A Guide to the Best Places to Visit In Ghent
Ghent is a beautiful city located in the East Flanders province of Belgium. It’s a city of history, culture, and art, with an estimated population of over 250,000. Ghent is known for its medieval city center, art museums, churches, and canals. It’s a popular tourist destination for those looking for a unique cultural experience.
Ghent has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. It was a major trading port in the Middle Ages and was home to many wealthy merchants. As a result, it has many beautiful buildings and monuments from this time period, such as the Gravensteen Castle and Saint Bavo Cathedral. In the 19th century, Ghent became an important industrial center and today it’s home to many high-tech companies and universities.
One of the things that makes Ghent unique is its art scene. It’s home to many galleries and museums, including the SMAK modern art museum. There are also plenty of music venues and theaters, making it a great destination for cultural experiences.
Ghent is also known for its food culture. There are plenty of traditional Belgian dishes, such as moules-frites (mussels and fries) and waffles. There are also many international restaurants, from Italian to Mediterranean to Indian cuisine. No matter what type of food you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Ghent.
If you’re planning a trip to Ghent, there are plenty of places to visit and activities to do. Here are some of the best places to see in Ghent:
Gravensteen Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Ghent. This medieval castle was built in the 12th century by Count Philip of Alsace and has been the site of many battles over the centuries. Today, it is home to various displays of arms and armor, as well as a torture chamber and dungeons. The castle is open to visitors year-round, with guided tours available in various languages.
Saint Bavo Cathedral
Saint Bavo Cathedral is another iconic landmark in Ghent. It is an impressive Gothic cathedral that was built between the 12th and 15th centuries. Inside the cathedral is the world-famous painting The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by the Van Eyck brothers. There are also other works of art on display, such as the 12th century bronze statue of Saint Bavo. Saint Bavo Cathedral is open to visitors year-round, with guided tours available in various languages.
Ghent City Museum
The Ghent City Museum is one of the best places to learn about the history of the city. The museum houses various artifacts and exhibits that trace Ghent’s history from its origins to the present day. It’s a great place to get an overview of Ghent’s history and culture, as well as an insight into its future. The museum is open year-round and offers guided tours in various languages.
The Gruuthusemuseum is one of the best places to learn about medieval life in Ghent. The museum is housed in a 15th century mansion and contains various artifacts from that era, such as furniture, books, and weapons. It also contains numerous paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. The museum is open year-round and offers guided tours in various languages.
The Design Museum is one of the best places to learn about Ghent’s modern culture. The museum contains various exhibits that showcase design from around the world, from fashion to architecture to furniture design. It also houses a library and cafe. The museum is open year-round and offers guided tours in various languages.
The Gentse Feesten (Ghent Festival) is one of the biggest events in the city each year. It’s a 10-day festival that includes music, theater, street performances, food markets, and fireworks displays. The festival takes place each summer in July/August and attracts thousands of visitors from all over Europe.
The Three Towers
The Three Towers are one of the most iconic symbols of Ghent. They are three medieval towers – Belfort Tower, Sint-Niklaas Tower, and Sint-Baafs Tower – that were built between the 11th and 14th centuries and are now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These towers are open to visitors all year round and offer spectacular views of the city from their various lookout points.
Korenmarkt is one of the most popular squares in Ghent with its many restaurants, cafes, and shops. It has been a meeting place since medieval times and is now one of the liveliest areas in town. Each year in August, it hosts an outdoor music festival called Het Groot Verlof (The Great Holiday).
Ghent has many canals that wind their way through the city center and offer some spectacular views of Ghent’s architecture and history. A canal cruise is a great way to explore the city from a unique perspective and get an overview of its layout. There are many companies offering canal cruises throughout the city and some offer guided tours in various languages.
Popular Tours in Ghent
If you’re looking for something a bit more structured for your visit to Ghent, there are a few popular tours you can take advantage of to get an even better experience of the city:
Ghent Highlights Tour
The Ghent Highlights Tour takes you on an exciting journey through Ghent’s history and culture. You will visit some of the city’s most important attractions, such as Gravensteen Castle, Saint Bavo Cathedral, and The Three Towers, as well as some lesser-known gems like the Design Museum and Patershol District. The tour lasts approximately four hours and includes an expert guide who will provide commentary throughout your journey. Book a Ghent Highlights Tour here.
The Gastronomic Tour takes you on a culinary journey through Ghent’s food culture. You will visit some of the city’s best restaurants and sample traditional Belgian dishes as well as international cuisine from around the world. You will also learn about Belgian beer culture from local experts and sample some unique beer varieties from local breweries. The tour lasts approximately four hours and includes an expert guide who will provide commentary throughout your journey. Book a Gastronomic Tour here.
Canal Cruise with Dinner
The Canal Cruise with Dinner allows you to explore Ghent’s canals while enjoying a delicious meal onboard a traditional canal boat. You will cruise through some of Ghent’s most picturesque canals as you enjoy a three-course meal prepared by a local chef using seasonal ingredients from local markets. The cruise lasts approximately two hours and includes an expert guide who will provide commentary throughout your journey.Book a Canal Cruise with Dinner here.
In conclusion, Ghent is a wonderful city full of history, culture, art, cuisine, and beauty that make it one of Belgium’s top destinations for travelers looking for an unforgettable experience. From its beautiful medieval architecture to its lively festivals and vibrant food scene, there’s something for everyone in Ghent. From canal cruises to gastronomic tours, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your visit. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Belgium, look no further than Ghent!
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