Top choice in Ostend

Ostend’s most striking historical building features beautifully ornate twin spires, a rose window and a gloomy neo-Gothic interior. It was consecrated on August 31 1908, though it appears eons older. It's a massive, magnificent building and quite a surprise the first time you come upon it: it's somewhat incongruous with its surrounds. A stone ‘bridge’ behind the altar leads into the tiny crown-topped Praalgraf Louise-Marie, the 1859 tomb-chapel of Belgium’s first queen, whose sad tale is told at the Stadsmuseum.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ostend attractions

1. Museumschip Amandine

0.13 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…

2. Mercator

0.19 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…

3. Stadsmuseum

0.29 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…

4. Marien Ecologisch Centrum

0.31 MILES

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

5. Mu.Zee

0.39 MILES

Mu.Zee, Ostend’s foremost gallery, features predominantly local artists. There’s a significant collection by symbolist painter Léon Spilliaert (1881–1946)…

6. Statue of Marvin Gaye


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…

7. De Niewe Oostende Pier

0.64 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…

8. Shinkaitei Tuin

0.66 MILES

Evolving since 2001, architect Takashi Sawano has faithfully reproduced a Japanese garden just blocks from Ostend's seashore. Come to wander through its…