Things to Do in Ghent (History, Culture, Food)

Ghent at Night

Ghent is not only one of Belgium’s oldest cities, but it’s also possibly the most vibrant and exciting! Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff or just looking for a good time, Gent has something for everyone. Spend your days exploring its many castles and churches, checking out the street art, shopping for Belgian chocolates and beer, or partying the night away in Overpoort.

It’s all just a short bike ride away – yes, biking is the recommended way to get around its impressive city center – from fun attractions like Graslei and Korenlei or Citadel Park. Unleash your inner explorer and prepare yourself for a wonderful adventure as we uncover many of the amazing things to do in Ghent, Belgium!

Short Summary

  • Explore Ghent’s iconic attractions, medieval castles, and picturesque bridges.

  • Taste test Belgian chocolates, hunt down street art, and party the night away in Overpoort.

  • Take a canal cruise, relax in the Citadel Park, and find accommodation in downtown Ghent.

Take a Stroll Around Ghent City Center

Leie Canal in Ghent
Leie Canal in Ghent

Ghent City Center is an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll and is the perfect way to take in the sights of this beautiful city. When taking a stroll around Ghent City Center, you’ll come across some of the city’s most iconic attractions, including the picturesque Korenmarkt Square and the Lys and Leie River.

Korenmarkt Square is the city’s main square and is surrounded by historic buildings that have been converted into restaurants and bars with outdoor seating. You’ll also find St. Nicholas Church, with its stunning bluestone, and the old post office that has been transformed into a hotel and shops called 1898 The Post.

Korenmarkt in Ghent
Korenmarkt in Ghent

If you’re looking for some authentic East Flemish food, then be sure to head to the Butchers’ Market. Hall, which has an impressive selection of local beers, cheeses, and other yummy treats.

Strolling is the best way to take in all Gent has to offer, but public transport is also an excellent option.

Explore the Medieval Gravensteen Castle

Gravensteen Castle, Ghent
Gravensteen Castle, Ghent

Gravensteen Castle is one of the most popular attractions in Ghent, Belgium. It was built in the 12th century for the count of Flanders and is steeped in history and intrigue. The castle is a living testament to the Middle Ages and still stands today as a museum.

Visiting Gravensteen Castle offers a unique experience for tourists. There is an entrance fee of €12 for adults, and visitors can take an audio tour to explore the rooms and battlements of the castle. The Arms Museum and Museum of Judicial Objects are also must-sees for those interested in weapons and torture contraptions from medieval times.

In addition, the views of the city of Ghent from the top of Gravensteen Castle are stunning and provide a unique perspective of the city.

Admire the Picturesque St Michael’s Bridge

St Michael's Bridge in Ghent
St Michael’s Bridge in Ghent

St Michael’s Bridge in Ghent is a real sight to behold! You can take in the Medieval vibes and get a full view of the city’s hustle and bustle. Located over the Leie River, it provides a 360-degree view of Medieval culture and the city’s action. It is a great way to get a glimpse of the Medieval Towers of Ghent – St Nicholas’ Church, the Belfry of Ghent, and St Bavo’s Cathedral.

This imposing structure, constructed in the mid-13th century, offers an incredible view of the beautiful architecture and prominent landmarks in Ghent. It is one of the best tourist attractions in Gent and the perfect spot for a photo opportunity. Plus, it’s free! So don’t forget to take your camera and snap some fantastic shots of this picturesque bridge!

Visit the Impressive St. Bravo’s Cathedral

St Bravo’s Cathedral is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Ghent. The 270-foot tall Gothic cathedral dates back to the 7th century and is full of incredible architecture and history. The main attraction at St. Bravo’s Cathedral is The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, one of the earliest oil paintings in the world and an incredibly important piece of art in Belgium.

Visiting St. Bravo’s Cathedral is an experience unlike any other. The entrance fee is €4 for the day, and if you want to maximize your time there, it’s best to go early or late to avoid crowds. There’s no better way to appreciate the beauty and history of Ghent than a visit to St. Bravo’s Cathedral.

Enjoy a Picnic at Graslei and Korenlei

ghent, graslei, belgium

Graslei and Korenlei are two quays that line the banks of the Leie river, with Graslei boasting some pretty cool medieval buildings and Korenlei having some outdoor cafes. If you’re looking for a good time, Graslei and Korenlei have got you covered! You can have a picnic, sample some Belgian beer, and chow down at some of the traditional Belgian restaurants.

When you’re enjoying a picnic at Graslei and Korenlei, make sure to watch out for cyclists and give them some space. You can also sample some of Belgium’s most iconic dishes while you’re at Graslei and Korenlei. If you’re looking for a true Belgian experience, you’ve got to try stoverij, a hearty beef stew, and waterzooi, a delicious fish stew.

