Best Beaches in Belgium

This article first appeared on My Travelogue by Bhushavali


I don't have anything against Ostend, just that, it is what Marina Beach is to Chennai or Juhu Beach is to Mumbai - always crowded! Ostend is the easiest accessible beach from Brussels which makes it the most crowded beach in Belgium, all the time! Plus there are also a lot of other things to do in Ostend incl. Fort Napoleon, Shopping areas, MuZee museum, etc. Ostend is also the central point of the entire Belgian Coast. Even if you go on a midweek day-time during the summer holidays, it is still crowded!!! I know quite a few people who have visited just Ostend and have asked if Belgium has any nice beaches at all?! 
If you're anything like me, looking for a bit less crowded beach to go to, here's the good news! The entire length of the Belgian Coast is well connected by public transport and is possible to go anywhere by public transport!

Best beaches in Belgium Middelkerke

SNCB-NMBS to the rescue! It is super easy to reach the Belgian Coastal region by train. Direct trains run from Brussels to Ostend, Blankenberge, and De Panne plus connecting trains are available to reach Knokke and Zeebrugge as well. 
It is cheaper to use the Standard Multi (10 Journey Ticket of SNCB-NMBS), which costs €17 to reach the Belgian Coast from Brussels than 50% off tickets during the weekend, or the Discovery ticket or Duo ticket, which costs €18- €22 (for eg., tickets to DePanne/Knokke costs more than Ostend). Apart from the usual trains, during summer SNCB-NMBS also runs the Coast Express - extra trains from across the country to the coast!

Thanks to DeLijn Coastal Tram (deKusttram), it is possible to travel through the entire coastal line of Belgium easily. Did you know, that the Belgian Coastal Tram is the longest tram line in the world that runs 67km between DePanne & Knokke-Heist!!! Either get a regular DeLijn one journey ticket (or activate 1 ticket in your 10 journey ticket in your DeLijn App) if you want to visit 1 destination or get the day ticket if you plan to hop around this 67km of length. 
Keep in mind - though the coastal tram connects all the towns along the Belgian coast, it mostly runs through the towns and doesn't really give you a view of the beach/sea most of the time, except at a few places. Don't expect a tram ride with a picturesque view.


Sand Sculpture Festival Middelkerke Belgium Fairytales in the sand Sprookjes in het Zand

Sand Sculpture Festival Middelkerke Belgium Fairytales in the sand Sprookjes in het Zand

Sand Sculpture Festival Middelkerke Belgium Fairytales in the sand Sprookjes in het Zand

When it is summer, Middelkerke is my top choice, for a visit to the Belgian Beaches. Why? Middelkerke is the home is the annual Sand Sculpture Festival in Belgium!  

Zandsculpturenfestival Middekerke: Every year, the Sand sculpture festival in Belgium happens in Middelkerke throughout the months of July & August. The theme changes every year, and this year it is 'Fairy Tales in the Sand' (Sprookjes in het Zand). 
Just like last year, the beginning part of the exhibition explains the step-by-step process of Sand Sculpting. 
Further ahead, the first sculpture is of '3 little pigs'. The next panel is the house of 'Hanzel & Gretel'. I was wondering what it was and Atyudarini very promptly identified the gingerbread house and said it's Hanzel & Gretel. I was wondering why just the house to represent this story but I was wrong; the sculpture is in 2 sections and the 2nd scene is behind and it shows Gretel kicking the witch into the oven! At the same spot, to the right is a very interesting photo-op: kissing the Frog Prince! 
The next sculpture is a much larger, extensive scene of 'Ariel, the Little Mermaid'. She's surrounded by corals, shells, fishes, starfishes, lobsters & more. The next scene is of Jack Frost and it looked so charming, followed by 'Puss in Boots'. At this spot, to the left is 'Little Red Riding Hood' complete with a red scarf, yes, the artist has used red-colored sand to make her scarf! 
Again to the left was a huge dragon which reminded me much of the fallen T-Rex in last year's theme - 'Dinos in the Sand'. Well, this dragon was slain by George of 'George and the Dragon'. 
To the left here is 'Snow White and the 7 dwarfs'. Behind this, is a room with magical mirrors where you can ask 'Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all'! It's quite an amusing room to see funny, weird, crazy reflections of yourself! Next are 'Pinocchio', 'Cinderella', 'Gulliver in Lilliput' and the majestic 'Beauty and the Beast'. Beauty and the Beast is the perfect, most Instagrammable location in Zandsculpturenfestival!   
Next is 'Aladdin and the Magic Lamp'. The magic lamp is shown with a long cloud with Genie on the other side. Next, it goes inside a room with peep-holes in it; well, that's the cave with treasures as in 'Alibaba and the 40 thieves'! Then there are 'Rapunzel', 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Peterpan', 'Tinkerbell', etc. The final awesome thing is the 'Fire Breathing Dragon' which emits fire once every 2 minutes! Wait & watch. 
About 5-6 times a day, there's a show (drama/theatre), but it is entirely in Dutch/Flemish so we skipped it. There's a nice bouncy castle for the kiddos. Of course, there are 2 kiosks here - one for small-eats & another for drinks & icecream. There are several lounge chairs to make the experience, super fun! 

