Vlissingen

Vlissingen (historically known as Flushing) is a port town in the Dutch province of Zeeland, situated on the northern bank of Western Scheldt, just at its estuary on the North Sea.

It is the second largest town of Zeeland with 34,000 inhabitants. The town is industrial in character and is connected by a large canal to Middelburg and onwards to the inland lake of Veerse Meer. In summer, tourists and day trippers flock to the city's well known 2.6 km long boulevard, which is also a sweep spot for maritime aficionados, as large schips pass by the Vlissingen coastline perhaps closer than anywhere else in the world.

Understand

The Marina of Vlissingen

Get in

Vlissingen's railway station is an interesting building itself

Vlissingen has two railway stations and is the end on the line Roosendaal-Vlissingen. Passing through Roosendaal, there are direct connections to Rotterdam (1.40h), The Hague (>2h) and Amsterdam (almost 3h). There's also a direct connection to Breda and beyong. Trains go every 30 minutes.

Vlissingen is at the end of the motorway A58 (Eindhoven-Vlissingen), which is the main road in. Coming from the south, the Westerscheldetunnelweg allows you to cross the water of the Westerschelde near Terneuzen. Smaller, non-highway roads lead to town as well, making it possible to get here by bike, although they take detours to connect neighbouring villages.

As the town is an ancient harbour, it's reachable by boat.

Rotterdam Airport is one of the closest options when flying in, but is mostly served by discount carriers. Brussels has a larger international airport and is a good option when flying in. Amsterdam Schiphol is slightly further away but does have descent connections, making it still a logical pick.

Get around

A map of Vlissingen

You can easily get around by bicycle. The area is well served by cycle lanes and cycle paths. You can cycle along the shipping canal to Middelburg which is only a few km away. You can also cross the Westerschelde, and cycle to Terneuzen, Ghent or Bruges. You can also take the bus.

See

The closeness of the sea, the regular sea breeze that blows through town and some of its architecture five Vlissingen a typical maritime character. There are many historic buildings around, reminding of the harbour's golden ages and of the daily life of the people who lived there.

Pretty much everything that is of regular tourist interest can be found in the very compact centre, or Binnenstadt. The old town of Vlissingen, which used to be a fortress, is itself centred around the Koopmanshaven (merchants' haven), with the Beursplein, or market square, extending directly to the east from it. Most of the historic buildings are contained within the former fortress and thus within walking distance from there.

On the Spuistraat, the Belgian Loodshuizen, pretty Jugendstil mansions commissioned by Belgian Maritime Pilots, were built in 1910. Still today, pilots board visiting ships to steer them through the tricky waters of the Westerscheldt. Watching the massive ships up close as they make their way towards and from the harbour of Antwerp is a popular pass-time for the crowds on the boulevards. On the Beursplein you'll find the 1648 Beursgebouw, a historic commodity exchange in Dutch Renaissance-style and now a restaurant. The 1730 Beeldenhuis, now located one the Prins Hendrikstraat, was originally built at the Dokkade as a city palace for a local adventurer who returned from his Far East travels a rich man and later became a leading figure in the Dutch West India Company. As the harbour industry along the Dokkade grew, the building was finally scheduled to be demolished. A plan to save it came trough the last weeks and the precious façade was carefully taken apart and later rebuilt at the current location.

The North Sea side of Vlissingen is lined with boulevards, starting at the Koopmanshaven with Boulevard de Ruyter, and then extending northwestwards with Boulevard Bankert, with an increasing height of buildings and a beach.

Do

The Gevangenpoort or West Gate

Most visitors take a walk along the Boulevard. Go to the beach for a swim in summer season or a fresh walk at winters.

Buy

Eat

The Oranjemolen windmill

There are plenty of places to eat both in the old centre and along the boulevard. Nearly all restaurants serve seafood, the typical food of the region. Mussels (mosselen) are a particular favourite, and advertised all over town, as are squid (inktvis), cod (kabeljauw or kibbeling), sole (sliptong) and plaice (scholvis). At day-time you can also try a bolus, a bread originally from Zeeland.

The Beursgebouw of Vlissingen

Drink

Sint Jacob Church

Nightlife in Vlissingen is centred around the Bellamypark, a central square with the bars around it. As the bars are next to each other, just pick one and see if you like it. If you don't, there's plenty of other bars around.

Sleep

A statue of Michiel de Ruyter in Vlissingen

Go next

Routes through Vlissingen

END  W  E  Middelburg Eindhoven


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