If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, try the Chateaubriand and varkenswangetjes at Du Progres on Korenmarkt 10. Whether you’re looking for a romantic picnic spot or a lively night out, Graslei and Korenlei have plenty to offer.

So grab your blanket and some snacks, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Gent!

Chase Down History at STAM Ghent City Museum

STAM Ghent City Museum is the place to go for discovering Ghent’s interesting history from the Middle Ages all the way to what the future might look like. It is an eye-opening experience that allows visitors to explore Ghent’s people, buildings, and culture throughout the years.

You will be able to uncover a ton of fascinating facts about Medieval times and get a museum pass to save on costs. STAM Ghent City Museum is the perfect place to discover Ghent’s interesting history and culture.

Climb the Tallest Building in Ghent: Belfry and Cloth Hall

belfry of ghent, belfry tower, church
The Belfry of Ghent behind the church tower

The Belfry and Cloth Hall is the tallest building in Gent, standing at a whopping 91 meters. From the top of the Belfry and Cloth Hall, you can take in the breathtaking sights of the old city center and Saint Bravo’s Cathedral.

If you wanna climb the Belfry and Cloth Hall, you’ll need to be prepared to tackle a whopping 366 steps, but it’ll only set you back €8.00 for an adult ticket. So if you’re looking for a view of Ghent that offers a different perspective, the Belfry and Cloth Hall is definitely a must-visit!

Go Shopping in Patershol

Patershol is a pretty little corner of Ghent, famous for its delicious Belgian food. With its cobbled streets and Medieval-style buildings, Patershol has a romantic atmosphere that’s perfect for a dinner date.

There are plenty of great traditional restaurants and bars to choose from, and for something truly special, visitors should check out Confiserie Temmerman, a classic candy shop with a fancy Baroque-style facade. Prices may be a bit higher here for visitors, but it’s worth every penny.

Find Your Artistic Side at the Fine Arts Museum

The Fine Arts Museum in Ghent, Belgium, a great place to find your artistic side -
The National Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent (Image via Wikimedia)

The National Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent (MSK) is one of the oldest museums in Belgium, dating back to 1798. Situated on the east side of the Citadelpark, this grand building houses a wonderful collection of art spanning from the Middle Ages right up to the mid-20th Century. This museum is perfect for art lovers, who can find an incredible selection of Flemish art, as well as those who are just looking to learn more about art and the culture of Gent. Aside from the main collection, there is also a weekly Friday market located directly outside the museum, where you can find a range of local produce and handcrafted goods.

The MSK is also home to some of the most amazing graffiti art in Gent. There’s a Graffiti Alley located nearby, which is full of colourful, vibrant street art and sculptures. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, then take a guided walking tour around the city and explore the beautiful architecture and monuments that make Ghent one of the most visited tourist attractions in Europe.

Whether you’re looking for a day out or just want to spend an afternoon getting creative, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent is the perfect place to do it. With its wide range of exhibitions and collections, it’s sure to satisfy any artistic appetite.

Taste Test the Delicious Belgian Chocolates!

A selection of delicious Belgian chocolates, a must-try when visiting Ghent
Guylian Chocolates are one of the highlights of Belgium

Belgian chocolates are renowned for their top-notch ingredients, commitment to traditional production methods, and 100% cocoa butter. Plus, they’re finely milled to bring out the best flavor and texture, and often come with unique flavors and textures. If you’re looking for the yummiest chocolates in Gent, this site has got you covered with a list of the top spots. The number one thing to do in Gent when it comes to Belgian chocolates is to hit up a chocolate shop and indulge in some seriously scrumptious treats. Whether you’re a chocolate connoisseur or just a sweet tooth, you won’t be disappointed by the selection of chocolates in Ghent.

Gent has a number of renowned chocolate shops where you can sample a variety of treats, from classic truffles to inventive chocolate creations. Many of the shops offer chocolate tastings, giving you the chance to sample a range of flavors and textures. You can also find a variety of chocolate-based gifts, from boxes of chocolates to chocolate-covered fruits. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a local craft beer and chocolate pairing?

So what are you waiting for? Take this opportunity to take a trip to Ghent and explore the delicious world of Belgian chocolates. Whether you’re looking for a special treat for yourself or a unique gift for someone else, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Weigh-In on Ghent’s Biggest Rivalry – Cuberdons!

A selection of Cuberdons, Ghent's biggest rivalry ()
A selection of Cuberdons, Ghent’s biggest rivalry (Image via VisitGhent on Flickr)

It’s all about the cuberdons, man! The biggest rivalry in Gent is over who can get their hands on the most delicious treats. Cuberdons are a sweet treat from Belgium – a gummy, jelly-filled cone with a deep purple sugar coating that’s basically the city’s signature candy. They come in a range of yummy flavors like raspberry, apple, strawberry, lemon, and blueberry.The cone shape of the candy has earned it the nickname “Nose” candy, which is actually how I first came to discover them on my first trip to Ghent. I did not know they were even called cuberdons until I did some research!

