As well as the fishmarket Oostende is well-known for its other markets. Thursday is the main market day with fresh produce, clothing, textiles, perfumes, jewelry and plants for sale at the Wapenplein, Groentemarkt and Mijnplijn in the city centre.
On Saturday mornings there is also a market on the Wapenplein and Groentemarkt and on Sundays there's a small flowermarket on the Wapenplein.
However during my last visit there was a fair setting up in the city squares and so the Thursday markets were relocated to Vindictivelaan down by the marina. This is normally a busy main road through the city but they'd closed it off to make space for the market - just shows how seriously they take them!!
Oostende still has a very active fishing fleet with a couple of dozen boats, of varying sizes, working out of its harbour. Bulk catches are sold by auction at the auction hall that it shares with Zeebrugge on the main commercial quay but smaller catches are sold on the Visserkaai at the fishmarket, known locally as the Vistrap, there.
The market is open to both commercial and domestic customers with local hotels and restaurants visiting early in the morning to get the pick of the catch. During the day you can still buy relatively large quantities of fish and most of the stalls have various offers such as mixed boxes of say 3 Kilos for 5 Euros. And of course you can just purchase enough for dinner if you are self-catering. The main catches landed here are cod, sole, flounder, plaice and shrimps but there are various other species available as and when.
The Fish Market on Visserkaai cotinues the long local tradition in Oostende of Fishermen selling their daily catch in the town. The current fish market has a great position along the Visserkaai beside the harbour where you can watch the comings and goings of boats of all sizes whilst choosing your favourite fish. Opposite there is a wealth of restaurants serving seafood.
What to buy: What to buy? Fish, of course!
The biggest shop at our coast with loads of electronic stuff.
Open Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 19.00
Sunday : 10.00 - 18.00u
What to buy: You can almost buy everything from computers, tv's, printers, pda's, gsm, freezers, coffee machines, cameras. They sell also 'cheapest price of the city' material and give 2 years waranty on everything you buy.
What to pay: Average to cheaper prices
This shop only sells bears, so if you are a fan, this is the place to be.
What to buy: bears and dolls, tapestry trowns and pillows, greeting cards, And the brands Steiff, Boyds (bearstones, dolls and teddybears), Dean's, Cliff Richard, Russ, Kaloo, Gund....;;
A-Mode sells brands like Garcia Jeans, Street One,... and the traditional Mexx Esprit O'Neill Oxbow, ....
This is part of the chain with allready 3 big shops in Belgium. A must to visit if you're looking for a nice outfit, from casual to modern, to costumes, ... for male/female/kids.
One of the best shops in Ostend next to Brooklyn, but situated outside the centre city.
What to buy: Clothes, nightwear, swimwear, socks, jackets, costumes, .....................................
Although I found Oostende a bit overdevloped residentially and seasidey it does have some cracking shops. A wander through the town centre gives you every sort of shopping experience possible from designer stuff, major chain stores and some lovely quirky little individuals.
The main shopping street seems to be the Kappellstraat which runs through the town centre and the parallel and cross streets have equally enticing options - it's quite a small town centre and so everything is within strolling distance.
I haven't caught the town on market day (Thursday, I think) but judging by my morning walk-around that should be a good day to visit. The fish market down on the quay is open mornings six days a week if you're self-catering and fancy the best of the fresh get up early!
I was especially impressed by the window displays of the charcuteries and patisseries - loads of mouth-wateringly inviting edibles.
Unfortunately no time this visit to try them out - Ha! Another reason for a revisit!
What to buy: By all accounts this is the place to shop on the Belgian coast and it all looked good to me.
What to pay: Depends what you buy obviously.
HA! - VT just doesn't have a category for us smokers and so this is listed under "others".
If your tastes are for the local-ish brands then Ron's is the best bet. There's a "UK" tobacconists on the main drag but they cater for the commonly bought stuff that British visitors are after whilst Ron's carries a much more eclectic range.
Nice shop which smells like a humidor and has pretty much everything that a tobacconist should stock including local mixes and some very good cigars. Service is multi-lingual and friendly and you don't need to buy huge quantities to qualify for a couple of freebie lighters and papers.
What to buy: Tobacco!
What to pay: Pay in Sterling for the best prices.
ESSENTIAL for men & women!
This is probably the only shop at the moment where i can find my clothes.
Without this shop I would have to go very far for nice modern clothes...
What to buy: Lots of choice is jeans, jackets, shirts, shorts, skirts,....
Quality brands like Diesel, GSUS Industries, Pépé, Esprit, Mexx and new brands like Sabotage, 2nd Heaven, ...
You find often nice knitwear at reasonable price.
For people who like to dress modern & sportily. Recommended!!!!
Clothes are for male & female and also kids.
Checkout the sales of the beginning of January and after the summer.
You pay half the price.
What to pay: jeans +- €75
shirts +- €50
After the summer of 2009, the "Mercatorpand" (Kapellestraat) will be renovated into a very big "ZARA" shop, which is allready present in our metropolic cities as Antwerp & Brussels, with a personnel of +- 50.
"De Kapellestraat" was allready chosen as best shoppingstreet in Flanders, after our first real shoppingcenter in "het Feest- en Kultuurpaleis", thanks to "ZARA" it will be a new magnet for shopping, for locals but also for tourists, so this will definitely give our city a boost!
What to buy: Children - Men - Women clothes
This is a favorite place for people from Britain to shop. There are a LOT of shops here. A favorite item is the beer, of course. The chocolate is another.
What to buy: If you look around, you can find some bargains. Of course, the American dollar doesn't go as far as it did when I was here.
Ostend is a good place to buy luxury goods (designer clothes and accessories). Wapenplein is the main square and the principle shopping streets lead off this. Kapellestraat, Ostend's high street, has the Inno department store as well as various stores selling housewares. The main shopping streets are; Adolf Buylstraat, Alfons Pieterslaan, Christinastraat, Kapellestraat and Wapenplein.
Oostende is well-known for its fresh seafood, so it only makes sense to either grab a meal at a seafood restaurant or buy some fish from the fish market. I tried a somewhat disappointing stew here, but the quality of the ingredients and freshness is first-rate.
The main shopping street in Oostende is a long, pedestrianized thoroughfare lined with the usual mainstream stores such as H&M and Belgium's main department store Galeria Inno. While it's nothing that unique and the architecture is pretty mundane, there's no denying it's a great place to people watch. The day I was there, it was a Thursday afternoon and it was very crowded and bustling with people.
One of the latest shops that opened here in 2003.
For men they don't have so much pitty enough. Also they have to stay with their brand, so the offer is very limited. I'd rather go to Brooklyn, they sell also Mexx but they have a variety of brands and models. More choice is always pleasant for shoppers.
What to buy: Women's & Men's clothes from the famous modern brand.