The Coastal Tram, a stunning journey along the North Sea coast
The Belgian Coastal Tram is undoubtedly one of the easiest, fastest, and most enjoyable ways to explore large parts of Belgium's beautiful coastline. The tram connects over 67 kilometers of picturesque landscapes. It offers travelers, among other things, breathtaking views of the North Sea, picturesque coastal villages, and a glimpse of Belgium's rich heritage.
The longest tram line in the world
The coastal tram was put into operation on July 5, 1885, and has since become a symbol of the Belgian coast. With over 65 stops, it connects the entire coastline, from Knokke-Heist in the north to De Panne in the south.
Highlights of the route
During the more than two-hour journey, the coastal tram passes over 65 stops and crosses various cities and municipalities. Some of the most popular stops along the route are:
The journey begins in Knokke-Heist, a trendy and lively seaside resort known for its luxury boutiques, art galleries, and elegant restaurants. Visitors can take a stroll along the promenade, enjoy the vast sandy beach, or explore the beautiful Zwin Nature Reserve, where you can admire rare bird species and unique flora.
The next stop is Blankenberge, a popular holiday destination with a wide range of activities for the whole family. Here you will find the Sea Life Centre, an impressive marine aquarium, and the iconic Pier, where you can enjoy panoramic sea views. Don't forget to visit the Belle Epoque Centre, where you will be immersed in the splendor of the past.
Ostend, also known as "the Queen of Seaside Resorts", offers a unique mix of historical sights, cultural events, and modern urban flair. Visit the imposing Fort Napoleon, the impressive James Ensor House, or relax on one of the many terraces around the marina.
A special section of the Coastal Tram route is between Ostend and Middelkerke. Here the tram runs parallel to the beach, allowing passengers to enjoy spectacular views (especially during sunset) of the vast coastline along the North Sea. Middelkerke itself is a cozy and inviting seaside resort, ideal for families and peace-seekers. Visit Middelkerke Casino, which offers stunning sea views, or enjoy a relaxing walk along the promenade.
The final destination of the Coastal Tram is De Panne, a picturesque seaside resort known for its wide sandy beaches, charming architecture, and vast nature reserves. Here you will find the beautiful Westhoek Nature Reserve, where you can enjoy walking and cycling through the dunes and forests. In addition, Plopsaland De Panne, a popular amusement park for both children and adults, is just a short distance from the tram station.
From bustling seaside resorts to picturesque landscapes, historical sights, and family-friendly attractions, there is something for everyone. So pack your suitcase, board the Coastal Tram, and let yourself be enchanted by the wonders of the Belgian coast.
Bicycles and strollers are allowed on board the coastal tram, but keep in mind that space is limited and there may not be room during busy periods. Dogs are also allowed, provided they are leashed and under the control of the owner.
Tickets are available at tram stops, in De Lijn-shops, and through the website or mobile app of De Lijn. Day passes, multi-day passes, and group tickets are available for added convenience and savings during your trip. A day ticket is an excellent option for tourists planning to visit multiple stops.