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Cycling in Belgium


Belgium is ideal for a cycling holiday, especially from our port in Dunkirk – though Belgium can be easily reached from either of our Calais or Amsterdamour ports in Amsterdam, Dieppe or Calais crossings too.

With the introduction of 15 new cycling superhighways planned for 2025, Belgium is truly a country in love with the bicycle. So, prepare to be well-catered for when it comes to travelling by pedal power around this breath-taking country.

Whether you’re on one of the national network of long-distance LF-routes, or taking in the sights of bike-friendly cities like Ghent, Bruges or Antwerp, knowing the law for cyclists in Belgium will help you avoid any hefty fines and keep you safe on the roads.

Belgian cycling laws

  • All bicycles new or old, have to be equipped with front and rear brakes
  • All bikes must have a working bell that can be heard from 20 metres away
  • Side and pedal reflectors must be fitted, as well as white front and red back lights for use after dusk or in times of low visibility
  • Helmets and reflector vests are not compulsory in Belgium. However, they are recommended
  • If a dedicated bike lane is available on streets or pavements, it must be used – these are found mostly in urban areas

Avoiding fines

In cities, fines can be issued for a number of offences relating to poor cycling safety, including:

  • Riding while not holding the handle bars
  • Riding without your feet on the pedals
  • Being towed by another cyclist or motorist
  • Cycling while using a mobile phone
  • Riding with an additional adult on the bicycle luggage rack

Special road rules

  • In Belgian cities, many one-way streets for cars are in fact two-way streets for cyclists. Look out for special signs denoting this special access right of way
  • When manoeuvring on these streets always make a clear arm signal to alert oncoming traffic to your intentions

Additional information

Always follow the instruction of officials on the road. Whether it's a traffic officer or other official, if they are signalling with a red torch or directing you using their hands, follow their instructions. There are heavy fines associated with disobeying or not following such instructions.