Travel Spotlight

Indagare Guide: Ghent Day Trip

While based in Bruges, take a day trip (30 minutes by direct train or 45 minutes by car) to also experience the charms of Ghent, a medieval city known as the “Gem of Flanders.” Below, discover our tips for where to stay, eat, shop and explore:

  • STAY: Pillows is considered to be the top hotel in the city.
  • EAT: Groot Vleeshuis, a popular food hall in Ghent, is currently closed for refurbishment but is a great stop for lunch.
  • EAT: Frituur Bij Filip is one of Ghent’s top frites shops both because the fries are good and because it is very conveniently located behind Groot Vleeshuis. You can often expect a line here.
  • DRINK: Gruut Brewery is the city’s main brewery. They offer a flight for just 11 euros, and they also do beer brewing.
  • DRINK: Tavern Dulle Greit is a famed café serving hundreds of beers.
  • SHOP: For local goods, visit the street whose name shifts from Sluizeken to Oudberg to Kraanlei.
  • SHOP: Antiek-Depot is an eclectic two-level antique depot with a completely random assortment of toys, glassware, lighting, games, and mid-century furniture. There is a small bar and cafe on the ground floor in case you need a break during your search.
  • SHOP: Vrijdagmarkt, the Friday market, which has been operating since the 12th century.
  • EXPLORE: St. Bavo’s Cathedral is famous for housing the art piece “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,” which is perhaps the most famous, and certainly the most stolen masterpiece of medieval art. It’s an assemblage of 12 wooden panels. There is also a virtual reality experience there that is highly recommended. The abbey is also worth visiting.
  • EXPLORE: Top city sites include St. Michael’s Bridge, the Belfry of Ghent (the tallest belfry in Belgium) and St. Nicholas Church.
  • EXPLORE: Walk along Graslei and Korenlei—these quays stretch along the river, lined by lots of beautiful medieval buildings.
  • EXPLORE: Graffiti Alley—a quick detour from any of your major touring stops, Graffiti Alley is unique.
  • EXPLORE: Castle of the Gerald Devil is a 13th-century fortress.
  • EXPLORE: Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts) is also home to an Arms Museum and the Museum of Judicial Objects. It's very quirky, but has a fun audio guide.
  • EXPLORE: Other favorites included — Visit the medieval Patershol neighborhood; the Design Museum of Ghent; the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK); S.M.A.K., the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art; and taking a canal cruise.

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