10 Best Things to Do in Ghent for Canal-Side Architecture and Flemish Cuisine


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Ghent is a captivating blend of canal-side splendor and culinary delights, making it a must-visit for anyone exploring Belgium. The city’s well-preserved medieval architecture provides a picturesque backdrop to its vibrant streets, where the scents of Flemish cuisine fill the air. Whether you’re cruising down ancient waterways or indulging in local dishes, Ghent offers an enchanting escape into a world where history and modern flair meet.

Cruise the Canals of Ghent

Cruising the canals of Ghent is a fantastic way to see the city from a different perspective. As you glide past ancient buildings and under historic bridges, you’ll get a sense of how these waterways shaped the city. The peaceful boat trip offers stunning views of Ghent’s medieval architecture, making it a relaxing and picturesque experience.

Explore Gravensteen Castle

Gravensteen Castle, standing proudly in the center of Ghent, is a remarkable relic of medieval times. Once the residence of the counts of Flanders, the castle now offers a glimpse into the past with its museum displaying various medieval artifacts. Climbing the castle’s ramparts also provides visitors with a panoramic view of the cityscape.

Visit St. Bavo’s Cathedral

St. Bavo’s Cathedral is an iconic landmark in Ghent, famous for its stunning mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. It houses the renowned altarpiece, ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,’ by the brothers Van Eyck, one of the most important works of the early Northern Renaissance. This cathedral is not just a place of worship but also a treasure trove of art and history.


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Stroll Through Patershol

Strolling through Patershol, Ghent’s oldest neighborhood, feels like walking back in time. This charming district, with its narrow cobbled streets and quaint buildings, is now filled with trendy cafes and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to soak in the local atmosphere and enjoy some of the city’s best culinary offerings.

Enjoy a Meal at a Traditional Flemish Restaurant

Enjoying a meal at a traditional Flemish restaurant is essential when visiting Ghent. The city’s culinary scene is robust, featuring dishes like waterzooi, stoverij, and fresh seafood. Dining in one of these restaurants not only allows you to taste authentic Belgian flavors but also to experience the warm hospitality that Ghent is known for.

Discover the Design Museum Gent

The Design Museum Gent is a must-visit for lovers of modern and contemporary design. Its collections range from industrial and artistic designs to everyday objects that highlight innovation and style. The museum’s exhibitions are thought-provoking, showcasing how design influences our world.

Relax at the Bijloke Music Center

The Bijloke Music Center is a fantastic venue set in a beautifully renovated medieval hospital. This concert hall is known for its excellent acoustics and hosts a wide range of musical performances, from classical to contemporary. Attending a concert here offers a cultural and auditory pleasure that enhances any visit to Ghent.

Walk Along the Korenmarkt

Walking along the Korenmarkt, you can feel the pulse of Ghent. This bustling square is surrounded by historic buildings and is a central hub for both locals and tourists. It’s a great place to start your exploration of the city, with easy access to many of Ghent’s top sights and a variety of shops and cafes to enjoy.

Sample Ghent’s Famous Cuberdon

Sampling Ghent’s famous cuberdon, also known as ‘the nose,’ is a treat for the taste buds. These cone-shaped candies have a gelatinous filling and come in a variety of flavors, though the traditional raspberry remains the most popular. Finding them is easy at local markets and specialty candy shops throughout the city.

Attend the Ghent Festival

Attending the Ghent Festival, one of the largest cultural festivals in Europe, is an unforgettable experience. This annual event transforms the city into a vibrant live stage with performances spanning music, theater, and dance. The streets come alive with energy, creativity, and the spirit of celebration, making it a perfect time to experience Ghent’s dynamic cultural scene.


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