The theme changes every year, and this year it is 'Dinos in the sand'. It is organized by the same team that Dino World at Brussels Expo last year. 
Dinos in the Sand is an absolutely fun expo to visit. The expo begins with a step-by-step explanation of how sand sculpting works and then, you come face to face with a Titanoboa! From Titanoboa, the path leads to Ovirapotor, Stegasaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Mosasaurus, Gallimimus, Iguanadon, Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Spinosaurus, Plesiosaurus, Archelon, Pachyrachis, and many more. There is a section dedicated to the sculptures of just the fossils of various dinos. Apart from these dinos, quite a few other prehistoric creatures are also on display - a prehistoric frog complete with a tail, a gigantic Octopus (which reminded me of the Giant Pacific Octopus), Jellyfishes, giant crabs, giant mollusks including Parapuzosia, etc. My favorite was perhaps the group of Parasaurolophus for the complexity of carving the entire group and the vegetation all around it and also the Iguanadon. 
Here are some very interesting scenes that should not be missed - 1. A meteor striking sky the sky over the Quetzalcoatlus! 2. An baby Oviraptor 'inside' the egg. 3. The foot size comparison of a human foot vs T-Rex foot!  4. Watch the volcano as it erupts and lets out smoke!
To wrap up the visit there's a nice little movie about Dinos plus a stunning VR experience (extra €5 on the spot) where you 'fly' with a Microraptor and explore over the mountains, look into a volcano, go under the sea to see a fish being gobbled up by a crocodile, and more!!! 
It was quite an experience to see the sand sculptures. I hadn't been to a sand-sculpture festival earlier and it was quite an educational and impressive thing. I have handled terracotta and have tried to make sculptures with it, but I'm failing to understand, how the compressed sand would feel like and how complex would it be to sculpt compressed wet sand!!! It would have been all the more awesome if there had been a workshop or demo where we could actually see the sculpting being done. However, in the week of 13-19th July alone, the European Sand Sculpting Championship is happening on the same premises, so it is possible to see how sand sculpting is done, live, just during those days. 
There's a cafe here called the 'T-Rex Bar'. Thanks to the super hot day, we both got a popsicle each to cool off and then changed in the toilet of the exhibition grounds, into our swimsuits with beach coverups & then hit the beach! Just to clarify, it isn't allowed to visit the Sand Sculpture Exhibition wearing just a swimsuit!

Photos of Sand Sculpture Festival Middelkerke 2022 - Dinos in the Sand
Dinos in the Sand Zandsculpturenfestival Middelkerke Sand Sculpture Festival BelgiumDinos in the Sand Zandsculpturenfestival Middelkerke Sand Sculpture Festival Belgium Dinos in the Sand Zandsculpturenfestival Middelkerke Sand Sculpture Festival Belgium

Here's a tip: Carry a few €0.50 for the toilets! The toilets inside the premises is payable even if you have a visit ticket.

Middelkerke Beach
Like all Belgian Beaches, there are cabins here as well as 2 restaurants. This is a relatively small beach with about 3 rescue posts. There's a little playground as well. There are no toilets on the beach itself, but there are a few in the town of Middelkerke. Of course, the restaurants have a toilet but that's only for customers. 

