City Guide: Ghent
Ghent is a city with about 250.000 inhabtitants near Brussels in Belgium. The city has a rich history and still consists of a lot of beautiful buildings. In this city guide, we’ll explain what you need to see when visiting Ghent!
Ghent is a somewhat underrated cities when it comes to tourism as it is more beautiful than the capital of Belgium, Brussels, and also many more larger cities in Europe like Berlin or Warsaw. It’s mainly the rich history that makes Ghent such a nice city as it was once one of the richest and even largest cities in Europe. These times are over, but the city still has an incredibly high quality of life.
The charming city centre of Ghent
As Ghent isn’t particularly large, the whole city is basically walkable. The city center in particular is just amazing to walk through.
There are large squares, beautiful historic buildings and a river crossing the cities main square – you can expect a truly amazing atmosphere for sure.
I’d recommend just walking around here for a while, crossing some bridges and just admiring the historic skyline of the city.
Obviously, there are a few spots you should definitely see, among those the famous Korenmarkt.
Yet, the whole city center of Ghent is just really beautiful, which is why you should just leisurely stroll through without the rush of needing to see anything in particular.
Beautiful historic churches in Ghent
In the city center and a little further outside, you can find a couple of famous churches in Ghent. The most famous one is the Sint-Niklaaskerk, which is also the largest of the churches.
Another church you should see is Sint-Michielskerk, which is also located in the city center.
In the direction of the train station, you can also find the different looking, but still interesting Sint-Jakobskerk.
If you are strolling through town you’ll realize that the churches very well fit the general style of buildings, which caters to the historic atmosphere in Ghent.
Lovely parks & the river of Ghent
Something that makes Ghent worth visiting besides the various historic buildings and churches is the river floating through the city.
You can walk along the Leie for kilometers through the city center and further and it’s just a really enjoyable experience as there are nice walkways left and right. There are also a couple of really cafés and restaurants right by the waterfront.
If you are more of a park person, you may enjoy visiting some of the cities parks. The largest and most famous one is the really nice Citadelpark.
However, there are other interesting parks as well, including the Veergrep Park not far from the Citadelpark.
If you are into museums, this area of Ghent is also quite interesting as you can find the most famous museums of the city, among those the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, here.
Gravensteen Fortress & other interesting buildings in Ghent
If you have already been to Ghent, you might have thought that we forgot about one of the most important sights in Ghent, but instead we just left the best for the end. I’m talking about Gravensteen, a beautiful 10th century water fortress, which is still well preserved and can be visitied.
Nevertheless, I don’t think that it does Ghent justice to focus on certain landmarks as I thought that so many areas in town are worth writing about.
When strolling through the city for several hours, I stumbled upon so many nice buildings and just beautiful historic architecture that I can just recommend doing the same.
Overall impressions of Ghent
I’m an huge fan of historic cities and Ghent absolutely hits the spot there. I’d say that Ghent is a real highlight and definitely more interesting than Brussels. If you happen to visit Belgium, Ghent is a must, but it might actually be worth it to just travel to Belgium for visiting Ghent!
Do you have any questions about Ghent? Feel free to ask or share your impressions in the comments!