I love day trips and in this post, I would like to revisit a fun day in Ostend in Belgium. After a long and hectic Euro trip, I decided a take a a week long break in Brussels. While my friend went off to Spain, I stayed back in and did short trips to nearby Belgian cities. After seeing the Belgian canals in Ghent and Antwerp, I was looking forward to Ostend, the city on the Belgian coast. And unlike my usual trips where I follow a itinerary, I decided to take a day off at Ostend beach. I kept to my promise and took the much- needed break from research and planning. The best part was that I just had to board a train from Brussels and alight at Ostend. Rest it was very easy to find my way to the beach. But, in case you are looking for more, this is the place where you can discover remnants of WWII bunkers, a historic lighthouse, Napoleonic military fort and lots of street art.
Also, one must know that Ostend is called the ‘City by the Sea’. It is blessed with over five and a half miles of sandy beaches. Belgians look forward to it for sunbathing and a refreshing dip in the North Sea. It has a very spacious and interesting promenade settings opposite to the beach.
How to Travel from Brussels to Ostend?
Planning a trip from Brussels to Ostend is a cake walk Nearly 15 trains run between the two cities in Belgium. The average journey time by train between Brussels and Ostend is 1 hour and 30 minutes. The fastest train takes 1 hour 12 minutes. The E40 motorway connects Brussels with Ostend. One can also travel by bus and car. I opted for a train and it was a comfortable journey. Not to forget, I travelled during pre-pandemic days and the train was crowded.
Ask the Belgians and they will tell you that Ostend has always been a very strategic port. It has a rich history because the city has seen many ups and downs. First it was ravaged by the Spanish and later it had to deal with major destructions in the World War II . But once you are there, you can see for yourself how the city is back on its feet and it impresses with it art and creativity. The railway station
Just Walk from Ostend Station towards the Beach
In no time, I could conclude that Ostend beach is the locals favourite. Everyone was headed there.
I was happy to pass by the cathedral. Europe is full of them and I am always overwhelmed by the gorgeous facade. This one too was very inviting. On an usual visit, I would have gone inside but today was supposed to be a beach day only and thus I did not dare to de-tour.
I distracted myself with the funky souvenier shops. I enjoy stopping by small shops and I feel these places give the first hint about the popular things in that city. The fridge magnets, the handmade items and the little knick knacks always tell us about the place. Ostend has some cool and cute shops. Dont forget to stop by them whenever its all gets well to travel freely.
Soon, I saw the beach and the rocks. The promenade was quite funky too. And the beach bars seemed like fun.
Ostend means North Sea and if you will google it, you will know its vantage location.
And last but not the least, there is beach in Belgium. Its huge. One can make the most of it. Go for swimming or simply chill on the beach. I will not forget to mention about the seaside restaurants and their seaside views. And if you wish ti explore a little, walk to the Atlantic Wall. Also check out for the Fort Napolean.
I like cities which stand unique in their style, history, attractions and overall aura. I found Ostend one of them, unpretentious and cool. It was different from the rest of the Belgian cities. And I must say it has lots to offer for a two days getaway. Not to forget, it has amazing murals too. I did not have enough time for everything because it was an Ostend beach day for me but you must plan it well.
What to Eat in Ostend?
In Ostend, one must not miss the fresh sea food catch. I had heard a lot about shrimp croquettes and ‘tomato filled with shrimps’. I am a vegeterian by choice but you can always indulge in its cosy cafe bistros opposite to the beach promenade.
How to Explore Ostend?
It is an artistic city and it’s easy to get around on foot.