Ghent or Gand (French) or Gent (Dutch), in the Flemish part of Belgium, is one of the biggest cities in the country. With its historic buildings, beautiful picturesque canals, and with cute little Dutch houses, its easy to see why so many flock to the city.
Everyone that I have spoken about places to visit in Belgium, all mention Ghent and it seems to be most people’s favourite city. They all mention different things that they love about the city. Well, here’s 5 reasons why I love it.
1. It’s super easy to get around
First off, its very easy to get there. By car, its only 45mins from Brussels. By train, it’s only 30mins from either Brussels or Bruges.
Once you’ve arrived, it’s pretty straightforward to get around. There is no metro, the city centre is walk-able and they have an efficient tram and bus network. Of course, the best way to see all the historic buildings is by walking around to see its charming canals and irresistible chocolate shops on every corner.
2. It feels very Dutch
Whether it’s the stunning facades of the colourful narrow buildings dating back to the 1600s or the canals, there are many little aspects that add the right amount of charm to the city. All the houses and buildings are all different and have their own unique personality.
3. There’s always somewhere new to see
So far, we’ve visited Ghent twice. Recently we went for some shopping and a change from Brussels. Some how we came across a part that we hadn’t been to before. A cute square with market stalls in the middle, and bars around the edge – with many people soaking up the spring sunshine.
4. They have a great food scene
One place we found was the Holy Food Market. An old 16th century Chapel, turned into an indoor market with fifteen international food stalls – Russian, Italian, Belgian, Portuguese, Lebanese and Malaysian to name a few. We passed this recently and decided to try it out. Great atmosphere inside, with amazing food. Definitely worth a visit – but be prepared to wait for a table. It’s only been open a year, and is still really popular.
5. Beautiful views all round
When in Ghent, the beautiful Belfry is a must see. The 700-year-old Belfort, is one of the three towers that symbolize Ghent. It is next to Sint Baafskathedraal Cathedral and Sint-Niklaaskerk. From the top, you can get amazing views of the whole city. Take care on the very narrow, winding stairs.
So those are my top 5 reasons to visit Ghent. There always seems to be more to see in this growing city and I’m certain I’ll be back again soon.
Have you been to Ghent? What are your favourite things about the city? Let me know in the comments below.