The Top Attractions in Ghent: Must-Visit Sights for First-Time Visitor

Ghent, a city located in the Flemish region of Belgium, is often overlooked in favor of more popular destinations like Brussels and Bruges. However, Ghent is a hidden gem that boasts a unique blend of medieval architecture, modern art, and a lively student culture. For first-time visitors to the city, there are several must-visit sights that offer a glimpse into Ghent’s rich history and contemporary charm. In this blog post, we will explore the top attractions in Ghent that you cannot miss.

Gravensteen Castle

Gravensteen Castle is one of Ghent’s most famous landmarks and a must-visit attraction for first-time visitors. The castle was built in the 12th century and served as the residence of the Counts of Flanders until the 14th century. Today, Gravensteen Castle is open to the public, and visitors can explore the castle’s impressive architecture, including its ramparts, towers, and moat. Inside, there are several exhibits that showcase the castle’s history, including an impressive collection of medieval weapons and armor. For a small fee, visitors can also take a guided tour of the castle and learn more about its fascinating history.

Gravensteen Castel, wall

Saint Bavo’s Cathedral

Saint Bavo’s Cathedral is another must-visit attraction in Ghent, particularly for those interested in art and architecture. The cathedral was built in the 14th century and is home to several impressive works of art, including the famous Ghent Altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers. This masterpiece is considered one of the most significant works of art from the Northern Renaissance and is a must-see for art enthusiasts. Visitors can also explore the cathedral’s impressive Gothic architecture and learn about the cathedral’s history through the various exhibits on display.

Saint Bavo's Cathedral, sunrise

River Leie

Graslei and Korenlei are two quays located along the river Leie and are some of Ghent’s most picturesque and historic locations. The quays are lined with beautiful, colorful buildings, many of which date back to the Middle Ages. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the quays, admire the architecture, and enjoy the views of the river. There are also several cafes and restaurants along the quays where visitors can stop for a drink or a bite to eat.

Saint Nicholas’ Church

Saint Nicholas’ Church is another impressive example of Gothic architecture in Ghent and a must-visit attraction for first-time visitors. The church was built in the 13th century and is located in the heart of the city’s historic center. The church’s impressive tower dominates the city’s skyline and offers stunning views of the city from the top. Visitors can explore the church’s interior and admire its beautiful stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and ornate decorations.

Saint Nicholas' Church
from bridge

The Belfry and Cloth Hall

The Belfry and Cloth Hall are two iconic landmarks located in the heart of Ghent’s historic center. The Belfry is a medieval tower that dates back to the 14th century and offers visitors stunning views of the city from the top. The Cloth Hall, located adjacent to the Belfry, was once the center of the city’s thriving textile industry and is now home to several exhibitions that showcase Ghent’s history and culture.

drone image of belfry and Cathedral of Ghent

More image of Ghent

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