During the last week of October and the beginning of November Oostende's city centre becomes a colourful and bustling fairground. This is timed to coincide with Halloween and usually runs from the Saturday before until the Sunday after. All four of the main squares are taken over with a variety of rides, stalls, games, a haunted house and much more.
This is a very family-orientated event with things to do for children of all ages, including a couple of strategically-located mobile bars, and attracts visitors from all over this corner of Europe. The atmosphere is bright and buzzy and the stallholders and ride operators enter into the spirit of things too, giving their pitches a Halloween theme.
For a few more pics see the Travelogue on this PAGE>>
This almost qualifies as an "Off The Beaten Path" tip as it is a bit out of the way. This ornate bridge was built as part of the coastal road linking de Panne and Knokke in 1903 to 1905, by the engineer Albert Chambon, and is named after the then Minister of Finance and Public Works, Count Paul de Smet de Naeyer.
What's unique about the bridge is that it has two separate sections - the fixed bridge over the railway lines and a swing section at the harbour entrance. This was one of the main traffic routes into the city until 2002 when it was closed to ease congestion. If you look at the supporting columns the railway crossing has trains protruding whilst the water one has boats.
As I was finishing my beer at Petrus the sun was leaving the square and so it was time to move on.
Heading towards the harbour I passed a couple of bars, but these were, literally, too shady for me. Then on the corner I found the glass-wall enclosed terrace of Faro which was perfectly located for the sun's present position.
As a bar Faro is a bit trendier than I'd normally prefer but the beer was good, service friendly and about 50 cents cheaper than Petrus
On this March visit (2013) the day had started off cold and sleety but I had my morning mapped out with a tobacco run down to Adinkerke and by the time I'd returned the sun was out. It was still a bit fresh, temperature-wise, but out of the wind was quite pleasant.
With the wind coming in from the sea and the afternoon sun shining from the opposite direction the sheltered square in front of the St Petrus and Paulus Church was ideal for a terrace beer and where more apt than the Cafe Petrus?
Although virtually deserted this was a pleasant spot to relax in the sun. Friendly waiter and reasonably-priced beer (not cheap, just reasonable!) - getting this pic of the church was a bonus!
On an Autumn afternoon with the sun shining the ideal place to sit outside with a beer is somewhere facing Northeast and if the wind is blowing from the Southwest, as is often the case, then this bar overlooking the Vissersplein is ideal.
Sheltered from the wind and full-on to the sun the Waterfront's terrace made for a pleasantly relaxing spot to down a couple of afternoon beers and watch the world go by. Service is friendly and laid-back and whilst not the cheapest bar in town at 3.50 for a demi Leffe isn't wallet-busting.
The Westerstaktsel is Oostende's pier. It's true to the original idea of a pier as allowing people to walk out and be surrounded by the sea (rather than being full of candy floss, fortune tellers and gaming machines. It's quite a walk to the end of the pier where there is a rather run down looking café building, but the views back along Oostende's seafront and further along the Belgian coast are well worth the walk.
This strange Octagonal tower behind Sint Petrus-en-Pauluskerk is the last remnant of an earlier church (St Peter's, which burnt down in 1896). Most of the church dated from the 15th century but this tower was a later addition from 1729.
Ostend is a great place to stay and have trips off. Brugge is a historic city with canals, Gent is historic with a castle in city centre,the centre is about a mile from Gent St Peters station. The capital of Belgium Brussels is well worth a visit with the Grand square and the manicine Pis statue. All 4 cities are on the same fast train route.
It was a beautiful sunny warm September Sunday afternoon,
we had a couple of hours to kill before we had to take the train
back to Brugge to pick up our bags then by train back to Brussels.
There were lots of people enjoying the Indian Summers weather that day.
For me living in a landlocked land called Hungary, coming from
England and growing up by the sea, this trip was a real treat.
Smelling the sea air, gulls flapping around and perched everywhere
like in Hitchcocks film, The Birds, the seafront was buzzing with
suspense in the air.
Free outdoor spectacle with theatre - fire - music that goes around the seaside promenade.
For the exact time (starts normally around 21h30 in the evening) you can inform at our touristic service (over casino) cause the Fuzee site is not updated yet :
Fuzee site (2008 version)
A lunar boat is drifting on the seafront. Its mysterious crew explores this new land. Wherever its eye comes to rest on, the city livens up and transforms itself. Bathing in an atmosphere of dreams, humor and poetry, the Aquarêves vessel transports crew and spectators, drifting around in a current of fantastic parties. Strange stiltwalkers and musicians tow their ship to the place where the spectacle will take place. The evening end with a big firework.
An incredible powerful connection happens when the fire and the Japanese Taiko drumming come together. Wadakyo is only professional Taiko drumming group in Europe. Together with Gloryfire they reach the hearts of the audience and excite them through fire.
