Ostend is a seaside resort in Belgium less than three hours away from Paris by train. Though Ostend is less well-known than the much more picturesque French Deauville, Honfleur, or even the Belgian Knokke Le Zoute, it offers a welcome and affordable week-end break away from the city with plenty of things to do in the area, making a change from more habitual week-end trips.
So the Top Five Red Things to do in Ostend (besides being only a 15-minute train-ride away from Bruges, or 40-minute ride from Ghent, which you can also visit while staying in Ostend, or going to Casino Kursaal, museums, buying chocolate and shopping in town):
– Rent a Red bike to go along the seaside. The Ostend bikes are amazing. They are available in all shapes and sizes, starting from small replicas of horse carriages and ice cream vendor-bikes for children to 4-6-seater bikes for adults and beer-bar bikes with a table in the middle which seats up to twelve cycling passengers around it.
Where: Bikes can be rented in the shops along the Promenade Albert I from 5.50€ to 18€ per hour.
– Rent a Red-striped mattress on the beach, near the Promenade Albert I, to enjoy a half-day-off near the sea. Do not forget to rent a windbreaker as well, which will not only protect you from the strong wind (almost unavoidable in Ostend), but will allow you to get a great sun tan.
(Starting from 1 pm the two mattresses and a windbreaker are at 11€, slightly more for the whole day).
– Have a raspberry ice cream while walking along the seaside promenade which stretches between the port and hotel Thermae Palace Hotel with its 19th-century arcades.
– Finally have a glass of Red wine in of the Ostend music bars. My two top favourite bars are the Manuscript, which plays Soft Rock, and Lafayette, with features more nostalgic pop music of the 60s and 70s. Both bars often have live concerts and DJs and provide an excellent selection of music (Langesraat 23 and 12 respectively).
Enjoy your trip to Ostend and let me know how you like it!