The main thoroughfare in Middelkerke is the N34, which runs along the coast from Adinkerke a few kilometers to the west to its termination in Knokke-Heist, just east of Zeebrugge. The N324 parallels the N34 just 500 m to the southeast. If you've decided to rent a car or van in Middelkerke, this is the route you'll take to get downtown. It's also the main road connecting Ostend-Bruges International Airport.
The N324 also leads to Ostend in the northeast and branches off toward Stene on the N318. To the west, it leads back to the N34. Whether you arrive on the N34 or the N324, as you come into downtown Middelkerke, you'll meet the main crossroad, Kerkstraat, which will take you directly to the ocean front. This road also joins up with the N325 for travel further inland.
You'll find a number of parking lots as well as on-street parking in Middelkerke. Parking is divided into four zones: red, green, pink and yellow. Red is the most restrictive, with a maximum parking time of two hours. It's also the most expensive, with charges per 15-minute period. At the other end of the range, yellow zone parking allows you to park for up to seven days and costs a flat rate per day. Middelkerke also has a number of 'Shop & Go' parking spaces, which allow you 30 minutes of free parking for quick shopping trips.
Aside from a couple of pedestrian areas on the ocean front, the Zeedijk, driving is mostly unrestricted in Middelkerke. The town's main routes follow a grid structure that aligns with the coast, so it's easy to orient yourself. Roads in the Netherlands are well-maintained, and signage is generally clear.
The annual Noordzeecross cyclocross race takes place each February. It usually follows a route in the Sportpark, just to the southwest of central Middelkerke. Generally, only one public road is included in the route, the Westendlaan. However, because this is a popular event, you may find the town busier than usual, so traffic congestion can be expected.
Renting a car in Middelkerke also makes it easy to take longer trips. The N34 will take you to the nearby towns of Nieuwpoort, Koksijde and Ostend. And you can hop on the E40 to travel to Ghent and Brussels. In the other direction, the E40 joins up with the A16 in France, leading you to Calais, Boulogne and other French coastal resorts.