This list of places to visit in Ghent, it will help you prepare a getaway to one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe, which although without the fame of its neighboring Bruges, this lively city full of students, has nothing to envy.
Known as the jewel of Flanders, Ghent stands out for its beautiful historical center in which old churches, canals, castles, bridges, museums and an endless number of medieval buildings are mixed to each one more beautiful.
Based on our trip to Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp, we have made a list of what we believe are the 10 essential places to see in Ghent. We start!
How to get to Ghent from Brussels
If you are staying in Brussels, the best option is to book the train to Ghent. You can take the train at several stations such as Bruxelles-Midi, Bruxelles-Nord or Bruxelles-Central, in the direction of Ostende. The stop where you have to get off is Gent-Sint-Pieters, the journey is 45 minutes and the price is around 10 euros. From the Ghent station you can take a tram downtown.
In case you want to get directly to Ghent from the two airports closest to Brussels, you have these alternatives:
- From Charleroi Airport take a bus to Brussels Midi station and there take a train to Ghent, with a total price of about 30 euros.
- From Brussels Airport, Zaventem, take a direct train to Ghent or with a stopover to Brussels, for a price of about 20 euros.
If you have only one day to see Ghent, a good option is to book this bus tour with a guide in Spanish or this one that also includes Bruges, considered two of the best excursions in Brussels.
For more information on the transfer you can consult this post on how to go from Brussels to Ghent.
1. Docks Graslei and Korenlei
Graslei and Korenlei, were the most important docks in the port of the ancient city of Ghent. In this area on the banks of the Lys River, of great commercial activity, during this time traditional houses were built dedicated to several guilds that have been kept intact until our times, making the streets of Graslei and Korenlei the most famous and more essential than visiting in Ghent.
The houses of Graslei or dock of herbs, is better preserved than Korenlei or dock of grains, although it is advisable to take a walk on both banks at different times of the day and at night.
2. Church of San Nicolás
The church of St. Nicholas of the thirteenth century, is another of the oldest and most important places to visit in Ghent. The construction of the church was financed by the powerful merchants' guild, since St. Nicholas is the patron of commerce and its exterior, built in blue-gray stone, stands out for its bell tower and several smaller conical towers located in the corners of church.
It is worth entering inside to see its large windows that allow to illuminate all its architectural details with natural light and to see the organ.
The best views of the Church of St. Nicholas are obtained by climbing to the nearby bell tower of Ghent, the Belfort Tower.
Visiting hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, Mondays do not open until 2pm.
To know all these jewels of the city you can follow this optimized Ghent route in one day.
Map of the 10 places to see in Ghent
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