7 beaches near Brussels: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

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Best beaches near Brussels

This beautiful city is known for being the "capital of Europe," and there are so many things that you can do and see here. You might be unaware, but you can actually enjoy a beach day while you are in Brussels as well. There are various beach resorts and lovely sandy beaches that you can visit during your trip. You might even want to check out the options for fun beach holidays near the city.

Before you head to the beach, make sure that you get your bags into secure storage. Having the peace of mind to have fun at the beach can make your trip so much more carefree. You will want to be sure that you have your hands free while you have fun at the beach.

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De Haan Beach near Brussels

De Haan Beach

This lovely section of the Belgian coast is a great place for all kinds of experiences. There is a nudist beach here, as well as beach resorts and some really lovely cottages and villas that are visible right from the sand. There is a real sense of beauty and history here that is quite memorable.

De Haan Beach travel distance from Brussels

It's about an hour and a half drive to this coastal beach from Brussels. Alternatively, public transportation from Brussels Central Station will take a little over two hours and involves one change in Blankenberge.

Activity recommendations

This is one of the most visited beaches in Belgium because you get a 360-degree view of the sea here. There are lots of nice places to sit quietly on the beachfront here, and you won't have to compete for real estate to enjoy your beach day.

This is a great place to visit a family seaside resort, as there are many options for a weekend stay away from the city. The Belgian coastline is gorgeous here, and many people love walking along the dunes as well as on the soft sand near the water. There are many places right on the shore to get a drink or a snack as well.

The claims to fame for the De Haan Beach area, beyond the pretty beach area, are the nudist beach area and the fact that Albert Einstein once stayed here. There are amenities here in the area, like bathrooms and places to rinse off, and there are lifeguards on duty along certain portions of the beach as well.

Ostend Beach near Brussels

Ostend Beach

There is a lot to do at this beach location, and it is well-known among locals as the site of the Sculpture Festival each year. Ostend is a very fun city as well, and big enough that you can enjoy access to all kinds of experiences while you visit. Many people enjoy coming here even in the winter because of the beauty of the town and the views over the water.

Ostend Beach travel distance from Brussels

Whether on the train or in a car, this Belgian beach location is about an hour and a half from the city center.

Activity recommendations

Visiting Ostend Fort Napoleon is a must-do activity when you head to Ostend and its beach. You can also enjoy eating out and shopping in the city and touring a variety of museums. There are three distinct beach areas along this section of the Belgian coast, and you will find that some of them have more amenities than others. These locations are the sandy beach spots where lifeguards are on duty, swimming is really ideal, and there is food and drink to be had close by.

This is also one of the best beaches in Belgium if you love to wander. You will find that walking along the soft sand and admiring the view here is a great way to spend time on the Belgian coast. There is also mini golf to enjoy near the beach as well as other activities that appeal to kids.

Knokke-Heist Beach near Brussels

Knokke-Heist Beach

This beach is really well-known for being located on the North Sea and also for having some of the most famous seaside resort locations in the Brussels area. You can have your pick of all kinds of different sandy beaches in the area, as well as options at all kinds of different beach resorts.

Knokke-Heist Beach travel distance from Brussels

Getting to this North Sea location will take you about an hour and a half by car or about two hours on the train.

Activity recommendations

The beach here is 12 km long and is divided into five distinct beach spots. You will find that each beach area caters to different needs. There is also a nearby casino, some art galleries, and a nature preserve where nature lovers can enjoy some hiking and time in the great outdoors.

The North Sea coast is west of Flanders, and it is well-known as one of the most rugged and attractive beaches in the world. While North Sea beach resorts can be a bit more expensive than hotels in other locations, if you have ever wanted to visit this part of Belgium, the cost is well worth it. The best beaches in Belgium are located in coastal towns just outside of Brussels itself, and you will not have to travel far to have a really special vacation near the water.

Check out "Operation North Sea" for some fun with hands-on exhibits, or make sure to head into the city and have dinner at one of the delicious eateries that overlook the beach.

Middelkerke Beach near Brussels

De Panne Beach

This is the first beach stop that the famous Coastal Tram stops at, and you can start a journey to see many unique, sandy beaches along the tram route. The coastal tram allows you to hop from one of the best beaches to another of the best beaches in Belgium with ease. It is an experience just riding the tram itself as well, making this a great way to spend a few hours during your trip.

