Located at the point where River Lys Meets River Scheldt, Ghent is a Belgian City whose history, stretches back to the middle ages. Actually, archeological evidence suggests that there was civilization in the area that is today occupied by the city of Ghent as far back as in the iron age, and perhaps even in the stone age. Ghent is, however, not just a historical city: it is a living city, hosting almost a quarter of a million people, with a thriving port and a major university, among other things. Ghent seems to have managed to modernize while also at the same time preserving its rich history.
Getting around Ghent
Most people travel around Ghent either by light rail (trams) or by bus. There are also trains linking the city of Ghent with other neighboring areas, whilst also connecting the city’s central business district with the outlying areas of its metropolis.
Ghent’s bus and tram services are operated on ‘lines’: with the tram service having 5 lines, while the city bus service also has 5 lines. In the Ghent Municipality area, there are a total of 5 railway stations. Some of these have passenger train services on very regular intervals while others have relatively fewer services, apparently depending on demand on the respective routes.
Getting a taxi in Ghent shouldn’t be too hard. Ghent taxis are, however, generally not very cheap.
An interesting way to get around Ghent is by cycling. Like most other European cities, Ghent has gone to great lengths to encourage its residents and long-term visitors to use bicycles. It has gone as far as developing a model ‘cycle street’ where ‘right of way’ is granted to bicycles.
With its remarkably well developed transport infrastructure, getting around Ghent is never a real challenge: regardless of the part of the city you find yourself in.
Things to do and see in Ghent
One of the most interesting things about Ghent as an historical city is the fact that it is a living historical city. That may sound like a contradiction, but it is true: meaning that the city’s historical area is one where people still go about their businesses in a more or less ordinary way.
Among the most interesting things to see in Ghent are its historical buildings. You just have to marvel at the grandeur of Ghent’s Belfry, as well as the city’s altarpiece, which is part of the Ghent’s Saint Bavo Cathedral. You just need to pay a visit to Ghent’s Old Graslei Harbor, to see most of these marvels.
Ghent’s museums are also remarkably interesting, and as a museum lover, it would really be a big pity if you left Ghent without at least paying a visit to the city’s Museum of Fine Arts and the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art where you can find the works of some of the most remarkably artists on display. Some of these are works you may never see elsewhere.
Ghent’s cultural festivals tend to be major tourists attractions in their own right. If, for instance, you happen to be in the city when the Ghent Festival is held, you will definitely find yourself being awed by its sheer size and energy.
You may also want to sample the world famous Belgian cuisine in one of Ghent’s restaurants. Those who have tried it say that it is just amazing.
The Ghent City Center is a tourist attraction in its own right and has much more to offer besides the out-of-this-world architecture. To take in as much of it as possible, you can take one of the famous ‘Ghent History Tours.’
While in Ghent, you may also be tempted to make a visit to the Sphinx Cinema (if you are a cinema lover), or the city’s Studio Skoop. If you are an adventure lover, you may decide to make a visit to the city’s La Mosca or to Pretland Ghent.