Car-free Sunday offers pedestrians across Flanders daylong treat
From car-sharing salons in Antwerp to 5km runs in Bruges, this year's car-free Sunday has a range of events to help locals make full advantage of the cities' temporarily pedestrianised streets
Check your auto at the door
Bruges has a particularly impressive programme this year, including the opening of a new visitors’ circuit at the Concertgebouw. This offers people a new way to explore the striking architecture of the performance hall and its collection of visual and acoustic art works. The opening day also features musical performances and workshops for the whole family.
Other events in Bruges include a 5km run through the historic centre, walking and cycling routes of various lengths and a wheelchair obstacle course. There are concerts, art events, a festival of mussels and oysters (on Vismarkt, of course) and dancing in the street.
Antwerp’s car-free Sunday features a mobility market and car-sharing salon, exploring ways to travel more sustainably. There are also walking routes through the city, food stalls and concerts.
Ghent has similar attractions, plus the novelty of a car-free fly-over. For just one day, the B401 viaduct in the Zuid neighbourhood will be turned over to pedestrians and cyclists.
Brussels meanwhile has bike circuses at Muntplein and locations in Laeken and Neder-Over-Heembeek; a countryside festival and the BeChill music festival on at Paleizenplein and Warandepark; and street sports on the city-centre pedestrian zone.
Among the smaller towns, Dendermonde stands out for the Boulevart festival of circus and street theatre, with around 20 acts appearing at locations around town. As well as acrobatics and clowning, there are more bizarre entries, such as Wasman, who walks the streets washing people’s hands, and the Sonate Jheronimo, whose massive instruments ride the river (pictured).
17 September across Flanders and Brussels
Traffic in Flanders
largest area covered in traffic ever recorded in Belgium in kilometres
time Antwerp drivers spend in gridlock per year in hours
traffic diversions in Flanders per year