De Paane Beach travel distance from Brussels

It takes an hour and a half to drive to this beach spot or about two hours on the train to enjoy round-trip access to the area from either side of the train line.

Activity recommendations

De Panne Beach, rather like De Haan Beach, is a great place for families. Between the coastal tram and things like water sports on offer along this route, there is a lot to recommend this area to kids and adults alike. All of the best beaches are along the tramline, but this is one of the beaches that you might want to head right from Brussels Airport to visit.

The tram is actually called De Kusttram, and it makes 68 total stops along its route. This means that there are many cities and other beach locations that you could choose to see besides this one. If you wanted to, you could choose to stay at one of the beach resorts here and just use the coastal tram to get around to see the other beaches up close.

For those who love learning or who have small kids to keep busy, the Seafront Maritime Theme Park is close to this lovely beach area as well.

Middelkerke Beach

This is the biggest of the two beaches between Westende and Middelkerke. It is a family-friendly beach along the Belgian coast that offers access to many beach resorts as well as lots of things to do. Many people come to this long, sandy beach to sunbathe, but you could also come here for water sports and to rent a paddleboard.

Middelkerke Beach travel distance from Brussels

This spot along the Belgian coast is about an hour and a half away by car and about two and a half hours away by train.

Activity recommendations

Sunbathers and beachcombers love it here on this part of the Belgian coast, and you can head here to enjoy a day in the sun, a day of water sports and swimming, or even a day to shop and enjoy fine dining. This is one of the best beaches near Belgium due to the vast array of experiences that can be had here. While there are many Belgian beaches that you could visit along the Belgian coast, this is easily one of the most entertaining places on the water.

For dog lovers, heading to this beach resort area will offer you the chance to see people having fun with their pets. You might also choose to get a drink or a snack from the nearby food vendors and just wander along the sand.

Blankenberg Beach near Brussels

Blankenberg

This beach is also adjacent to the sea life marine park location mentioned above. With this to recommend it, you might not need to know more. However, this is also a really nice place to play golf or to wander along the pier. There are lots of things to do in this area as well, which can make this one of the best Belgian beaches for those who love to have adventures.

Blankenberg travel distance from Brussels

If you take the train or you get in a car, this beach area will be about one hour and fifteen minutes away.

Activity recommendations

Windsurfing and kitesurfing are very popular here. You can also paddleboard, or you might want to ride banana boats or jet ski too. This is one of the best beaches in Belgium for those who love adventure or who are traveling with young people who might get bored easily.

If you have come during the right season, there are often sandcastle-building competitions here which are well worth a visit. Belgium's coastal towns know how to have fun with activities and contests, and there are many charming local festivals and gatherings that are themed around creating something.

You can easily spend more than a day in this area, or you might want to just head here as one stop of many as you wander down the Belgian coastline.

Naaktstrand Bredene near Brussels

Naaktstrand Bredene

This is the only nudist beach in Brussels, which might mean that it is on your list of things to check out when you are looking at Belgium Coastal towns. You can rent a chair and an umbrella here and just tan anything that you want to allow to get some sun. Everyone is really friendly at this beach, and there are limited facilities and dining options in the area to enjoy if you get hungry or you need to rinse off.

Naaktstrand Bredene travel distance from Brussels

It will take you about an hour and a half to get here.

Activity recommendations

If the only official nudist beach in Belgium was on your list of things to do or try while you visit the Belgian coast, then this is the beach for you! There are other things to do here besides tan in the buff, but most of the people who visit will make the most of bathing in the nude while they are here.

This beach area backs onto a nature preserve, so there is a different tone to this area that is not like the other beaches that do not offer such a wild and untouched landscape.

Conclusion

These beaches make ideal places to spend the day when you're visiting Brussels on a budget. Plus, if you have a little more time, you can venture further away from the city as there are other beaches that make fantastic weekend trips from Brussels.

There are so many ways to make the most of beach holidays in this part of the world and take advantage of things like beach sports and mini golf. You can even check out a nudist beach if you want! The Belgian coastline offers up lots of lovely sandy beaches that can offer you the chance to make memories.

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