Welcome to the charming city of Ghent, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Belgium. With its enchanting canals, medieval architecture, and vibrant atmosphere, Ghent offers a plethora of experiences that will captivate every traveler. In this article, we will unveil the top 10 things to do in Ghent, ensuring that your visit to this historic city is filled with unforgettable moments.
From exploring the magnificent Gravensteen Castle to immersing yourself in the lively street art scene, Ghent has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie seeking culinary delights, Ghent’s rich cultural heritage and contemporary charm will leave you spellbound.
So, get ready to embark on a journey of discovery as we unveil the must-see attractions and hidden treasures that make Ghent a destination not to be missed.
10. Try some tasty Gruut
Gruut Beer is a popular locally brewed beer in Ghent. It is brewed with a secret blend of spices and ingredients and has long been a popular drink in Ghent. Gruut Beer is brewed using a traditional method dating back to the Middle Ages, and it has a distinct and delectable flavor that distinguishes it from other beers. Visitors to Ghent can try Gruut Beer in a variety of the city’s bars and taverns, or they can go to the Gruut Brewery to learn more about the brewing process and sample some of the delicious beers for themselves. Gruut Beer is a must-try drink for anyone visiting Ghent, whether you’re a beer aficionado or just looking to try something new. Bonus tip: discover the City of Ghent with a Segway! They even have a ‘Gruut Tour’…
9. Visit the magnificent Stadhuis
The Stadhuis is a magnificent example of medieval architecture and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The Stadhuis, built in the 14th century, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture with a stunning facade, intricate carvings, and beautiful stained-glass windows. Inside, visitors can marvel at the grand halls and rooms, including the stunning council chamber, which has hosted important meetings and events throughout history. The Stadhuis is a popular tourist attraction and one of Ghent’s must-see landmarks. The Stadhuis is a fascinating and memorable place to visit, whether you are interested in history or architecture or simply admire beautiful buildings.
8. Visit Vrijdagmarkt
Vrijdagmarkt is a bustling and lively market square in the heart of Ghent, Belgium. The market has been in operation for centuries and is one of the city’s oldest and most well-known markets. Vrijdagmarkt visitors can browse stalls selling everything from fresh produce and artisanal goods to handmade crafts and souvenirs. The market is popular with both locals and tourists, and it provides a glimpse into Ghent’s daily life and culture. Visitors can eat at one of the many food stalls and street vendors, or simply relax and people-watch from one of the many cafés and restaurants that line the square. Vrijdagmarkt is a must-see for anyone visiting Ghent, whether you’re looking for a unique shopping experience or simply want to soak up the local atmosphere.
7. See the museums of Ghent
Ghent has many fascinating museums highlighting the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors to the city can visit a number of museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses a large collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from various historical periods and styles. The Design Museum is another popular art destination, displaying a variety of contemporary design pieces such as furniture, fashion, and industrial design. The Ghent City Museum is an excellent place to learn about the city’s history, with exhibits telling the story of Ghent from its beginnings to the present. The Museum of Industrial Archeology and Textile, which explores the city’s textile industry, and the MSK, which is dedicated to Ghent’s art and cultural heritage, are two other notable museums in the city. Ghent’s museums are a must-see destination for anyone interested in history, art, or simply learning about the local culture.
6. Go up the Belfry of Ghent
The Belfry of Ghent is a well-known tower in the heart of Ghent, Belgium. It is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and is regarded as one of Europe’s finest examples of medieval architecture. The Belfry tower was built in the 13th century and served as a watchtower for the town’s officials to keep an eye out for danger. Visitors to the Belfry today can climb the tower for stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside, or take a tour to learn about its history and significance. The Belfry also houses a collection of historic carillon bells that are still used to mark the hours and play musical pieces.
5. Pay a visit to Saint Peter’s Abbey
Saint Peter’s Abbey, also known as Sint-Pietersabdij, is a historical abbey in Ghent. It is one of the city’s oldest and most famous monasteries, dating back to the 9th century. The abbey is a stunning example of medieval architecture, with ornate carvings and intricate stained-glass windows. The abbey’s beautiful gardens, historic art and architecture, and rich history can all be explored by visitors. The abbey also houses a museum that displays a variety of religious artifacts, documents, and other historical objects.
4. Explore Patershol
Patershol is a charming and historic neighborhood in the city center of Ghent. This charming neighborhood is distinguished by its narrow, cobblestone streets and beautiful historic buildings, many of which date back to the Middle Ages. Patershol is known for its lively and bustling atmosphere, with a wide range of cafés, restaurants, and shops attracting visitors from all over the city. Patershol visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets, admiring the stunning architecture and local street art, or sample some of the neighborhood’s famous gastronomic delights.
3. See the MSK Art Gallery
The MSK Art Gallery, also known as the Museum of Fine Arts, is one of Ghent’s premier art museums. The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from various historical periods and styles. Visitors to the MSK can admire masterpieces by well-known artists such as Jan van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens, and David Teniers, as well as works by lesser-known Ghent and surrounding region artists. The museum’s collection also includes furniture, ceramics, and textiles, making it a true representation of the city’s rich cultural heritage.
2. Visit Saint Bavo’s Cathedral
Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, also known as Sint-Baafskathedraal, is a magnificent cathedral in Ghent’s heart. It is one of the city’s most famous and iconic landmarks, and is regarded as one of Europe’s finest examples of Gothic architecture. The cathedral was built in the ninth century but has been renovated and expanded several times since then. Visitors to Saint Bavo’s Cathedral can marvel at its beautiful stained-glass windows, ornate carvings, and altarpiece, as well as its impressive organ and acoustics. The cathedral also houses several works of art, including Jan van Eyck’s famous Ghent Altarpiece, considered one of the greatest masterpieces of the Northern Renaissance.
1. Visit Gravensteen Castle
Gravensteen Castle, also known as the Castle of the Counts, is a historic fortress in Ghent. The castle was built in the 12th century and is regarded as one of Europe’s finest examples of medieval architecture. Visitors can explore the castle’s beautiful grounds, including its imposing towers and walls, and learn about its rich history as a former residence of the counts of Flanders. The castle also has a number of exhibits and interactive displays that highlight its history and role in the city’s past.
Top 10 Things to do in Ghent on a MAP
Ghent proves itself to be a captivating city that effortlessly combines medieval charm with modern vibrancy. From exploring the architectural marvels of the historic center to cruising along the scenic canals, this Belgian gem offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you in awe. Whether you’re indulging in delectable Belgian cuisine, immersing yourself in the world of art and culture, or simply soaking in the laid-back atmosphere of the city’s squares and cafés, Ghent has something for everyone.
With its welcoming locals and enchanting ambiance, Ghent invites visitors to create unforgettable memories that will linger for a lifetime. So, get ready to discover the top 10 things to do in Ghent and embark on a remarkable journey through this remarkable city.
Excited to go to Ghent? To help you with your planning, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 Belgian Dishes That Will Blow Your Mind while visiting this city.