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10 Best Beaches in Belgium [Local’s Tips]

A local’s list of the best beaches in Belgium for those wanting a perfect holiday by the sea!

You may have already tried Belgian beers, chocolates, fries, and waffles—the most common things people associate with Belgium

But have you ticked off the best beaches in Belgium from your Travel Belgium bucket list? 

While Belgium may not be the first destination that springs to mind when you think of sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, this hidden gem never surprises wanderers in search of the perfect beach escape.

Whether you’re a sun worshipper, an avid swimmer, or simply someone who enjoys the gentle rhythm of waves crashing against the shore, Belgium’s stunning coastline will captivate you.

So grab your sunscreen and a towel because we’re about to embark on an unforgettable beach adventure!

the sun sets over the ocean and waves on a beach, an aerial view of the ocean and coastline from an airplane, a view of the beach and pier under a cloudy sky
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Overview of Best Beaches in Belgium

  1. Knokke-heist
  2. De Haan
  3. Bredene
  4. Ostend

1. De Haan: Tranquil Beauty

an aerial view of a beach and town on a sunny day

At the top of our list of beach resorts in Belgium is the relaxing resort town of De Haan, where the sun meets the sea. 

This Belgian beach gem is worth visiting regardless of the season, offering long stretches of sandy beaches, fishing activities, and two months of swimming.

Are you traveling with children? De Haan is a great place as it never gets overcrowded, allowing kids of all ages to bask in the ambiance and enjoy the feeling of the sand between their toes. 

I’ve explored the many restaurants and cottages, and they all make for a great place to relax and unwind.

At night, the clubs lined along the seaside bring the beach to life with its music and lights, and vacationers capping their night with a cocktail or two.

Like other tourists, I loved sunbathing on the North Sea coast before letting the time pass at the local park of De Sierk. I consider De Haan the best beach in Belgium!

If you’re looking for a place to stay, I’d highly recommend the Romantik Manoir Carpe Diem, which boasts a strategic location close to the restaurants and the beach. 

And with walking paths near it, it lets you enjoy being close to nature while staying in cozy, homey, and well-appointed rooms.

2. Knokke-heist: Luxury and Nature

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If you plan to go all-out on your excursion to the best beaches in Belgium, Knokke-Heist should be at the top of your list of must-visit beach resorts in Belgium.

One thing I couldn’t help but associate with this Belgian beach is luxury, especially with all the things to do on Knokke Beach.

Home to flagship stores of emerging designers and famous brands, bazaars, and world-class shops totaling 1,500 businesses, I was in awe of the latest fashion trends and timeless classics. 

From champagne and Cuban cigars to golf equipment and yachts, Knokke-Heist didn’t disappoint me.

Being a beach destination, I was fascinated to see many beach bars, cabins, and water sports clubs. 

I specifically loved sunbathing on the Blue Flag beaches, or the beaches that have been given the Blue Flag label for leisure and sustainable tourism, before diving into their opalescent waters.

If you’re like me, who loves basking in nature, then you should try the Zwin Nature Park to spot the purple sea lavender, rare birds, and storks.

Complete your excursion at the 5-star hotel La Reserve on the Flemish coastal side, boasting a spa with an indoor pool, a bar, restaurants, and suites for the perfect getaway.

3. Blankenberge: Family-friendly Fun

a view of the beach and pier under a cloudy sky

Want to take the kids along for a vacation? Blankenberge, a beach near Bruges, is the perfect summer destination, especially for families with small children.

It’s not just its famous sandy beach that draws people to the place but also the Pier of Blankenberge, a lengthy jetty that dominates the entire beach. 

Stretching out into the sea, it ends in a beautiful circular building.

Another draw of this beach is its activities and offerings for children.

I, myself, went to check out the Sea Life Center, a small yet fun animal park, where I first saw some of the animals I’ve only seen in books my entire life. 

And because they sell tickets online, it wasn’t difficult for me to enter the park and enjoy my day there.

If you want a recommendation for suitable accommodation, I suggest staying at Hotel Beach Palace, located along the beach and is a 5-minute walk from the city center. 

While here, dine at its English restaurant and bar, the Brasserie L’Apero.

4. Oostduinkerke: Shrimp Fishing and Nature

a beach horizon

While on vacation, wouldn’t witnessing gray shrimp fishing be a great idea? 

And you can do that here in Oostduikerke the traditional way on horseback.

Yes, you read that right. 

One of the best beaches in Belgium is known for its 500-year-old tradition of gray shrimp fishing on horseback.

 It has been on the UNESCO list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” since 2013.

Come here between April and September and see the local fishermen in action and devour their specialties, including gray shrimp, crab, and fresh fish.

But that’s not all there is to Oostduinerke. 

Here, you can experience the dune paradise of Ter Helme, situated 700 meters from the sea. 

I was impressed by its sandy beach that extends for more than two kilometers, where I enjoyed a barefoot walk, sunbathing, and swimming.

For a great experience in Oostduinkerke, stay where I stayed—the Boutique Hotel ‘Hof ter Duinen.’ 

It’s a mere few steps from the dunes and the beach, so you can bring the kids along and give them a relaxing stay.

5. Bredene: the Natural Beach

the sun sets over the ocean and waves on a beach

Another one of the best places in Belgium is Bredene, which boasts being a naturalist beach with only about 18,000 inhabitants. 

This allows the place to be child-friendly and remain almost untouched.

Bredene Beach spans about 250 meters, with no constructions anywhere near it—a testament to its practice of naturism. 

However, I was impressed to find a first-aid station and lifeguards watching over the bathers.

