3-Day Itinerary: What to Do in Ghent, Belgium


If you’re planning a trip to Belgium and looking for a charming and picturesque city to visit, look no further than Ghent. With its beautiful canals, historic architecture, and lively atmosphere, Ghent is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a longer stay. In this article, we’ll share our top tips for what to see and do in Ghent over a three-day itinerary, including the most important places highlighted in bold, as well as recommendations for where to stay and eat. We’ll also provide information on free tours in Ghent to help you make the most of your visit.

Day 1: Historic Ghent

Start your first day in Ghent by exploring the historic city center. Begin with a visit to Gravensteen Castle, a medieval fortress that offers stunning views of the city. From there, take a stroll through the charming streets and alleys of the Patershol neighborhood, where you’ll find some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes.

Next, head to the St. Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous Ghent Altarpiece (also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb). This masterpiece of medieval art is one of the most important works in Europe, and it’s definitely worth seeing in person. After the cathedral, take a walk along the picturesque Graslei and Korenlei canals, where you can admire the beautiful architecture of the city’s guildhalls.

In the afternoon, head to the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK), which houses an impressive collection of Flemish and Dutch paintings from the 15th to the 20th century. After the museum, take a break in the charming Bij Sint-Jacobs square, which is home to a lively flea market on Fridays and Sundays. In the evening, head to the Vrijdagmarkt square, where you’ll find some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.


Day 2: Modern Ghent

On your second day in Ghent, explore the city’s more modern side. Start with a visit to the iconic Ghent City Pavilion, a futuristic glass structure that houses a visitor center and exhibition space. From there, head to the SMAK Museum of Contemporary Art, which features a wide range of contemporary works from both Belgian and international artists.

Next, take a stroll through the charming Citadel Park, which offers stunning views of the city and is home to several museums, including the Museum of Natural Sciences and the Design Museum. In the evening, head to the Overpoortstraat neighborhood, which is known for its vibrant nightlife and student-friendly atmosphere.

Day 3: Ghent Surroundings

On your final day in Ghent, take a break from the city and explore some of the surrounding areas. Start with a visit to the picturesque town of Sint-Martens-Latem, located just a few kilometers outside of Ghent. This charming village is known for its art galleries and scenic beauty.

Next, head to the stunning Castle of Ooidonk, a 16th-century castle that offers guided tours and a glimpse into Belgium’s rich history. In the afternoon, head to the beautiful city of Bruges, located just a short train ride from Ghent. This historic city is known for its beautiful canals and medieval architecture, and it’s definitely worth a visit.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of great places to stay in Ghent, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. If you’re looking for a unique experience, consider staying in one of the city’s historic buildings, such as a converted church or a 17th-century townhouse. Some of our top recommendations include:

  • Ghent Marriott Hotel: This centrally located hotel offers luxurious rooms and stunning views of the city.
  • The House of Edward: This charming bed and breakfast is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century townhouse.
  • Het Rommelwater: This budget-friendly hostel is located in the heart of the city and offers a cozy and comfortable stay.

Where to Eat

Ghent is known for its delicious cuisine, from classic Belgian dishes to international fare. Some of our top recommendations for where to eat in Ghent include:

  • De Superette: This popular bakery and cafe offers delicious pastries, bread, and coffee.
  • Hopduvel: This cozy pub offers a wide range of Belgian beers and delicious pub food.
  • Restaurant Vrijmoed: This Michelin-starred restaurant offers innovative and delicious dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Free Tours

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to explore Ghent, consider taking one of the city’s free tours. These tours are led by knowledgeable and passionate locals, and they offer a great way to learn about the city’s history and culture. Some of our top recommendations include:

  • Free Walking Tour Ghent: This tour takes you through the city’s historic center and covers some of the most important landmarks and monuments.
  • Street Art Tour Ghent: This tour takes you through the city’s vibrant street art scene, showcasing some of the most impressive and colorful works of art.
  • Foodie Tour Ghent: This tour takes you on a culinary journey through the city, sampling some of the best local cuisine and learning about the city’s food culture.


When is the best time to visit Ghent?

The best time to visit Ghent is during the spring and summer months, when the weather is mild and the city is bustling with activity. However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and save some money, consider visiting during the fall or winter months.

What is the currency used in Ghent?

The currency used in Ghent (and in Belgium) is the Euro (EUR).

Is English spoken in Ghent?

Yes, English is widely spoken in Ghent, especially in tourist areas and among younger generations. However, it’s always a good idea to learn a few basic phrases in Dutch or French, the official languages of Belgium.

How do I get around in Ghent?

Ghent is a very walkable city, and most of the main attractions are located within the city center. However, if you need to travel further, there are plenty of public transportation options available, including buses and trams. You can also rent a bike to explore the city on two wheels.

For more information on what to see and do in Ghent, as well as recommendations for where to stay and eat, visit the official tourism website of Ghent. We hope this itinerary helps you make the most of your trip to this beautiful city!

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