One of the most beautiful cities in Belgium, Ghent is absolutely gorgeous and certainly warrants a visit if you are in the country. Often overlooked in favour of either Brussels or Bruges, the city’s medieval centre is magnificent to wander around and the wealth of delightful architecture on show will make you feel like you have stepped back in time. With so much to see and do, a weekend is a great amount of time to spend exploring the city and you’ll inevitably come away delighted at all of the beautiful sights you’ve seen. To help give you an idea of what’s on offer, here are some tips on what you can get up to in to two days in Ghent.
Very much a hidden gem, Ghent is easily reached by train from Brussels and after that you can take a winding tram journey until you reach the city’s historic heart. Here you will find an incredible array of majestic buildings and one lovely thing to do is to climb up to the top of the belfry that towers over the centre and gaze out over the city below you. The view is breathtaking and on either side you’ll see a wonderful old church and a stunning cathedral as well as the beautiful town hall.
History is all about you in the medieval centre and just a short walk away from the cobbles of the main square you’ll find a picturesque canal and the buildings lining it showcase some beautiful Flemish architecture. Here you can either take a boat trip along the city’s wonderful waterways or grab a Belgian beer and enjoy the view before you. The panorama from St. Michael’s Bridge is particularly stunning to behold.
A student city, Ghent is a lively place and there are lots of great bars scattered about the place. One of the most memorable is the De Dulle Griet and it has over five hundred beers for you to choose from. One local beer glass is so special that anyone who buys the beer has to hand over one of their shoes as insurance so that they won’t run off with the glass and the shoe is then winched up to the ceiling in a basket! At atmospheric place, it is particularly great to stop by at night when the bar fills up with locals and tourists alike.
As well as the beautiful church and cathedral, Ghent also has a fantastic castle that is well worth stopping by when you’re in the city. Gravensteen as it is called dates all the way back to 1180 and the museum inside is captivating to explore with lots of great exhibitions and historic items on show. Overlooking the picturesque canal that runs alongside it, the castle is a must-see when in Ghent.
If you’re on the lookout for some cheap and authentic souvenirs to remind you of your time in Ghent then you’ll want to head to Bij Sint-Jacobs square which hosts a weekly flea market. Fascinating to wander around, you can find some great bargains here and pick up some local trinkets and antiques.
This historic square is also the epicentre of the Gentse Feesten which is a ten-day long festival that takes place each year in the heart of Ghent. Great fun to go to, the festival has loads of music on offer as well as some great performances and shows by local and international artists. While the city is packed during the festival, the festivities are great fun to take part in and makes Ghent even more vibrant than it already is throughout the rest of the year.
Full of culture and history and with lively nightlife to boot; Ghent has something for everyone to enjoy and two days is the perfect amount of time to fall in love with a small corner of Belgium.
Source: Alex S.
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