Ghent is a charming city in Belgium with lots of history and lots of good Belgian waffles! Located only 5 hours away from the KMC (Kaiserslautern Military Community), Ghent is the perfect destination for an overnight trip or a stop on a longer trip!
Hello & welcome back to my blog! In today’s post, I am going to be talking about our day trip to Ghent. We spent a night in Ghent on our way to the Tulip Festival in the Netherlands. Of course, I had to write a blog post on it!
Ghent has a rich medieval history, gorgeous architecture and quirky bars. This beautiful city has something for everyone!
Some fun facts about Ghent:
▷ It is Belgium’s second-largest city!
▷ Human archaeological discoveries in the city show human presence date back to the stone age
▷ In the 11c, the city was the second-largest city in Europe after Paris
▷ Ghent is the historical capital of Flanders
▷ Also, Ghent is a port city!
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A brief history of Ghent:
The city saw it’s origins way back in 630 when an abbey was built by St. Amandus. A number of historians believe that the city’s name was derived from the word ‘Ganda’ which means confluence. During the middle ages, Ghent was one of the most influential and richest cities in Europe. The architecture of the city and the decorations are a testament as to how rich this city once was.
If you didn’t already know, Belgium is divided into three provinces: Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital province. Each of these provinces has its own language. In Flanders, the Dutch language is spoken and in the Wallonia province, people speak the French language. Whereas in the Brussels-Capital province, the people speak both French and Dutch.
As a result, the word Ghent is pronounced differently all over the country and you might see signs spelling the name of the city differently.
Ghent is the English version, Gand is French and Gent is Dutch (Flemish). I thought this would be an interesting fact to know before visiting Ghent!
Cost of our stay: €70
We stayed at this lovely AirBnB minutes away from the city centre. There are thousands of AirBnB’s all over the city. Furthermore, you can find a number of hotels. Just a quick Google search and you are good to go! I literally booked our apartment in 10 minutes that’s how easy it is.
At the end of this post, there is a map with all the places mentioned in this post.
Best time to visit Ghent:
We went in April and it was hot! Needless to say, I was wearing jeans but it was still warmer than usual. However, I would recommend visiting Ghent in the Springtime rather than Summer because you are going to have to walk a lot and walking in the hot European sun is no joke. September is also a good time to visit Belgium in general. If you are wanting a winter vacation, November – January is where it’s at. You might also encounter some snow!
We didn’t make use of public transportation this time because we drove from our apartment to the centre and walked everywhere. However, from my experience in Brussels, I can tell you that the public transportation system in Belgium is phenomenal. Click here for more information. Belgium also has a national transport app called ‘SNCB’. I believe it is only for trains but it is worth checking out nonetheless!
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What to do & see in Ghent:
✼ Castle of the Count aka Gravensteen:
Address: Sint-Veerleplein 11, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Cost: €10 per person
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm
Official website: click here
A weekend trip to Ghent is not complete without visiting Castle of the Count. This was high on my list before going to Ghent. I am a huge castle lover & this castle looked too beautiful to miss. This castle was built by Count Philip of Alsace and it was a symbol of his wealth and power. This majestic fortress sets you back in time back to the Roman conquest!
Basically, the Count wanted everyone to know that he was the boss.
You can go inside the castle and I highly recommend you doing so! While it is stunning to look at from the outside, when you go in, you can see the torture rooms and the painting and artefacts that still survive up to this day!
You can purchase your tickets here or at the gate before going inside the castle. The cost is €10 per person and you also have the option to have an interactive tour with your own headphones.
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We went up to the roof of the castle and snapped some pictures there! You could see the view of Ghent from there. It was really pretty!
✼ Eat Belgian Waffles:
Address: Groentenmarkt 17, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Cost: €5-10 per person
Official website: click here
You can not go to Belgium and not have waffles! The Belgians are known for a) their waffles b) their fries with mayo and c) their chocolate. We stopped by Salon do Chocolat for our waffle. It was really delicious and inexpensive!
✼ Stop by Saint Nicholas’ Church:
Address: Cataloniestraat, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Opening hours: Generally from 10 am – 17 pm. However, sometimes times vary so consult with the website before you go!
Official website: click here
The Church of Saint Nicholas is one of the oldest in Ghent. This building dates back to the 13th century and it still stands as grand and as beautiful today! We didn’t go inside, however, from my research, I found that the organs inside this church are the most important and prominent in Belgium. The Church is built in Gothic style and it is one of the most prominent landmarks in Ghent. And rightfully so!
There are other Cathedrals dotted all over Ghent. The most notables one is Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. I recommend adding it to your list of things to see in Ghent!
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✼ Take a river cruise:
We didn’t have time to do this but when we walked by, we saw a number of boats carrying tourists down the river! I really wish we had time because it looked super fun and relaxing. Maybe we’ll do a Rhine River cruise someday! Click here for more information about river cruises.
✼ Walk around the city’s pretty streets:
One thing I love about European cities (and that I’ll miss a lot when we leave 😭) is the old, medieval vibe that some of the cities still have! Ghent is certainly one of them. The streets are narrow and even the buildings retained some of their original features. I especially love this characteristic that European cities have.
click on the arrows to see the images.
⇢ Het Belfort Van Gent
⇢ Spend the day drinking Belgian beer.
And that brings an end to this post! I am going to start including lifestyle and blogging tips posts starting this week! Subscribe to my Newsletter so you can get notified when I publish a new post. Also, as always, feel free to follow me on my social media. Everything is linked below! Until the next one!
Yours Truly, Rebecca.