a VirtualTourist member from San Francisco
My boyfriend and I (we are gay) just decided to come to Knokke-Heist for a 1 week visit in Feb 2008. I'm in the early research stage but already I'm impressed with the area, looks beautiful. Of course, all the pictures I have seen are in the summer when everyone is on holiday at the beach!
What kind of weather should I expect in Feb? Heavy jacket/cap/glove type of weather? Any snow/rain? Wondering what are the "Must see's" in the area? We like to walk and don't drive and will use public transportation when we can, not much for shopping, any really nice pubs that show off some nice Belgian Beers? Between the two of us we speak English, Spanish, and un petit de Francais, can we get by with that?
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
weatherwise everything is possible. Cap/glove probably not necessary but heavy jacket: yes. Usually it's wind that makes things colder.
English should be fine. French rather not, you're in the Flemish area where people speak Flemish (Dutch).
While you're there you might like to visit cities such as Brugge or Gent, fine examples of Flemish old architecture and great shopping / eating / drinking.
Just hop on a train.
If you haven't already: you'll find weather/webcam, transportation and all tourism advice etc. on:
The fact that you're gay is not an issue in Belgium.
Please be warned, Knokke is NOT beautiful, it's a concrete jungle by the sea! Weather is likely to be cold, wet and windy but anything can happen. On a nice day you might like to visit the Zwin nature reserve, and you must of course take the bus or train to Brugge (which IS beautiful). I would also recommend you continue on the train to Brussels (1 hour from Brugge) to see the Grand' Place, which is a 5-minute walk downhill from the Central Station.
I would recommend you use your English and try a bit of Dutch as you hear it, but save your French for Brussels
only in Summertime you will hear French been spoken everywhere in Knokke `-)
and yes... I think it is the best place to spend a whole week?
if the weather is dry it might be nice (and healthy) to have a stroll along the shore... but for a whole week I would wonder.
The times I went to Knokke was during the Summer season.
We went for a day trip to Knokke from Brussels last February, and I have to say that we weren't very impressed. It all seems to be modern apartment blocks, and it is a real trek from the station to the seafront. I'm not sure you would want to spend a whole week there in February, when it will probably be cold and possibly rainy.
However, there is a wonderful coastal tramway that runs almost the entire length of the Belgian coastline from Knokke to De Panne, and that will take you to more interesting towns like Blankenberge, De Haan (which is quite pretty), and Ostend. It is also easy to get trains to Bruges, Gent and Brussels.
You should also check when you are going, as many of the Flemish towns (including Heist) have big carnivals on the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras). These are major events with large elaborate carnival parades etc. - but watch-out for groups of men in costume running around with large wet fish!
Othere interesting places to visit while in the corner of Belgium:
- There is the nature reserve "het Zwin" which is basically a piece of coastline that has been preserved. It's a good place to gain an idea of how the landscape would have looked like in the middle ages.
- Sluis and Middelburg are interesting towns in the Netherlands. Both can be easily reached by public transport (bus, ferry) from Knokke.
Hello again, less than a month and I will be in your fine Country! I have been doing lots of research to get an idea of what my partner and I want to see and do. So far, try the local beer(s) and sample the Belgian Chocolate. Since we will be based in Knokke-Heist for a week we are considering taking the train for day trips to Brugge, Gent, and Antwerp and the tram down the coast; we will see Brussels for the afternoon on our way back to London.
The place where we are staying does not seem to have internet access which we will need, instead of going to an internet cafe' is a wireless internet signal easily accessible in the area?i.e. hotspots? Anything special we need to know to gain access? Some cities have free wireless while others charge. Do public libraries have free internet access in Belgium?
We'll need to buy food at the local grocery store, do we need to bring our own shopping bag?
Thank you again for the great advice!
There are 29 Wifi spots in Knokke-Heist.
See list: jiwire.com/search-wifi-hotsp...
Mind you, I don't know how it works or if it is free everywhere.
Don't need to bring a shopping bag. If you don't get a free plastic bag (you usually do, or ask for one), then you can usually buy one for a few eurocents.