Ghent doesn't ooze with cobbles and charm; this is a living city, with an urban grittiness, with a welcome splash of creative hipster funkiness. Explore its historic quarter, ogle the Van Eyck altarpiece in its massive cathedral, tour its impressive art and design museums, stroll its picturesque embankments, bask in its finely decorated historic gables, and prowl its newly revitalized Patershol restaurant quarter. Ghent is the kind of town that you visit for a few hours…and find yourself wishing you had a few days.
At a Glance
▲▲ St. Bavo's Cathedral and Ghent Altarpiece Main church housing treasures by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan van Eyck.
▲ Castle of the Counts Restored fortress with typical castle ramparts, a dungeon, and good tower views.
▲ Ghent Design Museum Enjoyable display of Belgian design from the 17th to 21st century
▲ Fine Arts Museum Accessible collection of Northern European art.
▲ Ghent City Museum High-tech museum tracing the city's history through multimedia exhibits and historic artifacts.
Church of St. Nicholas Medieval merchants' church dedicated to their patron saint.
Belfry Landmark 14th-century tower topped by a copper dragon.
House of Alijn Knickknacks and re-created scenes of domestic Belgium life.
Stedelijk Contemporary Art Museum Rotating exhibits of cutting-edge European art.