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
Stuttgart Wine Festival

Stuttgart Wine Festival Weindorf, 28 August – 8 September 2024

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May 10, 2024/by Roger
Pride Barcelona

Barcelona Pride Festival, 28 June – 21 July 2024

Welcome to Barcelona Pride Festival - a celebration of diversity and fight for freedom, dignity, respect and acceptance for LGBTQ+ rights.
May 10, 2024/by Roger

Gourmet Festival in Düsseldorf, 23 – 25 August 2024

Gourmet Festival Düsseldorf in August every year at the famous "Königs Alle". Good food, soft drinks, cocktails, beer, wine, and more.
March 31, 2024/by Roger
north sea jazz festival

North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam 12 – 14 July 2024

With more than 150 performances, and 16 stages. North Sea Jazz Festival focus on the past, the present and the future of jazz
March 31, 2024/by Roger
Ghent Festival - Gentse feesten

Ghent Festival – Gentse Feesten, Belgium. 19 – 28 July 2024

Ghent Festival "Gentse Feesten" is one of Europe's most prominent folk festivals and cultural events, having been running since 1843.
March 31, 2024/by Roger

Beer Passion Weekend Antwerp, Belgium, 21 – 23 June 2024

An incredible selection of 200+ Belgian beers:  fruity, heavy blond, brown, red, abbey and Trappist etc., at Beer Passion Weekend Antwerp.
March 31, 2024/by Roger

Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Denmark, 5 – 14 July 2024

During the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Copenhagen comes alive to jazz in the streets, cafes, concert halls, and open-air stages.
March 31, 2024/by Roger
Ghent Jazz Festival

Ghent Jazz Festival, Belgium 5 – 20 July 2024

Ghent Jazz Festival takes place in Ghent, Belgium, in July. It's an 11-days celebration of jazz with prominent international musicians.
March 31, 2024/by Roger
Holland Blues Festival

Holland International Blues Festival in Grolloo, 13 -15 June 2024

Holland International Blues Festival is annually held in June in Grolloo, which has a long history with blues.
March 31, 2024/by Roger
amsterdam light festival

Amsterdam Light Festival, 28 November 2024 – 19 January 2025

The Amsterdam Light Festival brightens up the winter. Over seven weeks of inspiring light artworks and beautiful installations.
March 29, 2024/by Roger

Mainz Wine Festival, Germany. 29 August – 8 September 2024

Mainz Wine Festival lets you discover the infinite lightness of the wine for two weekends in the beautiful Mainz City Park.
March 29, 2024/by Roger
Frankfurt Culture festival

Culture Festival Frankfurt, 23 – 25 August 2024

The Museum Embankment Festival in Frankfurt is one of the largest Culture Festivals globally and attracts over 3 million visitors every year
March 29, 2024/by Roger
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Upcoming Festivals in the Netherlands

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