A small harbour town that is considered part of the larger metropolitan area of
Bruges, Zeebrugge is nonetheless an interesting prospect for tourists, especially as part of a wider tour of the Flanders region.
There is no direct DFDS Seaways ferry to Belgium, however if you live in the north of England or Scotland and you’re travelling to Zeebrugge or Bruges, then our
Newcastle-Amsterdam route is ideal. With daily, overnight departures, you can get to Zeebrugge in just 3 hours from our IJmuiden port. If you live in the south of England, then our routes from
Dover to Dunkirk or Calais are perfect, with both ports just over an hour away from Zeebrugge.
Why visit Zeebrugge?
With no ferries to Belgium a ferry to Amsterdam and short drive to Zeebrugge is often used as the perfect starting point for exploring the Flanders region further, but the town has enough to warrant visitors on its own merit. As an important harbour in the First and Second World Wars, Zeebrugge has plenty of stories for history buffs to discover.
Other than that, Zeebrugge is a relaxed harbour and seaside town, with a pretty beach and plenty of spots for fishing, sailing and other water sports.
For the gastronomic tourist there’s also a great deal of delicious cuisine to enjoy. Belgium’s most famous dish of mussels and chips is available virtually everywhere – in fact the first ever chips may well have be made in the country as cookery books dating as far back as 1781 refer to them being eaten. Other local delicacies include cured and smoked ham, pâté and waffles and ice cream.
Belgium is also famous for its beer and its chocolate. There are over 1,000 types of the former brewed in the country and it also boasts over 2,000 chocolatiers of every size and kind.
What to see in Zeebrugge
Any tourists interested in military history should head to the harbour, where you can visit the Russian submarine, Foxtrot. Standing at a mighty 100 metres long, visitors can get a hands-on look at how the ship’s 75-strong crew lived and worked on a day-to-day basis. The tour takes two hours and includes an animation which simulates an attack on the ship, as well as audio-visual clips which help bring the boat to life.
The former fish market was converted into a maritime theme park called Seafront Zeebrugge, including a tunnel where you can walk under the sea and discover all the flora and fauna of the region from a totally unique perspective.
Another highlight for fans of marine life is the spectacular sea life centre in nearby Blankenberge which has over 50 saltwater tanks and 2,500 fish and other marine animals on display.
Zeebrugge beach, just to the south of the seaport is a long expanse of light sand that stretches nearly as far as Ostend and, at 70 metres wide at its widest point, there’s always plenty of room for you.
Where to stay in Zeebrugge
There are a number of hotels in the area so finding somewhere to stay is simple. Why not search and book with our hotel partner,
Prices are subject to availability. Credit card & telephone booking fees apply. Terms & Conditions apply.
It’s always a proud moment when you’re recognised for your good work, we’re honoured to have been named as ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ in the 2014 World Travel Awards. We've won this award for 4 years running.