Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re diving into the vibrant and enchanting city of Ghent, Belgium. If you’re looking for a destination that’s brimming with history, culture, and charm, then you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the coolest things to do Ghent has to offer, so buckle up and get ready to explore this hidden gem of Europe.
From its medieval architecture to its lively arts scene, Ghent is a city that never ceases to amaze. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just someone looking for a unique European adventure, there’s no shortage of cool things to do Ghent style. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the heart of this captivating city and discover the cool things to do Ghent is famous for.
Historic Hotspots: Ghent’s Must-See Landmarks
Ghent is a city steeped in history, and there are plenty of landmarks that are worth a visit. Here are some of the must-see historic hotspots that should be on your list of cool things to do in Ghent:
Gravensteen Castle is a medieval fortress that dates back to the 12th century. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ghent, and for good reason. The castle is well-preserved and offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and learn about its past as a residence, courthouse, and prison.
St. Bavo’s Cathedral
St. Bavo’s Cathedral is a stunning Gothic cathedral that was built in the 14th century. It’s home to several important works of art, including the famous Ghent Altarpiece. The cathedral is also the final resting place of several important historical figures, including the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens.
Graslei and Korenlei
Graslei and Korenlei are two picturesque quays that are located in the heart of Ghent. They’re lined with beautiful historic buildings and offer stunning views of the city’s canals. The area is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and it’s a great place to grab a drink or a bite to eat.
Belfry of Ghent
The Belfry of Ghent is a medieval bell tower that dates back to the 14th century. It’s one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and offers panoramic views of Ghent from the top. Visitors can climb the tower’s 366 steps to reach the top and take in the breathtaking views.
Castle of the Counts
The Castle of the Counts is another medieval fortress that’s worth a visit. It was built in the 12th century and has been well-preserved over the years. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and learn about its past as a residence, courthouse, and prison.
These historic hotspots are just a few of the many must-see landmarks in Ghent. Be sure to add them to your list of cool things to do in Ghent and experience the city’s rich history for yourself.
Culinary Adventures: Savoring Ghent’s Food Scene
Ghent is a foodie’s paradise, with a diverse range of culinary experiences to explore. Here are some cool things to do in Ghent to savor its food scene:
1. Visit the Local Markets
One of the coolest things to do in Ghent is to visit the local markets. The city has several markets, including the famous Friday Market and the Sunday Flower Market. These markets offer a wide range of fresh produce, local delicacies, and handmade crafts. You can sample some of the best local cheeses, chocolates, and beers at these markets.
2. Take a Food Tour
If you want to explore Ghent’s food scene in depth, taking a food tour is a must. There are several food tours available that take you to the best local restaurants, cafes, and bars. You can sample some of the city’s signature dishes, such as waterzooi, stoverij, and Gentse neuzen.
3. Try the Local Beers
Ghent is known for its beer culture, and there are several local breweries that you can visit. You can sample some of the best Belgian beers, including the famous Trappist beers, at these breweries. Some of the popular breweries in Ghent include Gruut City Brewery, De Koninck Brewery, and Brasserie Liefmans.
4. Indulge in Chocolate
Belgium is famous for its chocolate, and Ghent is no exception. There are several chocolate shops in the city that offer a wide range of handmade chocolates. You can sample some of the best pralines, truffles, and chocolate bars at these shops. Some of the popular chocolate shops in Ghent include Chocolaterie Van Hoorebeke, Yuzu Chocolates, and Chocolaterie Luc Van Hoorebeke.
5. Dine at a Michelin-starred Restaurant
If you want to indulge in fine dining, Ghent has several Michelin-starred restaurants that you can visit. These restaurants offer a unique culinary experience, with innovative dishes and impeccable service. Some of the popular Michelin-starred restaurants in Ghent include Restaurant Horseele, Chambre Séparée, and Oak.
Whether you’re a foodie or not, Ghent’s food scene is definitely worth exploring. These cool things to do in Ghent will help you savor the city’s culinary delights and create unforgettable memories.
Art and Culture: Exploring Ghent’s Creative Side
Ghent is a city that is rich in art and culture. From its stunning architecture to its world-renowned museums, there are plenty of cool things to do in Ghent for art and culture enthusiasts. Here are some of the top things to do:
Visit the Ghent Altarpiece
The Ghent Altarpiece is one of the most famous works of art in the world. This masterpiece was painted by the Van Eyck brothers in the 15th century and is considered one of the most important works of art in Western history. The altarpiece is located in St. Bavo’s Cathedral and is a must-see for anyone interested in art and culture.
Explore the Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent is home to an impressive collection of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum’s collection includes works by Flemish masters such as Rubens and Van Dyck, as well as contemporary art by Belgian and international artists. The museum is a great place to spend a few hours exploring Ghent’s creative side.
Take a Street Art Tour
Ghent is home to a vibrant street art scene, with murals and graffiti adorning many of the city’s walls. Taking a street art tour is a great way to explore Ghent’s creative side and discover some of the city’s hidden gems. The tour will take you to some of the coolest street art spots in the city and give you a glimpse into the local art scene.
Visit the Design Museum
The Design Museum in Ghent is a must-visit for anyone interested in design and architecture. The museum’s collection includes furniture, textiles, and other design objects from the 19th century to the present day. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase the work of contemporary designers.
