Heatwave: Brussels residents rush to the coast to keep cool

Heatwave: Brussels residents rush to the coast to keep cool
Credit: Belga / Jasper Jacobs

The hot weather has many Belgians rushing to the coast, and Brussels residents are among those who seek to refresh their bodies by the sea. Extra express trains to the coast have been introduced to ensure a smooth journey.

The lack of outside swimming areas in Brussels takes a toll on its residents, as there are no outside pools or lakes to swim in. “There is not much to combat the heat in Brussels, so we go to the sea,” Rayela told Bruzz.

Jamila and Abdel are also heading to the coast to enjoy the sea and coolness for a day. “That’s missing here in Brussels,” Jamila says. “There is no natural water and the swimming pools are full.”

“We’re going to Blankenberge to build sandcastles and go in the water with a floaty,” Jean enthusiastically told Bruzz.

A lack of swimming spots

The only option to enjoy the water in the open air in Brussels is at Flow, an outdoors pool initiated by citizens that can be maintained thanks to crowdfunding. But, to keep the 17-metre-long pool from getting too crowded, it is limited to 30 people at once, meaning not everyone can enjoy the fresh water at the same time.

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Other options for outdoor swimming in and near Brussels have either been shut down, such as the outdoor pool in Huizingen, or are still under construction, like the large swimming pool in Anderlecht that is set to open in 2024.

Swimming around Brussels

Still, there are other places to swim outside than the Belgian coast, as there are some freshwater options around the city.

In the town of Leuven, the Kessel-Lo paddling pool welcomes keen swimmers from 1 May to 1 September, and just a half-hour drive or train ride from the city centre is Hofstade, in the Flemish town of Zemst.

Another favourite swimming spot among Brussels residents is Blaarmeersen in Ghent.

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