top 5 ostend, belgium is the best you can do while you are in this belgian town on the north sea coast. i was lucky to be there on a very sunny june day.
5. church of saint peter and saint paul. i recommend visiting this beautiful neo-gothic church
4. fish and shellfish. since ostend is located right on the coast, the bountiful north sea is a source of fresh, delicious and healthy stuff. you can have it in a nice restaurant, buy it fresh from the fish market or find a street vendor selling fishy snacks. either way, you will love it!
3. public sculpture. if you get to the beach, you cannot miss the rock strangers by arne quinze. i don’t know how great the art is, but i know that i definitely associate ostend with it!
2. sailing. when you live on the coast, sailing is one of the coolest advantages. i’d love to sail off into the sunset on a nice summer day!
1 the beach! belgium does not have nice weather all that often. even in the summer, they don’t get high temperatures or many sunny days. so, if it’s the weekend and they realize the day is going to be sunny, they jump in hoards in those efficient trains of theirs and head to ostend. when i went, the train was so full that people were sitting on the floor and standing between the seats.
and, once you get to the actual beach, it will be full of people.
i spent only a few hours there, trying to avoid the crowds on the way back. so i missed some interesting possibilities:
* mu.zee seems to be the kind of museum i’d visit.
* the world’s longest tram line. de kusttram or the coast tram runs along the coast, from de panne, close to france, all the way to knokke-heist, near the netherlands. the 70 stops cover 68 km. the smart local people have available 1, 3, 5 and 7-day passes. this one goes on my bucket list!
* lottos kite festival. ostend is the perfect windy place for such an event.
random piece of info: there is a walkumentary that will help you visit marvin gaye‘s ostend. are you surprised? well, as you most probably don’t know, he lived in ostend for a year or so, trying to get his life back on track. during his belgian stay, he wrote the hit sexual healing.
warning! the town has a ban on seagulls. apparently, they are pretty aggressive and they’ll steal your food if they get the chance. if you feed them, you may end up paying a 250 euro fine!
check out visit ostend for any further details!
photo credits: little aesthete, copyright owners