Flanders And The Oostend Coast

Welcome to our Ostend Tourist Information feature. Ostend is not in France but it is one of the most popular destinations for people crossing the Channel, so please forgive its location in our La France section. We welcome your feedback about this city and the local area, our contact details are below. You can find links to all of the current features on the main tourism page.

Ostend is the name of a coastal city in Flanders and the municipality that surrounds it. It is made up of four parts or boroughs: Mariakerke, Stene, Zandvoorde, and Ostend itself. Originally a small fishing village, Ostend was developed during the middle ages until it became a port of military and economic significance. In the 18th century the access to the sea through Antwerp was closed by the Dutch which led to a further increase in the status of Ostend. In the 19th century a rail connection between Ostend and Brussels, helped the town grow in size and importance. The first ferry service between Ostend and Dover sailed in 1846.

Ostend is a very popular seaside resort and high season will see the fine sandy beaches crowded with families. The whole Flanders coast is dotted with a number of smaller seaside towns such as: Blankenberge, Bredene, De Haan & Wenduine, De Panne, Knokke-Heist, Koksijde, Oostduinkerke, Middelkerke, Westende and Nieuwpoort. Each of these places has a slightly different flavour and there are some great places to visit and stay.

Some Of The Places Of Interest In Ostend

  • The Atlantic Wall - An open-air attraction and monument to the extensive coastal defences created by the Nazis during their occupation. This is a great place to visit but our research suggests there is no wheelchair access. If you want more clarification ring the local tourism office, good English is spoken there.
    • Address: Nieuwpoortsesteenweg 636, 8400 Oostende
    • More Details: www.west-vlaanderen.be
  • Our Lady In The Dunes - A small seaside church originally built around 1375. Quite close to the see a site of real interest.
    • Address: Dorpstraat, 8400 Oostende
  • St Peter and Paul - Neo gothic church with highly regarded stained glass windows. Queen Louise-Marie is entombed in the chapel. Built in the same style as Cologne Cathedral and Vienna's Votivkirche.
    • Address: Sint-Petrus- en-Paulus, 8400 Oostende.

  • De Zee - Also known as 'Dikke Mathille' a famous sculpture of a full figured reclining nude woman by Georges Grardin
    • Address: Leopold II-laan, 8400 Oostende
  • Earth Explorer - This attraction demonstrates how earthquakes, eruptions and tornados occur. This is only open from April to September.
    • Address: Earth Explorer, Fortstraat 128b, 8400 0ostende
    • More Details: www.earthexplorer.be
  • Fort Napoleon - Built in 1814 and used as a mess for German officers in more recent times. This splendid Napoleonic fortification is a pentagonal brick building is surrounded by a moat and walls 8 metres high. Check website for opening times. There is wheelchair access.
    • Address: Vuurtorenweg, 8400 Oostende
    • More Details: www.fort-napoleon.be
  • Amandine Museum - The Amandine was a deep sea trawler, now restored as a floating museum.
    • Address: Vindictivelaan 35-Z, 8400 Oostende
    • More information: www.museum-amandine.be
  • Kursaal - Stylish 1950 style architecture on a grand scale.
    • Address: Kursaal Oostende, Westhelling z/n, 8400 Oostende
    • More information:http://www.kursaaloostende.be
  • The Ostend Lighthouse - By it's nature something of a landmark. A 65 mt tall lighthouse is in fact the third to be built on this site.
    • Address: Vuurtorenweg, 8400 Oostende
  • Mu.ZEE - The museum by the sea, beautiful and both open and accessible.
    • Address: Romestraat 11, B-8400 Ostend
    • More information: www.muzee.be
  • North Sea Aquarium - A museum with it's heart in the North Sea; fossils, shells and stuffed sea creatures as well as 13 aquariums of marine animals and fish from the sea.
    • Address: Visserskaai, 8400 Oostende
    • More information: noordzee.aquarium
  • Royal Galleries - Designed by architect Charles Girault at the request of King Leopold II, they lead to the Wellington Race Course. Completed in 1906 The Royal Galleries are 380 metres long and comprise 77 arches in a double-nave construction.
    • Address: Zeedijk, 8400 Oostende
  • The Seamen's Memorial - Those lost at sea are commemorated here.
    • Address: Zeeheldenplein, 8400 Oostende

The Ostend Tourist Office

  • Address: Toerisme Oostende VZW, Monacoplein 2, 8400 Oostende
  • Telephone: +32 (0)59 701199
  • Website: www.visitoostende.be

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