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Combining an intriguing history with a dreamy, waterside setting, the laid-back city of Ostend is one of the Belgium’s loveliest tourist spots. The local authorities seem to have caught onto Ostend’s tourist potential in recent years too, with big works going on to expand the local airport. In fact, now regular flights to Ostend are easy to find, so it’s a perfectly accessible destination. Once you’re there, you’ll quickly settle into the way of things in this relaxed and friendly little place, with its surprisingly eclectic cultural hangouts and pretty little parks.
Ostend could be described as a little city with a big past. As a significant port, it’s seen its fair share of military action over the centuries, before being transformed into the trendy seaside resort it is now. Cultural fans can dip into one of the city’s museums, like the popular Art Museum by the Sea, the house of Belgian artist, James Ensorhuis, or Driemaster Mercator, a quirky floating maritime museum. The North Sea Aquarium is a great option if you have a couple of hours to kill, and Ostend Beach is certainly the focal point of the city, and a favourite haven for locals and tourists alike. Shopping is a bit of an event in Ostend too, so fashionistas will be able to get their fix. High street stores can be found down Kapellestraat, while the more exclusive boutiques are down Adolf Buylstraat.
If you’re to try one new thing during your stay, make sure to visit one of the traditional pancake houses, or Pannenkoekenhuis as they’re locally known. During your wanderings, you can stop at one of the many coffee shops for a bit of light refreshment and during the evening you’ll be spoilt for choice. Restaurants range from global fast-food chains to swanky eateries. And to round off your evening, try one of Ostend’s many, friendly bars and pubs. Langestraat is a popular street to start on if you’re having trouble deciding where to go.
|Food and drinks||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 litre)||£1.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£7.00|
|Water (0.33 litre)||£2.00|
|One way tube ticket||£3.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£2.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£29.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£80.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£1,466.00|