Frequently asked questions about the beach registration

Will I be able to go to the beach of Ostend this summer?

Yes! Everyone is welcome in Ostend this summer. All beaches will be freely accessible.

You will only have to register on peak days for the three busiest beaches. These are the Klein Strand, the Groeistrand and the Groot Strand (up to the Venetian Galleries). Those peak days will be announced at least three days in advance and will be determined based on the weather forecasts and on visitor numbers of the past years.

Keeping distance remains important. Therefore, a beach windscreen is recommended, but not mandatory. People can also demarcate their spot in a different way.

On other beaches of the city such as Oosteroever, Mariakerke or Raversijde, there is no registration system, even on expected peak days, and you can simply come by at any time.

From what date will it be possible to register for the beach?

You will only have to register on the three busiest beaches for absolute peak days. These beaches are the Klein Strand, the Groeistrand and the Groot Strand (up to the Venetian Galleries). The peak days will be announced at least three days in advance, based on the weather forecasts and on the visitor numbers of the past years.

Why is a registration system used?

Ostend has one of the busiest beaches on the Belgian coast. On a busy day in summer, Ostend is sometimes visited by more than 50,000 holidaymakers. It can get very crowded during a sunny day, especially on the beaches close to the city centre. Considering that Ostend has over 70,000 residents, the city can hardly be compared to other coastal municipalities.

Visitors are only required to register on absolute peak days, and registration takes place only at the three most frequently visited beaches: Klein Strand, Groeistrand and Groot Strand (up to the Venetian Galleries). The obligation to register will be announced at least three days in advance and will be determined on the basis of weather forecasts and visitor numbers in recent years. 

The City of Ostend attaches considerable value to ensuring that everyone can safely enjoy the beach. Your safety is our priority! Other beaches in the city, such as Oosteroever, Mariakerke or Raversijde, are not subject to a registration system, even on anticipated peak days. There is normally enough space here for people who spontaneously visit the beach.

Do you have to pay to register for a place on the beach?

No, certainly not. Registration is not subject to payment on any beach or at any time. A spot on the beach will remain free of charge. However, the use of a beach windscreen is strongly recommended in order to create a natural border so that a sufficient distance between beachgoers can be guaranteed. Windscreen and beach chairs can be rented on the beach. Of course, visitors can also bring their own screens and chairs if they wish.

How will I know if it is a busy day on the beach? 

Ostend will make use of different scenarios for busy days. Each of these will be assigned a colour code. By informing residents and visitors both online (via visitoostende.be) and at the beach (via large signs), peak hours can be spread to the greatest extent possible across the various beaches, the seawall, the city centre, the outskirts, and so on. 

Is a beach windscreen mandatory?

A beach windscreen is not mandatory, but we strongly recommend using one. It is the ideal way to demarcate your own zone on the beach and keep your distance from other guests on the beach. So, if you have a windscreen be sure to take it with you to the beach. You will also be able to rent or buy a beach windscreen from private partners in the vicinity of the beach. There are, of course, other ways to define your own spot on the beach.

Can you still rent windscreens and beach chairs on the beach?

Yes. There are several places where windscreens and beach chairs can be rented. Click here for an overview.

My parents live in Ostend, but my family and I do not. Can we sit on the beach together? 

The registration system applies only to the busiest beaches (Klein Strand, Groeistrand and Groot Strand – up to the Venetian Galleries) and on peak days in summer. If you want to sit together on the busiest beaches, everyone will be required to register. Of course, you can always sit together on the Oosteroever, Mariakerke and Raversijde beaches. Keep an eye on the digital channels of the City of Ostend and Tourism Ostend for the latest information.