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Ghent

Culture & History

Our most recommended Ghent Culture & History

Ghent: 50-Minute Medieval Center Guided Boat Trip

1. Ghent: 50-Minute Medieval Center Guided Boat Trip

Take a boat close to the amazing Castle of the Counts to discover the most beautiful places of Ghent. A guide will take you through the fascinating history of medieval Ghent and its historical buildings and architecture on this 50-minute tour. Enjoy the famous three towers of Ghent, various medieval churches and monasteries, the birthplace of Charles V of Spain, majestic guild halls, a breathtaking castle, and much more! Hear the stories behind these magnificent monuments. Your tour is guided in English, Dutch, and French. There are also illustrated translations into German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese available on board.

From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

2. 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.

From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

3. From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the center of Brussels and relax on the 100-kilometer journey to Bruges. Upon arrival, discover the charms of “the Venice of the North” and see why the entire historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Marvel at highlights such as the Lake of Love (Minnewater Lake) and the 13th-century Begijnhof complex, founded in 1245 to house lay religious women. Go to Walplein Square, where the shady trees and cafes provide a perfect place to relax. Visit Stoofstraat on the site of the city's former Red Light District, and see medieval monuments such as the 11th-century Old St. John’s Hospital. Look at the world's second tallest brickwork tower at the Church of Our Lady, and see other historic monuments such as Gruuthuse Palace, the Dijver Canal and the tiny piazza of Tanners Square (Huidenvettersplein). Go to one of the city's most photographed spots at Rozenhoedkaai, and admire the Belfry on Castle Square. Admire the facades of the Gothic-style Town Hall and the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood. Visit Market Square (Grote Markt) to see the Bell Tower (Belfort) and Sint-Salvator’s Cathedral. Then enjoy 1-hour's free time for lunch (at your own expense) and the chance to sample some of the city's delicious chocolates.  Next, drive to Ghent, where the inhabitants have been popularly known as "noose-bearers“ since the days of Charles V. Take a guided tour of the city's historic buildings, such as the Castle of Gerald the Devil and Saint Bavo Cathedral, where you can look at the painting “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. Admire the Belfort (Bell Tower) and peculiar Gothic and Renaissance-style Town Hall. See one of the city's oldest monuments at St. Nicholas’ Church opposite the unusual facade of the Masons’ Guild House. Journey along the embankments of the medieval port of Graslei, and discover other highlights such as the majestic Castle of the Counts of Flanders, the charming Patershol neighborhood, the Great Butchers’ Hall, the Old Fish Market, and Friday Market Square.

Ghent: 40-Minute Historical Boat Tour of City Center

4. 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: 3-Hour Guided Urban Mountain Bike Tour

5. Ghent: 3-Hour Guided Urban Mountain Bike Tour

Go beyond the classic sightseeing and discover what Ghent is all about. Depart from the meeting point with a small group of no more than 10 people and your enthusiastic tour guide. A helmet is there for you to use during the tour and the drinking bottle provided is yours to keep. During the tour, your guide will surprise you with fun facts, street art and hidden spots the city has to offer. The course is off the beaten path and takes you from the city center all the way to the dynamic suburbs. The semi-pro mountain bikes make this urban adventure very comfortable! To remember the tour, take a polaroid picture to take home with you, while the other pictures taken with a Go Pro are sent to your email.

Ghent: Medieval Center Guided Boat Tour

6. Ghent: Medieval Center Guided Boat Tour

See the highlights and hidden pearls Ghent has to offer on a river cruise. Learn about the city's history from your local guide. Start in the beautiful medieval harbor of Ghent. Board the boat and meet your tour guide. Sail along the River Leie as you take in the sites of the city. Admire the three famous towers of Ghent: St Bavo's Cathedral, the Belfry of Ghent, and St Nicholas Church. See medieval churches and monasteries as you are taken back in time by your guide. Take in the Prinsenhof, the Princes' Court where Charles V of Spain was born. Marvel at majestic guildhalls and the medieval Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts) before heading back to dry land.

