Ghent Travel Guide
Known for its lively atmosphere and architectural splendour, Ghent is a true gem of the Flanders region in Belgium. In fact, Lonely Planet have described this gorgeous city as 'the best kept secret of Europe', praising its intriguing melting pot culture and perfectly preserved medieval buildings.
The winding canal-side pathways make this compact city perfect for exploring on foot, bicycle or boat, where you can soak up the stunning scenery at your own pace – just make sure you stop to sample the delicious Flemish cuisine on offer at every turn. Ghent is easily accessible from all of the major cities in Belgium, with the port of Zeebrugge under an hour's drive.
Fascinating Flemish History
Ghent is a treasure trove for those with a passion for history. During the Middle Ages, this Belgian town was one of the richest and most powerful cities in Europe thanks to the export of wheat and cloth, and many of the beautiful buildings from the period remain flawlessly conserved to this very day. A journey through the north of Ghent will present you with imposing fortresses, grandiose churches, bell towers and ancient houses of rich merchant traders.
Situated in the very heart of the city, Gravensteen Castle is one of Ghent's most visited attractions, inspired by the crusader citadels and offering panoramic views of the city skyline from its ramparts. The sumptuous Rococo style St Bavo Cathedral is another popular landmark, home to the infamous alterpiece Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, a complex 15th century panel painting that is considered as one of the finest examples of Flemish art.
Food and Drink in Ghent
Although the centre of the city is a car-free space, you're welcome to park up and enjoy the sights on foot or two wheels. Kouter, the bustling grand square, has been the nucleus of the city for centuries and boasts one of the most famous flower markets in the world.
This is a great starting point for any Ghent Adventure, and is the perfect place to take a stroll alongside locals while enjoying some of the fine wine and oysters produced in the region. Ghent is fast becoming one of the top foodie destinations in Belgium, celebrated for its delicious seasonal approach to cooking, with many rustic dishes inspired by the gorgeous Flemish countryside throughout the year. There's something for everyone, whether you're looking to treat the family to traditional Belgian waffles or while away the evening at a romantic restaurant.
Other Ghent Attractions
If you're looking to experience the cosmopolitan side of Ghent, this beautiful city is bursting with multicultural charm and perfectly manicured parks as you venture up the Leie river. Attracting creative types from across Europe, the Museum of Fine Art is always popular, as is the Design Museum, which is home to a fascinating collection furniture and one-of-a-kind Art Deco pieces.
Ghent is also home to some of the most unique shops you could ever hope to come across, as well atmospheric classic Belgian bars offering local beer.
Discover this inspiring city by catching P&O Ferry Minicruise to Ghent for a taste of the Flemish region.