It can’t be a coincidence that Ghent, the capital of East Flanders, was given several pretty names: medieval Manhattan, historical heart of Flanders, a city of all times, one of the most beautiful historical cities in Europe.
According to National Geographic Traveller, Ghent is “the most authentic Historic city in the World“ and Lonely Planet called Ghent “Europe’s best kept secret”.
The city combines an impressive past with a vivid present. You will hardly ever find such a diversity of architectural styles and treasures, most of which are protected as national heritage by UNESCO. Strolling through Ghent often coincides with an adventurous travel through history.
But above all, Ghent is alive! Here pounds the young heart of a dazzling city of culture with music, theatre, film and visual arts. A city where cultural perspectives are constantly renewed and enlarged, where culture is a feast and where feasting is a form of culture. Not only art lovers but nearly everyone can find something here to suit their taste. Ghent offers over 500 restaurants, numerous pubs, pleasant shopping streets and an exciting nightlife.
Ghent, city of students
Over 72,000 students have their homes in Ghent, which makes us the largest university town of Flanders with an international reputation when it comes to research and innovation. This creates a young and lively vibe and makes sure you’ll never feel like you’re walking alone through the city at night. Important to note in this context is that overall, Ghent can definitely be considered as a safe city.
Ghent, city of light
When the sun sets, the city lights up again with a magical play of light and shadow with the award-winning lighting plan developed by the famous lighting designer Roland Jéol. The Ghent lighting plan (Ghent is the only Belgian city with a lighting plan) kicks in as thousands of lights are switched on. It’s not a mishmash of styles, but a carefully crafted network of atmospheres and accents.
Ghent, city of water
Water plays a key role in Ghent. The city developed at the confluence of the rivers Lys and Scheldt. Water invariably creates a sparkling atmosphere, distinctive of water cities: you always get a holiday feel.
The Municipality was rewarded for its considerable efforts to obtain clean water, full of life.
Explore the old city center of Ghent by embarking on a classic boat trip through the old city center of Ghent or on a long exploration of the inland waterways.
Original formulas such as the brunch boat, the cocktail boat, the champagne boat and the Ghent party boat are ideal setting for parties. Special roofed boats keep one dry at all times.
Colourful parasols and cheerful chattering voices have once again conquered the banks of the Lys and the Scheldt. Above all, water tourism attracts new visitors to the city, who will find prime anchorage in the perfectly situated Portus Ganda marina. Together with four other marinas Ghent hosts about 500 berths for motor and sailing yachts near the city center.
Ghent, city of Flemish Foodies
There is a food revolution taking the kingdom of Belgium by storm, and its unofficial capital is the city of Ghent. This is where the Flemish Foodie movement first set down roots, offering an exciting alternative to classic Michelin-style restaurants. It all started with 3 young chefs: Jason Blanckaert, Kobe Desramaults and Olly Ceulenaere, who felt diners going out for a gourmet evening no longer need to wear a formal suit and tie. Equally they should not expect starched tablecloths and crystal wine glasses, while the waiters will probably be wearing jeans and t-shirt, and the chef himself often comes out to serve the main dish him or herself at the table. Most importantly, this is an affordable, democratic gastronomic experience with a fivecourse tasting menu rarely costing more than 50-60 euros. Today, the Flanders Kitchen Rebels, a whole new generation of young chefs, cooking in funky, casual diners are willing to push culinary boundaries, committed to a sustainable, organic cuisine far removed from molecular fads and fusion fashion. No matter how many times you come back, there is always something new opening up on Ghent’s foodie scene.
Ghent, veggie capital of Europe
There’s no history of meat-free eating in Belgium – even the chips are often cooked in lard. But back in 2009, Ghent became the first city worldwide to adopt a weekly vegetarian day. The local government recognised the health and environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet and mandated that all Ghent restaurants offer at least one vegetarian menu item. This initiative was wellreceived by not only the restaurants but also by the local community, prompting many restaurants and even schools to eventually offer set vegetarian menus: ‘Veggie Day’ in Ghent was born.
That’s right, an entire day once a week (usually on Thursday) dedicated to lowering the consumption of meat. But if you don’t find yourself in Ghent on a Thursday, fear not…. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes here to cater to your plant-based diet. Nowadays, the city is known to have more vegetarian restaurants per capita than most cities.
Ghent, green city
Ghent climate plan 2014-2019
The Ghent city council approved the Climate Plan on 26 January 2015.
With this, the City of Ghent confirms its commitment for this legislature (2013-2018) to invest 105 million Euros in measures that directly contribute to reduced CO2 emissions. An additional budget of 40 million Euros is earmarked for measures indirectly contributing to reduced emissions.
The final objective is to be climate neutral in 2050, or in other words: to no longer have a negative impact on climate. A climate which is rapidly changing; weather records are being routinely broken.
The City of Ghent is going to great lengths to drive down energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, making a contribution to the mitigation of climate change. The City of Ghent developed a Climate Adaptation Plan 2016-2019 containing a climate adaptation strategy and action plan, with local measures for the adaptation of the urban environment to climate change. In doing so, the City of Ghent is working on the development of a climate-robust city, keeping it a nice and livable place to live and work, and contributing to the European objectives for the creation of a climate-resistant Europe.
- 't Dreupelkot, Jeneverbar, only in Gent (visit Ghent, Belgium)
- Red Light District, only in Gent (visit Ghent, Belgium)
- Boat Tours, Graslei, only in Gent (visit Ghent, Belgium)
- Castle of the Counts, only in Gent (visit Ghent, Belgium)
- The Mystic Lamb, St.Bavo Cathedral, only in Gent (visit Ghent, Belgium)
- Noses, Groentenmarkt, only in Gent (visit Ghent, Belgium)
- STAM, City Museum, only in Gent (visit Ghent, Belgium)
- NTG, Municipal Theatre, only in Gent (visit Ghent, Belgium)