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Irene Clunie, Short Break Specialist

"Ghent is a new youthful and thriving city, perfect for those looking for tradition and modernity at the same time. If you love taking a picture or two then you must visit the city’s medieval Gravensteen Castle and St Bavo’s Cathedral for the famous altarpiece. If you fancy something off the beaten track, I would recommend going to the Werregarenstraat, a street filled with graffiti, constantly changing with new designs from the local artists. This city is great for art lovers wanting to explore a more urban style of art. "

Ghent at a glance

“Belgium’s best kept secret” as Lonely planet calls it, Ghent is a port city in northwest Belgium, at the meeting point of the Leie and Scheldt rivers. Ghent was once medieval Europe’s second largest city and its pedestrianised centre is known for architecture such as Gravensteen Castle overlooking the city or St Peters Abbey, a former Benedictine Abbey now a museum and exhibition centre with a splendid garden, vineyard and ruins which becomes a green oasis in the heart of the city.

Over the past century a strong artistic bent has developed and now Ghent is one of the best places in Europe for culture and has something from every period of history, a great example of which is the STAM Ghent city museum. The 14th century abby, 17th century monastery and the new 21st century development all come together to form the museum. 

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Art and culture
  • Medieval architecture
  • Indulgent cuisine

Getting around

Getting around couldn’t be easier with six stops on the hop on hop off water tram and a comprehensive network of trams and buses. Buy your tickets in advance at the ‘Lijnwinkles’ or from a vending machine at the bus stop, or you could be really trendy and rent a retro Vespa.

Only a 45 minute train ride from Brussels, or an hour and a half from Paris Ghent makes a great twin centre destination. 

Shopping in Ghent

Shopping wise Ghent has everything from big chain stores to authentic boutiques, trendy shops to traditional ones and they are all located in the largest pedestrian shopping precinct of Flanders. If you love a market then visit in either the first or last week of June when the fair will take place in various streets in the city centre.

Dining in Ghent

Must-try local dishes:

  • Ganda ham – Depending on the size of the hams the production process can take anything from nine to fourteen months! It’s worth it though, simply delicious.
  • Ghent Waterzooi – a Belgian dish of stew, said to be the favourite dish of Charles V, Holy roman emperor, who was born in Ghent. 
  • Gruut (Beer) – Made with a mix of spices instead of the traditional hops and brewed in keeping with the ancient traditions.
  • Pralines – Ghent boasts amazing Belgian chocolate making with some of their palines coveted all the way to Japan! Try the ones with Gando ham or mustard for something really different.

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Ghent designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Ghent hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.



Important information
Population 248,739
Languages Dutch, French, Flemish
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Distance from airports
Ghent Airport 6 km
Railway stations