Less than 10 km off the North Sea coast, Veurne (Furnes in French, pop. 12,000) is a Renaissance town built in yellowish brick. In spite of its many tourists day-tripping from the seaside, the town is not exceptional enough to merit a full day trip.
The sights are confined to the Groote Markt (town square), with the Landhuis/Gerechtshof (old court of justice), Belfort (belfry) and Stadhuis (townhall, open 10am to 5pm) in the northern corner being the most interesting. Also note the 15th-century Spanish Pavilion (Spaans Paviljoen in Dutch), that served as headquarters to the Spanish troops, at the corner of the Ooststraat. The bright red brick St. Walburga's Church, just behind the square, may earn a price as one of the ugliest in the country.
A bit outside the centre is the not so compelling bakery museum (3 €) housed in a 17th-century farm. Displays also include chocolate, marzipan and sugar confectioneries.
How to get there
Veurne is on the railway line between De Panne (5min) and Ghent (1h)
By car, take the N8 from Ypres or Lille.
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