Typically when a lot of people think of a city outside of Brussels to visit, Bruges immediately comes to mind. With it’s romantic canals, enormous Belfry and Hollywood movie stardom, it’s one on the top of the “must visit” lists of many a European visitor.
But with all this fame comes hordes of tourists, high prices and lots of cheesy gimmicks to try and get you to spend your cash. Ghent is a town located even closer to Brussels than Bruges and is still a bit of untapped awesomeness when it comes to picture postcard Belgian towns.
I included a run-down of Ghent in my 48 hours in Bruges and Ghent post a while back, but I decided to show more of what this great little known city has to offer, with typical Belgian architecture like this.
And a well stocked main shopping street, which is especially picturesque at night when it’s brightly lit with its twinkly lights.
Tracing its origins back to medieval times, Ghent is laden with a maze of waterways and canals to explore. You can meander along the banks or grab yourself a canal tour by boat.
The Three Towers of Ghent are Saint Nicolas’ Church (seen below), the Belfry and Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and provide striking reference points throughout the city. Make sure you climb the Belfry to get a great view of both churches.
You won’t see all the tacky tourist stalls in Ghent. You’ll find friendly locals, a buzz of cafes and bars catering for students and a thousand years of history to discover.
Have you been to Ghent? What was your favourite thing about the city?