Ghent is a beautiful historical town in Belgium that manages to maintain a provincial air even though it is a thriving cosmopolitan city. Built in the Middle Ages, Ghent boasts many extraordinary historical structures such as the breathtaking Saint Nicholas' Church, a stunning example of Flemish-Gothic architecture. Do not pass up a visit to St. Bavo's Cathedral, a Roman-Baroque structure that houses an incredible collection of centuries-old art. Het Gravensteen is a fascinating castle, complete with a torture chamber,built right after the Crusades by Count Philip of Alsace. There are a number of museums to explore, including the Municipal Museum for Contemporary Art and the Museum of Folklore. You can stroll through several historic walking areas, such asKraanlei and St. Michael's Bridge, or you can take the GhentHistory Tourto see all of Old TownGhent. If you want to sample some excellent Belgian beers, take a tour of the Dulle Griet or the Gruut Stadsbrouwerij. Shoppers will truly love the Vrijdagmarkton Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, where they can peruse the wares and sample delicious foods at this flourishing street market that has been a local tradition for over 700 years.
When To Go
Since the climate is very stable, the temperatures tend to transition gradually as the seasons change, and Ghent rarely experiences extreme temperatures or sudden changes in weather. Ghent is a particularly pleasant area to visit any time of year, but spring and summer are probably the best times for travellers. Spring weather is very mild, with highs from 15-20°C (59-68°F). The flowers bloom in May, covering the city with glorious blossoms. Summer highs are around 25°C (77°F), and it is very sunny and dry from June through August. Autumn cools down to around 15-18°C (59-64°F) during the day, and the winter lows can drop to around 1°C (34°F). Rainfall is heavier from October through March, peaking in November and December when Ghent can have up to 7-10 cm (2.8-3.9 in) of precipitation.
- Comfortable stable climate
- Summer highs 25°C (77°F); winter lows 1°C (34°F)
- Dry April-September
If you are flying to Ghent, you will arrive at the Brussels Airport, which is 40 minutes away by car and a half hour by train. Belgium has an extensive railway system, which makes it the most popular transportation option for any distance. If you prefer driving, you can access Ghent via two major highways. If you are coming from Brussels, Liege, Bruges or Ostend you will take E40, and if you are coming from Antwerp, Kortrijk or Lille you will take E17. Belgium has a very dense modern highway system, so hiring a car is a good option for seeing the vicinity as well. Otherwise, you can use Ghent's excellent metro bus or tram system to get around town cheaply. Single tickets are €1.60, while a 10-trip pass is € 9.00.
- Train from Brussels
- Drive via E40 and E17
- Excellent public transit system
Ghent General Information
Inimitable Ghent is up there with the best Belgium has to offer, from Antwerp to Brugge, Brussels to Charleroi. With a population of 240,000 people (more than double that for metro Ghent) the capital of East Flanders is one of the most important hubs in the country. To outside visitors, Ghent is most famous as the host of Gentse Feesten, a massive music and theatre festival that lures over two million people to the city every July. In size and scope, the ten day event is virtually without peer in Europe, with the notable exceptions of Oktoberfest in Munich and Fallas in Valencia.
While the presence of one conspicuous attraction can detract from the rest of a city, happily, this is not the case in Ghent. The city has a ton of charm, a gorgeous historic old town and a vibrant student population. Visitors who find themselves in Ghent for a day or two should underscore points of interest like Saint Bravo Cathedral, Saint Nicholas’ Church and the exquisite Museum of Fine Arts, or voor Schone Kunsten. The best museums in Ghent however, may be the avant-garde Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (or S.M.A.K.) and stupendous Design Museum.
- Saint Bavo Cathedral
- Saint Nicholas' Church
- Museum voor Schone Kunsten
- Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst
- Gentse Feesten
- I Love Techno
- Flanders International Film Festival Ghent
- International Festival van Vlaanderen
- K.A.A. Gent football at Jules Ottenstadion
- De Foyer
- De Gekroonde Hoofden
- Marco Polo Trattoria
- Faim de Toi
- Belga Queen
- 't Galgenhuisje
- Herberg De Dulle Griet
- Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant
- Café Den Turk
Ghent has a temperate climate, with mild winters and summers.
- Winter (December to February) 2-9°C
- Spring (March to May) 5-20°C
- Summer (June to August) 12-24°C
- Fall (September to November) 5-20°C
16 hotels in Ghent,
Situated on the banks of river Lys, the Ghent Marriott Hotel blends historic treasures harmoniously with the latest fashions and trends. GeneralThe Korenlei Ballroom seats up to 200 guests for a... More
Hotel Gravensteen Ghent offers well-appointed accommodations and modern facilities in a tranquil location in Ghent. The hotel is housed in a 19th century mansion, which has been completely... More
Situated in the middle of cultural and commercial centre, the Ghent River Hotel is bound to melt into a typical charming atmosphere with a professional and personal approach. GeneralThe hotel... More
Featuring an elegant decor and comfortable accommodation, this hotel welcomes you for an unforgettable holiday in Ghent. GeneralThe hotel offers well-equipped conference rooms for organising your... More
Monasterium Poortackere Ghent Hotel offers travellers a comfortable base set in the centre of the picturesque city of Ghent in Belgium. This 1278 former nunnery places tourists within close... More
Whether you are on a family vacation, corporate travel or just looking for the perfect weekend getaway, the Novotel Ghent Centrum is the perfect destination for you, where you can benefit from the... More
Offering comfortable accommodation and convenient facilities, the NH Ghent Belfort Hotel is an ideal place to spend your relaxing vacation. GeneralThe hotel provides well equipped conference rooms... More
Elegant inside and out, Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof Ghent gives discriminating cosmopolitan travellers a well-suited base in the heart of the heritage-rich city of Ghent. This historic complex... More