Earlier this year I was introduced to the delights of this beautiful Belgian destination by my husband who has been several times on cycling trips. I loved it so much that we had to squeeze in another trip, this time as a family! Situated a little further inland than Bruges this intimate but vibrant city has a lovely, homely atmosphere. There’s loads going on but at the same time it doesn’t feel like you’re in a really touristy destination. We’ve visited both as a couple and a family and there’s something for everyone. In fact it would make a great destination for a romantic city break.
We go via the Channel Tunnel so it takes a couple of hours to drive down to Kent (depending on the traffic) and then once in Calais takes about an hour and a half to get there so door to door it’s about 4 hours which is bonkers when you think how close it is!
We stay in the beautiful Marriott Hotel which is situated right on the river front so within minutes you’re in the heart of the city. Ghent is famous for it’s amazing Gothic architecture so don’t forget your camera. I recommend a visit to the STAM which is the museum of Ghent and at the moment they have a really interesting exhibition where you can walk on aerial photographs of the city which have been laid into a special floor. It feels like you’re flying over the city!
You can also visit the Castle and a number of the churches and cathedrals. I can also recommend going on a boat trip down the river where you get a tour of the city from the water. Shopping is great and they have all the major high street stores and Ghent is a very wealthy and cosmopolitan city so there a number of beautiful boutiques situated down the Onderburgen Street if you’re looking for something a little more high end.
There’s a good selection of restaurants catering for all tastes and some great little coffee shops. If you are into chocolate (who isn’t) I can recommend you pick up something from Daskèlides. The Belgians love their beer and take great pride in serving it correctly which means in a proper glass that’s set facing you when it arrives. Some great bars I can recommend are Three Monkeys, Dulle Griet (where you can drink a yard of ale) and ‘t Dreupelkot. I can’t wait to go back to Ghent for another trip.