But the feud between the two cuberdon sellers at the Grote Markt is a wild one! Apparently, these two have been going at it for years, with fist-fights and even jail time thrown into the mix. Luckily, it all got resolved in the end. However, it’s hard to find a more intense rivalry in Gent, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in town.

So if you’re in Gent, don’t forget to weigh in on the great Cameron debate by grabbing some in any of the confectionary stores you see around town.

Do as the Locals Do – Bike the City!

A cyclist riding through the city of Ghent, a great way to explore the city like a local

Gent has it all for bikers – nearly 400 kilometers of cycle paths and over 700 one-way streets where you can go both ways on your bike. Plus, you can rent a bike with a fleet of 8,000 two-wheelers of 24 different types. Cruising around. Gent on two wheels is the perfect way to get a real feel for the city. You can take the bike lanes and explore like a local!

A 3-hour guided bike tour is the best way to take in all that Gent has to offer. This is the best way to get an in-depth look at all the tourist attractions, from the Gravensteen Castle to the Belfry and Cloth Hall. You’ll also get a chance to experience the local life by biking through narrow streets, along the canals, and into the parks.

To stay safe, always keep an eye out for pedestrians – they always have the right of way!

Find your Favorite Belgian Beer!

A selection of Belgian beers, a must-try when visiting Ghent

Belgian beer is a huge part of Ghent’s culture and heritage – it’s an integral part of the city’s identity. If you’re looking for some local Belgian beers to try in Ghent, you can’t go wrong with Lindeman’s Apple beer, Raspberry (Framboise), Peach (Pêcheresse), and Cherry (Kriek). They’re all delicious!

When you’re in Gent, don’t forget to stop by Dulle Griet, a pub that serves the beloved Max beer. This beer comes in a big glass with a wooden stand to keep it upright. And, as an added bonus, if you order a Max beer, you must hand over your shoe as collateral – the shoe then gets hoisted up to the ceiling until you finish your beer.

If you’re looking for a unique experience while in Ghent, check out the Ghent beer & sightseeing tour. This tour includes barhopping, a canal cruise, and chocolate tasting. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just looking to try something new, this tour is great for everyone. So come explore Ghent’s beer scene and find your favorite Belgian beer!

Party the Night Away in Overpoort!

night, ghent, belgium
Night time is just as scenic in Ghent

If you’re looking for a good time in Gent, then Overpoort is the place to be. It’s the ultimate destination for night owls in Gent and the go-to spot for students to party all night long. With its buzzing atmosphere, wallet-friendly prices, and plenty of bars and clubs with cheap drinks, Overpoort is the perfect spot for anyone looking to have a wild night out in Ghent.

The atmosphere in Overpoort is electric, with locals and students alike coming out to have a good time and soak up the nightlife. And with its wallet-friendly prices, you don’t have to break the bank to have a great night out. So if you’re looking for a wild night out in Gent, look no further than Overpoort – it’s sure to give you a night to remember!

Discover a Different Perspective of Ghent on a Canal Cruise

ghent, belgium, architecture
Cruising the river in the center of Ghent

A canal cruise in Ghent is a great way to explore the city and get a unique perspective on Ghent. You can hop on a boat and cruise through the canals, taking in all the sights, history and architectural beauty that the city has to offer. Cruising the canals of Gent is a great way to get a local’s perspective of the city. You can take in the sights and learn all about the city’s history – it’s a great way to explore!

Tickets for a Ghent canal cruise can be purchased [here](source) before they’re all gone. Adult tickets for a Ghent canal cruise cost €7.50.

Canals in Ghent
Canals in Ghent

Hunt Down Street Art

Gent’s downtown is poppin’ with street art – from big murals by famous artists to small pieces by up-and-coming creatives. Visitors can easily find street art in Ghent by downloading the ‘Sorry, not sorry’ guide or grabbing a map from the tourism office that shows off the best spots.

If you want to find the best street art in Gent, the locals recommend taking a cycling tour with a local guide who can show you all the hidden gems. Werregarenstraat is an awesome spot for anyone looking for a unique experience. It’s a pedestrian street filled with amazing graffiti, so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Plus, the street art here is constantly evolving and even the famous artist Roa has left his mark with his huge animal murals.

Enjoy a Scavenger Hunt Around Ghent

Vleeshuisbrug on the Leie Canal in Ghent
Vleeshuisbrug on the Leie Canal in Ghent

A scavenger hunt in Ghent is an awesome way to explore the city! You’ll be solving riddles, tracking down clues, and tackling challenges – it’s a great way to have a blast and get to know the city! You’ll be solving riddles and clues to uncover the hidden gems of Gent while having a blast.

