Spending One Day in Ghent, Belgium: Top Things to Do in Ghent
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Everything you need to know about visiting Ghent in one day!
To us, Belgium is an underrated European country for tourists.
On our way to Amsterdam from Paris, we stopped in Ghent, Belgium for a morning in the city. And honestly, we would have LOVED to spend more than one day in Ghent. Ghent was incredibly charming and captivated our interest with its abundance of historic buildings!
If you only have a half-day in Ghent, you can still see experience Belgian culture and history! Even though Ghent is smaller and less visited than nearby Brussels, the city offers visitors museums, sightseeing, interesting architecture, and history without all the tourists. During our one day visit to Ghent, we got a taste of Ghent’s main attractions and things to do. If you’re only spending a morning or afternoon in Ghent, pick one or two of these main attractions and activities in Ghent.
One Day in Ghent: The Top Things to Do in Ghent
Things to Do on a Day Trip to Ghent
Shop for Some Chocolate
Belgian chocolate is as good as they say! During our stop in Ghent, we visited the Leonida’s Chocolate Shop. Here, you can either customize a box of chocolates (with or without alcohol) or get an assortment package. We got the assortment box. The chocolate is delicious and it was fun to try and guess the flavors in each piece.
Eat a Waffle
Duh, when in Belgium eat a waffle. We got waffles from Fetch: Cuisine a Porte and enjoyed our lunch in one of the squares. And yes, Belgian waffles are much better in Belgium!
Eat a cuberdon
Now a cuberdon is probably a Belgian treat you never heard of! If you still need to satisfy your sweet tooth, have a cuberdon or “neuzeke.” These soft, cone shaped, jelly filled candies or “noses” are a traditional Belgian candy. Beware, they are VERY sweet!
Visit Saint Bavo’s Cathedral
Traces of the original 942 AD Chapel of Saint John the Baptist and its successive Romanesque church can still be seen in the crypt of Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. During the Middle Age’s when Ghent was one of the most important cities in Western Europe, the gothic Saint Bavo’s Cathedral was erected. Visitors can explore this gothic cathedral and view the famous work of Hubrecht and Jan van Eyck, “The Mystic Lamb.
Get Panoramic Views from The Belfort and Cloth Hall
The belfry of Ghent is one of three medieval towers in the city. Its construction began in 1313; however, it was not completed until 1380. Originally the bells were meant to serve religious purposes, but over time they were used for telling time and warnings. The hall adjoining the tower was used for textile trade during the Middle Ages. As the cloth industry lost importance in the city, the space was used as a militia guild and fencing school. Visitors today can reserve tours.
Explore Ghent on Foot
Simply walking around Ghent is an experience. The city is scattered with medieval architecture, shopping, and parks. We wished we would have had more time to explore! There is so much to do in Ghent that we want to go back!