Fort Napoleon

Top choice in Ostend

The impenetrable, pentagon-shaped Fort Napoleon is an unusually intact fortress dating from 1812, though there’s comparatively little to see inside. The audioguide covers many of the same topics you’ll have heard at the Atlantikwall. Drinking at the fortress café gets you decent glimpses without paying the entrance fee.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ostend attractions

1. Earth Explorer

0.23 MILES

Themed by the elements, this heavily interactive series of experiences is made to awe primary-school-age youngsters with the forces that shape the earth…

2. Marien Ecologisch Centrum


This educational operation has a little one-room collection of seashells and sand that you can examine under the microscope.

3. De Niewe Oostende Pier

0.74 MILES

Ostend's modern pier isn't as long or grand as many of its counterparts along the coast, but it does make for a nice stroll on a warm day. When the wind…

4. Museumschip Amandine

0.79 MILES

The last Ostend trawler to have fished around Iceland (1970s) is brought to life with waxwork figures, videos and sound effects. Highlights include the…

5. Stadsmuseum

0.79 MILES

One might expect this museum, occupying a house that hosted Napoleon in 1798 and Belgian royals from 1834–1850, to be a little more grandiose and exciting…

6. St-Petrus-&-Pauluskerk

0.85 MILES

Ostend’s most striking historical building features beautifully ornate twin spires, a rose window and a gloomy neo-Gothic interior. It was consecrated on…

7. Mercator

1.03 MILES

This fully rigged, three-masted 1932 sailing ship was once used for Belgian Navy training purposes and is now a nautical museum that hosts changing…

8. Statue of Marvin Gaye

1.08 MILES

Soul superstar Marvin Gaye wrote his last hit, 'Sexual Healing', in 1981 while living in Ostend. His residency is marked by a wildly tacky statue of the…