What does Oostende have to offer and what is there to do in Oostende? The only real City at the Sea has more than 9 km of fine sandy beaches, all of them an invitation to enjoy the sun and have a refreshing swim in the North Sea, or alternately, to go for a long walk along the promenade. Moreover Oostende is located only 15 minutes (by car) from Bruges and about an hour from Ypres. However, in addition to sea and sun, the seaside town of Oostende has so much more to offer.
In the field of gastronomy, there are very few places able to compete with Oostende. In the restaurants on the Visserskaai one can sample all the delicacies the sea has to offer, while at the same time enjoying a view of the vistrap (fish ladder) and the fishing boats. However, numerous other restaurants serving the very finest of food are to be found in the city centre, on the Albert I Promenade as well as at other less well-known locations.
Oostende is also a shoppers’ paradise. In the Kapellestraat you will find branches of most of the big department stores. For a stylish outfit pay a visit to the Adolf Buylstraat with its more exclusive boutiques. However the many shops situated in adjacent streets and in the vicinity of both pedestrian shopping streets as well as the shops in the Alfons Pieterslaan are well worth a visit.
Those who enjoy the nightlife should visit the Langestraat and the surrounding area. Lively cafés, pubs, delightful discos and a cinema complex. Oostende has it all. And of course there is always the Casino-Kursaal for those who enjoy a bit of gambling.
Spend a night in one of the 64 hotels in Oostende. The wide range of hotels include four-star hotels with every comfort, middle-class hotels, as well as simple hotels with basic amenities. In addition to this Oostende also has extensive accommodation for meetings and seminars.
Oostende is also a wonderful city for culture lovers. The Museum of Modern Art (PMMK) in the Romestraat regularly holds exhibitions on different themes which are very popular with the public at large. The Museum of Fine Art is situated in the Feest- en Cultuurpaleis on the Wapenplein. It houses collections of the work of James Ensor, Alechinsky, Delvaux and Permeke. And should your hunger for culture not yet be satisfied, you can always pay a visit to the Venetian Galleries where interesting exhibitions are held on a regular basis.
The following sights are definitely worth visiting: The Tree Master Mercator, Iceland vessel Amandine, Fort Napoleon, Domain Raversijde, the Japanese Garden, the James Ensor House and the Provincial Museum for Modern Art (PMMK).
Since a few years, Oostende is experiencing a real transformation. The Sea Dike has already bee renewed, as well as Fort Napoleon, the Fishermen’s Quay and several streets and squares. Several other projects are expected, such as the Mercurius Project, the extension of the east shore and the renovation of the Casino.