Wondering what to do in Ghent? Ever even heard of Ghent? Hint: It’s in Belgium!
[dropcap]G[/dropcap]hent happens to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen in Europe. That’s a pretty big claim, I know, but it happens to be true.
It truly lives up to my claim as being the “best small town in Europe”.
I’ve been to Bruges and Brussels, and whilst I love Brussels, Ghent wins out for small city charm and quaint cobblestoned beauty. The place is absolutely gorgeous and iconically European – this is what we (Australians) imagine Europe to be as we dream about coming over.
We got tipped off about Ghent from my boss when I was working in The Netherlands. He said it was amazing and I was like “what?”, as I had never even heard of it! So we organised a trip down to Belgium with our friends Shona & Wout, and we’re very, very glad we did!
[box type=”shadow”]The best thing to do in Ghent is to simply walk around. You’re met with idyllic views of wide canals, grand churches, quaint houses and wet cobblestones.[/box]
I’ve split this article into a few different sections, read the whole thing or bounce around using the links below:
A Photo Tour of Ghent
No article on the wonderful Ghent would be complete without a delightful array of the vivid and picturesque photos that can be taken around this small city in Belgium. Let’s get straight into it!
The first view of Ghent as we walked from the train station…
Walking around Ghent!
A fun building, full of RED!
You’ll get your fill of European churches at Ghent, with one street we walked down showcasing four consecutive churches in a row! I’m not going to list them all out here, but if that sort of thing interests you grab yourself a map and get-a-walking!
The iconic St. Michael’s Bridge is a must-see, great to snap some photos from as well!
Brave the dark alley for a promise of beer at the end!
A relaxed bicycle hanging out in Ghent.
Who doesn’t love a good sunset?
I said, who DOESN’T love a good sunset?
I said, ahhh, nevermind.
It’s our shoes, dramatic, I know.
Bier? A house full of it!
I love this shot, eat it, Bruges.
Night time in Ghent looks pretty awesome too.
I think that’s more than enough photos to get your Ghent on.
Onwards to beer!
Best Beers In Ghent, Belgium
Drinking and trying beers in Ghent is definitely a “must-do”, the place is a beehive of glorious brews available both locally and Belgium wide.
Here are some of the beers that I tried and enjoyed on my visit there:
Has been voted as the best beer in the world in the past, Delirium is a delicious blonde with a superb after taste. Let the flavours wash over you and you will enjoy every sip.
This amber beer with an earthy feel is a lovely Belgium brew. With distinctly complex aromas of spice and leather this light yet cloudy beer with a large foam head is a must-try.
This pilsener is very easy to drink and is great for conversation. Not overly flavourful it does offer a light maltiness and is a clean, refreshing lager.
Looks pretty drinkable, right?
This is a special concoction from the moustached bartender at the bar Zenon (in the square opposite the castle). It’s a dark beer with added Jenever (we believe) – a gorgeous taste and something to be sipped and enjoyed at leisure.
Okay, so I might be wearing what Trudy calls my “fake” smile, but this Normandy beer is delicious!
You’ll find it difficult to miss the Gravensteen Castle when strolling around Ghent. Built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace it was purchased by the city of Ghent in 1885 and was restored back to its former glory.
It’s certainly quite a sight to see this grand castle looming just across the moat as you are in Ghent, it makes for some great pictures and there is a museum inside with various medieval torture devices!
The Gentse Feesten (Ghent Fest)
I WISH I had gone down to Ghent for this festival, which looks and sounds awesome. It happens to be one of Europe’s largest street parties and plays host to over 2 million visitors.
With 2 weeks of activities Ghent really comes alive and if you’re travelling around Belgium in July, don’t miss this for anything!
Visit the official site for more info.
Restaurant & Cafe Recommendations in Ghent
After a few personal restaurant and cafe recommendations in Ghent? Well, here’s a couple of places that we thought were great!
All you can eat ribs? Yes please! Imagine sitting in a bar from Paris in the 1920’s, a crackling fireplace nearby and black jacketed waiters strolling by serving up a constant supply of spare ribs and jacket potatoes with a creamy mustard sauce. A bottle of french red house wine rests upon the table. This is Amadeus.
With two restaurants in Ghent, Amadeus is a power house restaurant and from my glance around when we ate there the restaurant seems capable of seating hundreds! However, none of this detracts from the stunning 1920’s Parisian-feel ambience and traditional decor. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the all-you-can-eat ribs here immensely!
Address: Sluizeken 8, 9000 Gent, Belgium
A cute cafe with friendly waiters providing breakfast and a light lunch. A delicious spicy chai latte to start followed by a tasty club sandwich and sweet potato chaplets. Yum!
The Final Word
I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
We had a fantastic time in Ghent, and I definitely rate it as a must-see for people travelling through Belgium.
The final word is;
[box type=”shadow”]When in Belgium, forget Bruges and head to Ghent![/box]