The Medieval city of Ghent in Belgium

The Medieval city of Ghent in Belgium


With nearly 1400 years of history, Belgium’s town of Ghent has a lot to offer in terms of tourism.

Nowhere else you’ll find so much history per square meter in Europe like here.

Ghent indeed was a really important centre between year 1000 and year 1500 – it was even bigger than London and up to 1302 ruled by city families who were very successful in trading.

Its history was full of upsides and downsides, but despite it all, in the 19th century it became Europe’s first large industrial centre.

In 1913 it was a host of the World Exhibition.

Attractions in Ghent!

Probably the most famous landmark of this amazing city is St. Bavo’s Cathedral, where Charles V was baptized in the year 1500.

It has some really impressive art pieces, including famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck.

The Castle of the Counts

Except this cathedral, Ghent is well known for beautiful castles and fortresses, and Gravensteen – is surely among the most beautiful one in the city and the whole country, as well.

It is the castle of the Counts, with a very interesting history. The place was fortified by Arnulf I making a medieval bastion made of a central wooden building accompanied with other buildings, also made of wood.

In 11th century, wooden parts were replaced with stone. During the centuries, from a centre of a whole region, the Gravensteen lost its function of administrative center of the region.

In 1865 Belgium and the city of Gent started buying the buildings and in 1893 restorations began. The architect was Jozef De Waele and in 1907 Gravensteen once again showed itself to public.


This is the city that is perfectly combining styles from different periods of history, and the best example is the STAM – city museum of Gent – settled in the abbey from the 14th century, with monastery from the 17th century and the 21st century contemporary look.

It is a home of pieces that are giving an insight in city’s past, present and future. Interesting detail are LEGO towers.

Discover the city by boat

The best way to explore the city that is full of waterways is always by boat.

Ghent offer: De bootjes van Gent (a window to a thousand years of architecture), Gent Watertoerist (an historic round trip), Rederij De Gentenaer (inland waterways) and a “boat in Ghent” where your guide is your captain with different thematic offers of their tours.

Last one added is natural tour where you’ll find out everything about the flora and fauna of the city. There are also tours that include picnics!

A very special bridge

When we are talking about canals in here, we’ll mention bridges, but not all of them – one in particular – St Michael’s Bridge, with an amazing view of the city.

If you are wondering where to stay when you are coming to this town, our suggestion is to find a hotel anywhere close to the Patershol – the medieval center of the city.

An exhibition space – the Friary of the Calced Carmelites from early 1300s is a famous landmark of the Patershol, and this area is today among most desirable parts of the city to live in.

It’s full of restaurants and a true paradise for tourists.

Gent is a perfect choice for those who enjoy stunning looking architectural cities in Europe.

It is a place for relaxation and a place where you’ll discover hidden alleys or green spots all across the city.

Gent is astonishing, beautiful and exciting!

Getting to Gent

By air and by train – after landing in Brussels, take a train to Gent St-Pieters station.

Except Brussels’ airport, you can also land in other nearby airports such the ones in Antwerp, Ostend or Liege.

If you would like to come by car, there are two big highways: E17 (that goes from Lisbon through Paris, Ghent to Copenhagen and Stockholm) and E40 (that connects Calais, Gent with Brussels, Frankfurt, Vienna and Budapest).

Things to do in Ghent

Festivals and more from Belgum and Netherlands

Borefts Beer Festival Bodegraven, Netherlands 22 – 23 Sept. 2023

Borefts Beer Festival is a celebration of local and international fine craft beer. It takes place in beautiful Bodegraven, the Netherlands.
March 24, 2023/by Roger

Aarhus Food Festival in Denmark 1 – 3 September 2023

Good food in Denmark’s second-largest city, the Aarhus food festival, is considered the largest food festival in Denmark and Northern Europe.
March 24, 2023/by Roger
chianti wine festival, Italy

Chianti Classico Wine Festival, Italy 7 – 10 September 2023

Chianti Classico Wine Festival takes place in September every year in Greve in Chianti, Italy.
March 24, 2023/by Roger

Brussels Comic Strip Festival, 8 – 10 September 2023

For all comic strip fans, this festival in Brussels is for experts and amateurs, young and old — something for anyone curious about the art.
March 24, 2023/by Roger
DGTL Festival Amsterdam

DGTL Electronic Music Festival, Amsterdam 7 – 9 April 2023

DGTL Festival is taking place in Amsterdam over a weekend in April 2023 with great electronic music.
March 24, 2023/by Roger
Medieval Festivals and Historical-Themed events in Europe

Medieval and Historical-Themed Festivals in Europe

Here you will find some of the best historical-themed events and medieval festivals in Europe.
March 20, 2023/by Roger

Swing, Blues, Bluegrass and Jazz Festivals in Europe

Some of the most popular Blues and Jazz festivals in Europe. Also, some excellent Swing and Bluegrass Festivals.
March 20, 2023/by Roger
Fira del Vi - Wine festival in Falset, Spain

La Fira del Vi – Wine Festival in Falset, Spain 28 April – 1 May 2023

Fira del Vi is a weekend of wine tastings, fabulous food and great music. In the charming town of Falset, Spain, in April/May.
March 20, 2023/by Roger
budapest wine festival

Budapest Wine Festival, Hungary, 7 – 10 September 2023

Budapest International Wine Festival - one of Europe's most beautiful wine festivals that annually takes place in September.
March 14, 2023/by Roger
Reeperbahn festival Hamburg

Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg, Germany 20 – 23 September 2023

Reeperbahn Festival is a big music festival in Hamburg in September—one of the largest club festivals with over 600 events and 70 venues.
March 13, 2023/by Roger

Medieval Festival in Ter Apel, The Netherlands 2-3 September 2023

The Middeleeuws Festival is the most authentic medieval event in the Netherlands. Be immediately transported back to the 13th century!
March 13, 2023/by Roger

Mainz Wine Festival, Germany. 24 August – 3 September 2023

Mainz Wine Festival lets you discover the infinite lightness of the wine for two weekends in the beautiful Mainz City Park.
March 13, 2023/by Roger
Load more

Upcoming Festivals in the Netherlands

error: Content is protected !!