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The Belgian Seaside: Top Ways to Enjoy Belgium's Coast
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The Belgian Seaside: Top Ways to Enjoy Belgium's Coast

Picture of Louise Reid
Updated: 10 October 2016
Only 50 minutes by train from Brussels, a visit to the Belgian coast is a great way to relax, enjoy the occasional summer sunshine and take a break from the city lifestyle. With 65 kilometres of coast, Belgium has a lot of different seaside resorts to choose from. We have put together a list of the best ways to take advantage and enjoy summertime at the Belgian seaside.
Oostende Panoramic View| © Georges Jansoone/WikiCommons
Oostende Panoramic View | © Georges Jansoone/WikiCommons
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Ostend

As the only true ‘City at the Sea’, upon arrival you will discover over 9 kilometers of great sandy beaches that invite you to sunbathe, walk along the beautiful promenade and for the hardier individuals, take a refreshing dip in the North Sea. It’s worth noting that from 28 June until 31 August, Ostend plays host to the Sand Sculpture Festival. Ostend is also a lively city with a multitude of activities to enjoy ranging from museum events to shopping to sports to music and much more. With trains leaving from Brussels every 30 minutes, it’s great to spend the day out in Ostend catching some sun and enjoying the beach-city experience.

Ostend, Belgium

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De Hann

For the adventurous, it is possible to rent bikes or catch the coastal tram from Ostend train station to discover the enchanting resort of De Hann. You can choose to cycle along the road to De Hann (approx. 40 mins) or the coastal path (approx 1 hour). It is a fantastic way to see much more of the Belgian coast (including a nudist beach along the way!). Upon arrival in De Haan you are instantly captivated by the beautiful Anglo-Norman style cottages and villas. The beachfront is also quite quiet so it’s possible to rent sun chairs or to find your own private section of the beach. An invigorating and relaxing day out.

De Haan, Belgium

Pier Blankenberge | © Marc Ryckaert/WikiCommons
Pier Blankenberge | © Marc Ryckaert/WikiCommons
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Blankenberge

Blankenberge has been referred to as a piece of the Spanish ‘Costa’ in Belgium. Unlike other coastal towns, Blankenberge has an exciting nightlife with a variety of bars and restaurants were you can unwind after a long day of sunbathing. There is also a harbour, a promenade with numerous food stalls and shops, and a long beach with beach huts which you can rent daily. The most popular destination however, is the Blankenberge Pier which comprises a renowned restaurant and brassiere as well as bars.

Blankenberge, Belgium

A walk on the pier | © Martijn Loth/Flickr
A Walk on the Pier | © Martijn Loth/Flickr
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Nieuwpoort

For water sport enthusiasts, Nieuwpoort is the place to go. The beach plays host to numerous aquatic sports: paddling and swimming, boat trips and sailing, fishing and angling, wave-carting and surfing. Additionally it is a popular seaside resort for families due to the many recreational facilities along the beach and the traffic-free promenade. If you feel like exploring the city itself, there are many relaxing parks, beautiful monuments, pleasant squares and impressive shopping-streets. An ideal destination for a fun and active family day out.

Nieuwpoort, Belgium

Knokke Strand Plage | © Filippo Diotalevi/Flickr
Knokke Strand Plage | © Filippo Diotalevi/Flickr
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Knokke-Heist

Known as the ‘sophisticated’ area of the coast, Knokke-Heist encompasses not just 1 but 5 lovely beaches: Heist, Duinbergen, Albertstrand, Knokke and the Zoute. There is also a beautiful nature reserve: the Zwin. Knokke itself offers a bustling cultural calendar, due to its numerous art galleries (some with international status), casino and the Scharpoord cultural centre. For those, seeking the glamorous areas, check out the stately avenues, large villas and golf course. The area of Knokke-Heist has something for everybody and is a great place to explore.

Knokke-Heist, Belgium