The tiny streets, city center full of life, breathtaking cathedrals, so many things to do and of course the pictures’ canal views make Ghent unforgettable destination for me. I was not there for the Christmas market but if you want to visit it, it is opens until 6th of January.
It has over 400 historical buildings and it will leave you feeling like travel back in the 12th century. The city is quite big but only the city center has the unique spirit of medieval, mystical atmosphere. Here are my top 7 reasons to visit this beautiful place:
1. The best canal views
The amazing amazing canal view is only at the city center. You will spot it once you enter it. There are few bridges that will make your pictures glorious.
2. Amazing cosine and nightlife
The Flemish cuisine is excellent and there are few good places I can recommend you to visit. Bear in mind the prices are a bit higher than usual for this area of Europe and going for budget trip while having great time would be a challenge. All the nightlife, restaurants and bars are mostly in Patershol.
This is the most desired neighborhood, and once you lay a leg there you will find out why. All the houses are originally built in 1329, restored and reflecting the original look of the town. You will find your best options for restaurants exactly in this area. You can choose all different cuisines, however please give a try to the Flemish kitchen.
Breakfast: To be honest I either skipped it or went to the desserts and cake place that I mention below.
Lunch: Superette It is outside the city center, but totally worth it. The sandwiches and quiches there is to die for. The portions are big and made of organic food.
Dinner: Het Spijker. I can recommend only place that are in the city center since we did not want to drink and drive 🙂 The atmosphere in the restaurants, food and service are fantastic.
Dessert and best cake I have ever tasted: Julie’s House
In a beautiful 16th century building you will enjoy the best coffee and cakes in town and I in my opinion the best cakes ever to be tasted. This place has huge variety of cakes and also a lot of cupcakes.
Drinks and clubbing: Woody`s
The beer lovers (like me) can visit De Dulle Griet. There you will find the finest selection possible of a Belgian beer in the city.
Every Thursday here is a veggie day. Ghent promotes healthy lifestyle and focus on reduce meat. This is why you will find a lot of restaurants and brunch places that are veggie only.
Right in the heart of the town is St. Bavo Cathedral is a stunning, Gothic style cathedral that took exactly 500 years to build. There you will find a lot of art pieces and rarest of them is The Adoration of the mystic lamb, painted in 1432 and it is considered the masterpiece of the medieval painting. It is made of 24 panels and one of them is missing since 1932.
Build at the end of the 12th century it was a court, a prison and a cotton factory is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. You can learn a lot about Flemish history and you can still see today live sword fights. The trip of the castle will take you around 45 minutes and on the top of the castle you will find stunning view over the whole town – best places for pictures of course.
Tickets: around 10 euro
4. Graffiti street, street art
Ghent is graffiti friendly city if you enjoy street art, you can go to the graffiti street and check out some amazing artwork. Pictures and more recommendations to be found here.
5. A night walk in Ghent
A night walk near the canals and crossing the bridges in Ghent is pretty amazing. The canals are fabulously lightened and you can see the beautiful reflection on the canals. It is great moment for pictures and a romantic walk.
7. Shopping in Ghent
There are so many amazing shops, main brands like Mango, Zara etc, but also local brands. It is totally worth to walk through the shopping street.
Stedelijk museum for contemporary art is pretty famous there, and for the people who would enjoy art. I suggest instead visiting museums, visit the St. Baafs Cathedral instead, where you will find fine art pieces and amazing stained-glass windows.
Where to stay:
I staid in the city center in a pretty amazing place booked via Booking.com – Hotel Onderbergen. I even gave my very first 10 review score, (coming from a person who travels a lot and works in Booking.com), it means I confidently recommend it to you all.
Wish you enjoy Ghent as much as I did and bring your best halves with you, because this is one of the most romantic places I have visited in Europe.
Let me know if you like my article and if you liked Ghent, and please subscribe if you like my content.