Blankenberge is one of Belgium’s most popular seaside resorts. From mid 19th century up to the second World War, Blankenberge was a luxurious seaside resort for royalties and the rich upper class. After most buildings got destroyed during World War II, they made place for more affordable accommodations and campsites. Since the 1970’s up to current date, Blankenberge is one of Belgium’s favorite and affordable seaside resorts to visit.
A brief history of Blankenberge
Blankenberge was established around the year 1100. At that time, two dikes were built between the Oostdijk and Westdijk, where a few fishermen settled. This settlement later grew into Blankenberge. In the 18th century, the first tourists came to Blankenberge, mainly people from Bruges who came to bathe in the sea. In the 19th century, Blankenberge developed into a seaside resort and hotels and villas were built. During the First and Second World Wars, Blankenberge was hit twice by warfare. After the Second World War, Blankenberge was rebuilt and grew into a popular seaside resort with many tourists and a vibrant nightlife.
Things to see and do in Blankenberge
Blankenberge has plenty of attractions to keep visitors of all ages entertained. Here are just a few of the top things to see and do:
- Blankenberge Beach: The town’s main attraction is its beautiful sandy beach, which stretches for miles along the coast. It’s a great place to relax in the sun, go for a swim, or take a walk along the promenade.
- Blankenberge Pier: Take a walk on the unique 350m long art-deco pier and enjoy the unique view on the coastline.
- Sea Life Blankenberge: This aquarium is home to a variety of marine life, including sharks, sea turtles, and rays. It’s a great place to learn about the creatures that live in the North Sea. Book your tickets here.
- Belle Epoque Center: The Belle Epoque Center is a museum that celebrates the town’s rich cultural heritage and its history as a fashionable seaside resort. The museum features exhibitions of art, fashion, and design from the early 20th century, as well as interactive displays and guided tours.
- Fun Velodrome: This wooden merry bicycle track, dating back from 1933, is a pure classic in Blankenberge. Kids can ride the parcours on hilarious bikes.
- Palisades: Bordering the entrance of the Blankenberge Harbor, the Wester- en Oosterstaketsel (palisades) are a great spot to enjoy the sea-breeze with a lovely view on the coast.
- The Paravang: Located next to the harbor, this windshield dates back from the Belle Epoque. It’s a great place to take a small break.
Travel to Blankenberge
The Blankenberge Railway Station serves many direct trains from several major cities in Belgium including, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp.
The Coast Tram is a public transport service connecting the cities and towns along the entire Belgian coast, between De Panne and Knokke-Heist. Runs every 10 mins during summer, every 15 minutes during autumn and spring and every 20 minutes during winter.
There are 4 stops in Blankenberghe: Markt, Train Station, Pier, Sea Life and Duinse Polders
Where to stay in Blankenberge
When it comes to accommodation, Blankenberge offers a range of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, holiday apartments and campsites, there’s something for everyone.
Please be noted that wildcamping is forbidden at the Belgian coast. Sleeping in your vehicle, whilst parked on the streets is also considered wildcamping. All tents, motorhomes and caravans should stay the night at a regulated campsite.
Here are some of the most popular campsites in Blankenberge:
Blankenberge is known for its delicious seafood, including shrimp croquettes, mussels, and fish dishes. Visitors can sample the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants along the beachfront, or visit the weekly food market to try some fresh and local produce.
Restaurant “De Oesterput” provides a distinctive and unparalleled dining experience that extends well beyond Blankenberge. The Devriendt family has been in the seafood industry for four generations, and their excellent reputation precedes them. De Oesterput is renowned for its exceptional lobster, oysters, fresh fish, jumbo mussels, and delectable seafood dishes, making it the ultimate destination for anyone seeking the finest seafood cuisine. You will be treated to the very best that the sea has to offer at De Oesterput.
Travel Tips for Blankenberge
- If you’re driving, be aware that parking in Blankenberge can be difficult during the summer months. Consider taking public transport instead.
- The town is very bike-friendly, with several bike rental shops located in the centre. Consider renting a bike to explore the area.
- Be prepared for higher prices during the summer months, especially at restaurants and tourist attractions.
- Consider taking a day trip to nearby Bruges or Ostend, both of which are easily accessible by train or bus.
In conclusion, Blankenberge is a wonderful destination for anyone looking to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand in Belgium. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a short weekend getaway, Blankenberge has something for everyone. With its stunning beach, pier, aquarium, museum, and local cuisine, you’ll never run out of things to do and see.