Where is ZandSculpturenFestival happening (on Google Maps)? Fairy Tales in the Sand
How to reach Middelkerke Sand Sculpture Festival (Fairy Tales in the Sand)? Nearest tram stop is Middelkerke De Greefplein which is connected by the Coastal Tram (Kust Tram DeLijn Route KT).
Middelkerke Sand Sculpture Festival (Fairy Tales in the Sand) Tickets: €12.50 (also includes 50% off code of SNCB) - Buy online via the official website of ZandSculpturenFestival.
Middelkerke Sand Sculpture Festival (Fairy Tales in the Sand) Timings: 10:00 to 17:00 
When is Middelkerke Sand Sculpture Festival happening in 2023: July 01 to Sept 11, 2023

Where is Middelkerke Beach (on Google Maps)Middelkerke Strand
How to reach Middelkerke Beach? The nearest railway station is Ostend. Then take the DeLijn Coastal Tram towards De Panne. Middelkerke is served by 3 stops of the DeLijn Coastal Tram - Middelkerke De Greefplein, Middelkerke Casino, and Middelkerke Krokodiel
Beach cabins rentals, beach chairs & umbrellas at Middelkerke: via official tourism website of Middelkerke

Bird Sanctuaries in Belgium Het Zwin Stork Nesting
Right Pic Courtesy: ©Zwin Natuur Park. Used here with the permission of Zwin Natuur Park

Het Zwin natuur Park things to do in Knokke-Heist

Bird Sanctuaries in Belgium Het Zwin Cabin walk

Bird Sanctuaries in Belgium Het Zwin
Pic Courtesy: © Zwin Natuur Park. Used here with the permission of Zwin Natuur Park

The northern end of the Belgian Coastal Tram line! I wanted to visit Het Zwin because it is Belgium's largest Stork nesting area! 

Het Zwin: Het Zwin is one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Belgium. As soon as you enter Het Zwin, you get a contactless Zwin Passport card to make the self-guided walk interactive and for kids, there's a special booklet to help them identify the birds, as well as a check-list chart to help with birding! 
The first stop is the permanent exhibition that talks about bird migration and an overview of the birds that arrive at Het Zwin. At the end of the exhibition is the Panorama tower, complete with telescopes. It was awesome! The Panorama tower was almost the height of the nesting towers of the Storks! Storks are huge and they flew at our eye level - it was startling. The telescopes helped to see the nests and the storks themselves, up & close! It was quite a thing! I had shown Atyudarini storks earlier, but they'd be far far away, it was her first experience at a bird sanctuary and first experience using a telescope, and the first experience in seeing a stork & its nest, up & close. 
After the Panoramic Tower, it was time to exit the indoors and head to the wooded areas and water bodies to see the birds in their natural habitat. Our first stop was this little pond, overpowered by vegetation. The pond was so so so rich in its biodiversity. To an untrained eye, it would be 'dirty', but in that 'dirt' that's all-natural, so many small organisms thrive! To help us understand that, a small glass fish tank of the water from that pond was set aside by the staff who explained the biodiversity within that pond! Guess what? Atyudarini got to see a tadpole, complete with its tail, for the first-ever time!!! There's a small parcours area with sculptures of frogs everywhere and Atyudarini was so excited!!!
The pathway goes ahead and there are several bird-watching, observation huts to just sit & observe & photograph! There was even a hut in the middle of a waterbody, called an Island hut. There are some huts, in the middle of the wooded areas, called the Listening huts. We heard quite a few woodpeckers & robins (European Robin, Short-toed treecreeper, Eurasian reed warbler, Common chiffchaff, and European stonechat are only some of the songbirds here!) There are also a couple of laboratories, where the staff helps you to see microorganisms and insects with a microscope!!!!!
Then, the path leads to the Zwin Plains. There are a couple of walking paths to choose from, including a barefoot walking path. This is one of the top places to visit in Belgium for every avid birder. Unlike the other sandy beaches, this is more of a polder, a salt-water marshland (like Texel). We spotted several types of gulls, ducks, coots, grebes, and more. The soil was covered with Common Sea Lavender in full bloom. It was such a sight; one of the best places to see flowers in Belgium.
Here's a tip: Carry a binocular and wear good shoes to walk in the Zwin plains.

