpet
blooms occur bi-annually in Brussels, Belgium, for four days every other summer, and it’s spectacular.
So for future planners, you’re looking at seeing the Flower Carpet in 2026, 2028, 2030, and beyond. Keep an eye on this site for updated information.
How Long Do I Need to See the Brussels Flower Carpet?
Here’s the thing: If you’re in the area and/or want to see Brussels or other parts of Belgium, definitely make plans to come out and see this. But don’t expect that it will take up your entire trip. Have other things planned for your time in Brussels.
We spent a decent 30 minutes walking all around the carpet. You can get pretty close to it, or at least close enough that you can smell the flowers.
But after about 30 minutes, the kids were ready to roll.
This is a Free Event!
One thing I love about the Flower Carpet in Brussels is that it’s free!
There’s no cost and no timed tickets that you need. As long as you visit during the four days it’s in place, anyone can see it at any time.
How to See it From Above
In case you want to get a grand view of the Flower Carpet from above, you have several options:
One: Go to the Second Floor of a Cafe
(This is what we did.)
Find a cafe around The Grand Place, purchase some food/drinks (aka support the business), and ask if you can go to their second level for some pics.
We had drinks and waffles at Le Roy d’Espagne, and then after we ate I asked if it was possible to go take photos on their second floor. They were thankful that we asked and happy to oblige.
Two: Buy Tickets and See it From the Town Hall
You can see a panoramic view of the Flower Carpet from Brussels’s Town Hall, but you have to have a ticket.
In the past, you could purchase tickets ahead of time online OR the morning of, in person. (At the time of publishing this, their website had not been updated.)
In 2022 the ticket prices were: €7 for adults and free for kids 10 and under.
THREE: SEE IT FROM La Maison du Roi
Across the Grand Place from the Town Hall is La Maison du Roi, a museum. I haven’t tried this out, but I’ve been told that if you buy a ticket to the museum you can also see the Flower Carpet from here with a direct view of the Town Hall.
FOUR: Book a Room with a View (Where to Stay)
There are a couple of spots within the Grand Place where you can actually stay and see the Flower Carpet from your room. I remember looking up while we were there and marveling at how great it would be to stay there and wake up to such a pretty site. Just make sure to double-check that you have a Grand Place view!
I know many of you have more than two people in your family. Here are some other options near the Flower Carpet at the Grand Place to look at if you’d like to spend more time in Brussels:
FIVE: Hold your kid on your shoulders
I realize this doesn’t help you, as the adult, but if you have kids and they want a better view, hoist them up onto your shoulders so they can see over the throngs of people!
Thoughts on Bringing a Stroller:
Speaking of kids: strollers are fine, but keep in mind that it’s very pedestrian-heavy. We saw some strollers getting in the way of people trying to see the carpet, because the stroller was taking up too much space, and they had to take the child out of the stroller anyway since they couldn’t see.
It might have been easier on everyone if they used a carrier. On the flip side, if you’re going to hang around Brussels after you see the carpet, you may want your stroller. Consider having a partner stand away from the carpet line so it’s not in the way and swap off taking turns to see the carpet.
Getting to the Flower Carpet
Whether you’re coming by plane, train, or automobile, getting to the Flower Carpet in Brussels is pretty easy.
If you’re driving, head to Parking Grand Place (Rue du Marché Aux Herbes 104, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium). It’ll pop you out just a block or so away, from the beautiful Brussels Flower Carpet. We arrived at 9 am on a Sunday and followed the small crowd of people heading towards the Grand Place.
For what it’s worth, it was €7.20 for two hours of parking, just FYI.
Hop aboard of train (I prefer using Trainline; it’s my favorite train-travel app) to Belgium and get off at Brussel-Centraal, the main station in town. Pop open Google Maps when you arrive and follow it to The Grand Place; it should be about a five-minute walk.
If you just got off a flight into Brussels, hail a cab and enjoy the ride into the city, or get on the train at the airport and follow the directions above.
Okay, Tell me about the Flower Carpet.
The Flower Carpet started in 1971 and it’s been happening every two years as an event since 1986. Although, they had a four-year break because of the pandoozy. (It was supposed to happen in 2020 but didn’t resume until 2022.)
It’s hosted by the Tapis de Fleurs, a non-profit group of landscape architects, designers and illustrators, etc., who come up with the theme each year for the latest living canvas to grace the Grand Palace’s floor.
The carpet itself is MASSIVE— 70 meters long and 24 meters wide (230 feet by 80-ish feet wide) — and it’s made completely of begonias, dahlias, grass, and bark. More than 100 volunteers get together the day before the event to put it all together, piece by piece, like a puzzle.
Here’s the extra cool thing: Since the flowers are nestled so close together, they can’t blow away; but more than that, they create their own microclimate.
And they’re Real Flowers?
The shining star of the Flower Carpet is the begonia, a flower that’s weather resistant and can withstand everything from the harsh sun and rainstorms to intense rain and the bitter cold. The vibrant hues are another reason why begonias were chosen for the Flower Carpet.
As far as when flower carpets (or “rugs,” as they used to be called) began, a Belgian named Etienne Stautemas created small flower rugs with begonias in the early 1950s. Years later, with the help of a designer, the rugs transformed into intricate carpets that were created in all the major European cities.
When We Saw the Flower Carpet in Brussels
The year was 2022. I had just woken up at our home in Germany and was scrolling through Facebook at 6:30 am. I kept seeing pictures of the Flower Carpet event happening in Brussels.
It looked amazing, but since it was the last day of the event I tacked it onto my list of things to do in Europe for the following year.
But then, after researching it for a hot minute, I realized that “OMG. This only happens every other year, and THIS MIGHT BE OUR ONLY CHANCE TO SEE IT.”
That was basically verbatim to what I screamed into my husband’s ear at 6:32 am when I quickly convinced him that we had to get up and go rightthatverysecond.
And bless his heart, he rolled with it. Not only that, but he managed to get the kids excited about it, too.
Within one hour—I’m not even exaggerating—we managed to wake all three kids up with minimal griping and get us all out the door. We promised them we were about to see something cool in Brussels, and lo and behold, they went for it.
An hour and a half later, we had parked and started following the flock of people heading towards the Flower Carpet in the center of Brussels.
Thankfully, what we told them wasn’t a lie: the Flower Carpet was pretty darn cool, and worth the early-morning wake-up call. Everyone loved it!
Other Things to Do in Brussels
Since you’ll only need around a half hour to see the Flower Carpet, you’ll have plenty of time left over to explore Brussels. So I highly recommend you have some other things planned for the rest of your day.
Other things to do in Brussels:
🍫 Take a Chocolate-Making Workshop!
👶🏻 See the famous manneken pis.
🎨 Do an Art Crawl — the art on the buildings are SO cool!
🛒 Shop till you (almost) drop at Place du Jeu de Balle, a flea market open every day!
🥾 Take a FREE walking tour
🍟 Go on a delicious food walking tour.
🚂 Take a day trip to Ghent
🔎 Get out of town and find some trolls
I’d love to hear if you make it out to see the 2024 Flower Carpet in Brussels, or if you’ve seen it before! Let me know what you think about it.