If you haven’t heard about this intriguing city, then you are not alone. Ghent is probably one of Belgium’s most underrated cities, and it’s also one of the most aesthetically beautiful. Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, they might be impressive, but as far as we're concerned, they don’t have anything on Ghent.
One of the best ways to see the city is by boat. The canal cruise is also very well priced at only 7 EUR a ticket. You can simply show up on a sunny day and purchase your ticket from any of the companies located along the water. You will also have a guide accompanying you on the tour, giving you insight into the history of the city.
Gravensteen, also known as the “Castle of the Counts,” is another must-do activity to add to your list. At only 10 EUR entrance fee, you can’t really miss out on this. Dating back to 1180, this incredible structure now houses the Arms Museum and the Museum of Judicial Objects. Fascinating items include the guillotine and “Mask of Shame, they also have a 360 degree rooftop view of the city.
Try The Local Beer
Another thing that you should certainly do, is try the local belgian beer. There are thousands of beers to try in this little country that is renowned for their beer. Our favourites are the Ter Dolen Kriek (cherry beer) Delirum, and Roquefort 10. Be warned alcohol content in Belgian beer is exceptionally high and is only served in halves. It can range anywhere between 5% and 14%.
Graslei & Korenlei
You should also make your way over to Graslei & Korenlei, which translates to Grass Quay and Corn Quay. This is one of the most picturesque areas of the city and lies at the heart of Ghent. The quays stretch along the Leie river with Graslei and its medieval buildings on the right bank and Korenlei to the left. This area is surrounded by many cute little cafes and restaurants and is a great place to enjoy a cocktail or maybe a morning coffee. You can get some great photos here that really capture the essence of Ghent.
What to eat in Ghent
Where do we even start? Well, Chocolate, waffles, and crisp fries with mayonnaise – you can’t leave Belgium without trying these Belgian classics. Ghent is the place to be for a good time and great food. So really there is no better place to be in Belgium when it comes to stimulating your appetite.
Waffles are a Belgian classic, but make sure that you get the real deal. You can obviously get waffles just about anywhere in the world but nowhere does it quite like the Flemish. The traditional belgian waffle is nothing like the calorie-laden version served with gallons of syrup in the rest of the world. Instead, in Belgium, the waffle itself is the treat, because it is so well made.
The crisp fries, often served with mayonnaise is another Belgium classic. Also known as pomme frites and Belgian fries, a similar version, is the french fries which, of course, are found all over the world. But again, nobody does it quite like the Flemish. The trick to belgian fries is actually very simple; they are double-fried. First they go through the cooking process, then they need to cool down and finally, just before serving, they are fried again to make them crispy and golden brown. The correct type of potatoes and choice of frying oil is also very important. Sounds tasty doesn’t it? That’s because it is. You will never want to eat McDonalds french fries again.
Lastly is the Belgian chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate right? Well, if you happen to be part of the worlds minority population that isn’t a fan, Belgium will probably change your mind. Once again, another thing that this tiny little country does better. Once you’ve tasted the Belgian chocolate, you will feel really cheated by your favourite, regular supermarket version. One of the best chocolate shops to check out on your Ghent getaway is Neuhaus. This is one of those rare local chocolatiers still making its wares in Belgium.