Ghent is a beautiful historic city in Belgium full of fun places to explore and beautiful sights. 10 fun things to do in Ghent, Belgium.
Ghent: an introduction
Ghent is a very old city, with a history that starts in the year 630. In that year, Saint Amandus decided to build an abbey where the rivers Leie and Scheldt meet. In the Middle Ages, Ghent grew into one of the largest cities in Europe. There was a large cloth, linen, and cotton industry and the rivers made it easy to ship products throughout Europe.
You can still see a lot of the rich history in the Middle Ages, the city is full of buildings from that time. Ghent is currently one of the largest cities in Belgium (third after Brussels and Antwerp) and is very popular as a destination for a city trip.
10 fun things to do in Ghent, Belgium
What are the best things to do in Ghent and what are the most beautiful sights that you should not miss during your city trip? 10 tips.
Gravensteen is a well-preserved castle from the tenth century and a very striking building in the city center of Ghent. Visiting this castle is one of the best things to do in Ghent. Wander through the ancient corridors, climb up the narrow spiral staircases and learn more about the history of Ghent thanks to the fun audio tour.
Get the best view from the Belfry of Ghent
Do you like a beautiful view during your city trip? Then you should visit the Belfry of Ghent. This is a 95-meter high tower and from the top, you have a beautiful view of the city.
Visit St Bavo’s Cathedral
The Belfry is located on Sint-Baafsplein and here is another building you should visit, this is the Sint-Baafs Cathedral. The church is full of works of art, but the most famous work is The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck. The work consists of 18 panels and there are many special details to see.
Feel the history on the St. Michael’s Bridge
Stand in the middle of St. Michael’s Bridge and the only thing you will see are gorgeous historic buildings. You can take a beautiful picture from every angle. Also go here especially at night, with the lighting it is even more beautiful and then it feels a bit like you are walking around in a fairytale.
Enjoy a Belgium beer at the Vrijdagmarkt
Getting a bite and drink a Belgian drink is possible everywhere in Ghent, but I found the prices on the menus of the restaurants on the Vrijdagmarkt a lot friendlier than in the rest of the city. Moreover, you have a lot of choices, it is bursting with cozy cafes and terraces. A perfect place to have lunch or have a delicious Belgium beer during your city trip in Ghent.
Discover the most beautiful street art
Ghent does not only consist of historic buildings, it is quite a trendy city. This is mainly expressed in trendy cafes and fun shops, but also in the street art that you will encounter every now and then. It is especially nice to walk through the Werregarenstraat, this is an alley full of graffiti!
Relax in the Citadel Park
The Citadel park is the largest city park in Ghent and a wonderful place to relax. So take your own blanket and sit down! It is located right next to Gent-Sint-Pieters Station, so there are plenty of eateries in the area to get something delicious.
Take a boat trip on the Leie
One of the best things to do in Ghent (especially when the weather is nice) is to take a boat trip on the river Leie. This way you see the city in a completely different way. And there is a guide who can tell you all about the most beautiful places in Ghent. Fun and educational!
Discover the Old Beguinage Sint-Elisabeth
About a fifteen-minute walk from the center of Ghent, you will find the Old Beguinage Sint-Elisabeth. If you want to avoid the tourist crowds, this is the place to be. It is not a typically walled beguinage as you might know from other cities, it feels more like a separate neighborhood in the city. You will find narrow streets with white houses and a beautiful church. When the weather is nice, it is nice to relax in the Begijnhofdriespark.
Relax along the Graslei and Korenlei
If you look at the Sint-Michielsbrug over the Leie, you will see the Korenlei on the left and the Graslei on the right. This is the place where you probably see the most tourists. That is not too bad because there’s plenty of space. Both sides of the river are full of beautiful historic buildings with authentic stepped gables. On summer days it is a must to sit here with ice cream and just see what happens.
Where to stay in Ghent?
Where do you sleep during your city trip in Ghent? Here are some beautiful and unique places to stay:
- Entrenous B&B Ghent – Tastefully decorated B&B that’s located between Gent-Sint-Pieters Station and the historic center.
- 1898 The Post – Great historic hotel, located in a former post office.
- Hotel Harmony – Modern decorated hotel with swimming pool.
Book a city trip to Ghent
After reading this article, did you feel like a city trip to Ghent? Ghent is easily accessible from Brussels, the capital of Belgium. These are some useful websites that can help you book your trip to Ghent:
- Find the cheapest plane tickets to Belgium through Skyscanner.
- Book your train tickets to Ghent via Rail Europe. Here you can also find tickets for the trains from Brussels to Ghent.
- Find the most beautiful hotels in Ghent via Booking.com.
- Book the best tours through Get Your Guide.
- Discover Ghent by bike with Bajabikes.
Would you like to read more about Ghent and Belgium?
These are a few nice travel guides where you can find even more tips for a city trip to Ghent and other cities in Belgium:
You can also read about other beautiful places in Belgium on this website:
- Bucket list: 15 beautiful places in Belgium
- Top 5 things to do in Bruges (Belgium)
- Fun things to do in Maastricht – Maastricht is located in The Netherlands, but very close to the border of Belgium.
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