THU 21/08 (21u30-22u30) Théâter Atrappe parade
Start: Leopoldpark Final: Wapenplein
‘Parade’ was specially devised for FUZEE!’08 by Théâtre Attrape from Brussels and includes a mix of circus, theatre, dance and pyrotechnics. Thus spectacle is concluded with a peculiar but above all amazing scene at Wapenplein, a mix of fireworks and a new application of helium-filled balloons
FRI 22/08 (22u00-22u50) Theatro Do Mar Daimonion
A show with theatre, acrobats, dance, music and videotechniques.
Based on the myth and tragedy of Faust (in particular Goethe’s literary work) and the human aspiration to eternal life. In this staging, directed by Julieta Aurora Santos, Mephistopheles and a spirit are Faust’s alter-egos. The conflict is based essentially on this duality in relation with body limitations, soul’s amplitude, temptations, search for the Truth, choices and consequences of consummate attitudes.
SA 23/08 (22u00-22u50) Théâtre Atrappe Babel
This opera and light spectacle has already been staged in Oostende. The production was ended some years ago but has been resumed at the request of, inter alia, Toerisme Oostende vzw.
On top of a 15m high construction based on the tower of Babel, opera singers and percussionists take care of the musical support of a fire spectacle.
The fireworks were especially designed for the music and the music in turn reinforces the magic of the fireworks. Actors and a large screen furthermore ensure that this show comes to life completely
The yearly place to be in oostende between 10 and 16 august, the Paulusfeesten. It's a 6days FREE festival with different locations. On the website there's a little location map. Starting in the early evening and going till early in the morning, all kinds of music, all kinds of food, all kinds of people. ENJOY !!!
Sorry but the site is only in dutch, go to ONTHAAL and on the right you see PROGRAMMA 2005, click on this for the full program. Or on EDITIE 2005 for the little map.
Yearly, in the biggest cinema of our coast : Kinepolis Oostende.
Once more we offer an extensive program of films, TV-series, games and music-related footage.� The central theme of the Film Festival of Oostende still is film in the 21st century, with attention being paid to new media and new technologies, such as digital cinema.
The Film Festival of Oostende is centred around 5 major themes : previews, Pop&Rock, The Master Selection: Tom Barman, TV series and XL gaming.
The section Programme gives you a detailed overview of the different showings and events.� You will find everything you need to know about the Film Festival in the section FAQ. Journalists and professionals can consult the Press corner.
The Film Festival of Oostende was made possible with the support of our numerous sponsors and partners.
See website below for more info.
Every year, the last weekend of May, you can visit 'Oostende voor Anker'.
It's an ancient ship showcase with ships from Belgium / Holland / France / Spain / ...
Even restored pirate ships from 18xx Nice attraction and lots of tourists every year.
In 2009 it's the 10th edition allready.
It's a free event,only when you want to take a 3 hour sailtrip with drinks on board, or just go on board to watch, you have to pay. Every year there is a new guest country. In 2006 it was I reland.
Enjoy a (hopefull) sunny day with thousands of tourists, spectacle, old costumes, paella stands, waffles, music from the guest country, and nostalgical local fishermenmusic and livesongs, atmosphere, very busy period
Boat trips in Oostende
A view of Oostende from the sea ! Departures daily in July and August, every hour.
Info COPIED FROM Franlis website
A wonderful sea trip…
Embark and make a wonderful sea trip with the MS Franlis III from the port of Ostend! Enjoy the sun, the wind, the water...
While you enjoy the fresh sea breeze you will admire the Belgian Coast from another point of view. The trip takes you offshore to the Buitenstroombank buoy, makes a bow to the coast to sail back – close to the beach - to the port of Ostend. You will pass big ferries, sailing boats, motorboats with fishermen in action with flying seagulls but also the beach and the dunes. The excursion (45 minutes) gives a complete particular view on the port and the city.
Our shipping company has an experience of over 40 years in passenger transport at sea. Our vessel has state of the art navigation equipment and must observe very strict safety regulations. The boat can accommodate 97 passengers. Possibility to charter the entire ship exclusively for receptions, company events, sea burials... Special prices for groups, companies, schools...
Two Master Nele
Past, present and future go hand in hand on board this two-master.
The 'Nele' was built after the design of the historical Oostende two-mast
smack and in accordance with the best sailing traditions.
The 'Nele' was launched on 7 May 2005 and made its maiden sailing
trip soon after. A classic ship for a new millennium no less than
20 by 5.60 metres large! Over 200 square metres of modern luxury
under 185 sq ms of sails. The best ingredients for a perfect day off on the water.
Standard facilities on board: radio, DVD player, CD player, video recorder
and flat screen (+TV & monitor, laptop connection possible).
To be agreed upon - see contact
Trips with the two-mast smack the "Nele" for one or several days
(Teambuilding, reunions, pamper your customers, associations, family parties ….)
Day at sea: € 1000
(25 passengers + 5 crew members)
Half a day at sea: - Morning (9am - 12u30pm): € 500
- Afternoon (1u30pm - 6pm): € 600
- Evening (8pm - 12pm): € 600
The "Nele" can also be hired in the port, whether or not following a sea trip.
(Prices on request, catering not included)