Daphne recently visited Vlissingen, one of those perfect weekend destinations in the Netherlands. Vlissingen is well worth a visit. It has a long boulevard, gorgeous beaches, a little marina, cute cafes, and an old inner city with a typically maritime ambiance. The area is also known for its excellent walking and cycling opportunities. In this city guide to Vlissingen, Daphne will introduce you to the best activities to do in Vlissingen, how to reach the seaside city, where to dine and drink, and of course, where to stay in Vlissingen.
A short introduction to Vlissingen
Vlissingen is a lively seaside resort and a popular tourist destination in the southwestern part of the Netherlands in the province of Zeeland. In addition to its fantastic location by the sea, Vlissingen’s attractions include its many beach pavilions, museums, and a wide variety of cafés and nightclubs. Vlissingen is sometimes called ‘Flushing’ in English. In fact, Flushing (New York) was named after Vlissingen.
Some highlights of Vlissingen:
- Admire ships at the port of Vlissingen
- Stroll along the longest beach promenade in the Netherlands
- Visit Vlissingen beach to jump into the sea
- Learn about water at the Maritime muZEEum
- Explore ships at Het Arsenaal
- Discover reptiles at Reptile zoo Iguana
- See the most striking facade in Vlissingen
- Shop at an old inner city
- Watch The Sunset On The Beach
Activities in Vlissingen
There are many activities to do in Vlissingen. The main attractions of Vlissingen are the long beach promenade, the pretty beaches, the diverse museums, a fort, and an old inner city with a typically maritime ambiance. In this city guide I have listed the best activities in Vlissingen for you:
Admire ships at the port of Vlissingen
No visit to Vlissingen is complete without a trip to the port. People come here not only to admire the history of the port, but also because the ships that pass through here come closer to shore than any other port in the world.
Stroll along the longest beach promenade in the Netherlands
The first thing to do when you dock in Vlissingen is to stroll along the boulevard, which is the Netherlands’ longest beach promenade. During your walk you can take a seat to watch the ships passing along the Scheldt, and pick out Breskens in the distance. In the summer, you will probably find plenty of market stalls, a music festival, or a funfair along the boulevard.
Learn about water at the Maritime muZEEum
As its name suggests, Maritime muZEEum is a maritime museum with some great exhibitions. Here you can learn about Zeeland’s connection with the water, pilotage and shipyards.
The museum is open daily from 10AM until 5PM (closed on Mondays during the winter).
Visit Vlissingen beach to jump into the sea
Vlissingen beach is known as the beach-to-be in the Netherlands. The sandy beach attracts thousands of tourists each year that all jump into the water. It’s refreshing and makes you feel alive! There are plenty of facilities on the beach. You can find beach pavilions, showers, restrooms, parking spaces, and it’s even possible to rent beach chairs or bicycles.
Tip: bring a reusable water bottle and fill it with water at one of the beach showers. This water is cold and of great quality.
Discover reptiles at Reptile zoo Iguana
The Reptile zoo Iguana is Europe’s largest covered reptile zoo and a must visit in Vlissingen! There are more than 500 live amphibians, reptiles and insects from all over the world. Frogs, lizards, crocodiles, snakes, turtles, walking sticks, and more can be found at this unique zoo.
Explore ships at Het Arsenaal
Het Arsenaal is an attraction that’s especially fun to visit with children. The pirate-themed attraction allows you to explore a pirate ship and a variety of other ships as well. There’s also an aquarium with sharks and sea rays and a great observation tower from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city.
Visit Dokje Perry (Perry’s Dock)
If you’re interested in learning more about the marine, you might want to visit Perry’s Dock. Perry’s Dock is the oldest surviving dry dock in the Netherlands and is also the oldest in Western Europe. It’s a small, entirely beam-roofed dock from the 17th century. Today, the dock serves as a national monument.
See the most striking facade in Vlissingen
One of the most striking facades in Vlissingen is that of the Beeldenhuis on the Prins Hendrikstraat. Beautiful to see!
Jump at Street Jump Vlissingen
New in Vlissingen is ‘Street Jump Vlissingen’, a 2,400 m2-sized indoor trampoline park. Fun if you like to be active!!
Shop at an old inner city
In Vlissingen you can find an old inner city with a typically maritime ambiance. It’s small, but has some cute little shops, cafes, and restaurants. Get some ice cream and wander about the streets. My favourite stores in Vlissingen are La Bella Cucina for presents and food and TOF Concept store for a Zeeland souvenir.