It’s like a self-guided tour, a treasure hunt, and an outdoor escape room all rolled into one! If you’re looking to have a successful scavenger hunt in Gent, make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes, have a fully charged phone, and are ready for any kind of weather.

Don’t forget to read the instructions thoroughly and take your time to figure out the clues. Good luck!

Visit Saint Nicholas’ Church

church, saint nicholas, ghent
St Nicholas’ Church in Ghent

Saint Nicholas’ Church is one of the oldest landmarks in Ghent, Belgium, having been built in the 13th century to replace an earlier Romanesque church. This building is made of blue-gray stone sourced from Tournai. It follows the Scheldt Gothic style of architecture. Inside the church, visitors can admire the impressive wooden pulpit.

The tower of Saint Nicholas’ Church is one of three that offers a bird’s eye view of the city, although it is not as popular as the other two.

Relax in Citadel Park

The Citadel Park in Ghent, Belgium, a great place to relax
Old kiosk in the Citadel Park in Ghent

Citadel Park is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Ghent’s city center. Located just 25 minutes away by foot or 18 minutes by tram, this city park is the perfect spot to get some fresh air and admire some of Ghent’s beautiful buildings.

Citadel Park is packed with things to do – you can explore the City Museum and art center, hang out in the lush greenery complete with special trees, flowers, and ponds, or check out the various statues, monuments, and cultural buildings. There’s something for everyone!

So why not take a break from your sightseeing and relax in Citadel Park?

Getting To Gent

Getting to Gent is a breeze! You can hop on a train from Brussels, Bruges, or Antwerp with Belgian Rail. Trains are the quickest way to get to Gent from either of these cities, taking only around half an hour.

If you’re looking for the best way to get to Ghent, you’ll find buses and taxis available as well. Plus, tram line 1 runs from the main station Gent-Sint-Pieters to the city centre every 10 minutes.

For an insider tip, hop off at Gent-Dampoort station for a 15-minute stroll to the city centre, and you’ll get to see the towers from a totally different perspective!

Accommodation in Gent

Hotel de Flandre is the perfect spot for travelers looking for a mid-range budget hotel in Ghent. Located right in the middle of downtown, this hotel offers clean and cozy rooms with a stunning view of Medieval Towers. Plus, the hotel has some awesome amenities to make your stay even more enjoyable.

A 3-day stay in Ghent is a great amount of time to explore the city. You can visit the attractions, enjoy the food, and experience the culture of the city.

If Hotel de Flandre isn’t quite what you’re looking for, don’t worry! There are plenty of other amazing accommodation options in Ghent like Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof, 1898 The Post, Charme Hotel Hancelot Ghent, ibis Gent Centrum Opera, and B&B Hotel Gent Centrum.


After having explored all that Gent has to offer, we can say for sure that this Belgian city is a hotbed of cultural and historical attractions. From cozy cafes and cobbled streets with impeccably preserved architecture, to amazing museums and captivating street art, there’s something special here for everyone.

But of course, Ghent doesn’t end with its attractions; the overall atmosphere of the city will definitely make you fall in love with it. The locals are warm and friendly, eager to make your stay as comfortable and memorable as possible. Plus, with an abundance of accommodation options available, you’ll find that it’s easy to turn your visit into a memorable one.

So if you’re looking for somewhere special to spend your time or simply want to explore the fascinating history of Gent, this little Belgian city is definitely worth a visit! With something intriguing around every corner, there’s simply no way you’ll be bored during your trip!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ghent Belgium worth visiting?

Visitors to Ghent should take time to explore the city’s canals and bridges, artist alleys, stories history and cozy beer bars. Without a doubt. Gent is definitely worth visiting for any traveler looking for a unique destination in Belgium.

What is Ghent best known for?

Ghent is best known for its iconic landmarks such as the Saint Bavo Cathedral, housing the famous Ghent Altarpiece, the Belfry, and the Gravensteen Castle, as well as its picturesque old harbour front along the Graslei.
Visitors can appreciate the city’s blend of modern comforts and medieval grandeur.

Is Ghent or Bruges nicer?

When it comes to choosing between Ghent and Bruges for your visit to Belgium, think no more. Bruges is much nicer in comparison, as it has a larger tourist village area, plenty to do and an impressive culinary scene.

Gent, on the other hand, has one charming area, but the rest of its attractions are less memorable. So Bruges it is for an unforgettable experience!

Is Ghent nicer than Antwerp?

Gent is generally seen as the more charming and laid-back city while Antwerp brings the hustle and bustle. All in all, it depends on what type of atmosphere you are looking for.

So yes, Gent can be nicer than Antwerp – it all comes down to personal preference!

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