Oostend The 'Queen Of Resorts'
Ostend – ‘Queen of the resorts’
Ostend does not lack tourist attractions. A city by the sea is an attraction in itself. However, on less bright days there are several tourist attractions that can make a visit to Ostend worthwhile.
You can explore the city by foot or hire a bike or take a ride in a horse and carriage. There is also a little tourist train which is fun.
There is the recently refurbished Casino Kursaal where you can have a flutter or take in a show or visit one of its bars or restaurants with a superb sea view.
The church St.-Petrus- and Paulus was rebuilt in 1907 after a fire. It has beautiful stained-glass windows. The tomb of Louise-Marie, the Queen of Belgium who died in Ostend, is situated in the chapel of the main altar.
In the centre of town is the charming Leopold Park with a lake and cafeteria. At the entrance is the Floral Clock which changes the date every day between July and September using 15,000 flowers and plants.
In the yacht harbour lies the Mercator Ship. It was used by the Belgian Navy until 1960. Now it serves as a museum. There is also the Icelandic fishing boat ‘Amandine’ to visit. It is opposite the railway station.
The James Ensor Museum is in the same street as the hotel, on the way to the sea. The artist James Ensor inherited it from his uncle who had had a shell and souvenir shop there, and he spent the rest of his long life here.
The City Museum tells you about Ostend’s fascinating history. It is situated in the Langestraat in the house where Queen Louise-Marie lived and died.
You can explore the wonderful coast which extends from the French to the Dutch border. The best way to see it is by the famous coast tram, which runs the entire 60 km of the Belgian coast and is the longest tram line in the world.
Children will enjoy an exciting and interactive visit to Earth Explorer. With the aid of simulators
they can experience diving to the depths of the oceans, volcanic eruptions and a lifelike
Close by the beach between Oostende and Middelkerke is the ‚Raversijde Domain‘, where
Prince Karel spent a large part of his life. The main attraction is the ‚Atlantikwall‘, which is
an impressive complex of tunnels and bunkers built by the German troops in the first and
second World Wars.
Another war memorial is the ‚Vindictive‘. Only the front part of this war ship remains from
the English war ship. This ship was taken into the Oostende Harbour by the English sailors
and then sunk to close off the entrance. In this way the Germans occupants could no longer
use the harbour.
The Fort Napoleon‘ in Oostende is the only still completely intact Napoleonic fortress left
in Europe. The ‚Fort‘ stands in the dunes north of the city centre and can be reached by tram.