Centred around a magnificent Art Deco pier, Blankenberge is a Belgian coastal resort overlooking the North Sea. It was once an exclusive holiday destination for royalty, with Archduke Franz Ferdinand making regular visits here. Blankenberge also famously makes an appearance in Anthony Trollope’s Victorian novel “Phineas Finn”.
Things to do in Blankenberge
Wander through the heart of Blankenberge to admire its Art Nouveau buildings, Flemish-Renaissance-style Old Town Hall and beautifully restored seaside villas. Relax on one of the benches overlooking the harbour to watch the fishing boats coming and going or stroll along the Belgium Pier stretching 350 metres into the North Sea. Constructed in 1933 on a design by Jules Soete, it features a circular brasserie at its end.
Travelling with kids? Don’t miss a visit to the Sea Life Blankenberge, which is home to thousands of marine creatures from around the globe. Observe playful otters, fearsome piranhas and a range of shark species in the 50+ aquariums, then learn about the centre’s role in breeding seahorses. Kids can collect stamps in their logbook to become a “Super Diver” before letting loose in one of the play areas.
You can take a step back in time at the Huisje van Majutte, a lovingly preserved, 18th-century fisherman’s cottage that has been transformed into a museum-cafe. As you browse the everyday artefacts on display, hear about the family of 14 that once lived here and made a living from the North Sea. Regional products are showcased at the on-site cafe.
Getting around Blankenberge
Blankenberge is a 20-minute drive from Bruges and about an hour from Ghent while Brussels National Airport is 1.5 hours away. Both buses and trams connect to Blankenberge Station and the town is compact enough to explore on foot.