Interestingly, I didn’t even find bicycles around because these are not allowed, but dogs and horses are.

While reading about Bredene during my stay there, I learned about its nudist beach—the first and only beach on the Belgian coast. 

So, if you search for the best beaches near Bruges, this may be the only nudist beach.

A great place to stay in Bredene is the Hotel de Golf. It’s voted #1 on Tripadvisor for 2024, boasting friendly staff and easy access to the beach, center, and restaurants.

6. Zeebrugge: Maritime Heritage

a panoramic view of a beach with tall grass and buildings

Zeebrugge’s beautiful and quiet beach is one of the closer places to visit in Oostende. 

This fantastic Belgian beach stretches up to 20 kilometers in length and 70 kilometers in width.

When I came here in the summer, I was pleasantly surprised to find an excellent recreation atmosphere and tons of surfers around. 

Zeebrugge is not your average beach because it is also a perfect place for fun water sports, with a rescue brigade guarding the area and posting warnings for dangerous currents and winds.

Dog lovers and fur parents will find this place ideal for their fur babies, where they can play fetch with a frisbee or ball.

Interestingly, Zeebrugge also boasts an artificial harbor that brims with petrol tankers and ferries, making it an ideal and convenient starting point for a day trip to London.

I would recommend staying at the Hotel Monaco Zeebrugge Beach if you want luxury and convenience at the same time.

 It has well-appointed rooms and some units that offer stunning views from a balcony.

7. Koksijde: Tranquility and Art

an aerial view of the ocean and coastline from an airplane

Located in West Flanders, Belgium, is a seaside town called Koksijde, famous for its fabulous beaches and unique artistic culture. 

The beaches are the town’s most popular attractions and rightfully belong to the best beaches in Belgium.

One of the most exciting things I learned while staying here was that a group of seals lived near the beach for two years. Moreover, the sandy stretch is more than 10 kilometers long!

The place also brims with local cafes and restaurants, serving delicious ice cream and drinks to parched bathers.

As to the artistic side of Koksijde, children and adults will fall in love with the Navigo Museum and the Paul Delvaux Museum, among others.

To fully immerse yourself in the unique vibe of the beach town, stay at the Casino Hotel

It’s located near Koksijde Beach, connected to a shopping center, and has a full-service spa for a relaxing stay!

8. Nieuwpoort: Watersports Hub

nieuwpoort beach, belgium, a woman on white short and yellow shorts on a beach with a green beach chair

This coastal town of Nieuwpoort is synonymous with sand, beaches, and the sea, making it a perfect vacation destination for families. 

I couldn’t agree more, considering it is a traffic-free area with a promenade.

Spanning 50 meters, this beautiful beach has many cozy restaurants and activities that can make it fairly crowded during the peak season. 

However, outside of town offers a space ideal for a walk.

If you’re like me, who’s into yachting and sailing, Nieuwpoort offers a lovely cruise experience, with numerous sailboat and yacht operators waiting to take you on a cruise.

The Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort is a reasonable accommodation choice where comfort meets design. You can read my Ibis Styles Nieuwpoort Review.

It offers a haven of peace and tranquility after exploring the town with its indoor swimming pool, a bar, and a terrace for magnificent views.

9. Westende: Picturesque Resort Town

a woman looking back on the beach

I found out about Westende while looking for a wide-beach holiday destination. 

I couldn’t be more impressed upon seeing that some beaches here are 500 meters wide!

Staying here showed me a lot of activities organized by the town’s very own sports instructors, including volleyball and beach football. 

Amazingly, anyone could join these activities free of charge.

The promenade that connected the beaches is one of the strongest draws of the place. 

It’s perfect for taking short walks with stops at a restaurant or bar for a cool drink and snacks.

Did I also mention that Westende also features the scenic Westgolf for you to enjoy playing a few holes before indulging in a good meal?

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Westende, I recommend Hotel Westendia

It’s located in a residential area, letting you experience the peace and tranquility of a home away from home.

 You can take a short 400-meter walk to the beach or a 5-minute walk to the village center for a shopping spree.

10. Ostend: Queen of the Belgian Coast

an aerial view of the beach and buildings in ostend, belgium

What makes Ostend popular, especially during the summer months? It would have to be its beaches.

Connected by a boulevard, I quickly walked from the family beach to the shopping streets!

The beaches were crowded while I was there, but finding an excellent spot for sunbathing wasn’t impossible. 

Not to mention, the beach was always clean, thanks to the maintenance staff.

Like most of the other best beaches in Belgium, Ostend boasts a 7-kilometer stretch of white sand with an 80-meter width. 

You could just imagine all the things to do in Oostende! Being called the Queen of the Belgian Coast is no ordinary feat. 

Over five and a half miles of sandy beaches keep a royal history and a world-class seafood gastronomic culture.

If you want to stay near Ostend’s sandy beaches, I recommend staying at Thermae Palace.

My Final Thoughts on the Beaches of Belgium

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Beaches truly have this unique power to rejuvenate and refresh. 

And since there are many beach resorts in Belgium, more and more people are coming to visit the country. 

The top 10 best beaches in Belgium are taken from my personal experience, and I would love for you to experience these places and their magic. 

But, of course, there cannot be only one best beach resort in Belgium, considering all the most beautiful cities in Belgium that are waiting to be explored. 

Though some of these Belgium beach towns are similar, I can guarantee that there will always be one or two uniquely unique characteristics that each one has. 

So, wait no more and enjoy the best beaches in Belgium. 

But don’t forget to also try the best hiking trails in Belgium as well as the best day trips from Brussels.

So when it comes to comparing the Netherlands vs Belgium, you’ll know the answer!