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“See what awaited the Allies on D-Day!”

Atlantic Wall Museum
Ranked #1 of 78 things to do in Ostend
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed August 24, 2013

A fascinating labyrinth of WW1 and WW2 German fortification, The Atlantic Wall designation refers to the later of these two conflicts and was intended to stop the Allied D-Day invasion on the beaches. As it turned out the Allies landed at Normandy and this section of the 'wall' didn't see action and was captured by Canadian forces when Ostend was liberated.

The museum tour is a series of bunkers and outposts linked together by trenches and tunnels and it's quite a long walk, especially on a hot day (so take some bottled water). These posts might be a gun site or crew accommodation or support buildings and many include superb recreations of the posts as they might have been when in use by the Germans.

There is a informative audio tour, but do make sure your unit is properly charged before you leave the reception. It was a busy day when we went and I was given a partially charge unit which died halfway round - luckily I could earwig on my wife's audio

As I mentioned, there are plenty of period weaponry and equipment in situ, as a gun emplacement battery there is plenty of artillery pieces for you to examine - ranging for light antiaircraft guns to whopping great guns intended to defend against Allied shipping. There are also quite a few very nicely done tableau showing German personnel at their posts, complete with a large amount of authentic equipment. I was surprised at just how much wartime kit that the museum had on display.

As well as being quite a long trail some of the tunnel entrances are quite low, at 6' 3" I struggled from time to time to get through without bumping my head! Some might also find some of the tunnels a little claustrophobic.

Altogether the complex is very impressive and while it did not see actual service during D-Day it was important enough to receive a visit from Field Marshal Rommel himself, and there is a display which documents the inspection carried out by this famous German general.

One small criticism I would make is that there are no toilet facilities half way round the tour - which can take you about 2 hours to go around - so make sure you go at the reception building before you undertake the tour. I am also sure that the tour is not mobility accessible (and this applies to those that might have young children in prams).

Finally, I should mention that the Atlantic Wall Museum is actually part of a group of attractions adjacent to one another. There is also a Raversyde Anno 1465 - a recreation of a medieval fishing village - and the Natuurpark nature walk. So you can make a whole day of it if you want.

As usual in Belgium there is a well stocked Cafe nearby - through the nature walk - which serves everything from ice creams to large pots of mussels. And, of course, a wide range of beers!

Getting to the attractions is quite easy as there is a tram stop on the beach promenade right outside the pedestrian pathway to the park. In theory - if you are fit enough - you could actually walk from Ostend along the beautiful foreshore, but honestly the tram is simple enough to use and it runs very frequently from the centre of town.

4  Thank SteveBeat1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 88 reviews
"audio guide"
in 44 reviews
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in 20 reviews
"gun emplacements"
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in 5 reviews
"two hours"
in 9 reviews
"german forces"
in 4 reviews
"hand held device"
in 4 reviews
"prince charles"
in 5 reviews
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in 6 reviews
"history lesson"
in 4 reviews
"whole family"
in 4 reviews
"coast road"
in 4 reviews
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in 3 reviews

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Reviewed August 22, 2013

A number of history lessons in one. The Atlantic Wall trail is about 1.5 hours long and definitely worth a visit if you are interested in history and the first and second world wars. The admission price includes audio in several languages at lots of points along the route giving in depth knowledge and background info of what you can see, went on here etc. A mass of tunnels, trenches, memorabilia, guns and history.
Hints, park on the sea front and walk over the track to the left hand side of the guns! Wear comfy shoes! Take water! Leave plenty of time as you can also go into the royal house on the same plot (lasts about 20 mins depending on how much you listen to), the museum and another location which we didn't have time to complete. There is also a nice relaxing restaurant / bar at the end with a bouncy castle to wear the kids out even more while you chance a cold beer / glass of wine. We had time for this though!
All in all a very reasonable and interesting day.

Thank Steven H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013 via mobile

Called in to this museum on way bank from a holiday, I had always wanted to visit the wall, I wasn't disapointed with the museum and wall. The ticket includes audio which is a must for a informative interactive experience. There is alot of walking through the wall and tunnels be prepared to spend 2 hrs walking.

Thank horse1uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

If you buy the combined ticket you can visit 3 museums. Your ticket is valid for the rest of the season.
Atlantic wall is biggest so visit that first, use the audio guide.

2  Thank Mrspmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 17, 2013

You get an individual tour handset with your ticket so be prepared to stay a few hours. Also this attraction entails quite a bit of walking over uneven terrain. This is the type of place that really teaches you about how the area looked and felt during the war years. Good for all ages, really educational and interesting. The Military Channel come to life!

Thank holidaytraveller982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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