Ghent: Private 2-Hour Walking Tour

7. Ghent: Private 2-Hour Walking Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel or other location on agreement. Then, walk along the pretty Graslei and Korenlei to admire the gables of the guild houses. Get panoramic views of St. Nicolas' Church and medieval St. Bavo's Abbey, where you can see the "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by the Van Eyck brothers (own expense). Continue towards the Vrijdagsmarkt and admire the façade of the Town Hall. Encounter the 15th-century cannon of the Dulle Griet (“Evil Woman”), and then cross the Lys to enter the inner courtyard of the House of Alijn. Continue to Gravensteen Castle to take a look at the "Castle of the Counts" and end with a visit to the Old Fish Market.  

Ghent: Customized Tour with a Local Guide

8. Ghent: Customized Tour with a Local Guide

Explore Ghent with a friendly local who is passionate about the city and eager to share all the information that will help you make the most of your trip. Get to know Ghent through the eyes of a local guide on a 2 to 6-hour private tour. Meet your guide at your accommodation and head out on the tour to get familiar with the neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat and buy groceries, the easiest ways to get around and the top things to see and do. By the end of the tour, you'll feel comfortable navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most of your stay.

Ghent: Beer and Sightseeing Adventure

9. Ghent: Beer and Sightseeing Adventure

Ghent is in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium. Although it’s a popular tourist destination, it certainly retains its own, authentic, local atmosphere. It’s a city characterised by its local population, who will set the scene for your adventure. Ghent also houses a fascinating collection of ancient architecture. Absorb the city’s fascinating history as you admire and photograph its beautiful buildings and cityscapes. Then relax on the 30-minute canal cruise and enjoy even more new perspectives on the city’s breath-taking sights. The scenic canal route and beer tasting on board will certainly form an unforgettable part of your Ghent experience. In addition to its sights, Ghent will charm you with its astounding beers. This tour is perfect for beer lovers. On this Ghent beer tour you will taste 6 beers, each very different from the others - all served with a complimentary snack. You will also discover vibrant, hidden-away taverns. These are places you may miss if exploring on your own.

Ghent: Guided Walking Tour

10. Ghent: Guided Walking Tour

Discover the beauty of Ghent and its medieval monuments on a walking tour with a Spanish-speaking guide, and learn more about its historical former residents, including the famous Van Eyck brothers.  Learn why the local inhabitants have been known as "noose-bearers“ since the time of Charles V, a Ghent native who went on to become the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. Visit the 13th-century Castle of Gerald the Devil and see the Gothic facade of Saint Bavo's Cathedral, where you can admire the well-known painting “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers Look at the Belfort bell tower and the peculiar Gothic and Renaissance Town Hall. Marvel at St. Nicholas’ Church and the nearby Masons’ Guild House. Go to the Graslei embankment, and see the majestic battlements of the Castle of the Counts. Stroll the Patershol neighborhood, and see the open wooden truss roof of the Great Butchers’ Hall. Experience the lively atmosphere of the Old Fish Market and Friday Market Square.  Ask your guide any questions you may have along the way. Get recommendations on places to eat lunch outside the touristic area, advice about Belgian beer and what monuments and museums you might like to see on your own.

Frequently asked questions about Ghent Culture & History

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ghent

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What people are saying about Ghent

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 228 reviews

A leisurely, gentle 50 minutes introduction to the heart of Ghent and an excellent way to get bearings at the start of a trip. Our polyglot guide reeled off facts, anecdotes and the occasional joke in multiple languages.

Had a great day trip! Jamal was an excellent tour guide and created a great atmosphere throughout the tour with his manner!

A professional and pleasant guide. Learned a lot and gained a lot of humor. A great trip. Strongly recommended

Excelente tour, la guía fue muy amigable, servicial y clara durante todo el recorrido! Súper recomendado

Thank you to all the team responsible for the blue team Very informative and beautiful places