Clamoring for some that classic, pretty, medieval European city feel? Of course you can name a lot like Bruges, Prague, Siena, Colmar etc. But they say that Ghent is “Europe’s best-kept secret”. These tips by our Ghent locals might just give you a taste of why.

Ghent is a city where people enjoy life: a chilled-out place where anything goes and a city that feels human. Its friendly, welcoming people love the good life. Also Ghent is well worth a weekend trip. It’s ideal for a last-minute city trip as well. Quirky Ghent offers a fascinating cultural cocktail brimming with trendy, modern urban life. 

Medieval city center: A city for night walks

Since we just mentioned Ghent by night (or light): are you a nighthawk? Then you’re in luck. After the sun sets, you’ll discover a new city. “It feels like you’re inside a fairytale”, according to local Dieter — “it really brings out the city’s medieval character”. The lighting has been specially designed to make it as atmospheric as possible, and there’s even a 2-hour-long “official” Illuminated Walk. Sounds touristy? Some things can be enjoyed by tourists and locals alike!

De Krook: Books, know-how, culture & innovation

This architectural work of art is a unique meeting place for residents, students and visitors. You can meet other people there, discover culture, enjoy a quiet drink or even try out innovations and technologies like 3D printing and virtual reality for yourself. As well as connecting people, the building links the Historic Centre with the Art Quarter. In the bend of the river Scheldt a quay promenade, Nelson Mandelapromenade, has been constructed with lots of facilities to sit and relax. The site also features moorings for pleasure yachts and taxi boats. The quays and their environment have been converted into a green area, the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Hal 16: Hotspot for foodies and beer lovers in Ghent

No lack of speciality beers in Ghent. With hundreds of bars, shops and tasting venues, this is the perfect place for beer lovers. And Hal 16 is a cosy food market where you can taste and try the food concepts linked to Dok Brewing Company’s brewery café. Try beers brewed on site, fresh from the tap. It is the ideal place to discover Belgian beer culture. You will find a selection of no less than 30 Belgian and foreign beers, all on tap.

Rond Sint-Jacobs: Attractive design and vintage area

Shopping in Ghent is wonderful. Ghent has the largest pedestrian shopping area in Belgium and a highly varied range of shops and markets, all within a stone’s throw of each other. In Ghent, you will find the big, famous clothing stores alongside authentic boutiques. And Rond Sint-Jacob is one of the most lively areas in the city. At night it is the habitat of students and party-goers; during the day it is the playground for treasure hunters. In this shopping area with pleasant streets you will find original fashion, design and vintage.

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