Start your exploration with the unmissable toppers: the Castle of the Counts, the Belfry,... .
All the top sights are within walking distance of each other.
Boat trips - Graslei - Distance 300m
This is the ideal way to admire Ghent from a different perspective. Departure from the Graslei. Open daily. Departure every hour. Multiple boat trips per hour in high season. Adults €6.50 Reduction rate €3.50 (40-50min).
The Belfry - Butter market - Distance 600m
The dragon, who stood on the tower since 1377, not only supervised the city, but was also the symbolic treasure guard of the Belfry. Thanks to its legend, the dragon is now a symbol of freedom and power. From the top you have a wonderful view of the historic city centre. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adults €5 Reduction rate €3.75 Free entry for children
St Bavo's Cathedral - St Bavo's Square - Distance 600m
Directly opposite the Belfry is St. Bavo's Cathedral. This is also the place where the earliest city centre was formed, on St Bavo's Square, near the confluence of the Scheldt and the Lys. The name 'Ghent' is derived from the Celtic word 'Ganda', meaning confluence. It is certainly worthwhile to enter the Cathedral, because here you will find a collection of treasures: beautiful marble and wooden furniture, works of art (including an original painting by Rubens) and numerous relics. Don't forget to visit the crypt with its numerous religious artefacts. But the cathedral is first and foremost home to the most important masterpiece of Flemish painting: The Mystic Lamb, by the brothers Jan and Hubrecht Van Eyck. This work of art has been in this church since 1432. It is one of the first paintings in which oil paint was used. This masterpiece is kept in the side chapel where the light and temperature are strictly regulated and controlled. Open from Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 5pm, and on Sunday from 1pm to 5pm (6pm during the summer months). Free access to the cathedral and crypt. Admission to the Mystic Lamb is: Adults €4 Children between 7 and 12 years €1.50
The House of Aline-Kraanlei 65 - Distance 550m
The House of Alijn is a museum about the culture of everyday life, about the small and big histories of life. Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, and on Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Adults €5 Reduction €1, Free entry for children
Castle of Counts - Sint-Veerleplein 11 - Distance 400m
The Castle of the Counts, centrally located in the heart of the city, was built in the 12th century by order of the Count of Flanders. In the 19th century, the building served as a cotton factory. Today the Gravensteen has been restored to its original state and houses many stories about the city's past. The interior consists of armour, medieval details and instruments of torture, including a guillotine which was still in use in 1861. Open daily from 10am to 6pm during the summer months, and from 9am to 5pm during the winter months. Adults €8, Reduced price €6, Free entry for children.
Friday market - Distance 750m
Most of the buildings on the Vrijdagmarkt date from the 18th century or later. The 'Toreken', built in the 15th century, is the oldest building on the Vrijdagmarkt and can be recognized by the mermaid on top of the tower. The socialist building 'Our House', built in the 20th century, is a fine example of Eclecticism, a mix of different architectural styles. The statue of Jacob Van Artevelde in the middle of the square points to England, which expressed his support for the king of England at that time. His support for England ensured that Flanders remained largely neutral during the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453 between England and France), as a result of which Ghent's industry flourished.
Design Museum -Jan Breydelstraat 5 - Distance 200m
The Design Museum houses an impressive collection of furniture and design from Baroque to Art Nouveau, the colourful 70s, and the unmistakable 'furniture as art' of the 90s. The various collections can captivate you for hours on end. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Adults €5, Reduced price €3.75, Free entrance for children.
Museum Dr. Guislain- Jozef Guislainstraat 43 - Distance 2.1km
After a brisk walk from the city centre you will reach the museum for psychiatry and mental health care. Ideally located in the Neo-Gothic insane asylum, built in 1857, and just next to today's psychiatric clinic, the museum takes you through psychiatric history. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions on relevant modern themes and permanent collections of patients' works of art. To be reached by tram 1 (direction Evergem). Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Adults €6, Reduced price €4, Young people (€1, Free entry for children.
St Pietersabdij- Sint-Pietersplein 9 - Distance 1.8km
Founded in the 7th century, St. Peter's Abbey was converted into a barracks during the French Revolution. Fortunately, there are still many original remains today, including the murals in the refectory. Exhibitions are often held in the abbey's gallery, and the garden is also the ideal place to relax and unwind. To be reached by tram 1. Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Adults €8 Reduction rate €6.75, Free entry for children
S.M.A.K (Stedelijk Museum of Contemporary Art)- Citadelpark - Distance 2.3km
SMAK, the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, is located in the Citadel Park. The SMAK hosts several temporary modern exhibitions and impressive permanent collections, open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Adults €6 Young people (between 18 and 26 years old) €1Free admission for children.
STAM (City Museum)-Alplox site: Godshuizenlaan 2 - Distance 1.7km
The permanent exhibition at STAM tells the story of Ghent. Visitors follow a chronological route of objects and multimedia, revealing how the city grew and developed over the years. Het Stam also offers numerous temporary exhibitions. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Adults €6, Reduction rate (>55 years old) €4.50, (Young people between 19 and 26 years old) €1 Free admission for children
The multifunctional, open city hall is an architectural masterpiece. The roof structure and the use of glass, wood and concrete are particularly striking. There is room for concerts, dance performances and markets. The city park on the second, lower level is demarcated by a stone wall. Here you can rest, read or stroll around.
St Jacob's Church, built in the 12th century, just behind the Vrijdagmarkt.
The Groot Vleeshuis, on the Groentenmarkt. This space now serves as a regional producer where you can find Ghent's local drinks and dishes.
The facades on the Graslei, most of which were renovated in 1913 for the World Fair in Ghent. Here you can see the many stepped gables for which Belgium is famous.
Near the Belfry and St Bavo's Cathedral you can find the Town Hall, built in two different styles: the 16th century Gothic style on the north side and the Italian Renaissance style on the south side.
The CityCard Gent is the inexpensive all-in access card to all important monuments, museums and top attractions of Ghent. It entitles you to a boat trip and the card is also valid on the bus or tram. The user guide that accompanies the CityCard Gent tells you where to go and how to get there. To make use of this all-in package, you only pay 25 or 30 euros! It allows you to dive into the city for 48 or 72 hours respectively. Most museums in Ghent are free for children under the age of 12, so they do not need a CityCard. The CityCard can be purchased at the reception of Hotel de Flandre.
Participating museums and monuments CityCard: St Bavo's Cathedral, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, Castle of the Counts, Belfry, Museum of Fine Arts (MSK), S.M.A.K., STAM - City Museum Ghent, MIAT, Design museum Ghent, St. Peter's Abbey, House of Alijn, Museum Dr. Guislain, Museum for the History of Sciences, The world of Kina: the House, The world of Kina: the Garden, Provincial Cultural Centre Caermersklooster, Hotel d'Hane-Steenhuyse and Museum Arnold Vander Haeghen.