Unlike Bruges and Brussels – the two famous cities most visited by tourists in Belgium, Ghent is the city that I love the most because of its ancient, profound and peaceful beauty. Coming to Ghent, it seems like the pace of life slows down a step, leisurely strolling on the streets without the sound of car horns, visiting churches, sipping a cup of hot chocolate at a cafe along the canal, watching the sounds of the city. The noise of tourists driving boats… is enough to make me miss this city.
Experience visiting the capital Brussels, Belgium: https://tbaoinfo.com/experience-visiting-the-capital-brussels-belgium/
Where is Ghent?
Ghent is one of the oldest and largest cities in Belgium, located between Bruges and Brussels, 58km from Brussels, 60km from Bruges.
Ghent is a city with an illustrious history, thriving during the Middle Ages as a center for the fabric trade in Europe. From the 11th to the 16th century, Ghent was one of the most important economic centers of Western Europe after Paris thanks to its port and strategic location along the Lys and Schelde rivers. Ghent’s prosperous past is shown through ancient architectural works, churches… which are very well preserved to this day.
The best time to travel to Ghent
The best time to visit Ghent is in spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, not cold, not hot, very cool and the number of tourists less than during peak summer months. The summer months (June to August) find Ghent very crowded, especially during festivals and events. Winter (December to February) is cold and rainy, however the Christmas season is a particularly festive time to visit Ghent with its beautiful markets and decorations, the whole city is like a fairy tale.
Transportation in Ghent
There are two airports in Ghent: Brussels Airport (Zaventem Airport) and Charleroi Airport. From the airport, you can take a direct train to Ghent. If you are staying within Brussels, you can depart from Brussels Central Station. The train from Bruges takes about 25 minutes, from Antwerp just under an hour.
The public transport system in Ghent is very modern and comfortable, with a wide network of buses and trams running throughout the city. You can buy a Ghent CityCard with many benefits such as free electric vehicles, bicycles (only a deposit of 40E equivalent to 1,045,000VND is required and this amount will be refunded when you return the bicycle) and buses. Walking is also a fun way to explore Ghent’s winding streets, strolling slowly around the old town, soaking up the laid-back atmosphere and admiring each architectural work.
Ghent CityCard also helps you avoid queuing when visiting churches, museums… for a very small fee. A card valid for 48 hours costs 30E equivalent to 790,000VND or an additional 5E equivalent to 915,000 VND, you can buy a 72-hour card. Cards are sold at the Ghent Tourist Office, museums, hotels…
Cuisine in Ghent
Cuisine in Ghent is very diverse, from popular restaurants to 5-star restaurants, Belgian cuisine and other regions. Some famous restaurants in Ghent
Publiek: the restaurant has a beautiful and modern interior design, veal sweet bread, beef tartare and duck breast are 3 special dishes of the restaurant.
Balls & Glory: casual restaurant specializing in meatballs, served with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and a variety of sauces.
Otomat: is a famous pizzeria in Ghent famous for its unique toppings. There are a variety of goat cheese, truffle and minced meat pizzas.
Mosquito Coast: restaurant and bar, serving Caribbean and Latin American fusion cuisine, the wine here is delicious and diverse.
Du Progres is a famous beer hall dating back to 1845, located in the center of Ghent, near Graslei and Korenlei. Du Progres is one of the oldest restaurants in the city and a great choice for anyone wanting to experience the charm of Ghent. The menu features many traditional Belgian dishes such as green mussels, streaks and fries.
Top Ghent tourist attractions
Despite being one of Belgium’s oldest cities, Ghent is still small enough to feel cozy yet big enough to be a vibrant center of commerce and culture. Walking through town on a summer evening, when most of the important buildings are illuminated, is an unforgettable experience, as is taking a boat ride on the canals that intersect the heart of the city. Let’s explore the great Ghent tourist destinations on this list!
Saint Bavo Church
You can’t visit Ghent without noticing the 89 meter high Gothic tower in the middle of the city. It is St. Bavo’s, Ghent’s oldest parish church, is known for its incredible history and art.
Anyone with even the slightest interest in art history should take a look inside St. Bavo’s, a large Gothic-style church that has become an unofficial museum of religious art.
The most famous work is called The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Jan Van Eyck, sometimes also called the Ghent Altarpiece. It is made up of many panels, each depicting a biblical character in the most incredible detail.
Perhaps the most famous of Ghent’s tourist attractions is the stunning medieval ‘county castle’ complete with its own moat, defensive walls and 24 towers. The majestic structure looks like it was plucked from the pages of a fairy tale, and its history is as novel as it gets. Visitors can explore the ramparts, the count’s residence and the stables and you can see inside the torture museum… if you dare!
