Travel guide: Ghent, Belgium

Next on our trip was Ghent. Ghent is only half an hour drive from Bruges and is again, a beautiful little town.  It is very similar to Bruges in that the old town is very compact and picturesque.  

Again as we drove there we decided to park at the train station where it was cheap and a short walk to the centre.  Ghent is a little more built up and so there were some underground parking in the town centre. 

The thing that I loved about Ghent is that it’s still relatively unknown and so it was a lot less touristy.  

One of the first stops I would highly recommend is Julie’s House.  A lovely cafe on the Krannlei – a beautiful canal lined street.  Julie’s House is very well known in Ghent and specialises in delicious pies and cupcakes.  We were just getting something to take back to our hotel for after dinner desert and had to queue.  We decided on their lemon tart and it was delicious. 

Ghent is very picturesque and I would definitely recommend wandering along their two main canal line street, the Kraanlei and the Graslei.  The Graslei is a beautiful street with lots of lovely bars, a perfect stop for a pre-dinner drink. 

We managed to do a lot more eating here than we did in Bruges.  For dinner we ate in the amazing Restaurant de Graslei.  They have both indoor and outdoor seating along the canal and serve incredible food at a reasonable price.  

We decided to share a beef carpacio as a starter, it was served with Pamesan shavings and a beautiful Italian salad drizzled with truffle oil.  For the price the portion was huge and very good value.  I would definitely recommend it as a sharing platter.  For main course I settled on their speciality salad, a lovely prawn, chicken and pineapple salad and CB had the prok tenderloin with mushrooms and potato croquettes. Both were so fresh and delicious. 

Ghent has an abundance of lovely Belgium delicacies.  First up the Ghent speciality Cuberdon, roughly translated are “little noses”, a conical shaped sweet filled with a delicious raspberry and violet flavoured jelly.  These are on sale at little stalls in the Groentenmarkt.  This there is also a lovely frozne yogurt placed called Moochie and delicious waffles on offer at window counters. 

  • Caitlin

    Hey Laura, I just came across your blog! I loved your pictures of Ghent! I tried to get there while I was in Belgium last summer, but I couldn’t make it work. Did you get to see the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral? I’ve heard it’s stunning, especially the Ghent Altarpiece! I look forward to following along with you in 2015!

    • Laura

      Hi Caitlin, we did but it was dark by the time we walked past. We really enjoyed Ghent and having only spent a few hours there we would definitely go back. We actually did a little road trip round Belgium and Holland so check back for some other posts over the next couple of weeks. Thanks so much for reading!