Ghent Culture & history

Our most recommended Ghent Culture & history

From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

1. From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

Discover 2 of Flanders’ most enchanting cities and follow your guide back in time on a day tour. Choose between a private and a shared option. Walk through both cities and see some of their most famous landmarks, including Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral of Ghent, Bruges' Old Town, and the Lake of Love. Ghent’s medieval architecture and vibrant atmosphere will impress you as you visit Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous Mystic Lamb painting (option), and pass by the Castle of the Counts of Flanders the picturesque medieval harbor Graslei and much more. In Bruges, you will enjoy the peaceful Lake of Love and the old beguinage. With your guide, discover the city and its cobbled streets on foot and you also have the option to enjoy a pleasant boat trip along the narrow canals.

Ghent: 40-Minute Historical Boat Tour of City Center

2. Ghent: 40-Minute Historical Boat Tour of City Center

Departing from the picturesque jetty, embark on a relaxing 40-minute cruise of Ghent city center. Learn about the history of this beautiful city from a local, knowledgeable guide. Discover Medieval Ghent and its prestigious and glorious past. See the beautiful house fronts of the Graslei and the old meat-market. Be in awe at the rugged and steep walls of the Castle of Counts. Imagine the lives of the powerful people that once stalked its corridors. Soak in the history from your riverside view point.

Ghent: Guided City Food Tour with Food and Drink Tastings

3. Ghent: Guided City Food Tour with Food and Drink Tastings

Taste your way through Ghent on a guided food tour. Combine sightseeing with sampling local foods and learn about the city's culture from your guide. As you explore, visit important sights, like Saint Bavo's Cathedral, Saint Nicholas' Church, and more. Meet your guide in the historic center of Ghent and set out on your foodie walking tour. As you walk, learn about local culture and discover the city's most important landmarks. See the Korenmarkt, a historic square located between the Leie River and Saint Nicholas' Church. Wander along cobblestone streets and admire the intersecting canals that lend this historic town its character. You'll also have the opportunity to see important architectural highlights, including Saint Bavo's Cathedral and Saint Nicholas' Church, as well as Belfry Tower, the tallest tower in Belgium and a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Along the way, you'll make a total of 5 stops to savor the tastes of Ghent, sampling a food specialty or drink at each one. Every location has been carefully chosen, with an emphasis placed on small, locally owned businesses. Interact with the proprietors and hear their stories to gain insight into the city of Ghent and its people. Your tour comes to an end near the historic city center, the ideal spot to continue exploring on your own. 

From Bruges: Day Trip to Ghent

4. From Bruges: Day Trip to Ghent

Take a guided bus and walking tour from Bruges to the medieval city of Ghent. See the city's iconic sights, including St. Nicholas Church, the Municipal Bell Tower, and the Castle of the Counts of Flanders. Depart from Bruges on a bus and find yourself walking the streets of Ghent after a short ride. Take a trip back to medieval times as you stroll between canals and monuments. Cross St. Michael's Bridge to get to the stunning facades along the Graslei Pier. Visit St. Nicholas Church, the 14th-century Municipal Bell Tower, and St. Bavon's Cathedral. Admire the priceless artwork inside the cathedral. Continue from the cathedral and past the Town Hall, distinguished by its mix of several architectural styles. Arrive at the Castle of the Counts of Flanders, where you'll learn about its history and importance during the medieval period. Next, discover Vrijdagmarkt Square and take in the magic of Ghent as you walk through its canals. Enjoy some free time to explore on your own after your guided tour. Afterward, get transferred back to Bruges.

From Brussels: Bruges & Ghent Full-Day Trip

5. From Brussels: Bruges & Ghent Full-Day Trip

Discover the highlights of Bruges and Ghent, Belgium's most attractive cities, with a round trip by train from Brussels. Tour two of the most fascinating medieval cities in Europe with an English/Spanish or French-speaking guide on a 10-hour guided day trip. Depart from the Grand Place at 9:30 AM only on Sunday. Upon arrival at the central station of Bruges, begin with a 2.5-hour walking tour and 2 hours of free time for eating, souvenirs, and a boat trip. The scheduled return to Brussels will be at 17:00 and arrival at 6 PM with your guide. In the case of small groups, there is the possibility of choosing between returning with the guide at the scheduled time or spending more time there and returning later by yourselves. Program in Bruges: In the ancient city wall park, the "Lake of Love" is one of the main water reservoirs nourishing the canal system of the Venice of the North. Visit the Beguinage, one of the best-preserved examples of medieval gated communities in which only women could live. See Brewery De Halve Maan, the only brewery still operating in the city center. Afterward, Old St. John’s Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe, where you can appreciate 800 years of European architecture, learn about its history and visit the museum of Hans Memling (optional). Head on to Our Lady of Bruges one of the oldest churches in the city. Admire its impressive tower which is still one of the tallest brickwork towers in the world, and take a look at its art treasures, including Michelangelo’s Madonna with the Child (optional). Stop by the VisMarkt (fishmarket) and the Tanners’ Square, two of the oldest squares in Bruges with their beautiful guildhalls and lovely cafés and restaurants. You will also visit the Groeninge Museum, Burg Square, and Markt Square, the economic heart of Bruges. Admire its imposing guildhalls and its Belfort tower, which is one of the most famous Gothic buildings in Belgium. In the end, have an optional canal tour (8 EUR per person, pay while embarking on the boat), which is one of the best ways to see Bruges. Program in Ghent: Journey to the port city of Ghent, located at the scenic confluence of the Leie and Scheldt Rivers. Start your tour of the historic city at Saint Bavo Cathedral and admire the spectacular Gothic church and Baroque ornamentations. Next, step into the marble choir and private chapels, and appreciate the painting of “Saint Bavo Enters the Convent at Ghent” by Rubens and the beauty of the Rococo pulpit. Look at the stunning frescoes of the Romanesque crypt. Then, opt to visit the altarpiece of "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by the Van Eyck brothers and admire one of the most important works of art from the Middle Ages for a small extra fee. Continue to City Hall to see its extraordinary mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Go to Market Hall to look at the Belfort Tower and the covered market. Marvel at the nearby churches of Saint Nicholas, Saint James, and Saint Michael, serving as reminders of Ghent’s medieval past. Proceed to the old port of Graslei for beautiful views of the river Leie and the old guildhalls. Then, head to the medieval castle of Gravensteen, where the counts of Flanders used to live. Explore the picturesque district of Patershol and see charming buildings with brick facades where restaurants and cafes offer the best Flemish cuisine. Finally, head to the 15th-century Great Butchers' Hall to discover one of Europe's oldest meat markets.

