Originally known as a stylish seaside resort with its royal villas and casino, during WWII, Ostend became known for something else: The remarkable Atlantik Wall. This gripping complex is a mixture of bunkers, gun emplacements and brick tunnels created by occupying German forces during WWII. Most of the bunkers are furnished and “manned” with wax soldiers - it is one of Belgium’s best war sites.

On a more cultural note, The Ensor Museum is a tribute to Ostender and expressionist painter, James Ensor. It is filled with dolls, puppets and masks and feels like his macabre painting, “Christ’s Entry into Brussels”, which is now in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Most of his other work (and more) is at Mu.ZEE, Ostend’s modern art museum, housed in an impressive modernist building by 1940’s architect Gaston Eysselinck.

Look out at the wide sandy beach from a stunning promenade and watch the goings-on from one of the cozy glass-terraced tearooms. In the evening, you can download a walk-umentary of Marvin Gaye’s unusual time here – he’ll tell you all about it. Then head to the Langestraat district for a brown Belgian beer and crab claws, and enjoy how Ostend is once again a stylish seaside resort.

Atlantic Wall Museum

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Atlantic Wall Museum

Atlantic Wall Museum

Learn more about the role Oostende played in both World War I and World War II at the open-air Atlantic Wall Museum. Wander around the dunes and the surrounding area to see the actual walls, trenches, and guns used in these conflicts.

Mu.Zee

Mu.Zee

Mu.Zee is a fluid, ever-changing exhibition space for contemporary artists both from Belgium and around the world. The environment encourages guests to approach art in a relaxed, unencumbered, and highly creative way.

Mercator

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Mercator

Mercator

This 1930s sailing ship is permanently moored in Oostende’s marina, in front of City Hall. Go aboard this floating museum to explore the ship both above and below deck and learn more about its compelling history.

Oostende, Belgium At a glance

Current Weather:
18°C / 64 °F
Thu
19°
14°
Fri
19°
13°
Sat
17°
14°
Sun
19°
14°
Current Time:
12:51:01 pm2017/06/28 12:51:01 pm
CEST
Wednesday, June 28
Offset:
UTC/GMT +02:00
Currency:
Euro
Exchange Rates:
  • 1.13
  • 1.49
  • 0.88
  • 1.48
  • 73.15
  • 3.76
  • 20.14
  • 1.56
Local Details:
Size: 37.72 KM2 (14.56 MI2)
Population: 70,284
Density: 1,863 Pop/KM2 (719 Pop/MI2)
Country Code: 32

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