Oostende Attractions Guide

Some of the popular tourst spots in Oostende are: The Mercator This three-masted, former merchant marine training ship is one of the most visited attractions in the harbor. It could be found right in front of the railway station and is currently being used as a training facility as well as functioning as a maritime museum. Open almost everyday, this is a valuable educational and historical experience for children and adults alike. The Kursaal Oostende The present building officially opened at the end of 2004 and is the fourth casino to be built on the specific spot. This place houses one big auditorium where concerts and other social functions could be held; eight smaller auditoriums that is made up of board rooms, the Delvaux Hall, and the Great hall; three multifunction halls; three restaurants: the Ostend Queen, the Coffee House, and the Lounge; and the biggest casino in Belgium, the Casino Oostende. Inside this, one can find ample game tables for leisure and entertainment. These include black jack, roulette, craps, poker, and slot machines. This place is right on the Albert I Promenade by the beach. The Wellington Racetrack Situated alongside the spas and royal residences by the beach, this racetrack is the second one built there after World War II, which probably destroyed the original one from 1856. It used to be connected to the Royal Villa by the Royal Galleries. It is close to the Royal Arcade and holds races from May to September. The Provincial Museum of Modern Art Hosted inside a former department store, this museum in West Flanders started out with only 120 pieces. Today, it boasts of 2,000 works by some of the most notable Belgian artists. The collection cannot be displayed all at the same time because, although the museum is made up of five levels, still has the problem of lack of space. The cellar or basement level and part of the ground floor accept temporary displays while the upper levels house the permanent collection. It opens its doors daily from 10AM-6PM except on Tuesdays and Mondays during summer. The Royal Oostende This seaside municipality owes its current success to royal visitors. It started when King Leopold I decided to construct a vacation home there in 1834 and his successor, King Leopold II followed suit. This resulted in the construction of a residence area just for blue bloods. Unfortunately, these royal establishments have faded through time. Today, the town home that King Leopold I made has been restored and is now the Oostende Historical Museum. Villa Maritza, rumored to be the living quarters of King Leopold II’s mistress, is now a high-end restaurant. This compound also houses the famous Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Church. All around, notable sculptures such as those of the first two kings’ and that of King Baudouin, which is the most casual-looking one.