Ghent a great place to visit
The City of Ghent
If you ask a Belgian where they like to travel most, within their own country, many will tell you about the friendly city of Ghent. With the majority of the town center closed to cars, they will probably also tell you that Belgium’s third largest city is best explored on two wheels or by boat along the elegant canals.
Ghent is an unassuming, un-touristy city filled with university students, linger-as-long-as-you-like cafes, well priced restaurants and vibrant energy. It’s a city with great mustard, Stropke beer (which is Flemish for noose), and the ten day Ghent Celebrations held every year in July where the inhabitants go all out with theater performances, concerts, singing, dancing, and drinking.
Under the watchful eye of Gravensteen Castle or Castle of the Counts, the city boasts an Opera House, 18 museums, 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings. The most visited site in Ghent is the famous & beautiful polyptych, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb painted by the brothers Jan and Hubert van Eyck in 1432.
For the most notable sites see Ghent Highlights below.
Also known as the Castle of the Counts, this forbidding, gray fortress was built by the count of Flanders, Philip of Alsace, in 1180. The castle contains a crypt, a dungeon a court museum and an exhibition of historical weapons and armor.
St. Bavo Cathedral & Ghent Altarpiece
This beautiful cathedral combines Romanesque, high Gothic and late Gothic architectural styles but is best known for housing the 15th century polyptych, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.
The Mustard Store
Offering more of a bite than its Dijon cousins, the mustard of Ghent at Tierenteyn has lured gourmets since 1790. Locals swear by it!
Stadhuis (City Hall)
Built partly in flamboyant Gothic style and partly in Renaissance style, it is a witness of the architectural development in Ghent during the 16th century. Each of the magnificent halls has its own identity.
St Peter’s Abbey
Organizes cultural & historical exhibitions in the Abbey of St. Peter, one of the most beautiful monuments in Ghent.
Formerly the city’s meat house, it has been converted into a one-stop showcase for the region’s most delectable specialties. Country hams hang from the rafters slowly curing in the cool air while raw-milk cheeses, gift boxes of pralines, and six packs of living beers tempt your palate.
The Graslei and Korenlei Rivers
The elegant facades along these waterways reflect different periods in history through architectural style. Both open and covered boats are available for sightseeing tours day or night.