A day to remember in Sluis

Written by: Eline Ocké

Sluis is my town, in West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, known for its bustling shopping streets and fine dining. I’m Eline Jocké, born and bred here and always learning more about the place and the area. My tips for a day out.

Wall-to-wall Sluis

A good starter for orientation is a walk along the ‘wallen’, the old city walls. More than six hundred years ago, they were our defences: now we’re more open and, together with the canals and some meadows, they form a lovely nature area. You may find me enjoying the peace and quiet and the view – and taking some pictures.

Along the Damse Vaart waterway

The old canal towards Damme in Belgium offers nice walks and bike rides. Choose for example for a route along the canal. Are the kids with you today? Let them pedal you through Sluis on a water bike.

Nation’s only belfry

Our sole bell tower goes back a long way: the medieval Flemish edifice was used to announce key happenings. Now it explains our rich history, as a museum. The collection includes the life and times (and they were times indeed) of Johan Hendrik van Dale, a teacher, an archivist and a lexicographer. His name adorns the iconic series of dictionaries known to most people with a schooling in the Netherlands, much like ‘Larousse’ (FR), ‘Duden’ (DE) or ‘Websters’ (US).

Sometimes a picture speaks a dictionary. Climb up the belfry – just shy of 100 steps – and take in the views of my home town.

Weird: Museum of the Bizarre

An eye-opener indeed, this Bizarium museum of creative and unexpected inventions. Some which never happened, or should have. I had heard a lot about the place and, believe me, it really fascinated me. I was replete – dare I say ‘bizarre-ified’? – after two hours but, mind, I did take the audio tour to insatiate my interest. Anyone on a voyage of discovery and questioning through life, including kids, will truly enjoy this.

Shop, shop, eight days a week

If shopping is in your blood (or genes), you might run out of time in Sluis, darting from one boutique to another. Need a Sunday kind of shop? You’re on! But if shopping ain’t your thang, we have a whole town for you to appreciate. Welcome.

Eat, drink and be Sluisy

Round off your trip to Sluis with a bite and a beverage in your pick of great restaurants and trendy tearooms. Enjoy the local culture of a Zeeuwse bolus (one of the world’s first cinnamon rolls, honest) or a dish of iconic Zeeuwse mussels with fries. Or go Mediterranean, and enjoy a Greek or Italian. Great way to look back on the day.
Sluis winkelen terras