Where is Het Zwin Natuur Park (on Google Maps)Zwin Natuur Park
How to reach Het Zwin Natuur Park? From Knokke Station, DeLijn bus route 12 takes you to Het Zwin. The journey time is about 30 mins and the frequency of the route is once every hour.
Het Zwin Natuur Park Tickets: €12 (free for kids under 6) - Buy Het Zwin tickets online via the official website of Zwin Natuur park
Het Zwin Natuur Park Timings: Open every day from 10:00 to 18:00 during the summer holidays. Refer to their website for other timings.

Great Art for Great Kids Knokke Heist Belgium

Great Art for Great Kids Knokke Heist Belgium

Great Art for Great Kids Knokke Heist Belgium

Great Art for Great Kids Knokke Heist Belgium

Great Art for Great Kids Exhibition: Great Art for Great Kids is quite an unusual expo. If your child is a bit older and already knows the basic masterpieces of European Art or if a parent/guardian has an idea on European Art, this is a very very fun exhibition. Major masterpieces incl. Boticelli's Birth of Venus, Klimt's Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Frida Kahlo's Self Portrait, Van Gogh's Sunflowers, Gaughin's Tahitian Women, Seurat's Bathers, Michelangelo's Creation of Adam, Mondrian's Composition of Red & Blue and so many many many more, all redrawn in a way that it completely catches the attention of kids - mostly with animals in them and some with children too! For eg., Frida Kahlo's self-portrait is a giraffe, Mondrian's Composition of Red & Blue is like a playground climber with kids climbing on it & hanging from it, Boticelli's Birth of Venus has elephants & hippos!!! 
There's more - some paintings like Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Van Eyck's Arnolfini Wedding, and Edvard Munch's Scream have a camera and sensor atop them and when the kids get there, their face replaces the face in the painting! Also, there's the animated, digital projection on the floor, of Monet's Lily Ponds with frogs jumping all over the floor!
The best part is the recreated room from Van Gogh's The Bedroom!!! It was surreal.... ermmmm... well it was rather impressive (if you know art history, you'll understand the pun)!!!

Where is the Great Art for Great Kids exhibition happening (on Google Maps)Visserijschool
How to reach Great Art for Great Kids exhibition? 450m (5 mins walk) from Heist Railway Station, The direct train from Brussels to Knokke goes via Heist. If you're going from Ostend, the Coastal Tram (KustTram) stop Heist Heldenplein is the nearest (550m (6 mins walk) away). If you buy tickets to Great Art for Great Kids online, it includes the SNCB Discovery code (50% off).
Great Art for Great Kids exhibition Tickets: €16 (€12 for kids aged 4-17) - Buy Great Art for Great Kids tickets online via the official website of Great Art for Great Kids
Great Art for Great Kids exhibition Timings: Until Sept 11th - Open Tue-Sun 10:00 to 18:00 during summer holidays

Knokke-Heist Beaches
Knokke-Heist is considered a posh area! Yes, it is... There's a shuttle bus that stops at all the shopping spots in Knokke Heist, so yea! Restaurants and hotels here are on the expensive side. 
That said, the beaches of Knokke-Heist are so clean that they have the Blue Flag Award (more details in the Tips section below). There are even toilets on the beach itself, maintained by the Knokke-Heist tourism office. There are cabins to hire here too, but most cabins are associated with the bars and restaurants along the beach. So, they are very very well maintained, but on a bit expensive side.

