Ghent’s magnificent and flamboyant city hall was started in 1519 but not finished until 1600, by which time it had transformed into a Renaissance-style palazzo. It's a prime spot for weddings, but visitor access is limited to one-hour guided visits that can be booked online or through the tourist office. Don’t confuse the stadhuis with the controversial Stadshal, the modern barn-like construction located nearby.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ghent attractions

1. Belfort

0.06 MILES

Ghent’s Unesco-listed 14th-century belfry (91m) is topped by a large dragon weathervane: he's become something of a city mascot. You’ll meet two previous…

2. Werregarenstraat

0.08 MILES

Ghent's attachment to graffiti as an art form began in this central alley, known locally as Graffitistraatje. The website has a live map showing the…

3. Sint-Baafskathedraal

0.11 MILES

This cathedral's towering interior has some fine stained glass and an unusual combination of brick vaulting with stone tracery. A €0.20 leaflet guides you…

4. The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb

0.12 MILES

Art enthusiasts swarm the Sint-Baafskathedraal to glimpse The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (De Aanbidding van het Lams God), a lavish representation of…

5. Korenmarkt

0.15 MILES

Ghent's best-loved waterfront square, the 'Wheat Market' is where you'll find some of the city's best architecture, including the former post office (now…

7. St-Jacobskerk

0.17 MILES

The Romanesque twin towers of this iconic church date from the 12th century but the church itself has undergone numerous expansions, renovations and…

8. Vrijdagmarkt

0.17 MILES

Once the city’s forum for public meetings and executions, this large square is named for its Friday market (still held). Tempting cafés sit beneath step…