Ghent: Historic City Exploration Smartphone Game

6. Ghent: Historic City Exploration Smartphone Game

Become your own tour guide as you take on an exciting digital game that will help you explore Ghent at your own pace. Your phone will act as your compass, by challenging you to solve riddles and providing clues to lead you toward your next destination. Lead your own adventure with exciting tasks only you can solve. Each solved task will result in directions to reach a new site. Keep a steady pace and finish the game in one hour or take your time to admire every detail by pausing and restarting the game when you wish to. Throughout your journey, you'll come across historic landmarks such as St Michael's Church, St James' Church, the Castle of Gerard the Devil, and the Vrijdagmarkt. Learn interesting legends and stories of the city's past. End your expedition outside of Gravensteen.

Ghent: Private Walking Tour

7. Ghent: Private Walking Tour

Ghent is located about 50 kilometers from Brussels and is considered a historical jewel of Belgium.  The city is the birthplace of Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and heir to the house of Habsburg. Ghent played an important role during the industrial revolution in continental Europe. Here, the first labor movement was established in 1859. Today, the city has maintained its medieval center, and several of its Gothic buildings are listed as a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Among the places you may visit are Saint Bavo’s Cathedral (visit to the altarpiece, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by the Van Eyck bothers), the market square, the Belfort tower and the covered market, the city hall, the churches of St. Nicholas, St. James, and St. Michel, the Graslei, Gravensteen, Patershol and the medieval butchery.

From Brussels: Ghent Discovery Full-Day Small Group Tour

8. From Brussels: Ghent Discovery Full-Day Small Group Tour

The tour begins with pickup from the meeting point in Brussels and heads out of the city towards Ghent where a day of adventure awaits. During the journey, listen to your passionate guide bring to life the rich-history of Ghent and the ancient capital of Flanders whilst soaking up scenic views of the countryside. Arrive in Ghent and stretch your legs with a guided tour of the city’s highlights including the churches of Saint Jacob, Saint Michael, and Saint Nicholas, as well as the Town Hall, the Cloth Hall, and the Old Harbor. Next, enjoy a guided tour of the cathedral where you can learn about the Adoration of the Lamb painting by the Van Eyck brothers. Later, discover the impressive Castle of the Count of Flanders, one of Europe’s most important medieval castles which was built in the late 12th century. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, head over to the medieval Great Butcher’s Hall where you can taste local Ganda Ham that has been cured amongst the great wooden rafters. The ham is salted and dried by local craftspeople following an age-old traditional recipe. Afterwards, enjoy an option set lunch in the heart of the city followed by free time to explore at your own pace. The highlight of the day is a scenic boat ride along the rivers of Ghent, providing a unique perspective of the city. At the end of an unforgettable day, sit back and relax on the return journey to Brussels.

  • Guided tours
  • Day trips
  • Other experiences
  • Private tours
  • Water activities
11 activities found
Sort by:

Frequently asked questions about Ghent

What top attractions are a must-see in Ghent?

Other Sightseeing Options in Ghent

Want to discover all there is to do in Ghent? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ghent

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 228 reviews

This tour was AMAZING! Andrea was our tour guide and Giuseppe was our driver. The tour started whilst we were on the coach, en route to Ghent (our first stop). Andrea pointed out very interesting facts along the way. For example, explaining that Flanders is a very flat region of the country. Our time in Ghent was perfect. Andrea is very knowledgeable and made the walking tour engaging. For me, the amount of free time we had was ideal. Again, en route to Bruges Andrea provided more sightseeing nuggets. Our walking tour in Bruges was excellent. Lunch was lovely, and our free time was great. On the return trip to Brussels, Andrea continued to provide facts along the way. All in all, this was a day very well spent. This tour gets a ten out of ten from me! Thank you, Andrea and Jiuseppe, for helping to make my stay on Brussels an excellent one!

Great day trip! Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly, and the towns were stunning. If your staying in brussels I highly recommend

Great day trip, Ghent and Brugge are beautiful and if you have just one day to visit them, this is a great option.

Great one!! The hospitality of the team was good. Good way to explore Ghent, Bruges when short on time.

Great tour and great value to see what Belgium has to offer