The final weekend of three weeks of Knokke Hippique is unfortunately already there. But did you Knokke is one of the most beautiful cities at the Belgian coast? Since the beginning of the last century, many come to Knokke every year for the beaches, the nightlife and the entertainment. The city also has several museums and art galleries that are worth a visit. Knokke has good restaurants and shopaholics can get their money’s worth in trendy shops and chic boutiques.
In Knokke and you want to prolong your stay in Belgium? Here are five things you must see when you’re not at the show!
For Freedom Museum
The For Freedom Museum shows the heavy trials that Knokke had to endure during the Second World War. In the museum you will learn that not a single resident of the region escaped repression and deprivation between 1940 and 1944. The story is told through dioramas and a collection of original military vehicles, uniforms and aircraft wrecks. The For Freedom Museum is only open on weekends in winter and there is a cafeteria.
Zwin Nature Park
Just north of Knokke on the Dutch border lies the Zwin Nature Park, also known as ‘the international airport for birds’. An incredible number of different migratory birds take a rest here as they fly from the south to the north (or vice versa). There are viewing platforms and walking trails to get closer to the birds, so you may spot storks, cormorants and kestrels. You can explore the reserve at your own pace or with a guide. Boots and waterproof shoes are a must, unless you take the ‘barefoot path’ of course.
Grand Casino Knokke
You can of course try your luck at legal online casinos in Belgium, but at Grand Casino Knokke you can experience the excitement in real life. It is one of the oldest and most famous casinos in the country, which opened in the early 1930s. Grand Casino Knokke was not only a place to gamble, but also a fashionable meeting place where concerts and cabaret shows were held. Today, you can find 200 slot machines or a game of roulette, blackjack or poker. The minimum age is 21 and there is a dress code: ‘stylish and well-groomed’, so no jeans, jumpers or trainers.
In the Sincfala Museum, you will learn more about the hard life of the fishermen and their families in the Zwinstreek, of which Knokke is a part. The 2000-year-old history is illuminated by various themes, such as the life of fishermen, reclamation and the rise of tourism. The collection includes posters, ship’s material, household goods, traditional clothing, antique furniture and paintings. The museum is located in a former school building and is open every day.
Knokke and art are almost synonymous. For a long time, painters, sculptors and architects have come to the seaside resort to be inspired or to capture seascapes. Knokke therefore has more than 85 art galleries where you can view and buy works not only by local artists, but also by celebrities such as Karel Appel and Zadkine. The Absolute Art Gallery is a well-known place for modern and contemporary art.