Ghent is the fourth largest city of Belgium and though perhaps less frequented than Bruges, it is considered by many that Ghent is the real diamond of Flanders and Belgium.
In a unique way, Ghent has managed to preserve its medieval heart while keeping up with modern times. The city centre is a showcase of medieval Flemish wealth and commercial success.
The city has an important harbour that links to the canal ‘Ghent-Terneuzen’ which allows sea-going vessels to bring their products into the city and its industrial hinterland. The presence of so many young people and students has turned Ghent into an important Flemish cultural centre.
Ghent is also known as the flower city of Belgium. Flower growers from the regions around Ghent sell their beautiful begonias and azaleas all over the world. Every 5 years the successful Ghent Flower Show attracts thousands to the city.
You will enjoy and admire the awesome architectural wealth along with the idyllic charm on offer in this impressive city of Ghent. Walking through the city will reveal clearly that this was a powerful centre of trade and commerce – the citizens of the medieval city certainly knew how to turn Ghent into a rich showcase of stunning civil gothic buildings, and with so many hotels to choose from you are sure to find the right one for your stay in this beautiful city.
Flanders Most Surprising City In times past Europe’s second biggest city, Ghent still has a huge appeal for tourists travelling by Eurostar or Eurotunnel and looking for a special mix of culture, refinement and vibrant atmosphere.read more
Standing at the confluence of the Leie & Scheldt rivers, Ghent has grown around several open spaces and historic buildings – strictly speaking the Korenmarket is at the heart of the city and to get your bearings and soak up the sites we recommend you do a walking tour – these are readily available and you’ll see some impressive architecture – don’t miss the Belfort (Belfry) tower which will reward your conquest of its steep steps with splendid panoramic views of Ghent and its environs.
Travelling to Ghent by Eurostar makes sense – you’ll be routed via Brussels Midi (just under 2 hours from London) from where trains leave for Ghent every 30 minutes during the day, and there’s no extra cost for your onward journey.
If you are crossing with Eurotunnel then it’s an easy motorway journey from Calais, which should take well under 2 hours. For the cheapest option take the ferry to Calais or, for an even shorter drive to Ghent take the Norfolkline ferry to Dunkerque.
We’ve mentioned walking already because central Ghent is fairly compact & it’s easy to get around on foot, however there are plenty of buses and trams and if you’re feeling energetic cycling is becoming more popular with tourists as there are a number of one-way roads where bicycles can travel in both directions – but be warned – many of the streets are cobblestoned!
It would be a mistake to conclude that if its art or fine dining you’re looking for, you’ll need to head for Brussels – there’s plenty of both in Ghent to delight the senses – for art try the Museum of Modern Art (known as the SMAK) or perhaps the Museum of Fine Arts which is well worth a couple of absorbing hours.
If Belgian crafts are your thing, then don’t miss the Folklore Museum where historical workshops have been painstakingly re-created to offer unique insights into skills and trades of yesteryear. With more than 300 restaurants and bars located throughout the city, Ghent will more than accommodate your culinary requirements – there’s plenty of Belgian and Flemish fare to be sampled but it’s by no means limited to what the natives like – there’s a real international flavor to the dining options at your disposal and you’ll be spoiled for choice.