Known as the 'City by the Sea', Ostend boasts over five and a half miles of sandy beaches just off the North Sea. Its extensive promenade is full of many shops, bars and lovely restaurants and this cosmopolitan city has a harbour, yacht-basin and over 50 hotels. Visitors will be amazed by all there is to see and do here. Highlights include: Oostende at Anchor, Theatre by the Sea, Sparkling Mondays, Magic Lights in the Park, the Christmas Market with a huge ice-skating ramp and Carnival weekend with the well known Dead Rat Ball.
One of Ostend's main and maybe lesser known trump cards is the gastronomy and there is something to suit everyone's taste and budget here. Particular specialities include ‘Dover Sole’, ‘shrimp croquettes’ and 'tomato filled with grey shrimps'. There is also plenty to keep you amused late on in to the evening with many pubs, clubs and cinema complexes.
Any good activities around?
When on the coast, why not take the coastal tram that operates throughout the year with over 70 stops en route. Or, why not take a walk along the column lined walkway of Ostend’s promenade
No visit to Ostend would be complete without a trip to the local “frituur” to sample the best in Belgian fries and you will most definitely be spoilt for choice by offerings of really tasty, fresh seafood that is cooked from the first catch of the day. Or, why not sample some authentic Belgian waffles with icing sugar and whipped cream.
The best areas for night-time fun are the Van Iseghemlaan and the Langestraat. Both of these streets are lined with restaurants, pubs and night clubs that often stay open all night. Also recommended for an entertaining evening is the Kursaal-Casino, with three restaurants, a lounge bar and a gaming room. Also found at the Casino is Krush Club – the first electronic music club at the Belgian coast. A former take-away restaurant has been transformed and the club is the only place in Flanders with a LED ceiling and light system! The club attracts d-js from all over the world and is open every Saturday night.
Somewhere to Shop?
Boutique browsers will be spoilt for choice in Ostend. At the top end of the market are Edouard Tailor and Edouard Couture, at Kapellestraat 6 and 8 respectively and there are many more similar shops on this street. The Adolf Buylstraat is also known for its exclusive boutiques. Here, one can discover many wonderful shops in the side streets of these two traffic free shopping streets. Boutiques on the parallel Christinastraat include Lopez at number 48, stocking prestige women's labels, and Bilitis at 59. On the Wapenplein there is a shopping centre with over twenty different shops. Just outside the city centre, in the Alfons Pieterslaan and the Petit Paris quarter, you will also find several stores. Most stores in the city centre are open in the afternoon on Sundays and holidays.
Thursday is the main market day in Ostend. Between 7 am and 1 pm you can buy several fresh products on the Wapenplein, Groentemarkt and Mijnplein in the city centre. A wide range of textiles, perfumes, jewellery and plants are also for sale here. On Saturday morning, there is also a market on the Wapenplein and Groentemarkt and on Sunday you can find a small flower market on the Wapenplein. Every Monday, a small market with a few stands is set up on the Wapenplein.
Must sees in Ostend
TAZ - Theatre by the Sea
July 26th – August 4th 2013
This summer the ten-day music and theatre festival, Theatre by the Sea (Theater Aan Zee or TAZ for short), will take place in a whole range of extraordinary locations in and around Ostend. The festival is inspired by a renown artistic guest, who brings his world and kinsfolk to Ostend: TAZ offers a diverse program of literature, family theatre and the like.
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Fishery Project “A l’ostendaise”
June 28th 2013– September 30th 2014
Discover the Ostend gastronomy through the eyes of a passionate fisherman. Follow his story and his route: from catch to plate. The walk takes you along a series of maritime locations such as the fishing vessel, the fish auction, the fishmonger’s, the fish restaurant and maritime attractions. Each month the Flemish fishermen will challenge chefs from Ostend to use all kinds of seafood from the North Sea in a creative manner. They decide on a ‘fish of the month’ which you can enjoy on menus throughout the city the following four weeks.
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