Take the Westerschelde Ferry
If you have seen everything in Vlissingen, you can easily take the Westerschelde Ferry to Breskens. The ferry is for pedestrians and cyclists only and sails once an hour to Breskens and then back to Vlissingen, with additional services in summer. The crossing takes 23 minutes.
Survive at Fort Rammekens
Another option is to visit Fort Rammekens. This fort is located just a few kilometers east of Vlissingen and is the oldest surviving sea fort in all of Western Europe.
Watch The Sunset On The Beach
To close off your day in Vlissingen, you should watch the sunset on the beach. Get comfy, grab a drink, and watch the sun sink in the North Sea. My favorite place to watch the sunset is on Nolle Beach.
Tip: At Nolle beach you will also find Panta Rhei, a beach pavilion. Have dinner here and roll afterwards onto the beach to watch the sunset.
Transportation in Vlissingen
The town of Vlissingen is very easy to reach. The distance between Amsterdam and Vlissingen is 137 km. The road distance is 202 km and the main road into town is the A58.
When you travel by train, the Intercity will bring you from Amsterdam directly to Vlissingen in three hours. There are two railway stations in town and Vlissingen is the last stop on the Roosendaal-Vlissingen line. The railway station lies directly by the sea. You can go directly to the center via the beach promenade (or take the bus). Water taxis are also available. Once you arrive in Vlissingen, you can explore the city on foot or you can rent a bicycle.
Drinking and dining in Vlissingen
For anyone who thinks that Vlissingen lags behind when it comes to nice lunch or dining addresses: nothing could be further from the truth. In this city guide to Vlissingen I have listed the best places for you:
Having lunch in Vlissingen
On the Oude Markt in Vlissingen, you’ll find Cafe Marcus. In addition to dozens of coffee and tea varieties, this coffee bar serves delicious lunch dishes. For a healthy food lover, The Juice Bar is the place to go. It serves all kinds of smoothies, juices and salads. Another great place is La Bella Cucina, an Italian delicatessen or Tilly Rose that sells all kinds of sweets from scones to grilled sandwiches.
Dining in Vlissingen
The province of Zeeland is well known for its fish delicacies including the Oosterschelde lobsters, oysters, and Zeeland mussels (from July to April). If you get hungry, just visit one of the many seafood restaurants on the centrally situated square, Bellamypark. If you like an excellent view while enjoying the food, Arion Amadroe is worth a visit. Castafiore Risotteria is a great place to eat traditional risottos, homemade gelato and dolce and antipasto. If you like a more traditional atmosphere and eating local seasonal dishes like asparagus, rhubarb and Zeeland pork belly, you should visit The Dighter. The seafood in Vlissingen is always freshly caught. If you’d rather go out somewhere stylish, you can indulge yourself in the former prison tower (De Gevangentoren). It remains an impressive sight to see large ships sail past just a stone’s throw from your table. Whether you take a seat on the terrace, in the conservatory or in the tower room, the view is spectacular everywhere. Tip: try the homemade limoncello
Of course you can also enjoy seafood along the boulevard. Some snack bars sell the golden globe of Dutch food: kibbeling. This dish is something that you have to try during your weekend in Vlissingen. Kibbeling is fried fish and has a crusty layer around it. Ask for remoulade sauce with your kibbeling. A portion kibbeling is also perfect to have as lunch!
Aside from seafood, you can also find restaurants that serve Italian, Argentine, Indonesian, Chinese, Green, French and classic Dutch cuisine.
Drinking in Vlissingen
If you like to go for a drink in the evening, you can visit Speyk, the most popular bar in town with a British pub look interior. They have several beers on the tap and an outdoor terrace. Another great place to visit is the Belgian Pilot’s Club, a unique and phenomenal place for a drink or sleepover. Great place with an amazing view!
Accommodation in Vlissingen
In Vlissingen you can find plenty of comfortable hotels located right next to the beach. The loveliest places to stay in Vlissingen are definitely the boulevard hotels, such as the Amadore Hotel Arion, with hotel bedrooms that give a view onto the beach and the Westerschelde with freighters rolling by.
Did you also explore Vlissingen? How did you experience it? Do you any other fun activities in Vlissingen? Or do you have any other tips?
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