13 Things You Must Do In Gent!
Gent is a lovely city and one which is very close to my heart...Its where my husband proposed to me 15 years ago! This vibrant city sure has romantic winds blowing through her, trust me.
Just across the border in Belgium, Gent is less than two hours drive from Amsterdam, we often check-in for a long weekend. To me it feels like a mini Amsterdam in a way; the canals, beautiful architecture, the old town, cozy squares, and gorgeous boutiques. A destination worth spending a long weekend exploring.
Hotel Tip: When we stayed in Gent last time we discovered this unique accommodation which had the X factor just in a slightly different way than one would expect; it's a monastery, and it truly tells a story.
This unusual hotel is rich in the history and special vibe department when you wander the halls or just have a coffee outside in the courtyard, there's something in the air, holy vibes perhaps? Located in the historic quarter of the city, it's quite central, lots nearby, you can rent bikes on location to explore the town. The rooms are modern and comfortable and the staff very friendly and accommodating!
For more details: https://www.booking.com/hotel/be/monasteriumportakere.en-gb.html?
13 things you must do while you're in Gent:
Visit Gravensteen ~ Castle of the Count: This is a beautiful medieval castle surrounded by the river Lieve. To me, it felt like an open-air museum. It was built in 1180 by the Count of Flanders. Walking inside the castle you'll find the Arms Museum and the Museum of Judicial Objects, weapons as well as torture devices are on display. The guillotine and Mask of Shame will make your heart skip a beat. For picture-perfect views climb to the rooftop, it is breathtaking! It's all there spread out at your feet to enjoy.
Do a canal cruise: This will offer you spectacular views as well as a different side of the city. What you see from the water is not what you see while walking on land. It will complete your experience of Gent.
Visit Sint-Bavo Cathedral
Visit the Wheat Market: It takes place in the historic square, where you can enjoy the architecture and atmosphere around you. There are many good restaurants and cafés to choose from when it's time to take a break.
Visit the iconic St. Nicholas Church: Built in Gothic style, the church dates back to the 13th century.
Taste local chocolate, it's divine! This is my favorite stop each time I visit: Leonidas chocolate & café, address: Emile Braunplein 13.
Spend an afternoon drinking local beers: In Gent, there's a wide selection of small microbreweries as well as bigger breweries with Gruut being one of the most famous. You can find over 700 different beers in one place, it's crazy!
Visit Hal 16 located in an old warehouse at the port. You will be so spoilt for choice you have no idea!
You can also take a guided tour of about 3 hours to explore the beer scene with a professional.
Visit Saint Michael's Church: This church was built of Belgian sandstone making it a sensational creation. Cross the Saint Michael's Bridge, famous for the spectacular views of the skyline. From here, you can see all three iconic towers which are illuminated in the evenings.
Enjoy a meal or afternoon drinks while taking in the views and stunning architecture on the Korenlei canal.
Visit the food hall: Located in a 16th-century Baudelo chapel also a former monastery. You can do lots of fun unique things here from customizing your own Magnum to tasting "Holy Water" gin. It's open daily from 11:00 to 23:00.
Climb the 83-meter-high Belfry tower on Sint-Baafsplein.
Stroll around to explore: Walk down adorable cobblestone side streets and alleys, each street and house here tells a unique story. During the middle ages, Gent was one of the most important cities, when walking around you can still find evidence of the rich past by looking at the architecture. For example, wander up Graslei where the houses have beautiful medieval features.
Stop by Vrijdagmarkt: It’s the oldest square in Gent, going back centuries, a market is held in this square every single Friday, and this tradition is reflected back in the name.
Have a wonderful visit! Did you find these tips helpful? Let me know!
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