What to do in Ghent: 9 Tips!
The lovely city of Ghent often loses out to larger cities such as Brussels, Antwerp or picturesque Bruges when it comes to a weekend away. But that’s a shame, because Ghent is great! There are beautiful sights, nice shops and many restaurants. If you have a weekend in Ghent planned soon and are wondering what to do in Ghent? Then these Ghent tips will help you.
- Boat trip on the Leie
I know it’s very touristy, but I have a great love for boating. There is no better way to spend a sunny day, I think. Yes, you are crammed in with twenty other tourists whose thighs are sweating against yours, but there is something about admiring a city from the water. And the best part is that you also learn a lot about the history of a city, which is always my favourite aspect of visiting a city.
- Climbing the Belfry
Not to be missed: The Belfry Tower is the most striking of the three churches built in a row in the centre of Ghent, and one of the main attractions in Ghent. Construction started in 1313 and over the years the church has had several ‘points’. Sometimes made of wood, sometimes of iron. Although the neighbouring Saint Nicholas Church first served as a lookout point over the city, that honour later fell to the Belfry. You can visit the tower and learn about the creation of the building and the social role it still plays.
- Admire Lamb’s God
Armed with a CityCard Gent, that allows you to go everywhere for free, and about twenty Gentenaars who all pounded into my brain that this painting is the raison d’etre of Ghent, we dragged our derriere into the church. What a beautifully detailed painting it is. Almost a photograph, so sharp, bright and rich in colour, many different scenes, and such a beautiful rich painting.
- Ghent city centre
The city centre of Ghent is lovely. I can’t really say much more about it. As soon as the sun shines, all Belgians come crawling out of their houses and settle down on one of the many terraces to soak up the sun’s rays, while sipping a Belgian beer.
Neuzekes are special sweets (say: candy, that’s how big they are) from Ghent. You can score them in almost every tourist shop, and you always get to know a city really well when you know its cuisine, I guess. A whole bag of Neuzekes might be a bit much, but one or two should not be missed. The outside of Neuzekes are hard, while the inside is a kind of jelly. Because they can only be kept for about three weeks, they are not exported and you will therefore almost only find them in Belgium.
- Discovering Gravensteen
Castle Gravensteen has a real castle name, so that couldn’t be missed beforehand. The castle has had its first convulsions around 850, but the real beginning was made in 1180. And you can’t tell. Where I normally walk through ruins when a castle is that old, this one is completely preserved. It’s beautiful. That makes it easy to imagine what life must have been like in the castle.
- Watching boats on the Graslei and Korenlei
What more can I say? There is no better way to spend a lost hour than watching the water and the boats float by. Also nice: the whole row of inhabitants of Ghent chatting with an ice-cream on the waterfront.
- Taking pictures on St. Michielsbrug
Without a doubt the most beautiful spot in Ghent, and there are enough beautiful things to see to capture it. Ghent is a picture. Also recommended: a history tour, visiting the monasteries, discovering the Huis van Alijn, and visiting the Museum Dr. Guislain: a museum about psychiatry. Plenty to do in Ghent! Definitely a must for a weekend away.
- Eating out in Ghent
Otomat: At Otomat you’ll find quality and original pizzas in an urban interior. What more could you ask for?
Crêpes Atelier: A good crepe is never wrong, and you’ll find the best ones at crepes atelier. They have them both sweet and savoury.
Oh My Poké: Also a big fan of Pokébowls (a kind of sushi salad)? Then head to Oh My Poké for a light meal.
Holy Guacamoly: The funny name gives it away, but this place serves Mexican food. It is a Mexican fast dining restaurant, where you can choose your own ingredients.
Midtown Grill: For the best steak in Ghent, go to this restaurant. This restaurant is decorated in a 30’s style.