Formerly part of the Sonian Forest, Wolvendael Park is a green oasis providing a nice break from the bustle of the urban streets of Brussels. Among the spacious green fields is a historic pavilion fashioned in a style reminiscent of the 18th century, which is home to esteemed restaurant Le Louis XV. The long stretch of lawn is also the perfect place to stretch out and have a picnic — of course, free from the disturbance of dogs (and their poo).
For a quiet stroll away from all of the city noise, Osseghem Park at the foot of the shiny Atomium is one of your best bets. Your dog might even get the privacy he needs while turning one out in between the hedges that make up the charming natural open air theater, which is capable of seating 3,000 people.
Mont des Arts Garden
On the gentle slope leading up to Brussels’ epicenter of culture, you’ll find a geometric garden designed by the hand of influential landscape architect René Pechère. White-barked trees in parallel lines and expertly trimmed hedges guides the eye towards a statue of King Albert I on horseback. The elevated steps above are an explorers’ favorite for taking that famous ‘I’m in Brussels’ picture. Just be careful not to slip on a dog turd while taking that precious selfie.
The Bois de la Cambre
A historic landscape, the Bois de la Cambre once served as a hunting reserve for the court of Brabant and its name can be attributed to the Cambre Abbey, located nearby the premises. It was not until the development of Avenue Louise in 1860 that the park came under the jurisdiction of the city and evolved into the green space it is today. Scenic walking trails, sports, and cultural activities are all hosted in the park, making it an ideal escape for some rest and relaxation without venturing too far from the city. Visitors can also rent boats and head to the little island where the Belgian brasserie Chalet Robinson is nestled. Yet, should an intruder hound enter the Bois de la Cambre‘s premises and do its business on the walkways, there’s no harm in sending the pooch on a little boat trip to the island.
Park of Laeken
Only the bravest of canines dare do their business on the stretched out greens of Laeken. From the grounds that include the Royal Greenhouses – only open during three rare weeks a year in the spring months of April and May – and the grand Dynasty monument, you’ll get a great view of the palace. Really, the only bummer is the team of patrolling guards, who frown upon those who don’t pick up after their pup.
Smack dab in the middle of gleaming high-risers and buzzing economic life is a green patch in the form of Brussels Botanical Garden. The many diverse trees are perfect for a midnight stake out if you hope to catch some of the poop-leaving intruders in the middle of the act. Just make sure you don’t disturb any of the romantically inclined couples sitting on the moonlit benches, and enjoy the tunes coming out of the beautiful Botanique cultural center.
Established as the largest public urban park in the city, Brussels Park (otherwise known as Royal Park) is in close proximity to many cultural and political hubs and contains access points to the Royal Palace, Place de Trone, and the Palace of Justice. Green lawns intersect with dirt pathways that traverse the landscape, which is dotted with statues, fountains and a beautiful music pavilion. Whether you lounge on one of the benches during a lunch break, take a quick jog through the trails, or attend one of the numerous outdoor festivals hosted here, the Brussels Park is sure to be a safe haven from canines, with plenty of ‘poovers’ standing ready nearby to eliminate any trace of fecal matter.
Parc du Cinquantenaire
With its flowerbeds about to be in full bloom, the central Cinquantenaire Park will again be the go-to spot for Brusseleirs to have a picnic on a sunny day. Built at the request of King Leopold II in celebration of 50 years of Belgian independence in 1880, the massive park characterized by its splendid triumphal arch has loads of monuments and sculptures cheering up the place. Visit the Temple of Human Passions, which was designed by a young Victor Horta, or have your pooch make a friend at the statue known as the Green Dog. This is a magnificent canine specimen, since rubbing its legs will bring you luck, and he’s one of the only ones not leaving any smelly traces behind.
Nestled by the Sablon area lies the tranquil Egmont Park. Surrounded by perfectly trimmed bushes, visitors can find some solace in this park that looks like the fairytale gardens of Alice In Wonderland come to life. This is a great spot to delve into a good book or grab a drink at the park’s brasserie, L’Orangerie du Parc d’Egmont. In addition to the beautiful Peter Pan statue, visitors can also admire the number of signs warning pesky pet owners to clean up after their pooches.
An oasis in the middle of the bustling hub that is the European Quarter, Leopold Park is a calm spot with a beautiful pond that is in close proximity to many cultural highlights, including the Solvay Library, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the European Union institutions. This is also a great location to gather with other fed up locals and march to lobby for stronger legislation to create a dog poop free environment!
By Culture Trip Brussels