Zeebrugge, meaning "Bruges on Sea", is a village on the coast of Belgium and a subdivision of Bruges, for which it is the modern port. Zeebrugge serves as both the international port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and a seafront resort with hotels, cafes, a marina and a beach. Located on the coast of the North Sea, its central location on the Belgian coast, short distance to Great Britain and close vicinity to densely populated industrialized cities make Zeebrugge a crossroads for traffic from all directions. It is Belgium's most important fishing port and the wholesale fish market located there is one of the largest in Europe.
Zeebrugge has a moderate sea climate with relatively mild winters and rather cool summers. Because of the warm Gulf Stream from the Atlantic Ocean, sea temperatures are slightly higher than in the rest of the North Sea. Rain falls all year round with the smallest chances for rain in the spring. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 17C (63F) and January is the coldest month at 5C (41F). Although most visitors come to the city in the spring and summer months, Zeebrugge has something to offer all year round.
With a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire, the Ports most significant events occurred much later. In April 1918, during World War I, British naval forces sank blockships in Zeebrugge's harbor and canal to deny the use of the port to German submarines. The port was again blocked by the Allies in May 1940 for a similar purpose, and Zeebrugge itself was destroyed by the retreating Germans in 1944. The harbor was reopened in 1957 after the last of the old Allied blockships had been removed. The connection to the sea is a thread in the rich history of the city. Today, Zeebrugge is a world port where cargo is shipped to and from all continents. Employing more than 10,000 people, the port welcomes approximately 8,000 vessels every year.
Zeebrugge boasts some nice tourist attractions, for example the Seafront Maritime Theme Park, cruises around the port on board the Zephira passenger boat, or walks through the nature reserve De Fonteintjes, to name a few. With its close proximity to Bruges, there are many options outside of port. The charm and bustle of Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent are easily within reach should you desire something a little more adventurous.
Zeebrugge can officially claim to be the widest beach of the coast and the only seaside resort where you can park your car free of charge. People come here to enjoy the beach, which is pure and clean and offers enough space for everybody. The old fishing port still breathes the popular and mysterious atmosphere, while quality restaurants, pubs and trendy brasseries stand side by side to offer gastronomic experiences that suit every taste and every budget.