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Ghent, Belgium – Places to Visit and Things to Do

Sonali Pimpale Nov 30, 2019
A powerful, flourishing city during the Middle Ages, the cobblestone streets of Ghent are still an uncharted territory for many explorers. That means you are free to enjoy the port city’s mixed bag of medieval and modern charms, without being jostled about by a swarm of eager tourists!

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Belfry of Ghent (Belfort)

If you ask any local for the best vantage point to view the city, every finger would point to leviathan, the 91-meter tall bell tower.

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In the olden days, the ringing of the bells of this 13th century tower indicated time, and heralded the arrival of danger. One of the three iconic towers of Ghent, the tallest belfry in Belgium is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts)

A relic from the medieval era, and a witness of tumultuous history, right in the heart of the city!
A symbol of power of the Count of Flanders who once resided there, the castle served as a court, a prison, and a cotton mill over the years, before it fell into a woeful state of disrepair. Today, the painstakingly restored castle houses an eccentric collection of medieval torture devices.

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St. Bavo’s Cathedral

The second of the three towers of Ghent, this is the sacred place where Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, was baptized.
Said to be the oldest parish church in Ghent, the architectural masterpiece is particularly well-known for the 15th century Ghent Altarpiece (Adoration of the Mystic Lamb), one of the most celebrated works of art in Europe.

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St. Nicholas' Church

The 12th century, Scheldt Gothic style cathedral that completes the trinity of Ghent’s magnificent towers.
Venture forth on a walking tour of the city. The cobblestone streets and historic buildings, untouched by the passage of time, will take you back to the golden days.

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Hop onto a boat and cruise along the city’s gorgeous canals to fall in love with Ghent all over again!
Delight your sweet tooth by indulging in the delicious cuberdons, the vibrantly colored candies that are an integral part of Belgium’s identity.
Visit the Vrijdagmarkt (Friday Market) Square, named so to honor the tradition of the market held on every Friday morning since the 12th century!
Lined with colorful buildings, the square provides some of the best options for sampling delectable local food.
Keep your shoe as a collateral in exchange for a glass of beer at the Dulle Griet pub! It’s no secret that Belgium’s beer is counted among the finest in the world. In fact, it is so popular, that an increasing number of people started taking the huge glasses with them to remember the drink!
Fed up of the thievery, Dulle Griet came up with the idea of keeping their customers’ shoes as an insurance! Deposit your shoes in a wooden casket that hangs from the ceiling, enjoy your drink, and leave the establishment with your footwear (without the glasses, of course)! Ingenious, isn’t it?

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Attend a cultural event at Vooruit, an arts center housed in a century old historical monument.