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  • Lena Claeys

Ghent: A guide to Belgium's most charming city

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

Ghent is the most charming city in Belgium in our opinion. Often compared to Bruges, it has beautiful buildings, 2 rivers, and an important history. During the Middle Ages, Ghent was a wealthy and prominent city-state mainly due to the manufacturing of cloth made from English wool. Today, it’s a university town and cultural hub full of amazing architecture, such as the 12th-century Gravensteen castle. From towering churches to detailed statues and peaceful canals, there are hundreds of charming views to take in here. In this article, we'll break down how to get to Ghent, everything you need to know before going there, where to eat and drink, where to stay, and the best things to do in Ghent.

Check out our video about Ghent to get a sense of what it's like there!

How to get to Ghent

The city of Ghent is located in the northwest of Belgium, at the confluence of two rivers, the Leie and the Schelde. Ghent has a perfect location. It is only 50 kilometers from Brussels, 50 kilometers from Bruges, 55 kilometers from Antwerp, and 65 kilometers from Ostend. You have the option to fly into 3 different airports when visiting Ghent.

You can fly to Brussels Airport, take a train to Brussel Central, and then another train to Gent Sint Pieters. This will only take you an hour. Book your flight with Skyscanner to get the cheapest options!

Another option is flying to Ostend-Bruges International Airport, taking a shuttle to Ostend Station, and then a direct train to Gent Sint Pieters which takes 40 minutes.

The last option is flying to Lille Airport, taking a shuttle to Lille Flandres, a train to Kortrijk, and then a train to Gent Sint Pieters. The train journey will take you an hour and 30 minutes. If you don't want to take a train from the airport you can rent a car through

Use our map below to get directions to Ghent as well as directions to the best things to do there, which we mention later in this article.

Important things to know before you go to Ghent

The best time to visit Ghent is between June and October. The weather is best from June to September, but October is the month when all the students come back to the city so the atmosphere will be amazing. In October, the weather will be less ideal but the students will be back in the city because the university has started again. This means the atmosphere in the city will be buzzing.

Flemish is the main language spoken in Ghent. It is very similar to Dutch. Most people (especially in the tourism sector) will also speak French and English.

Ghent is safe, especially in the center and during the day. In the evening, be aware of drunk people. Be cautious when going to the Brugse Poort, het Zuid, the Overpoort (if you're partying there just watch out that you don't get involved in fights), and all the parks at night.

Try and visit Ghent on the first Sunday of the month. All the stores will be open and the busses and trams will be free. The center of Ghent is not big, so you can walk everywhere. However, the station is pretty far from the center so we recommend taking the tram (line 4) which is normally €2.50/per person for one ride. It's free on the first Sunday of the month.

travel tips ghent

Where To Stay In Ghent

Budget accommodations in Ghent

Medium-priced accommodations in Ghent

Premium accommodation in Ghent

where to stay in Gent

Where to eat and drink in Ghent