Shopping at the Belgian Coast is always that little bit special... Because the charming avenues, streets and squares with their elegant boutiques, trendy shops and cosy markets make the Belgian Coast a very special place for any shopper. And just imagine the wonderful feeling of resting your feet on one of the lovely terraces or benches while looking out over the North Sea ...
By the way, did you know that at the Belgian seaside shops are open on Sundays as well?
And this is not all, there are more advantages to shopping at the Coast: there is a lot on offer with the sea always close by, so it’s really just about having a great time, also outside the shops, of course, because your body will need some sustenance too. When you have reached the end of your wonderful day, you won’t face any problems with traffic jams or parking either, because you can just get on the next Coastal Tram... perhaps to the next shopping street!?
A real fashion Walhalla
- Knokke-Heist is the decided fashion Walhalla of the Belgian seaside, with a long list of top labels and not-so-exclusive brands for those on a budget.
- Oostende, on the other hand, is the shopping city for all seasons with many streets offering hours of guaranteed browsing fun and small as well as bigger shops in the Adolf Buylstraat, Christinastraat, Kapellestraat, the Leopold II-laan and Van Iseghemlaan. You won’t be disturbed by the noise of traffic, because the busiest shopping streets are pedestrianised! And what if it’s raining or cold? No problem, because there is always the shopping centre at the Wapenplein to escape to.
- Nieuwpoort is a newcomer in the world of fashion, but the Albert I-laan offers a nice mix of trendy shops and the Havenpromenade also has some great places to excite any fashionista!
Tips for shopping weekends at the Belgian Coast
Shopping is one nice thing to do at the Belgian seaside, but there is so much more to nexperience at the Coast. So we have put together a list full of wonderful tips for an unforgettable weekend by the sea.
There are lots of beach clubs and they’re not only for the seasoned surfers, sailors and kiters among us. Ordinary citizens can enjoy the atmosphere and relax there too. So take a deep breath of healthy sea air while sipping your cocktail and surround yourself with strong water sporting athletes ...
Feel like a drink in the open air?
Whether you’ve sat yourself down on a terrace in the centre of De Haan, Koksijde or Het Zoute, or have secured yourself a spot on one of the many beach terraces, you’ll thoroughly enjoy your time in the wonderful sunshine with an immense ice cream or a nice shrimp croquette.
The Belgian Coast Greeters are dying to take you on a tour of all their favourite spots, letting you discover the Belgian Coast’s loveliest places and hidden gems, far away from all your typical tourist hotspots. Tours are free and will make you feel like a real local, though please keep in mind that Greeters can only take 6 people maximum. For more info and reservations, go to www.belgiancoastgreeters.com.
Feel like walking, cycling or just some action?
If you want to get active on your holiday, then definitely try the Kustwandelroute, a network of surfaced road and non-surfaced paths that stretches from De Panne to Koksijde and passes some lovely seaside towns. You can walk on the beach, in dunes and meadowland. There is even a special, free app that will guide you along the network and show you everything there is to do! Or would you rather prefer a bike ride? That’s fine too, because for cycling fanatics there is a special cycling network as well, though you can of course just go for a ride along the seafront. Have no bike? No problem, just rent one!
Just sitting staring at the sea all day is wonderful, but there is so much more fun to be had at the Coast, certainly when it comes to nature. From the Zwin in Knokke-Heist to the Westhoek natural reserve in De Panne... Petting farms, nature parks and flower gardens ...
Feel like a trip with a pedal car?
Pedal cars always make for lots of fun. You can go it alone, with the pair of you or just as well take the whole family, why not?! There are many places offering them for rent, so you’re sure to find exactly the one you’re looking for.
A good night’s sleep
If you’re going to the seaside for a weekend, you will need somewhere to sleep of course. Hotel, B&B, apartment or holiday home, the possibilities are as endless as the sea itself!
The Coastal Tram (Kusttram)
The Coastal Tram is one of the greatest perks of the Belgian Coast, as it takes you from A to B without any effort at all. And another plus: there’s no parking stress! Just get on the tram, take a seat and enjoy the wonderful views while the tram takes you anywhere you want to go, just don’t forget to get off ...
A sea of taste
Did you know there are a whopping seven restaurants with one or more Michelin stars at the Belgian Coast? So if you’re a foodie and taking a trip to the seaside, don’t miss out on a visit to one of them. In De Panne, you can enjoy the culinary treats of two-star restaurant Hostellerie Le Fox, Ten Bogaerde in Koksijde-Oostduinkerke will no doubt offer you some delicious delights, or you can ask Philippe Nuyens in Blankenberge to spoil you and Sel Gris in Duinbergen to cook something up. Cuines 33 and Jardin in Knokke-Heist have one star, and Bartholomeus really deserved two...
Michelin is not the only restaurant guide that finds the Belgian Coast delicious, because Gault Millau thinks so too, with nearly one restaurant in every coastal community. Bon appétit!