Ghent

A castle, canals, and dance floors.

Historic Belgian city known for St. Bavo's Cathedral and Gravensteen Castle.

4.4
out of 5

Ghent sits at the confluence of the Scheldt and Leie rivers in the Flanders region of Belgium, a city where history is not just in the backdrop but present in every cobbled street and canal. Home to the majestic Saint Bavo's Cathedral, which houses the famous altarpiece painting "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by the Van Eyck brothers, Ghent is a center of culture and medieval architecture. The imposing Gravensteen castle looms over the city, a relic of the count's medieval stronghold, while the Graslei and Korenlei quays offer a picturesque waterside experience, reflecting the city's rich trading past.

Historical Landmarks and Art

In Ghent, history and art enthusiasts have much to explore. St. Bavo's Cathedral is a prime starting point, where you can admire the "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by the Van Eyck brothers, a masterpiece of Early Flemish painting. The nearby Belfry, one of three medieval towers that define the city's skyline, offers you a chance to enjoy a panoramic view of Ghent.

A short distance from the cathedral is the Gravensteen, or Castle of the Counts. This 12th-century fortress features a moat, ramparts, and an armory museum that provides insight into medieval life and Ghent's defensive past. Close to the castle, the Graslei and Korenlei quays are lined with historic merchant houses reflecting the city's rich trade legacy, ideal for a scenic walk.

Canals and Cusine

For a waterside perspective, I recommend a boat tour along Ghent's canals. These tours offer a unique vantage point of the city's architecture and hidden gardens. Be sure to pass by the Old Fish Market, an iconic building with its baroque façade.

Ghent's culinary scene is not to be missed. The traditional dish Waterzooi, a creamy stew, is a local favorite. For dessert, try the Cuberdon, a cone-shaped candy with a gelatinous center, found in many local sweet shops.

Festivals and Contemporary Culture

Time your visit with the Gentse Feesten in July, a festival featuring music, theater, and performances, or the Light Festival, which showcases light art installations. Ghent's commitment to sustainability is evident in its bicycle-friendly streets and the recent restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece using advanced techniques. The Ghent Light Plan is a city initiative that blends historic architecture with innovative lighting, enhancing the urban experience after dark.

Shopping and Nightlife

For shopping enthusiasts, Ghent offers a variety of venues. The Vrijdagmarkt, a historic square, hosts a weekly market where you can find antiques, clothing, and more. Independent boutiques showcase local designers and artisans. As night falls, explore Ghent's bars and pubs, some of which brew their own beer. The city's music scene is alive with venues hosting genres from jazz to electronic music.

Average temperatures during the day in Ghent.
July
21°
Aug
21°
Sep
19°
Oct
14°
Nov
9°
Dec
6°
Jan
5°
Feb
6°
Mar
9°
Apr
12°
May
16°
Jun
19°

What people say about Ghent

4.4
People
4
Food
4
Spaces
5
Value
4
Safety
5

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