My wife and I met when she lived in Belgium (Gent) and I lived in the Netherlands (Amsterdam). That meant – for at least the first year – at least one of us had to travel in order to be able to see each other. One of the very first weekend we spent outside Gent or Amsterdam, we went to Ostend in Belgium. Since then, Ostend has a special place in our heart. So here are the best tips for Ostend – according to me.
The city has some great places to see, some truly amazing food and still has a rough edge to it – which makes it always an interesting place to visit.
My best omakase experience in Ostend
The Japanese habit of omakase (お任せ) when you’re ordering at a restaurant pretty much means, “I’ll leave it up to you”, inviting the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes. I try to do it in every city I visit, and apply the idea behind to everything between how I pick my runs, how I pick my food, how I plan activities with my kids, how I explore cities and how I travel in general. So, I tried this in Amsterdam as well.
My best omakase experience in Ostend was at the Storm restaurant, where we had an amazing locally-inspired multi-course dinner.
The best hotel tips for Ostend – according to me
- Thermae Palace is a truly majestical place. It has amazing views over the beach (be sure to ask for a room with sea view and with a balcony). We actually liked the beds and mattresses that much that we bought one for our own house (you can ask at the reception).
- Hotel Leopold has really nice family rooms and apartments.
- Recently, Upstairs Hotel opened its doors in Ostend. A really nice, community-style hotel (large open spaces, fun, creative) which caters both to travelers, business people and even families.
The best places for dinner in Ostend – according to me
Ostend city has so many great places to eat it now has a dedicated Instagram channel on remarkable food places in Ostend.
- Storm is a new restaurant on the new up and coming north side of the city. Small, personal, with great attention to detail.
- Histoires d’O.
- Jilles Beers and Burgers is a simple restaurant, but is great for kids because of their kids corner.
The best places for a drink in Ostend – according to me
- Vines wine bar is a really really nice wine bar.
- LaFayette is a music bar with a very broad audience.
- Bistro Kurso is at the Kursaal theatre right in the middle of the Boulevard.
The best things to do in Ostend – yes, according to me
Ostend has one of most impressive city marketing teams I have met throughout my career. Throughout the year you will find some amazing events, for children, families and couples alike. Be sure to check out their website Visit Oostende with the latest tips.
- Muzee is an art museum with a focus on Belgian art. Their regular changing exhibitions make it worth visiting every single time.
- Ostend’s Boulevard is worth a walk. Be sure to walk the complete distance from the city center (near the station) to the Thermae Palace.
- The Japanese garden (near Thermae Palace) is a very nice place for a stroll.
The best places for a run in Ostend – according to me
The best place to go for a run is obviously the beach. Great training especially if you’re working towards a 10k, half marathon or a marathon. I prefer the northern beach (towards De Haan). You can get a small (free) ferry that will take you from the city center towards For Napoleon where you can start your run.
Additionally, Ostend has a nice night run through the city center (usually end of September), called the Ostend Night Run.