Things to do in Ghent + UNESCO sites

Ghent is the fourth biggest city in Belgium.  Things to do in Ghent include;

  • Downtown Ghent, Korenmarkt City Square and Canals
  • Gravensteen
  • Belfry of Ghent
  • St Bavo’s Cathedral
  • Saint Michael’s Church
  • Canals of Ghent
  • Saint Nicholas’ Church

Prices for hotels in Ghent are reasonable, good luck finding a deal!

Korenmarkt City

Things to do in Ghent - Korenmarkt City Square

The historic center of Ghent is spread around the Korenmarkt which is the central square.  As with all Belgian cities, you’ll see lots of beautifully colored buildings surrounding the central square.  The good news about this city is that you can walk to all the things to do in Ghent from the Korenmarkt.  Historically, Ghent was the second biggest city in Europe during Medieval times.


Things to do in Ghent - Gravensteen

Gravensteen is a Medieval Castle and also the iconic landmark of Ghent.  It was built in the 12th century and has a very interesting history.  In the past 900 years, Gravensteen has even been used as a prison.  Today, it’s a tourist attraction with a museum.  Check the Gravesteen webpage for the latest events.

Belfry of Ghent

Things to do in Ghent - Belfry of Ghent

The Belfry of Ghent is 91 meters tall, as a result, it’s the tallest tower in Belgium.  In addition, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site.  It’s possible to ascend the Belfry for an aerial view of Ghent.

St Bavo’s Cathedral

Things to do in Ghent - Saint Bavo's Cathedral

St Bavo’s Cathedral has the second tallest tower in Belgium after the Belfry of Ghent.  As a matter of fact, it’s 89 meters tall which makes it just 2 meters shorter than the adjacent belfry.  Be sure to enter the Saint Bavo’s and view the majestic interior.

Saint Michael’s Church

Things to do in Ghent - Sint-Michielskerk

Saint Michael’s is a Gothic church which dates back to the 12th century, however, the Gothic elements were built in the 15th-16th centuries.  With the river passing by, the church as well as the colorful houses are very picturesque.

Belgian Waffles

Things to do in Ghent - Belgian waffles and hot chocolate at Chocolato Cafe

No doubt you’ll enjoy many €2-€3 waffle shop waffles during your time in Belgium.  Comparatively, you may decide to try an expensive waffle in a restaurant.  The waffle will come with melted Belgian milk chocolate which you can pour on as you wish.  I chose Chocolato cafe which is opposite Saint Michael’s church to enjoy my Belgian waffle indulgence.

Saint Nicholas’ Church

Things to do in Ghent - Saint Nicholas' Church

The Ghent skyline is made up of 3 Gothic towers.  I’ve mentioned the Belfry as well as St Bavo’s cathedral.  The other tower of this trio is that of the Saint Nicolas’ Church.  If you enjoy photographing Gothic architecture you’ll be in for a treat in this city!

Canals of Ghent

Things to do in Ghent - Canals Ghent

The River Leie runs through Ghent as well as many canals which gives countless opportunities for reflection photography.  I was there on a cloudy, rainy day but still managed to capture some perfect reflection images.  At night there are more opportunities for reflection photography with the lights reflecting in the still water.  Finally, if you explore the small streets which are alongside the canals you’ll be rewarded with some fantastic photo opportunities.

How to get from Ghent to Bruges

How to get from Ghent to Bruges - Train from Ghent to Bruges, 30 minutes, €7

Trains pass regularly between Ghent and Bruges.  The journey is less than 30 minutes and costs around €7.  I recommend walking from the historic downtown of Ghent to the train station to burn off all the extra calories gained from eating Belgian waffles.  Alternatively, you can take the tram.

Bruges to Rotterdam

2019-01-01T10:35:52+00:00March 1st, 2017|Belgium, Western Europe|27 Comments


  1. Mel March 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Nice to hear there are some reasonable accommodations. I think of Belgium as so expensive. The waffle looks good, as you would expect ;). I love the colorful houses along the canals — so pretty. I wish we had more colorful houses in the US.

  2. Rhiannont March 5, 2017 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    €14 for a waffle – are you mad?! I’d expect it to be made of gold for that price! But no, in all seriousness I did once splash out on an €8 waffle in Belgium so yeah, I can totally see why you would!
    When I visited Belgium a few years back we only had time to go to one city/town and chose Bruges over Brussels and Ghent. I really need to head back and check out what I missed!

    • James Smith March 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      The €14 included the hot chocolate and tip so it was probably an €8 waffle like yours.

  3. Reebex March 5, 2017 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    You had me at the waffles… maybe not at that price, but when in Rome it’s nice to splash out from time to time.

    I had no idea Ghent was so beautiful! It’s going on the list!

