Top 5 Things to Do in Ghent, Belgium

Ghent Belgium Top 5 Things to Do

Ghent is one of the largest medieval cities in Europe and one of its best-kept secrets. It is one of my favorite places to visit in Belgium and I never get tired of roaming the incredible streets. If you have the ability to stay for a while, I would hang out for at least two days. Here are the top five things you must do when visiting Ghent.

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Gravensteen

Gravensteen Ghent Belgium

One of the most breathtaking sights in the town is Gravensteen. This 12th-century castle was built for the count of Flanders. The castle has been wonderfully restored to its former glory after operating for a time as a cotton mill. Learn about the building’s sorted history and the torture that occurred within its gates. There is even a section of the castle that was designed for torture and a guillotine is located in the open yard.

Address: Sint-Veerleplein 11, 9000 Gent, Belgium

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: 13-18 years old is 7 euros / Age 18+ is 12 euros

St Baafskathedraal

At St. Baafskathedraal you can admire the famous Ghent Altarpiece, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. If you have watched the movie, Monuments Men, then you will recognize this painting. It is thought to be one of the world’s earliest oil paintings. Make a reservation as early as possible to see the painting. While the church itself is free and open to all, the altarpiece requires reservations and tickets.

Address: Sint-Baafsplein, 9000 Gent, Belgium

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Belfort van Ghent

Belfort van Ghent

Check out the dragons atop the Belfort van Ghent. 

The structure dates to the 14th century and has a dragon that sits atop the tower in weathervane form. 

There is an exhibition of bell-making inside, but most visitors come to climb the steps to the top of the tower to take in the view over the city. 

Until 1402, the city’s secrets were kept inside, and watchmen were stationed around the top of the tower to be on the lookout for fires until 1869.


Address: Sint-Baafsplein, 9000 Gent, Belgium

1898 The Post - The Cobbler Bar

1898 The Post Bar

Grab a craft cocktail at the 1898 The Post’s famous bar, the Cobbler. My favorite drink that the bartenders have created is JO1. Snacks are also available and delicious. 

Grab a spot near the windows for an incredible view of the bridge, canal, and iconic buildings. I really enjoyed this experience as it was nearing sunset.

Address: Graslei 16, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Ghent Canal Boat Tour

Ghent Canal Tours

Hop aboard a boat and enjoy the city sights from the water! A “hop-on, hop-off” water tram takes visitors around the city via the waterway.

There are six stops, so it is a great way to see the city and a creative way to get around to various sights.

You can find more information here.

As I mentioned earlier, while Ghent is home to some great sightseeing, there is plenty to do otherwise! No matter what time of the year you visit, Ghent is home to so many beautiful sights, incredibly delicious food, and lovely local people.

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Kristal Ham

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