Haven van Zeebrugge (Port of Zeebrugge)
The world port of Zeebrugge is the second-largest port in Belgium and is inextricably linked to Bruges. Not only in name, but also literally via the Boudewijn Canal which, to the north of the Bruges city centre, connects the inner port in a straight line to the outer port in Zeebrugge. The idea for a new port, which would connect Bruges to the sea just like in the Middle Ages, grew in the 19th century and it was officially opened by King Leopold II in 1907. It was given the name ‘Zeebrugge’ (Bruges-by-Sea). During the two World Wars, Zeebrugge was occupied by the Germans. In the First World War in particular, the port played an important role as a strategic base for German submarines. After the Second World War, the port of Zeebrugge really flourished and grew into the gateway to Europe. A maritime crossroads and logistics platform, the largest car port in the world, a hotspot for distribution centres and the most important pillar of the Bruges economy. The presence of all those busy port activities near the wide beach creates a unique atmosphere and makes Zeebrugge a special oddity on the Belgian coast. Would you like to explore the Zeebrugge port area yourself? This can be done on foot, with various viewpoints along the way, great for panoramic views, but also via a guided boat tour or by coach, which takes you deeper into the port area.