Oostende, Queen of Seaside Resorts
Oostende is also known as the ‘Belgian queen of spa-towns’. This town offers you wide beaches, the long beach promenade, the marina and the many marine sports clubs. However, Oostende also is a real city, which is evident through the beautifully designed parks, the crowded shopping streets, the markets and the countless number of bars, discotheques and clubs in the Montmartrewijk.
The city is located in West-Flanders and has many attractions. This coastal town has so many surprising spots and original aspects, that you will discover something new every time. It is based on a wealthy past and everywhere you go you will feel the maritime atmosphere of a genuine coastal town. Oostende also is a contemporary and lively spa-town with a lot of activity. The town also offers you all the facilities of a real cultural place. For years, exceptional artists find their inspiration in ‘Ensors’ town.
Everywhere and any time there is a pleasant atmosphere: the fish stands that are open throughout the year, the miniature train, the romantic horse carriages that cruise through the city during the summer months but also the many processions, events, festivals, markets and fun fairs. Oostende is also a real cosmopolitan city. That is mainly because the ferry services to the United Kingdom, popular by tourists travelling through Europe. The great numbers of British tourists that come to Oostende throughout the year have named it ‘the most British town of Europe’.
The Oostende beach is separated from the pleasant city by a wide boulevard. On hot summer days, the sand beach is crowded with sunbathers, but it is primarily a family-friendly beach. The beach at Oostende has many facilities for your comfort, including showers, toilets, beach pavilions, surf equipment rental, beachchairs and windscreens. It is easily accessible, there is sufficient parking space and a train station as well. The beach is a couple of kilometres in length and on average between 50-110 metres wide.
The most important coastal town of Belgium, port with ferry services to England, large fishing port, popular marina - in Oostende suddenly the real world seems really close. During the Belle époque period the city was among the most distinguished spa-towns of Europe. Nowadays Oostende is not the elegant town it used to be when the happy few of Europa played in the casino and visited the horse races, met one another in the majestic villas and the Belgian king ordered to build his summer palace here. The fishermen’s quay, the marina and the Wapenplein are the beating heart of the lively city today. For a pleasant evening walk at sunset you are recommended to go to Weststaketsel. This is one of the two long piers that form the access to the harbour. Oostende remains a lively town, even when all the tourists have returned home.
Located at the North Sea, Oostende is an historic town that is also cosmopolitan, modern and lively at the same time. For years, exceptional artists have found their inspiration in Ensors town, and you will certaintly notice this in cultural life here. You can see the effects of the city renovation and transformation best in the prestigious Casino Cursaal. However, you can also enjoy the sun on the beach, or have hours of shopping fun in the many shopping streets. It is the perfect place for a daytrip, a city trip or a beach holiday!
There is no doubt the worldly atmosphere of former times that is present everywhere is the most appealing of Oostende. Already in 1850, Oostende was the meeting place for the aristocracy, a reputation that was enforced by the later efforts of king Leopold II. It is this past you feel when you walk past the Thermenpaleis, support your favourites from the grandstands of the Wellington horse racing track, spin the wheel in the monumental casino or watch the fireworks from the beach in summer. And when you rest your feet at one of the many terraces of the Wapenplein, enjoying an appetizer, there will always be a brassband or a beautifully dressed marching band playing some ‘evergreens’ from the flower stand.
- Visit the pleasant seaside resorts Knokke-Heist, Blankenberge or the historic city Brugge with many beautiful sights.
- Discover the Belgian (Flemish) coast through one of the many beautiful cycling, hiking, horse riding and skating trips.
- Breath of fresh air during a long beach walk, the way to completely lose the tension of everyday life.