Where is Knokke-Heist Beach (on Google Maps)? Knokke Strand
How to reach Knokke-Heist Beach? The nearest railway station/tram stop is Knokke. There are direct SNCB-NMBS IC trains from Brugge to Knokke. So, take a train to Brugge and then to Knokke.
Knokke-Heist is also served by 5 stops of the DeLijn Coastal Tram - Heist Dijk, Heist Heldenplein, Heist Willemspark, Duinbergen and Knokke Station. 
Beach cabins rentals, beach chairs & umbrellas at Knokke-Heist: via official tourism website of Knokke-Heist

Salt Water Marshland Belgium Het Zwin

Flower Photography in Belgium Common Sea Lavender Het Zwin

Best beaches in Belgium Nieuwpoort

Best beaches in Belgium Nieuwpoort

West Front Nieuwpoort: Before heading to the Nieuwpoort beach, my first stop was to visit the West Front Nieuwpoort i.e. Albert I Monument. Nieuwpoort was one of the most important sites during the First World War. The Battle of Yser took place right here. Like the Dutch Water Defence Lines, the Yser Polder plains were flooded during WWI to halt the German invasion. Today, at this very spot, is a monument dedicated to King Albert I who was in power when this happened.
If you're an Indian reading this: The Battle of Yser took place almost, around the same time as the First Battle of Ypres in which several thousands of Indian soldiers fought & several died. Ypres is located about 40km from here but on the same longitude. While Indian soldiers did not fight at the Belgian Coast, the presence of Indian soldiers at Ypres, did help in overall resistance.
Visiting the exteriors of the West Front King Albert I monument is free of cost, however, it is also possible to see the visitors' center inside the monument to understand how the whole defense happened during the Battle of Yser. Plus it is possible to climb the monument and see a panoramic view of Nieuwpoort from atop. There are photos atop that show how that view was during the World War.
Also, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions from time to time; and now, till Jan 2023 the exhibition of Clicformers is happening. Clicformers is something like Lego with which you can build things. The best part - a whole hall was filled with these Clics and once your child gets in here, it is almost impossible to get the kid out! 

Where is West Front Nieuwpoort (on Google Maps)West Front Nieuwpoort
How to reach West Front NieuwpoortNearest tram stop is Nieuwpoort Stad which is connected by the Coastal tram. West Front is 400m (5 mins walk) from the tram stop.
West Front Nieuwpoort Tickets: €7. Free with MuseumPASSmus√©es
West Front Nieuwpoort Timings: Tue - Sun 10:00 to 17:00 
Nieuwpoort Lighthouse (Nieuwpoort Vuurtoren): Climbing the Nieuwpoort Lighthouse itself is not accessible to the general public. But it is possible to go just beside it and it is one of the most picturesque, instagrammable locations in Belgian coast. While the Nieuwpoort Lighthouse is beautiful, and hardly ever crowded, be prepared for a looong walk to reach here. I followed Google Maps which told me to get off the DeLijn Coastal Tram at Lombardsijde Zeelan and walk for 1.5km directly towards the Light House. However...... This direct street that connects the 2 is actually a Belgian Military Base, which is obviously inaccessible to the general public! In fact, the Light House itself is at the very edge of the Military Base! 
So, I went to the reception of the Military Camping Grounds to ask how I should go at all to reach the Light House! So, more on it below...

Nieuwpoort Beach: I walked from Lombardsijde to Nieuwpoort along the coast and guess what, we spotted at least 15 jellyfish washed ashore! This was the first time Atyudarini saw real jellyfish and she was absolutely fascinated and was running to try to spot more and more! These are the Barrel Jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo), thanks to Mr.Francis Kerckhof of Natural History Museum in Brussels who helped me identify them later. Barrel Jellyfish are generally not harmful at all and it is ok to touch them. They are often found closer to the shore in warmer months and when the tide recedes, some get washed ashore and die! 
Keep in mind to only touch jellyfish that you are able to identify as Barrel Jellyfish. There are some types of jellyfish that could sting (& some can sting even after death!) and you really don't want to be stung! One good idea would be to carry a long stick and try to push them back into the sea, if at all!

