Although the idea behind this blog is to show that Belgium has a lot more to offer than Brussels and Bruges, of course that doesn’t mean that these cities do not have any hidden pearls that deserve to be pointed out. And today I would like to put one of them in the spotlight: The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken.
But first of all, I would like to apologize for the timing of this post! The greenhouses are only open to the public for three weeks a year, and this year the final day is coming Sunday, May 6. So if you’re still looking for something to do this weekend, I would highly recommend a trip to Laeken to go see this magnificent site.
Of course the houses contain a huge and wonderful collection of plants and flowers from all over the world, but let’s face it; you’ll find those in every greenhouse or botanical garden. This one is more interesting for its architecture, especially if you like Art Nouveau. They were built by Alphonse Balat who taught Victor Horta everything he knew.
A visit will also allow you to have a few exclusive looks over Brussels and the nearby Japanese tower, views that are usually reserved to the royal family and their guests.
There is one downside though: you will not be alone! So come early – very early and be prepared to queue. We arrived at 9.45 and had to wait for about half an hour. When we walked out about 2 hours later, the queues had grown considerably and I reckon there was a waiting time of about 2 hours.
The greenhouses are open from 9.30 till 16.00 and from 20.00 till 22.00 until Sunday May 6. Tickets are 2.50 euros, free if you’re under 18.