How to visit Hallerbos: The Enchanting Blue Forest of Belgium

About Hallerbos

Belgium’s Hallerbos, also known as the Blue Forest, is a hidden gem in the south-west of Brussels, near the town of Halle. This 552-hectare beech forest was created in the Middle Ages , it was first mentioned in the records of the Abbey of Sainte Gertrude in 686 AD. Today, Hallerbos is a protected nature reserve that is managed by the Flemish government.

The highlight of Hallerbos is undoubtedly the bluebells. In spring, the forest is transformed into a stunning blue wonderland as the bluebells bloom, covering the forest floor. Visitors from around the world come to witness this breathtaking sight, which occurs during April and May when the delicate flowers are in full bloom.

Apart from the bluebells, Hallerbos has several other attractions that are worth exploring. The forest is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including wild orchids, deer, and foxes.. There are also several picnic areas and playgrounds for children, making it an ideal destination for a family day out.

In conclusion, Hallerbos is a magical destination that should not be missed if you are planning a trip to Belgium. The bluebells and the enchanting forest create an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you leave.

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Best time to visit Hallerbos

Hallerbos is free to visit and open to visitors all year round, but the best time to visit is during the bluebell season in April and May. The forest can get crowded during this time, so it is recommended to visit during the weekdays and early mornings to avoid the crowds.

Walking at Hallerbos

The forest has several hiking trails that offer visitors a chance to experience the magic of the bluebells up close. The trails are well marked and vary in length, making them suitable for visitors of all ages and fitness levels. The most popular trail is the 5,1 km-long bluebell trail, which takes visitors on a journey through the heart of the forest and is marked with purple poles. Other hiking trails include the 4km-long Sequoia hike, which is marked by blue poles, and the 7 km-long Roebuck hike, which is marked by yellow poles. Visitors are advised to stay on the marked trails and avoid picking the flowers.

Free leaflets with walking maps of Hallerbos are available at information screens located at every parking area and within the forest. QR codes are also available at these screens for visitors to download the walking map. Download the map here!

How to travel to Hallerbos by Public Transport?

The Hallerbos is easily accessible by public transportation, with frequent train and bus services running from Brussels and nearby towns and cities. To reach the Hallerbos by public transportation, you can take a train from any major train station in Brussels to the “Halle” train station. From Brussels South, there are five trains departing every hour with a travel time of 10 to 15 minutes to reach Halle. Once you arrive at the Halle train station, you can head to bus stop “Halle Station Perron 7” located nearby. There, you can board bus number “155”, which is a direct bus heading in the direction of “Anderlecht Het Rad”. The bus departs twice every hour at 2 and 32 minutes past the hour, and its 12th stop is the “Hallerbosstraat” located next to parking lot number 1.

Please note that the bus timings mentioned above are for weekdays, and it is essential to take the bus number 155, direction “Anderlecht Het Rad,” as there is another bus with the same number but a different direction that does not stop at the Hallerbosstraat.

Free Shuttle Bus to Hallerbos

During the bluebell blooming season, which runs from mid-April until the beginning of May, free shuttle buses are available during weekends and public holidays from the Halle train station to Hallerbos parking 2. These shuttles run every half hour from 9:00 to 20:00.

Rent a Bicycle for Free to Visit Hallerbos

At the Halle train station, there is a bicycle rental service available on weekdays from 11:00 to 19:00 and on weekends and public holidays from 09:00. to 17:00. On weekends and public holidays, the bicycles are free of charge, subject to availability.

For Belgian locals or individuals planning to explore Belgium by bicycle, signing up with Blue-bike is highly recommended. Blue-bike offers affordable bicycle rentals at over 100 locations throughout Belgium. The starting cost is €12, with bicycle rentals available from €1.50 for the first 24 hours.

Find more information about how to use Blue-bike in Belgium: here!

Parking your car at Hallerbos

There are several parking options available near Hallerbos, depending on your location and preferences. If you’re in front of the Hogebermweg car park (P1 on the map), follow the signpost ‘P Hallerbos’ at the intersection with Warande/Maasdal to the left. After the bridge over the highway, turn right and continue until you reach the woods. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 50.71360 and E 4.26721.

To reach the forest museum and car park “Achtdreven,” continue on the N28 until you reach Vlasmarktdreef, then turn left into the woods. The parking area for the forest museum is located on the left side after 200 meters. For “Achtdreven” (P8 on the map), drive further into the woods, over the bridge of the highway. After 100 meters, you’ll find the parking area on the right side.

It’s important to note that there are special traffic regulations during the flowering time of the hyacinths. From Saturday 8 April to at least Monday 1 May, Vlasmarktdreef will be closed, and car parks 2, 3, and 8 will not be accessible by car. It’s recommended to use parking 11 (Houtveld) or parking 1 (Hogebermweg) during this period.

Hallerbos with camper

If you’re driving to Hallerbos in a camper, it’s important to note that overnight stays are not allowed in the car parks. Instead, you can park your camper at the overnight stay area for campers, located at Eugène Ysayestraat – 1500 Halle, which is approximately 2.1 km from the forest.

Where to stay near Hallerbos

The town of Halle is located right next to Hallerbos and is an excellent option for those who want to be close to the forest. Halle offers a selection of hotels and B&Bs, with many located within walking distance of the forest. It’s a quiet and peaceful place to stay, and you’ll have easy access to all the hiking trails and natural beauty that Hallerbos has to offer.

Hallerbos B&B in Bluebell Forest: is a charming bed and breakfast located in the heart of Belgium’s famous Bluebell Forest. Guests can enjoy a peaceful retreat surrounded by stunning scenery, including the breathtaking bluebell blooms that carpet the forest floor each spring. With cozy rooms, delicious breakfasts, and friendly hosts, Hallerbos B&B is the perfect choice for nature lovers seeking a relaxing escape.

If you need assistance with booking accommodations, we recommend reading our How to use Booking.com guide.

Travel itinerary for Hallerbos from Brussels South

DEPARTURE:
Train: [IC – direction: Halle & Doornik] 13:13 Brussels South – 13:23 Halle.
Bus: [155 – direction: Anderlecht Het Rad] 13:31 Halle Station Perron 7 – 13:46 Hallerbosstraat.
Walk: Walk in the opposite direction of the bus, and then turn left onto Hogebermweg towards Hallerbos Parking 1. It’s a 700-meter walk.
RETURN:
Bus: [155 – direction: Halle AZ St. Maria] 18:07 Hallerbosstraat – 18:21 Halle Station.
Train: [IC – direction: Brussels / Luik Guillemins] 18:26 Halle – 18:35 Brussels South.

If the bus is delayed at 18:37, the next train to Brussels will depart from Halle. Please note that this travel itinerary is based on weekdays. To plan your own itinerary and purchase train tickets, please visit NMBS. To purchase bus tickets, please visit De Lijn.


This map shows the travel route from Brussels South to Hallerbos.

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