Zonnebeke Car Rental

Enterprise Car Rental Locations in Zonnebeke

Zonnebeke is a Belgian town and municipality located in West Flanders, relatively close to the French border. The nearest airport is in Lille, France, less than 48 kilometers away. It's possible to travel from the airport to Zonnebeke using public transit, but that involves three transfers: from the airport to Lille's train station and two more changes once in Belgium (in Kortrijk and Roeselare). If you're planning to fly back from Lille, it may be more convenient to pick up a car rental at Lille's airport Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch and drive it to Belgium since vehicle rentals are covered by a cross-border policy and are allowed for a small fee.

What to do and see in Zonnebeke

The municipality of Zonnebeke comprises several towns. The most relevant locations for visitors are Zonnebeke town and the villages of Beselare, Gheluvelt and Passendale. Tourist landmarks in this area are closely linked to the region's history and particularly to the area's involvement in World War I.

Zonnebeke is the biggest town in this area. The most popular landmark here is the War Memorial Museum of Passchendaele, which accurately reproduces the events of 1917. The war memorial shares grounds with other attractions, including the town's Augustine Abbey and gardens and the local history museum.

It's best to have your own wheels to explore Zonnebeke municipality. From Zonnebeke town, a short 4-minute south drive takes you to Polygon Wood or Peace Forest, another landmark that commemorates a notorious World War I battle. The forest is home to more than 500 trees, which represent fallen and missing soldiers.

Driving four minutes toward Passendale gets you to Tyne Cot Cemetery and Visitor Centre, the world's biggest cemetery for fallen Commonwealth soldiers. From Passendale, local roads take you through rural landscapes where you'll find other WWI memorials, including the British Cemetery and memorials for Canadian and New Zealand forces.

From Zonnebeke, you can drive 10 kilometers to the town of Ypres. Although Ypres isn't part of Zonnebeke municipality, its attractions can be easily reached with your car rental. Here you can visit the Sanctuary Wood Museum, which has preserved the trenches, tunnels and relics left behind by WWI armies. Also in Ypres, you can explore the Flanders Fields Museum, which has a spectacular collection of war memorabilia.

If you're in Zonnebeke with young kids, you may want to set a day aside to visit Gheluvelt Castle, an impressive French-style chateau. Another option for a day with children is Bellawaerde theme park and aquapark, located halfway between Ypres and Zonnebeke town.

Flanders food has a reputation for being rich and hearty. During your stay in Zonnebeke, you'll have a chance to try local delicacies like Flemish fish and mussel stew, leek soup and Flanders-style asparagus. There are several restaurants, cafes, and bistros along Zonnebeke's main road, Roeselarestraat. Passendale has a strong tradition for cheese making dating back to the 1930s. While in the village, you can drop by the cheese factory to sample local cheeseboards and beer.

Zonnebeke's towns and villages sell souvenirs and everyday necessities. If you're looking for a mall-style shopping experience, a 20-minute drive will get you to the Rolarius shopping mall in the city of Roeselare.

ANZAC day (April 25) is celebrated at Zonnebeke's historical sites. The celebrations usually involve a religious service and military parades. If you visit Zonnebeke during the festive season, don't miss the Christmas Market in Ypres, which is held at the city's market square.

Driving in Zonnebeke

When driving a car or van rental in Zonnebeke (and generally in the Flanders region), it's recommended to be familiar with the French and Flemish spelling of your destination, as these differ and may be inconsistently displayed in road signs.

The drive from Lille airport takes approximately 45 minutes. You'll need to follow freeway A22 until you reach the Belgian border in Halluin. From there, follow the signs for Roeselare until you get to a large interchange with the A19 freeway. It's important to bear in mind that maximum speed limits on French and Belgian freeways are different. If driving on the A22 from Lille, the speed limit is 130 km/h, whereas, in Belgium, freeway speed limits are 120 km/h.

There are no tolls on Belgian freeways. Although tolls apply to French freeways, the stretch of road between Lille airport and Belgium doesn't have any toll gates.

Once in the Zonnebeke area, the most useful roads are the A19 freeway, which runs across the entire southern side of this municipality and the N37, which connects Zonnebeke with Ypres. To reach the historical sites on Passendale, national road 303 is the most convenient and direct option.

Street parking is available in Zonnebake's towns and villages. Just be aware that parking spots marked with white lines are reserved for residents. When visiting Tyne Cot Cemetery, keep in mind that parking is only allowed at designated areas by the visitor's center. Parking directly on the access road is strongly discouraged for safety reasons. At the War Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, head to parking lot #2, and parking lot #1 is a blue zone, and parking is limited to 3 hours for those with a parking disc.