Where is Nieuwpoort Lighthouse (on Google Maps)Niewpoort Lighthouse
How to reach Nieuwpoort Beach? The nearest railway station is Ostend. Then take the DeLijn Coastal Tram. Nieuwpoort is served by 5 stops of the DeLijn Coastal Tram - Nieuwpoort Stad, Nieuwpoort Cardijnlaan, Nieuwpoort Yser Monde, Nieuwpoort Bad, Nieuwpoort Zonnebloem. 
Reaching the Lighthouse would be easier if you disembark the last stops of the previous town Lombardsijde - Lombardsijde Zeelaan or Lombardsijde Schoolstraat. More about it below.
How to reach Nieuwpoort Lighthouse: Get off the Delijn Coastal Tram at Lombardsijde Zeeland and walk along the tram path (towards Ostend). In about 650m (7 mins walk), you'll spot the street to the left, which takes you to the beach. This is Strand Lombardsijde (Lombardsijde Beach). Keep in mind to look out for a Red Flag or a Red Lamp at Strand Lombardsijde. Being so close to Military base means it is sometimes cordoned off when military operations are active like testing artillery, explosives, drones etc. 
Walk to the coast at Strand Lombardsijde and then, walk along the coast, on the beach, towards the Nieuwpoort Light House. This is about a 2km walk and there it is, a staircase from the beach that takes you to the Light House. So a total of about 2.5km to reach Nieuwpoort Lighthouse from its nearest tram stop. 
Get off the Delijn Coastal Tram at Nieuwpoort Bad and walk to the Nieuwpoort Ferry point which helps to cross the canal. This is about 1.1 km walk. On the other side, get off the ferry and walk about 600m towards the lighthouse. So a total of almost 2km walk + a ferry ride. Keep in mind that this ferry operates only on weekends, public holidays, and school vacations. 
Beach cabins rentals, beach chairs & umbrellas at Nieuwpoortvia official tourism website of Nieuwpoort

Nieuwpoort West Front Museum Battle of Yser

Nieuwpoort West Front Museum Battle of Yser

Nieuwpoort West Front Museum Clicformers Exhibition

Nieuwpoort Lighthouse
Pic Courtesy: Nenea hartia, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

The southern end of the Belgian Coastal Tram line! De Panne was the first-ever Belgian Beach that I visited. We headed here on one of the hottest days in Belgium when it hit 36°C in the hottest year ever in Belgium (2020). 
De Panne is one of the cleanest beaches in Belgium with the Blue Flag Award (more details in the Tips section below). There are toilets on the beach itself. The cabins in De Panne are perhaps the most picturesque ones which their creme and orange color combination. There are public toilets maintained by the tourism office on the beach itself.
Atyudarini was much younger when we visited De Panne, so we didn't visit Plopsa Land or Plopsaqua at that time. These 2 are amusement parks, so most of the crowd that gets into the tram at De Panne railway station actually gets off at Plopsa and the crowd at the beach is much lesser. Maybe we'll visit Plopsa later, maybe not! Let's see. 
That said, to relax, a bit away from the crowds, De Panne is the best choice. In fact, the day we went, because of the super heat wave, Ostend was so crowded that police had to intervene to control the crowds; people were jam-packed at the Ostend railway station, according to the news reports later. But we didn't feel at thing at De Panne! In fact, we got a cabin for our 1 day at De Panne!!! Yes, there were many people at the De Panne beach that day, but it was very far from being called, 'jam-packed'!!!

Where is De Panne Beach (on Google Maps)? De Panne Koksijde
How to reach De Panne Beach? The nearest railway station/tram stop is De Panne. Interestingly, there are direct SNCB-NMBS Coast Express trains from Brussels to De Panne! Otherwise, take an IC train to Gent and then another IC train to De Panne.
De Panne is also served by 7 stops of the DeLijn Coastal Tram - De Panne Station, Plopsaland, De Panne Moeder Lambic, De Panne Kerk, De Panne Esplanade, De Panne Centrum, and De Panne Golfstraat
Beach cabins rentals, beach chairs & umbrellas at De Panne: via official tourism website of De Panne

Less Crowded Beaches in Belgium De Panne

Less Crowded Beaches in Belgium De Panne

Arc-en-ciel Poisson Stages d'ete
That's the photo clicked by her teachers at Blankenberge beach and the craft project they did after visiting Sea Life Blankenberge
Blankenberge is the town before Knokke-Heist, north of Ostend. Quite amusingly, Atyudarini has been to Blankenberge but not me!!! Atyudarini visited Blankenberge Sea Life and then went to the beach, as a part of an educational trip for kids. Yes, there is a Sea Life in Blankenberge, similar to Sea Life London! Hopefully, I'd get to visit this beach sometime this summer, let's see! 