    Thank for sharing

  4. FS Page March 6, 2017 at 3:26 am - Reply

    Good to know Ghent. I didnt know any other city except Venice who had such canals running through it. Reflection photography looks so wonderful and i would love to photograph here. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Cliodhna Ryan March 6, 2017 at 4:32 am - Reply

    Ghent looks like a beautiful city. I’ve only been to Brussels but while I was there I definitely overindulged on waffles. I’d love to try those ones, definitely worth the extra money! I love the photos of the buildings reflecting on the water as well.

  6. carlinn meyer March 6, 2017 at 5:37 am - Reply

    OMW those waffles look insanely good. Its breakfast time now and I wouldn’t mind having some of those to start my day off on a sweet note 😛 I have never heard of Ghent but it looks great 🙂

  7. Lauren March 6, 2017 at 6:38 am - Reply

    Ghent looks awesome! I went to Bruges when I was in Belgium and it was beautiful, despite it was raining and the guy at the Frites stand says to me, “welcome to Belgium”

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. joanna March 6, 2017 at 9:59 am - Reply

    hahah I had Belgian waffles yesterday! Can’t wait to visit Belgium again. Ghent is worth visiting just for the waffles 😛

  9. Paulina March 6, 2017 at 11:14 am - Reply

    These are my favorite Belgian cities. Both are so beautiful. Although I think I prefer Bruges! 🙂

  10. Kristine March 6, 2017 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this! I’m planning to visit Ghent in May – and I can’t wait! I love visiting Belgium. Have previously been to Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp, and Ghent and Liège are the next two cities I’d love to visit. The city looks lovely…and who doesn’t like Belgian waffles and chocolate 🙂

  11. Allison March 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    I loved Bruges when I was there many years ago but never made it to Ghent. I’m sorry I missed it know. I love that the city is walkable as I really need to get my steps up! I would definitely splurge on the more expensive waffle and I love a hot chocolate made with all milk.

  12. Nico March 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Well! Thanks for talking about my country with such nice words! Indeed Ghent is a gem and we are the best in making waffles for sure. Though we also brew the best beers in the world! Thanks

  13. Fred March 7, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Whenever i think that my list has enough cities to visit in Europe then someone give me one more. you do it the same in this post. this city looks amazing. perfect city which looks so calm and peaceful. i love the architecture.

  14. Sonal March 8, 2017 at 4:56 am - Reply

    How cute is Belgium! I love the picture where the houses are reflected perfectly well in water. So pretty!

  15. Swati March 8, 2017 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Belgium is so picturesque. We will be heading there soon.

    Would love to try the famous waffles in Belgium, Btw your train fare was way too cheaper than waffles with Belgian milk chocolate 🙂

  16. Bruce Schinkel March 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    I love the history and architecture in Ghent! This is definitely somewhere I could get lost with my camera for a couple of days

  17. Archana March 8, 2017 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    love your pictures. I had been to this place but never discovered the way you shared. Maybe next time 🙂

  18. Kellyn March 9, 2017 at 3:07 am - Reply

    You had me with the Belgian Waffles. Loved the travel tips, this is such a useful blog post. I never realized how beautiful the city of Ghent was. I’ll definitely have to make a stop there next year.

  19. Perry March 9, 2017 at 11:23 am - Reply

    We went to Antwerp and Bruges while in Brussels, but had to skip Ghent. Your post reminds me that we have to go here, sometime. Such a scenic town.

  20. Mohit Agarwal March 10, 2017 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Your images are so great that i am lost in them …….love your style of photography

  21. neha March 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    From what I read here, I am already starting to like Ghent. First of all the delicious waffles. Then the fact that you can walk almost everywhere in the city, no need to worry about transport. When I head to belgium, I will definitely make plans to visit here

  22. Raghav March 10, 2017 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I go to Belgium on work quite a lot but both Ghent and Bruges have been off my radar for one reason or another. I made a mental promise to visit Ghent the next time I was in the country, so this helps in planning for that. Thanks for the wonderful photos as well.

  23. Christina March 10, 2017 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    You had me at Belgium waffles and chocolate. I am definitely bookmarking this to keep those waffle and chocolate recommendations. It blows my mind how inexpensive good food can cost in Europe. Ghent, Belgium looks as beautiful as Amsterdam with their buildings and canal yet I can see the differences. I never had Ghent on my travel list until now. Thank you and great post!

  24. Agnes March 11, 2017 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    As a hobby photographer, I would really enjoy practicing my skill there. The canals reminded me a little of Amsterdam but with a lot wider houses on top. Nice reflection photo as well!

  25. Tony March 12, 2017 at 2:48 am - Reply

    I love waffles and you can’t do better than in Belgium! I didn’t get much time to explore this beautiful country but would love to go back there. The church sounds like something I’d love to explore being such an historic building of the 12th century.

  26. Vera March 12, 2017 at 4:19 am - Reply

    Ghent looks like a great place to visit although I heard everything shuts down really early there. We didnt get a chance to make it to Belgium yet.

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