Culture as far as the eye can see: the Belgian port city in the north-west of the country, only an hour's drive from the capital Brussels, delights with charm, culture and warmth. Stroll along the canals and alleys and explore the medieval city centre, the Graslei and Korenlei as well as the famous Count's Castle. We give you tips for a successful stay in Ghent.
After dark, Ghent transforms into a city full of light art. According to the Ghent Light Plan developed in 1998, the city centre of Ghent becomes a magical evening landscape in an interplay of shadow and light. The aim of the light plan is the sustainable lighting of the city as well as the responsible use of energy. As a result of this idea, architectural accents, streets, monuments and squares are aesthetically illuminated every evening, thus showing the city from a particularly beautiful side. On the so-called light walk, you discover the city on a two-hour tour of around five kilometres and explore the highlights of Ghent at night.
Whether modern art or old Dutch painting, Ghent offers you both. The city harmoniously combines contemporary vibrancy with modern creativity. At the S.M.A.K., art lovers will discover contemporary art with an international as well as national flavour. In the Museum of Fine Arts you will find a great variety of old masters and modernists. In the Design Museum Gent, on the other hand, you will discover design works from Art Nouveau to contemporary design trends.
Ghent's centuries-old history is best explored in the popular Patershol district - Ghent's culinary centre. The neighbourhood's nostalgic atmosphere and medieval influences make for an unforgettable insight into the city's history. Architecture and art delight here, as do the cosy bars and historic pubs along picturesque streets.
On the boulevards of Gras and Korenlei in the heart of the city, the beautiful gabled houses on both banks of the river reflect the historic charm of Ghent. Elaborately restored façades offer glimpses of the past, such as on the former grain knife in the Cooremetershuys or the impressive stepped gable of the old 13th century granary. Ships have been docking at the Gras and Korenlei since the 11th century and even today this original charm can be enjoyed ideally from a café.
Gourmets and rummagers are in the right place at the Ghent Sunday markets. Sample local and fresh produce and discover original souvenirs. The flower market on the Kouter invites you to linger: This is where the people of Ghent have brunch or treat themselves to an aperitif. The book market in the Ajuinlei, on the other hand, will delight you with its wide selection of literature. For treasure hunters, the Bij Sint-Jacobs flea market is the place to be, and at the crafts market you can immerse yourself in the history of Ghent craftsmanship from times long past.
The Count's Castle is one of the city's most important landmarks and looks back on a very eventful history, which is also linked to the complex political and social history of the city. The castle is the only surviving medieval moated castle in Flanders with an almost completely intact defence system. A visit to the castle will introduce you to the knightly culture of the 12th century and show you life at that time, including a unique collection of torture tools.
The exclusive romantic B&B The Verhaegen awaits you within the historic walls of an 18th century manor house. There you will stay in lovingly and luxuriously furnished guest rooms, which have been lavishly restored with great skill by the two hosts and interior designers, thus reflecting the original character of the house. The elegant dining room, the magnificent living room and the nostalgic garden in the inner courtyard are also ideal for a very special time-out in the heart of the city.