Bruges Weather Guide

Bruges has a poor reputation for its weather, even by Belgium standards. The climate in Bruges is much colder and damper compared to other western European cities like London and Paris. Even in the height of summer, average temperatures struggle to exceed 21 degrees Celsius and rainfall is plentiful. After October, temperatures descend quite rapidly and winter months are damp and chilly.

Season and Clothing

Summer: June to August

The summer visitor should always be prepared for rain in Bruges - warm and sunny weather isn’t always a given. The good news is the nights are quite mild, which makes outdoor drinking late into the evening a pleasant activity – get thee to a beer garden! Every July, the city hosts the international Cactus Music Festival – a celebration of jazz, rock, reggae and rap in the open air of Minnewater Park.

Average temperatures: 12 – 21 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Jeans and t-shirts, good walking shoes.
Don’t forget: An umbrella and a light jacket for cool mornings and evenings.

Autumn: September to November

See the city walls covered in creeping shades of red and auburn as the leaves turn brown for autumn. The city has quietened down from the summer onslaught of tourists and takes on a much slower pace of life to enjoy. Every 2 years the jazz community descends upon Bruges for the Jazz Bruges Festival, offering an excellent selection of live performances from the top players in European jazz.

Average temperatures: 7 – 15 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Jeans, long sleeves, clothes for layering.
Don’t forget: A good jacket, beanie and gloves.

Winter: December to February

Bruges is made slightly colder than some coastal areas by the chilly winds that originate in the Baltic. Snow and frost may occur during mid-winter. The advantage of the cold is there are far fewer visitors in winter, so you can enjoy the city without the crowds. Needless to say, how cool (figuratively and actually speaking) would it be if the canals froze over and you got to explore the ‘Venice of the North’ on ice skates? The Christmas markets in December are always a festive highlight.

Average temperatures: 1 – 6 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Jeans, jumper, thermals, clothes for layering.
Don’t forget: A good jacket, beanie, gloves and a scarf.

Spring: March to May

Watch Bruges turn into a veritable garden as the flowers come into bloom. Churches host Easter services – the most prominent being at St Anne's Church and St Giles Church. Perhaps the most heralded event is the Bruges Chocolate Festival (Choco-Laté) held in April where, as the name suggests, everything to do with Belgian chocolate is celebrated. In May, catch the Procession of the Holy Blood – a massive religious parade that brings the whole town out onto the streets.

Average temperatures: 5 – 12 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Jeans, long-sleeve tops, clothes for layering, boots.
Don’t forget: A warm coat or jacket.