Het Belfort bell tower
On the west side of Sint-Baafsplein is the 91 meter high Ghent Belfry, a symbol of the city’s independence, which houses the charters of Ghent’s privileges and is one of three medieval towers in the city . Construction of the tower began around 1300 and was largely completed by 1338. The present-day tower was restored to its original 14th-century appearance at the turn of the century and replaced the wooden bell tower of 1380.
Visitors can climb to the top of the tower to enjoy wonderful panoramic views over Ghent, and along the way you can discover the history of the building, including the bells and the dragons that have perched on top tower.
Graslei and Korenlei Canal
Ghent’s canals are picturesque and captivating, especially as you walk along them. Take a boat ride to this Ghent tourist destination to experience the city from a different perspective and learn about the destination’s history and the stories of its residents.
Some of Belgium’s most beautiful buildings are located along the Graslei Canal. This is a great place for a stroll for anyone with an interest in architecture. See the Gildehuis der Vrije Schippers (House of the Free Rowers) built in 1531 in the Brabant Gothic style, and the Gildehuis der Graanmeters (House of the Grain Weighers) with its stepped gable from 1698 .
Travelers interested in learning about the city’s landmarks will enjoy a 40-minute guided boat trip in Ghent, departing from the port of Graseli. Passengers will have the opportunity to view the city from the Leie River and admire important buildings.
The Korenlei Canal is surrounded by splendid facades and offers the most beautiful views of the even more beautiful houses on the opposite bank of the Graslei, making it a very worthwhile tourist experience in Ghent.
Saint Michael’s Church and Sint-Michielsbrug
Saint Michael’s Cathedral is a Ghent tourist destination located on the west bank of the River Leie and known for its great grandeur, a massive Gothic church built of Belgian sandstone. The pulpit, altar, and many other parts of the Neo-Gothic interior accompany other styles.
Next to the cathedral is the Sint-Michielsbrug (St. Michael’s Bridge), a beautiful stone arch bridge famous for its breathtaking skyline views. From here, you can see all three of Ghent’s iconic towers, making this a great photo spot. Visit in the evening for an especially beautiful view of the city’s illuminated landmarks.
Kouter flower market
Whenever you visit Ghent, you will see flower stalls lining the market, but Sunday is when the flower market is in full swing. There’s live music, food and drink and bright blooms everywhere you look. It’s the perfect way to start a Sunday and from here you can go on and explore all the other Ghent tourist attractions.
The Groentenmarkt market hosts stalls selling exotic fruit and vegetables, and on weekends artisans can sell their work here. Ghent’s most famous traditional sweets, cuberdon or ‘neuzeken’, sit in small pyramids on antique-looking carts, and the pretty Tierenteyn-Verlent shop sells spicy herbs and mustards from 1862. Today, this is the place to be if you’re looking to buy delicious products like sweet cuberdons or aromatic Tierentyn mustard.
In the center of the Groentenmarkt square there is an early 19th century water pump. It is shaped like a tall obelisk on a square base and has two semicircular reservoirs used to store water pumped up by manual pumps. labour. The pump is placed on the square for the street vendors who sell vegetables here. Hence the name “Groentenmarkt”, which can be translated as “Vegetable Market”.
This Ghent tourist destination is home to Oud Huis Himschoot, Ghent’s oldest bakery. The square is also home to Frites Atelier with fries by star chef Sergio Herman and a shop from world champion cheesemaker Joris Callebaut.
Built over a long period of time, Ghent’s magnificent town hall combines many different architectural styles. The oldest parts of the building were completed in the style of the Bruges Town Hall in 1482 and contain the council chambers.
Part Italianate palace and part ornate Gothic palace, Ghent’s town hall is one of those puzzling yet truly magnificent public buildings. Its famous chapel is a wonder of beauty, boasting beautiful stained glass windows.
Patershol culinary neighborhood
In a city full of beautiful little corners, Patershol might just be the prettiest of them all – or the tastiest! It’s full of historic beauty, with centuries-old architecture and cobbled streets.
But the real gem here is the region’s cuisine. Whatever cuisine you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it in Patershal, where cafes, restaurants and bars line the quaint streets, most of them at affordable prices. Stroll around the area to admire the buildings, then stop for a drink or meal.
Ghent is one of those rare cities that is as beautiful at night as it is during the day. The city has worked hard to light some of its most elaborate buildings so that every detail can be seen, no matter how late at night.
With a medieval old town, charming canals, vibrant nightlife, exceptional street art and plenty of great food and drink to satisfy, Ghent is a city worth visiting. visit!
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