Attend a Concert at Handelsbeurs
Handelsbeurs is a historic concert hall in the heart of Ghent. The venue hosts a wide range of concerts, from classical music to jazz and pop. Attending a concert at Handelsbeurs is a great way to experience Ghent’s vibrant music scene and enjoy some cool things to do in Ghent.
Whether you’re interested in art, design, or music, Ghent has plenty of cool things to do for art and culture enthusiasts. Don’t miss out on exploring Ghent’s creative side during your visit to this beautiful city.
Hidden Gems: Uncovering Ghent’s Lesser-Known Treasures
If you’re looking for cool things to do in Ghent, don’t miss out on these hidden gems that are often overlooked by tourists.
1. Graffiti Street
Located in the Patershol neighborhood, Graffiti Street is a hidden alleyway covered in colorful street art. It’s a great spot for taking photos and admiring the creativity of local artists.
2. The House of Alijn
The House of Alijn is a museum that showcases the daily life of the people of Ghent in the 20th century. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past and a great way to learn about the city’s history.
3. The Beguinages
The Beguinages are a series of small, quiet courtyards that were once home to a community of religious women. They’re a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and offer a glimpse into Ghent’s spiritual past.
4. The Friday Market
The Friday Market is a bustling square that’s home to a weekly market selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. It’s a great place to mingle with locals and get a taste of everyday life in Ghent.
5. The Graslei and Korenlei
The Graslei and Korenlei are two picturesque quaysides that are lined with historic buildings and offer stunning views of the city’s skyline. They’re a great place to take a stroll and soak up the atmosphere of Ghent.
Don’t miss out on these hidden gems when looking for cool things to do in Ghent. They offer a unique perspective on the city and are sure to make your trip even more memorable.
Nightlife in Ghent: Where to Party and Unwind
Ghent is not only known for its stunning architecture and rich history, but also for its vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back bar or a lively club, Ghent has something to offer for everyone. Here are some cool things to do in Ghent at night:
Charlatan is a popular nightclub located in the heart of Ghent. It has a spacious dance floor, multiple bars, and a diverse music selection that ranges from techno to hip-hop. The club also hosts live music events and themed parties, making it a must-visit spot for party-goers.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, Trollekelder is the perfect spot. This cozy bar is located in a medieval cellar and offers a wide selection of Belgian beers. The bar also has a unique decor that includes trolls and other mythical creatures, adding to its charm.
3. Hot Club de Gand
For jazz enthusiasts, Hot Club de Gand is a must-visit spot. This intimate jazz club hosts live music performances every night, featuring both local and international artists. The club has a cozy atmosphere and a great selection of drinks, making it a perfect spot to unwind after a long day of exploring Ghent.
Vrijdagmarkt is a popular square in Ghent that transforms into a lively nightlife hub at night. The square is surrounded by bars and restaurants, making it a perfect spot for bar-hopping. The atmosphere is lively and energetic, with locals and tourists alike enjoying the cool things to do in Ghent at night.
5. Club 69
Club 69 is a popular gay club located in the city center of Ghent. It has a spacious dance floor, multiple bars, and a diverse music selection that ranges from pop to techno. The club also hosts themed parties and drag shows, making it a fun and inclusive spot for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a laid-back bar or a lively club, Ghent has something to offer for everyone. These cool things to do in Ghent at night are just a few examples of the vibrant nightlife scene in this beautiful city.
Outdoor Escapes: Green Spaces and Activities in Ghent
Ghent is a city that is full of green spaces and outdoor activities. Here are some cool things to do in Ghent for nature lovers:
1. Citadel Park
Citadel Park is a beautiful park located in the heart of Ghent. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the greenery. The park has a lake, a playground, and several walking paths. You can also visit the Museum of Fine Arts, which is located in the park.
2. Blaarmeersen Recreation Area
Blaarmeersen Recreation Area is a popular spot for outdoor activities in Ghent. It has a lake where you can swim, sail, and windsurf. There are also several walking and cycling paths, as well as a playground and a beach volleyball court.
3. Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen Nature Reserve
Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen Nature Reserve is a beautiful wetland area located on the outskirts of Ghent. It is a great place to go birdwatching and to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. There are several walking paths and observation points throughout the reserve.
4. Ghent City Farm
Ghent City Farm is a unique urban farm located in the city center. It is a great place to learn about sustainable agriculture and to see farm animals up close. You can also buy fresh produce and eggs from the farm.
5. Cycling in Ghent
Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Ghent, and there are several cycling routes throughout the city. You can rent a bike and explore the city on your own, or you can join a guided cycling tour to learn more about the city’s history and culture.
These are just a few of the cool things to do in Ghent for nature lovers. Whether you want to relax in a park or explore the city on a bike, there is something for everyone in Ghent’s great outdoors.
And there you have it, fellow travelers! My top picks for cool things to do Ghent. As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring countless cities, but Ghent truly stands out as a unique and vibrant destination. From its rich history and stunning architecture to its lively arts scene and mouthwatering cuisine, there’s no shortage of cool things to do Ghent.
As you pack your bags and prepare to create your own Suitcase Stories, I hope this guide has inspired you to dive into the many cool things to do Ghent. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art enthusiast, this charming city has something for everyone. So, don’t hesitate to add Ghent to your travel bucket list and experience all the cool things to do Ghent for yourself.
Until our next adventure, happy travels, and may your Suitcase Stories be filled with unforgettable memories and, of course, plenty of cool things to do Ghent!