Ghent – Belgium’s Best Kept Secret
If you are up-to-date with all our Belgium blogs this month you may be finding it difficult to choose between these great cities, or to pack them all in a short break. Not to worry, as the small port city of Ghent combines the beautiful architecture of Bruges, the vibrancy of Antwerp and rich history like Brussels and Charleroi.
Just like its neighbouring city of Bruges to the west, Ghent is a city with wonderfully preserved buildings and winding streets that meander along the sides of bustling canals. Due to Ghent’s small size, it’s the perfect place to explore on foot, or if you fancy getting into the true spirit of Ghent, then consider traversing the streets by bicycle using one of many bike lanes across the city.
Marvel at the Mighty Medieval Architecture
This city is one that is famed for its magnificently preserved, gothic architecture. Begin by visiting Kouter, a rather grand square that for centuries has been the meeting point for those in the city centre. From there visitors should head north towards the historical centre of Ghent, where you’ll find the three imposing towers of St Bravo’s Cathedral, St Nicholas Church (below) and the 14th century Belfort. Those who aren’t afraid of heights (and sound!) can climb 300 feet to the top of the Belfort at noon where they’ll hear and see the clock chiming.
Spot the Rising Fashion Stars
As with several other major cities in Belgium, Ghent is famed for its style and has a multitude of big-name, high end designer stores, as well as plenty of independent Belgian fashion stores. You’ll find great shopping on Brabantdam and Henegouwenstraat and their respective surrounding areas.
Mix Modern and Traditional Cuisine
Ghent has a seriously good foodie scene and plenty of fantastic restaurants to choose from. For dinner try the tasting menu in Volta or two amazing, modern takes on traditional Flemish cuisine in JEF or De Vitrine.
Of course it would be remiss to visit Ghent (or any other Belgian city for that matter) and not indulge in some Belgian chocolate. Ignore the typical shops in the centre of the city and instead take yourself to Yuzu, a boutique chocolatier run by local Nicolas Vanaise. The chocolates are all made fresh each morning in his own home and are truly delicious.
Hotels to Ramp your Style
As is typical of a small city there aren’t a plethora of luxury hotels to choose from however, there are a few that won’t disappoint. Hotel Verhaegen has just five rooms and is housed within a gorgeous 18th century building that has been impeccably preserved and decorated. Hotel Harmony is a family run hotel with all the amenities you could require for a short break and Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof has stylish interiors and a gorgeous garden courtyard.
Ghent is a port city in the northwest of Belgium and is just one of the cities that Chapman Freeborn charter private jets to and from. There are three airports within around 40 miles of Ghent – Flanders International Airport, Antwerp International Airport and Brussels Airport – making it extremely well connected or popular International Airport Kortrijk-Wevelgem. Find out about chartering a private jet to or from Ghent by contacting us today for a personalised air charter quote.
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