Eeklo is a town in the northwestern part of East Flanders. Eeklo is about 20 km north of Ghent, the capital of the province. The town has almost 21,000 inhabitants (2018). The town doesn't have a lot of historical heritage that survived the ages, as most of the buildings got demolished and replaced with modern ones. However, it may make an interesting stop for the belfry. Eeklo is a great base for discovering the surrounding flat and rural areas that surround the town.
- 1 Tourist office, Molenstraat 36, ☏ +32 9 218 27 00. The people working in this office will be able to help with planning a trip to Eeklo and the northwestern part of the East Flanders province.
The 1 Eeklo Railway Station is located quite centrally in the town. Eeklo is the final stop of the Ghent – Eeklo railway line. Trains cover the distance from the Ghent Sint-Pieters station to Eeklo in about 35 minutes.
The Flemish national bus company, De Lijn, has lines to Eeklo from Ghent, Bruges and other neighbouring towns. For more information regarding different timetables (only available in Dutch): https://www.delijn.be.
Eeklo has an exit on the N49 express way that links Antwerp with the Belgian coast at Knokke. The N9 national road connects Bruges and Eeklo. Driving distances to Eeklo from both Bruges and Ghent are around 30 minutes.
A bike can be rented with the Blue Bike service. This service point is next to the train station. Before renting a bike one must first obtain a Blue Bike card which costs €12. There are several Blue Bike centres across Belgium so if you are planning to visit several towns this may be a very good investment.
- 1 Town Hall and Belfry, Markt. The town hall of Eeklo is combined with a 35-m-high bell tower, also called a belfry. The belfry of Eeklo isn't as historical as most of the others. It was built in 1932 while most towns used to be a symbol of power for Flemish cities in the Middle Ages. This didn't prevent the belfry of Eeklo from being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
- 2 Huysmanshoeve, Bus 1. A historic farm complex dating back to the 13th century. The characteristic gate was built in the 17th century. The complex is owned by the regional government of East Flanders and has been transformed into a regional promotion and tourist centre for the northeastern part of the province.
- 3 St. Vincent Church (Sint-Vincentiuskerk), Kerkplein. The St. Vincent Church is the main church of the town. The church tower is more than 93 m high, which makes it the 8th tallest in Belgium.
Some of the most thinly populated parts of Flanders can be found north of Eeklo. Together with the flat landscape, it makes a relaxing place for some cycling or walking.
- 1 Nature Reserve Het Leen, Kraaiweg. Het Leen is one of the largest forests in the area. A large and free parking lot can be found at the entrance to the park. The park has 36 km of hiking trails. Next to the entrance is a small arboretum.
- 2 Yeti Eeklo, Leopoldlaan 60. An indoor adventure park with several options such as bowling, karting, climbing wall, ax-throwing and laser shooting. There is also a playground for children.
- 1 Koffiebranderij De Witte Zwaan, Boelare 36, ☏ +32 9 377 10 34, email@example.com. Locally processed coffee since 1902.
- 1 Chez De Beir, Boelare 22, ☏ +32 47 55 90 487.
- 1 Bar de Q, Kaaistraat 19, ☏ +32 49 75 01 977. One of the few bars in town.
- 1 Boutique Hotel Shamon, Gentsesteenweg 28, ☏ +32 9 378 09 50, firstname.lastname@example.org. A small hotel in an art nouveau house on the road to Ghent. The hotel has 10 stylish rooms.
- 2 Villa Magdalena, Gentsesteenweg 83, ☏ +32 9 310 80 12, email@example.com. A family home converted in a classy bed and breakfast.
Most bars and restaurants have free WiFi and will be happy to share the password. The 2 Post Office, Stationsstraat 51. is halfway between the train station and the town centre.
- Ghent – the regional capital with a large medieval centre is easily accessible by train
- Sluis – a cute little town across the border in the Netherlands