This post is also available in: Nederlands
Are you trying to figure out when is the best time to visit the Hallerbos Forest in Belgium? I’ve got you covered! The Hallerbos Forest is one of the most magical places but you do need to plan out your visit correctly!
The Hallerbos Forest, also called “The Blue Forest“, gets his fame from the massive amount of bluebells that bloom here every year. These bluebells only bloom once every year and only for a few weeks. So that’s why it’s very important to plan your visit accordingly.
The Hallerbos Forest is always beautiful, it’s one of those fairytale like places that never looses its shine. But I have to say… It’s that much more magical when the bluebells are in bloom!
If you also like to take beautiful photos you’ll probably love these other hidden gems in Belgium as well!
📖 CURIOUS FOR MORE UNIQUE PLACES IN EUROPE? MAKE SURE TO READ MY GUIDE ON THE 28 HIDDEN GEMS IN EUROPE THAT I VISITED MYSELF!
Hallerbos Forest – The Blue Forest In Belgium
Visiting Hallerbos Forest is one of the top things to do during Spring in Belgium. It’s also one of the most popular things to do during Spring in Belgium, if you get what I mean.
That’s right! Chances are very high that you won’t be the only one here during your visit. If you want to take beautiful photos at Hallerbos you’ll find some of my best tips below!
When is the best time to see the bluebells in bloom?
Once every year Hallerbos Forest turns into a magical blue carpet thanks to the many bluebells that start to blossom. This usually happens halfway through April with the timespan between the 12th of April and the 25th of April being the best time to visit.
The reason for this is that by then the bluebells are in full bloom but usually the trees don’t have their thick set of leaves yet. This way the light can pour through the branches and light up the bluebells, giving them their distinct blue colour!
Once the trees have grown back their leaves the light can’t reach the bluebells anymore on the ground and they will have a greyish colour instead.
To perfectly plan out your visit it’s best to have a look on the official website of the Hallerbos Forest. You’ll know when the first bluebells start to bloom and when the bluebell carpet is at its most beautiful!
If you want to take beautiful photos at Hallerbos Forest during bluebell season I have a couple of tips for you!
The sun rises early during this time of year so try to squeeze in a visit during the week. This may not be possible for everyone but do know that you don’t need hours to photograph the bluebells at Hallerbos!
The forest will be the least busy during sunrise in the middle of the week. And even then you won’t be the only one there! The Hallerbos Forest in bloom is a favourite for many photographers in Belgium. But it’s still a huge difference from the hordes of people that you otherwise have to face during the weekend!
Where to find the bluebells in Hallerbos Forest?
There are two marked paths to see the bluebells at Hallerbos (starting usually from the 14th of April). One starts from Parking 1 (Hogebermweg) and is around 4,8km long, the other one starts at Parking 8 (Achtdreven) and is around 5,1km.
Hallerbos Forest is free to enter but there are some rules that need to be respected if we want to enjoy the bluebells for as long as possible!
Bluebells are a very tender flower species and once stepped on they will never grow back!
- You can only walk on the designated pathways. Also for taking photos you can’t go standing between the bluebells!
- The use of drones is not allowed.
- You can bring your dog but he has to be on a leash at all times!
- There are pathways marked especially for equestrians, you can’t walk on these.
How to reach the Bluebell Forest
On the R0 you have to take exit 21 Halle and keep left. To reach Parking 1 follow the signs that say P Hallerbos until you reach Hogebermweg. Then simply drive up until the forest.
To reach Parking 8 you need to follow the N28 until the Vlasmarktdreef and then turn left into the forest. To reach the parking lot you need to drive across the bridge that goes over the highway and 100 meters further you’ll see it on your right side.
By public transport
There are several busses going from Halle station straight to the entrance of the bluebell forest. On weekdays bus number 114 will do the trick and on the weekends bus number 156 or 155 will get you there.
If you arrived to Halle by train you can also take one of the blue-bikes at the train station. It’s a 4,9km drive from Halle train station until you reach Hallerbos Forest.
Tips for visiting Hallerbos Forest
- Hallerbos is a forest in Belgium so that means things can get muddy. It often rains in our little country so make sure to wear proper shoes if you go hiking!
- There are no bathroom facilities inside the forest, just a few picknick tables here and there and a couple of benches. If you plan on spending a couple of hours in the forest make sure to bring a lunch with you and some water. The closest restaurants are not within walking distance.
- Try avoiding the weekends. The best time to visit is in the morning on a weekday. Sunny days are the best for seeing the beautiful blue colours of the bluebells come to life!
- The most beautiful hike in the forest is the ‘Reebokwandeling‘. This hike goes through 3 out of the 4 valleys in the Hallerbos Forest and is 7km long. A little more than half of this hike also goes through the part were the bluebells grow.
- A visit to Hallerbos Forest can be combined with a visit to some of the most beautiful castles in Belgium.
Where to stay when visiting Hallerbos Forest
If you’re visiting Belgium and you don’t have a car you may want to consider staying in Brussels if you want to visit Hallerbos Forest!
You can easily take the train from Brussels Central Station to Halle Station which only takes 15 minutes!
Below are some of my favourite hotels in Brussels
- Hotel Metropole – An interior of stunning marble, alluring gold, royal red and sophisticated architecture that highlights the hotel’s wealth of history.
- Royal Windsor – Located only a short walk from the major sites in Brussels. On the hotel’s roof top terrace guests can enjoy the gorgeous open Brussels skyline and an unbeatable view of the Town Hall building.
- Vintage Hotel – The most spectacular feature is an experience named ‘glamping’: a vintage Airstream Caravan from 1958 parked in a courtyard of the hotel. Here guests can relive a nostalgic experience with the bonus perks of modernity.
Agnes Groonwald says
You’ve convinced me that I need my own fairyland adventure in Hallerbos. These photos are GORGEOUS!
Thank you so much Agnes!
Sarah Bates says
You must already have a blue bike card to use the bikes, you can’t rent them the day of. So, plan to take the bus unless you are Belgian and already have the blue bike pass.