Here are the best things to do in Ghent in one day. It’s not a far-fetched idea to visit Ghent in just one day as the city is relatively small and can be explored within a few hours. However, we can guarantee that you’ll crave more time to explore this beautiful city in Belgium. Ghent is a serene place and comparatively less crowded than Bruges, making it an ideal destination for tourists. To help you make the most of your time in Ghent, we have crafted a list of things to do in Ghent in one Day.
How to get around on this tour of Ghent in one day
Our one-day tour of Ghent is intentionally designed to be completed entirely on foot. Despite being a significant city, Ghent’s main attractions are situated close to each other, making walking a feasible option.
he only instance where we suggest utilizing public transportation is while commuting between the Gent-Sint-Pieters station and the city center. Tram line 1 is an excellent option to travel between the two destinations, taking only ten minutes.
1. A breakfast in Panos
If you haven’t had breakfast yet, on your way to the center of Ghent we recommend you stop at this pastry shop. They have some great pasta! Panos is famous in the city. Undoubtedly, a good way to start this itinerary through Ghent in one day on the right foot .
2. Stroll along the Veldstraat
And to get to the historic center of Ghent you will have to go through this shopping street . It is totally pedestrian and you will have dozens of shops of all kinds to choose from. Unfortunately, as in most commercial arteries in the world, the big chains have taken over all the stores . Of course, the 19th century facades are preserved, which is a pleasure to see .
3. Stop at Korenmarkt, the most famous place on the Ghent in one day itinerary
The heart of Ghent for many centuries is this square . Its name means grain market because it was the meeting point for the merchants who arrived at the main dock. Now it is the main square of the city, full of shops and terraces to have a drink . All the buildings that surround it are beautiful, especially the old Post Office.
4. Have the best view from Korenlei and Graslei
These are the two most famous streets in the city , as they surround the main canal. In addition, they have a long history behind them because they were used as commercial docks in medieval times. Now they are nothing more than an ideal place to walk and take photos, since they are full of beautiful buildings . If you have time and the weather behaves, you can start a boat ride from there .
5. Cross the St Michael’s Bridge and feel like you are in the Middle Ages
A touch from the church with the same name is the St Michael’s Bridge (Sint-Michielsbrug). It is an ideal place to take good photos of the main channel of Ghent , both day and night. As a curiosity, from there you can see the three towers of the city : those of the churches of San Bavón and San Nicolás and the bell tower.
6. Appreciate the greatness of the tower of the Church of San Miguel
Its 24-meter tower should have reached 134, but its construction was never finished . It was not until 1828 that the project was considered unsuccessful and they finished closing the tower at the top. Still, don’t get a bad image of the church and give it a try. Inside there are various works of art by renowned Flemish artists .
7. Enter the Church of San Nicolás
Very close to the Korenmarkt there is one of the most representative churches of Ghent . Although it has undergone several restorations, its Gothic style has been maintained since it was built in the 13th century .
It is a great monument, and its size is due to the chapels that the merchants were building around the church. Being in such a central place in the city, it was common for businesses to be done right next door. Admission is free.
8. Climb the Belfort Tower, something essential on this route through Ghent in one day
The Ghent Belfry is the most famous tower in the city. Especially because it has very nice views of the city . So we recommend that you get rid of your laziness to climb the more than 300 steps that will take you 91 meters high .
From there you will see all the canals and rooftops. Although its origin was more of military surveillance to spot enemies. Admission costs €10.
9. See the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb in the Cathedral of Saint Bavo
The third tower of the city is that of the Cathedral of Saint Bavo, just opposite the bell tower. In addition to being an imposing church, it has one of the most valued works of religious art: The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb . This altarpiece is the masterpiece of the Van Eyck brothers.
It is an essential stop on any visit to Ghent in one day, especially for the most religious and lovers of ancient art. The entrance to the cathedral is free, but if you want to see the altarpiece you have to pay €12.50.
10. Photograph the facade of the Ghent town hall
The Ghent City Hall is really beautiful. It is located in a historic building, built in 1600. Do you want to know a curiosity? It took almost 100 years to build! That is why the building has so many different influences in its architecture.
But broadly speaking, you will appreciate a great contrast between the Gothic façade and its discreet Renaissance-style side. The Gothic part dates from the end of the 15th century, while the Renaissance part was built from 1635. Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful buildings to see in Ghent in one day.
11. Visit Gravensteen Castle , one of the most beautiful buildings to visit on this itinerary through Ghent in one day
After lunch, it’s time to do one of the star visits on this route through Ghent in one day: its impressive medieval castle . In fact, it is the best preserve in Flanders. It was built in the middle of the Lys River so that the counts were protected from possible external attacks. In addition, it later also served as a prison until it was sold to private individuals who used it as an industrial complex .
Now, it has been recovered as part of the city’s heritage and can be visited . The entrance costs €12 and you will be able to see armor and ancient instruments of torture that make your hair stand on end. In addition, there are exhibitions on the history of the building.
12. Visit the red canyon, something curious to see in Ghent in one day
Something very curious and quick to see on your visit to Ghent in one day is a red cannon. You will wonder what it looks like there, but the truth is that it has become an institution in the city . It was found near the city in the 15th century, when they were seeking to defend themselves against the siege of the Spanish .
It weighs nothing more and nothing less than 12,000 kilos. Although it imposes a lot, it was only used once and without any success. The projectile fell to the ground just after leaving the muzzle.
They had to put a lid on it because there were those who used it as a wastebasket and people were even found sleeping inside.
And finally… Take a boat ride through the canals
And to put the finishing touch on this route through Ghent in one day, I recommend taking a boat trip through its romantic canals. The jetties from which the tours depart are located at the Graslei and Korenlei piers .
The boats leave every 20 minutes and the tour lasts about 50 minutes. It costs €9 per person and is one of the best things to do in Ghent in one day.