Where is Blankenberge Beach (on Google Maps)Strand van Blankenberge
How to reach Blankenberge Beach? The nearest railway station/tram stop is Blankenberge. There are direct SNCB-NMBS Coast Express as well as Regular IC trains from Brussels to Blankenberge! 
Blankenberge is also served by 6 stops of the DeLijn Coastal Tram - Blankenberge Duinse Polders, Blankenberge Sea Life, Blankenberge Pier, Blankenberge Station, Blankenberge Markt, and Blankenberge Maritieme Zone.
Beach cabins rentals, beach chairs & umbrellas at Blankenberge: via official tourism website of Blankenberge

Where is Sealife Blankenberge (on Google Maps)Sea life Blankenberge
How to reach Sealife BlankenbergeSea Life Blankenberge is about 1.2km (15 mins walk) away from Blankenberge Railway Station. The nearest Coastal Tram stop is Blankenberge Sea Life which is 2 stops from the Railway Station towards Knokke.
Sealife Blankenberge Tickets: €22 - Buy online via the official website of Sealife Blankenberge
Sealife Blankenberge Timings: 10:00 to 17:00 everyday

Best Beaches in Belgium Bredene

Best Beaches in Belgium Bredene

Yes, I've visited the n*dist beach of Belgium! I went here during the summer vacation but on a weekday. While it wasn't crowded, it wasn't desolate either. There are a few other families, including young children and a few other people (solo or couples). When I went, just to make sure anyways, I asked the lifeguards if children are allowed. After confirming positively, they made sure if I knew that it was the n*dist beach?! So yes, children are allowed in the n*dist beach. There were about 3-4 children when we went however none of the kids were n*ked, only the adults with them were. The moral standpoint is a personal opinion which I'm not going to discuss here!
While n*dity is allowed, it is not necessary. It is technically, the clothing-optional beach of Belgium which means if you feel more comfortable wearing some clothes, you can. You'll definitely spot people walking/jogging/dog-walking through the length of the beach, crossing the n*dist beach area wearing clothes. 
N*dist beach is also very polite, meaning, people generally respect boundaries, don't stare, don't take photos, and use it only as a place where you could enjoy the sea waves and breeze on your bare skin. Display of PDA, apart from that you'd show anywhere else, is not welcome and you can be asked to leave or police can intervene as well.

Where is Bredene Beach (on Google Maps)Naaktstrand Bredene
How to reach Bredene Beach? The nearest railway station is Ostend. Then take the DeLijn Coastal Tram. Bredene is served by 3 stops of the DeLijn Coastal Tram - Bredene Aan Zee, Bredene Campings, Bredene Renbaan. Clothing-optional, n*dist beach in Bredene, Belgium is located about 300m away from the Hippo Beach in Bredene, which can be reached from Bredene Renbaan tram stop.
Beach cabins rentals, beach chairs & umbrellas at Bredenevia official tourism website of Bredene. There are no beach cabins at the n*dist beach. They are only at the main beach which is closer to the Bredene camping tram stop.

Best Beaches in Belgium

Best Beaches in Belgium

Best Beaches in Belgium

1. Pre-book cabins. People generally book cabins for a long term, anything between a week and 2 months! It is not easy to find cabins for 1 day, but it is possible. There are some (very very few) cabins available on Airbnb. Normally you have to call/email and book the cabins through the cabin operators (it is not available online yet). There are no toilets in the cabins & you cannot stay overnight in beach cabins. 
These cabins are best to keep your stuff, including your valuables. They can be locked and you only need to carry the key with you, while you swim in the sea. 
2. If you can't find a cabin, bring along a beach umbrella or buy/rent a beach tent. Beach tents are basically pop-up tents where you can change, keep your stuff, etc. If you're buying a new one, make sure to buy one with a closure (door) where you can possibly change. 
3. Bring beach cover-ups. If you cannot find a place to change at all on the beach, you might have to go into the town to find a toilet and you may not want to walk around the town wearing a swimsuit. 
4. There are no lockers on the beaches. If you're alone or cannot take turns going in the water, carry a waterproof bag, for your valuables. 
5. There are public toilets on the beaches, but not everywhere. Some are open 24x7 and some have opening hours. Some are free & some require a €0.50 payment. Here's a map of the toilets on the Belgian Coast.
6. All beaches have Green or Red Flags. Swimming in the sea is permitted only if you see a green flag. Some places have a Blue flag. A Blue Flag means it has been recognized by the International Blue Flag Awards for its cleanliness, safety, and accessibility. 
7. The tides happen throughout the day. In the morning the sea is very receded and as time goes by sea comes forward. So always keep a tab on where you are and where your things are on the beach, so you're not deep in the sea and your things are not carried away by the advancing waves. This also results in the beaches looking 'dirty or muddy' when the sea is receded. In reality, it isn't dirty.

