What to Wear in Belgium

Grand Place, Brussels, in February

Grand Place, Brussels, in February

Belgian waffle van, Bruges, in February

Belgian waffle van, Bruges, in February

Antwerp station, in Winter

Antwerp station, in Winter

Brussels in May

Brussels in May

Brussels shopping in May

Brussels shopping in May

Late night Brussels in Spring

Late night Brussels in Spring

Bruges in May

Bruges in May

Bruges in September

Bruges in September

Liege in October

Liege in October

Brussels in November

Brussels in November

Ghent in November

Ghent in November

Bruges at Christmas, December

Bruges at Christmas, December

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to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • Like most of Western Europe there is no dress code as such and really anything is acceptable.
  • Black is always a popular color, and smart casual clothes will help you fit right in.
  • Jeans are always popular and will serve as a versatile base to your wardrobe. Wear them with cool layers such as camisoles and cardigan for the summer, or warmer ones e.g. a long sleeved shirt and sweater in the winter.
  • Unless you are staying at a hotel with a swimming pool, or intend visiting a spa, or the beach in high summer - leave your swimsuit at home as you're unlikely to need it.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime as there are loads of cobbled streets, plus religious sites and museums with wooden floors (try Hotter shoes, they provide total comfort and look great too).
  • Save high heels for the evenings; you may find wedge heels more practical on the cobbles though, or just opt for smart flats. Boots work well in winter.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • A pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit.
  • And a few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will transform any outfit too.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If visiting public swimming pools, men are expected to wear Speedo style trunks rather than shorts; you may not be allowed in without them.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • It's possible to experience all sorts of weather conditions all on the same day, so always make sure you're carrying something for rain, sun and cold weather.
  • Spring (March, April and May) and Fall (September, October and November) can be cool and wet, so be sure to pack a lightweight raincoat and a small travel umbrella will come in handy too.
  • But it really can rain at any time, even in the summer, so be prepared.
  • Layers are a great solution for coping with changes in temperature e.g. jacket, sweater, shirt, t-shirt - especially in Spring and again in Fall.
  • In the winter months of December, January and February dress warmly, with layers, and take a warm smart coat, scarf and gloves.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Belgium

  • Bruges is the chocolate capital of Belgium - resistance is futile. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for all the sightseeing, museums and the climb up the Belfort Tower.

Other Things To Pack

  • If you tend to buy bottled water, consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • Save on packing and buy your toiletries there. You'll find all the major brands and they are inexpensive.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for European voltage (230V).
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized.
  • Also take a comfy shoulder bag or day pack to carry your sightseeing essentials and keep your hands free.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Lace is a great buy in Brussels, and Belgian chocolates of course are famous. If you opt to bring back one of the many beers and its accompanying glass, remember you'll need to pack these liquids in checked-in luggage unless you buy at the airport duty-free.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.