Ghent

Despite being one of Belgium's oldest cities, Ghent remains small enough to feel cosy but big enough to be a vibrant, relevant centre for trade and culture. There's a wealth of medieval and classical architecture here, contrasted by large post-industrial areas undergoing urban renewal that give Ghent a gritty-but-good industrial feel.

In the centre, tourists remain surprisingly thin on the ground, but Ghent's large student and youth population means there's always people about, enjoying the city's fabulous canal-side architecture, abundance of quirky bars and good-value restaurants, and some of Belgium’s best museums.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ghent.