42 Things I Love About Ghent

ghent

1. Relaxing in Citadel Park

2. Enjoying the works of the great Flemish Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts

3. Lunch at the Het Groot Vleeshuis for a taste of Ghent specialties

4. Climbing to the top of St. Bavo’s or the Gravensteen for amazing views of the city

5. Walking down the eclectic Graffiti Avenue

6. Walk back in time in the Patershol neighborhood

7. Tasting a flight of Gruut beers, brewed locally in Ghent

8. Admiring the many public squares of the city, most of which used to be execution sites

9. Walking around town and soaking up the atmosphere of a great university town

10. Admiring the amazing work of art van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb

11. Taking part in the massive Ghent music festival

12. Enjoying chocolate at the third-generation Van Hecke’s

13. Taking advantage of the many day trips easy to take from Ghent

14. Eating dinner at a canal-side restaurant

15. Ultra spicy Tierenteyn-Verlent mustard

16. Getting around town using the fantastic tram system

17. Discovering forgotten corners of the city hiding their own unique surprises

18. Learning about Ghent through the ages at the ultra-modern city museum, the STAM

19. Catching your breath with a coffee at Mokabon

20. Admiring the famous view of Ghent’s towers

Ghent

21. Enjoy a meal overlooking St Baafskathedraal, at De Foyer

22. The strange but wonderful new city hall in Ghent

23. Cruising down the canals for a unique view of the city

24. Soaking up the history and tradition at St. Bavo’s Cathedral

25. Sampling the unusual chocolates at YUZU chocolatier

26. Finish your evening at the popular bar ‘t Velootje

27. Shopping along the Veldstraat

28. Staying at the perfectly located Ghent Marriott

29. Biking around town to see it like the locals do

30. Delicious sandwich made with Ganda Ham

31. Enjoying the grounds of the feudal Laarne Castle

32. Architecture and design aficionados will love visiting the Royal Dutch Theater

33. Enjoying the best waffles in town courtesy of the Max at Goudenleeuwplein

34. Walking across the picturesque St. Michael’s Bridge

35. Going upscale at the posh Sunday flower market

36. Going back in time at the Gravensteen Castle

37. People watching with a great Belgian beer

38. Hire a guide to get the best look at the history and culture of Ghent

39. An after dinner jenever shot

40. Did I mention the chocolate?

41. Marveling at the innovation on display at the Design Museum

42. Going on a food walking tour of the city for insider’s tips on the best places to eat

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

20 Responses

  1. Clare

    Ghent looks beautiful! I’m currently soaking up as many posts as I can find about Belgium since I’m headed there in two weeks. We’re staying in Bruges and Brussels, but I think it would be a convenient day trip to see Ghent. Either that or I’ll just have to go back!

    Reply
    • Gudrun

      Being a Ghent local, I can recommend the city to the fullest! Bruges (Brugge) is beautiful, but kinda dead, like an open air museum. Brussel is… Well, nice, but too much the capital.
      Ghent is neither: it’s a vibrant student city, which lives at any moment of the day. Not too big, not too small, with very beautiful scenery, but also an array of adorable restaurants and coffee houses.

      I wish you a great stay!

      Reply
  2. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    Wow what a great looking town! Will definitely check it out now.

    Reply
  3. Sarah

    Wow, so colorful and the chocolate looks delicious! You’ve sold me on Ghent! :)

    Reply
  4. Wil @ Where's Wil

    The street art and building coloring is spectacular. Would be a great place to wander.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      It definitely is, the city has allowed graffiti on one street so that the rest of the city won’t get tagged and it’s worked.

      Reply
      • Hannes

        There’s a second place where you can legally paint graffiti: Keizerviaduct. But it’s not in the centre of the city (although 2 km is not that far).

  5. Xander

    Local here as well, I’d just want to point out that I quite strongly disagree with no.16. A tram system which stops running at around 11pm isn’t what I’d call fantastic, especially not for a city this size. During the day time it’s very useful though, if a bit overcrowded on line 1.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Should’ve said day time then

      Reply
      • stef

        You didn’t mention that inhabitants suffer from a strange mixture of pride and modest skepticism about their city..

      • Matt Long

        LOL, that’s something I’ve begun to notice

  6. Toon

    Or, 42 ways to act like a tourist.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Yup, I don’t live there so I’m necessarily a tourist. As are you whenever you leave home.

      Reply
  7. Laura

    Too bad I’m not going to the EYP conference in Ghent :'( fml because Ghent looks like the place to be!

    Reply
  8. Roger

    Great city!

    One day I’d like to move there…

    Reply
  9. Graffiti Avenue Ghent

    Hi Mat. We are from Ghent and the ‘owners’* of the Graffiti Avenue you’ve put on number 5. Thanks you so much for mentioning ‘us’*.
    * we just group artists, fans and tourists on FB so that the art pieces are kept for….well eternity.

    http://www.facebook.com/graffitistraatjegent

    Reply
  10. Tess H.

    I am utterly in love with this city!
    I have been studying here for 4 years and I think I’ll never leave.
    All the things you mentioned in this list are so much fun to do.
    The next time you’re going you should try some of these student pubs and some of my all time favourites:
    Hotclub de gand – live jazz every wednesday
    the backdoor – every beer you can imagine, they sell it
    de trollenkelder – same as the backdoor but in a different part of the city
    de geus van gent – really cozy, jazzy kinda pub
    het spijker – near het gravensteen and has this rustic feel about it
    and sooooo many more! I hope you get a chance to visit some of these.

    Cheers

    Reply
  11. Christina

    Just wanted to know where your first and third photo of the Ghent canal scenes on this blog were taken. We are going to Bruges for 2 days and would like to go to Ghent for part of one day. I would like to check those areas out. Your mention of the train station area sounds grim so we would like to know where to go to get some good city scene photos. Were you on a canal boat tour? If so, where would you get on it?

    Reply
  12. Josh K

    What were some of your favorite day trips that you referred to in #13? We’re leaning towards using Ghent as our base for 3 or 4 days. Probably go to Blanche Nuit in Brussels on Oct. 4th. Will do at least a day trip to Bruges, but also looking for other fun options – food, beer, and outdoor activities are always preferred. Thanks for the great info, and thank you in advance for any other assistance that you can provide! Great blog!

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Sure well Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp and even Amsterdam are all easy day trips.

      Reply

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