Hundreds of years old buildings, incredibly well preserved, take a tourist coming to Ghent, Belgium, far into the Middle Ages.
Located in the Flemish-speaking north of Belgium, Ghent is a charming city of just over 200,000 inhabitants. Medieval buildings, streets steeped in history and a relaxed atmosphere take a traveler to another world hundreds of years ago.
Historic backdrop and vibrant urban culture combine in Ghent in a charming way. Despite its medieval exterior, Ghent is a modern city that offers a lot to see and do for the traveler interested in today.
Part of the charm of Ghent is explained by the fact that the city is not nearly as well known among tourists as, for example, the neighboring Bruges. The main attractions are the Cathedral of Saint Bavo with its altarpieces and the bell tower next to the cathedral, Gravensteen Castle and the architecturally magnificent medieval harbor area of Graslein and Koornlein.
Summer weekend destination
Ghent is a relatively small town, so a couple of days or a weekend is really good enough to see all the sights. It is also easy to take a day trip to Ghent, for example from Brussels or Antwerp.
Ghent has a typical climate in Western Europe, with warm summers and mild winters. Rainfall is steady throughout the year. In summer the temperatures vary by + 20 degrees on both sides and in winter it is close to zero. The best time to travel to Ghent is due to the weather in the summer, but Ghent is also well-suited as a year-round travel destination.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN GHENT
Half an hour from Brussels to Ghent
There is no airport in Ghent, so the most convenient way to travel to the city is to fly to Brussels first and continue from there by train to your destination. You can get flights to Brussels very cheap and several different airlines fly to the city. The train journey from Brussels to Ghent takes only half an hour and there is a direct train connection from Zaventem Airport to Ghent.
Renting a car can also be a good option, especially if you want to tour Belgium more widely. By car from Brussels to Ghent you can drive in less than an hour.
Walking is accessible everywhere
Ghent offers accommodation in all price ranges. Most options can be found in traditional hotels, but bed and breakfast accommodation is also well available. There are a few hostels. The price level is approximately the same as in Finland.
In Ghent, all you need to move is your own feet. The town is so small that you can get everywhere on foot. However, Ghent has a well-functioning bus and tram network and renting a bicycle is also a good option. Much of the city center has pedestrian streets, so you can’t drive anywhere near your own car.
SIGHTS OF GHENT
Treasures of Saint Bavo Cathedral
Saint Bavo Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches in Belgium. The cathedral rises in the middle of the center of Ghent and its tower offers stunning views over the city.
Inside the Cathedral of Saint Bavo you will find the famous altarpiece painted by the Van Eyck brothers in 1432, which is considered one of the finest paintings of the Middle Ages. There are also many other art treasures in the cathedral.
Outside the cathedral rises a bell tower built in the 14th century, which is an absolute landmark of Ghent alongside the cathedral. You can visit the tower for a few euros.
Gravenste, or the Castle of the Counts, rises on the banks of the river under the protection of the walls. The castle was originally built as a residence for the Counts and Ghent Castle is one of the few nearly intact castles built almost a thousand years ago.
Gravensteen Castle is a fascinating place to explore for the whole family and you can really feel the medieval atmosphere in the castle. The castle also hosts events where visitors get to follow real medieval life performed by real people. The entrance fee to the castle is some euros.
Graslein and Koorlein – the most beautiful streets
The promenades of Graslein and Koorlein are the most beautiful in Ghent. They are bordered by well-preserved medieval buildings that are more magnificent in architecture. Everyone also has their own special story to tell.
The streets are popular places to hang out with their many restaurants and cafés. The Graslein and Koorlein area is an absolute stopover in Ghent and the atmosphere is hospitable, authentic and relaxed, especially in summer.