Best Beaches in Belgium Pinterest Sand Sculpture Festival Belgium Pinterest

Het Zwin Natuur Park Stork Nesting Knokke Heist Best Beaches in Belgium Pinterest


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. I didn't realize Belgium has so many beaches. It's nice that they all have cabins and restaurants. Middelkerke Beach would be my top choice also, because of the sand sculptures. I've never seen something made of sand as impressive as these before.

  2. I would love to visit the Middelkerke beach, especially before the 19th of July, to see the artists at work. It must be impressive. It's so cool that there is some entertainment there for children as well, in the dino area. Blankenberge looks very pretty as well and I would like to enjoy some sunshine at De Panne, especially that it is so easy to reach.

  3. I don't really think of Belgium and beaches, but of course, there would be some along the coastline. It's not often shared as a travel destination, and maybe it's a local best kept secret! I love to watch the sand sculptures being built. Those are quite impressive and a hidden talent.

  4. Wow, I wouldn't have thought about visiting Belgium and exploring all the beaches here but it looks fun especially with all the heat waves going on all over Europe. Definitely a fun way to cool off, enjoy the coastline and beaches here but wondering if the water was very cold to get in? I love the little cabanas you can change or maybe take a siesta in.

  5. I must admit I would not have automatically thought of visiting the beaches in Belgium. Although in the hot summer months I am sure this is a way to get a refreshing break. Going by train is the perfect way to enjoy such a relaxing day. We would certainly check out the schedule for the Zandsculpturenfestival Middekerke to plan a visit. We have been amazed at other sand sculpture festivals we have visited around the world. Our ornithologist daughter would not forgive us if we missed seeing all the birds at Het Zwin. Some great locations and tips for a beach visit in Belgium.

  6. I did not think Belgium had such attractive beaches. I would love to see some of them. Especially if the Belgian coast is so well connected by public transport. This is a great asset. I have not heard of a Belgian Coastal Tram before. I would love to use this mode of transportation. I like the idea that I won't have to worry about parking.
    Moreover, prices for public transport are affordable. I would definitely visit Middelkerke during the annual Sand Sculpture Festival. The sculptures are so beautiful. De Panne Beach seems also nice.

  7. I have lived in The Netherlands for more than half of my life and gone to Belgium many time for weekend visits but I never thought there were so many beautiful beaches there. These beaches look amazing. I specially like the Middelkerke Beach and I would like to attend the sand sculpture festival one day.

  8. I did not know that the longest tram in the world goes along the coast of Belgium! I would definitely want to try out several of these beaches beyond Ostend, especially because it's so easy to go from one to the other on public transit, and also because I'm not a fan of crowded beaches. So, I really like the sound of Knokke-Heist Beach, since it is so clean and there are bathroom facilities right on the beach. I don't mind paying a little extra for dinner when I'm on vacation, so this beach tops my list!

  9. Beaches never even crossed my mind when thinking about Belgium but these look absolutely stunning! We are big beach people, so I would love to go explore beaches in other countries. My boys would LOVE this!

  10. The thought of visiting a beach while in Belgium never even crossed my mind! We love beaches, but I didn't realize Belgium had beautiful beaches. Belgium is high on my bucket list and now I guess I'll have to add a few extra days to spend time at the beach too! My boys would love that!


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