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What to Wear in Belgium in Winter: A Detailed Guide

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Got a winter trip planned to Belgium? Belgium can be fun to visit in the winter, but you'll want to make sure you're dressed right. The weather is cold and dry, with temperatures averaging around 44°F (that's 7°C). So what should you wear so you can stay comfy and fit in with the local vibe?

First and foremost, you'll need to dress warmly, as the temperatures can drop below freezing. A coat, scarf, and hat are going to be essential. Layering is also key, so consider wearing a sweater or vest under your coat. Boots with some grip are a good choice of footwear, as they'll keep your feet warm and dry whatever the conditions.

In just a second, I'll share my specific recommendations for exactly what to wear in Belgium in winter—whether you're visiting Bruges, exploring the Grand Place in Brussels, visiting the Battlefields of Flanders, or checking out Ghent.

What to wear for a winter trip to Belgium

What should women wear in Belgium in winter?

Belgium in winter is generally cold, and there are a few key items you'll want to pack. Here's what I definitely wouldn't go without: long-sleeved shirts, warm coat, thermal baselayers, cardigans, and jeans. With these essentials, you’ll be all set to experience everything Belgium has to offer.

Long-sleeved shirts

Long-sleeved shirts are an essential part of any travel wardrobe. They can be dressed up or down, and they offer sun protection on bright days. When choosing a long-sleeved shirt for Belgium, it's important to look for one that is comfortable and breathable. A lightweight cotton shirt is a good option, as it will keep you cool in warm weather and can be layered under a sweater or jacket when the temperature drops. It's also a good idea to choose a shirt in a neutral color that can be easily paired with other items in your suitcase.

This is the kind of thing I mean:

Warm coat

A good coat will keep you warm in inclement weather and can also be a stylish addition to your travel wardrobe. When choosing a coat, look for one that is made from insulating materials such as wool or down (or synthetic equivalents). A hood is also a helpful feature, as it will protect your head and face from the elements. If you plan on doing any outdoor activities, such as hiking or skiing, make sure to choose a coat that is waterproof and windproof.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Thermal baselayers

As Belgium in winter has a colder climate, you'll want to make sure you pack some thermal baselayers. Thermal baselayers are designed to keep you warm by trapping your body heat, and they can be worn under your regular clothes. They're especially useful for activities like skiing or hiking, where you're likely to work up a sweat. When choosing thermal baselayers, look for ones made of a moisture-wicking material like Merino wool. You'll also want to choose baselayers that fit snugly but not too tightly. With a little planning, thermal baselayers can help you enjoy your Belgium trip despite the cold weather.

These would be perfect:

Cardigans

A cardigan is the perfect piece of clothing to pack for a trip to Belgium in winter. They are lightweight, versatile, and easy to care for. Cardigans can be dressed up or down, and they work well in both warm and cool weather. When choosing a cardigan for travel, natural fibers such as cotton or wool are great (though synthetic equivalents can work well too). You mostly just want to look for fabric that breathes well so it will keep you comfortable in all types of weather.

Any of these should work:

Jeans

You just cannot go wrong with a good pair of jeans. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to care for—not to mention they always look great. Whatever you're doing in Belgium, jeans will always come in handy. Of course, not all jeans are created equal. Be sure to choose a pair that's comfortable and flattering. If you'll be doing a lot of walking, look for a light-weight denim that won't weigh you down. And if you're hoping to dress up for a nice dinner out, a dark wash denim will always do the trick.

Don't have anything suitable? Grab one of these:

What should men wear in Belgium in winter?

For guys, here's the list of essentials I recommend you start with: button-down shirts or polos, thermal baselayers, warm coat, jeans, and cardigans. With these in your suitcase, I guarantee you will enjoy your trip to Belgium in comfort and style.

Button-down shirts or polos

Button-down shirts or polos are always a good idea to pack. They don't wrinkle easily and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They're also perfect for layering when the weather gets cooler at night. Pick ones that are comfortable and breathable, and ideally lightweight too. It's also a good idea to choose neutral colors like white, black, or blue as they can be easily teamed with other pieces in your wardrobe.

These are some of my favorites:

Thermal baselayers

As Belgium in winter has a colder climate, you'll want to make sure you pack some thermal baselayers. Thermal baselayers are designed to keep you warm by trapping your body heat, and they can be worn under your regular clothes. They're especially useful for activities like skiing or hiking, where you're likely to work up a sweat. When choosing thermal baselayers, look for ones made of a moisture-wicking material like Merino wool. You'll also want to choose baselayers that fit snugly but not too tightly. With a little planning, thermal baselayers can help you enjoy your Belgium trip despite the cold weather.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Warm coat

A good coat will keep you warm in inclement weather and can also be a stylish addition to your travel wardrobe. When choosing a coat, look for one that is made from insulating materials such as wool or down (or synthetic equivalents). A hood is also a helpful feature, as it will protect your head and face from the elements. If you plan on doing any outdoor activities, such as hiking or skiing, make sure to choose a coat that is waterproof and windproof.

Here are some options I'd recommend:

Jeans

You just cannot go wrong with a good pair of jeans. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to care for—not to mention they always look great. Whatever you're doing in Belgium, jeans will always come in handy. Of course, not all jeans are created equal. Be sure to choose a pair that's comfortable and flattering. If you'll be doing a lot of walking, look for a light-weight denim that won't weigh you down. And if you're hoping to dress up for a nice dinner out, a dark wash denim will always do the trick.

Don't have anything suitable? Grab one of these:

Cardigans

A cardigan is the perfect piece of clothing to pack for a trip to Belgium in winter. They are lightweight, versatile, and easy to care for. Cardigans can be dressed up or down, and they work well in both warm and cool weather. When choosing a cardigan for travel, natural fibers such as cotton or wool are great (though synthetic equivalents can work well too). You mostly just want to look for fabric that breathes well so it will keep you comfortable in all types of weather.

I found these which would all work great:

FAQs

Is winter a good time to go to Belgium?

Winter is considered the low season in Belgium, as temperatures can get very cold. However, if you don't mind bundling up (or mostly just want to stick to indoor activities), winter can be a great time to enjoy Belgium without the crowds.

How do people typically dress in Belgium in winter?

People in Belgium dress in a variety of different ways depending on their personal style, the occasion, and the weather. However, many winter outfits you will see in Belgium typically include coats, scarves, and boots.

What should you NOT wear in Belgium in winter?

There are no specific restrictions on what you should wear in Belgium. It's fine to dress casually when out and about, although it's still important to be respectful of cultural norms—especially when visiting sites of historical or religious significance. Some places may have their own dress code, so be sure to follow any local guidelines.

I hope these recommendations for what to wear in Belgium will help make your winter visit unforgettable. Now that you have a better idea of what clothing to take, it's time to pack your suitcase—and then go ahead and enjoy everything Belgium has to offer!