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How to See Ghent in One Day [Updated 2024]

Are you planning how to see Ghent in one day? We only had one day and one night to spend in Ghent after spending a weekend in Bruges.

In hindsight, we wished we would have stayed longer but we were heading to Paris the next day and then on a Le Boat cruise down the Canal Lateral a la Loire.

After enjoying a Legends Walking Tour in Bruges and a visit to one of Bruges breweries we knew that our visit to Ghent would also feature beer.  We were not wrong! There seems to be a strong beer theme when visiting places throughout Belgium.

Ghent City and its architecture
Magical Ghent and its historic buildings and squares

Ghent is perfect to visit by foot, it has the largest low-traffic pedestrian zone in Europe.

Check out the Ghent City Card here

“The CityCard Ghent is simple and clear to use. You get a handy, foldable city map and all the info about the benefits of the CityCard. Choose a card for 48 or 72 hours. This advantage card is an all-in Ghent experience. You’d be crazy to miss this unique offer.”

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases (if applicable). 

Where is the City of Ghent located?

Ghent is located in the East Flanders region of Belgium.

Ghent is located 48 km from Bruges

Ghent is located 58 km from Brussels

Ghent Belgium Map


Ghent City Map:

Where to stay in Ghent

Ghent Belgium Hotels


We booked one night at the Vakantielogies Cathedral Hotel.

Address: Sint-Jacobsnieuwstraat 87, Ghent, Belgium

Location: In the heart of the historical centre of Ghent, a few minutes walk to Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and the 3 towers of Ghent.

Why we chose the Vakantielogies Cathedral Hotel

The hotel is a family-run small hotel which is well located for us to walk around Ghent.  The reviews were excellent. The price was under Euros 100 for the night. The Wi-Fi was excellent.  The hotel was clean and well-run. We would stay there again.

Book here for the Vakantielogies Cathedral Hotel

The map highlights 2 other hotels close by to the Vakantielogies Cathedral Hotel. it is recommended to be centrally located in Ghent so that you can wander around with ease.

For the latest deals and availability:

Hotel NH Gent Belfort

Ibis Gent Centrum St Baafs Kathedraal

More Hotels in Ghent

For more hotel options for Ghent City Centre Hotels, Ghent Bed & Breakfasts and Ghent Apartments click our link below:


Ghent Belgium Hotel List


Things to do in Ghent in 1 Day

Ghent Boat Tours
Take a canal trip in Ghent

If you only have one day in Ghent we can recommend doing a walking tour.

Popular Half-Day Tours of Ghent

A Tour of Ghent that includes Beer and Sightseeing


Ghent Boat Tours



Ghent Beer Tours

Enjoy a beer or two on the canals of Ghent
Enjoy a beer or two on the canals of Ghent

In Ghent, beer brewing went hand in hand with religious life.  In the abbeys and monasteries, some of the best beers were created.

Take a Beer Walk Tour

We took a Beer Walk Tour. We spent 3 hours learning about the history of Ghent and the beers of Ghent. Included in the tour was 5 beer tastings.

Check availability for your Beer Walk Tour here


Ghent Hop on Hop Off Tram


  • 50 must-see Ghent sites on a water tramway
  • 6 beautiful walking routes
  • Saturday and Sunday from April to November (check the details on their website)

Visit Ghent Churches

Visit the many churches in Ghent
Take time out and visit the churches of Ghent

Ghent is a  city of churches and their spires define the city’s skyline.

All the churches in Ghent listed below are located in the historic city centre and are within walking distance.

St Bavo’s Cathedral

One of the most magnificent churches in Ghent.  It is the seat of the Cathedral’s Chapter of Canons.
It is the oldest parish church in Ghent and dates back to the 10th century.  The present-day church was built between the 13th and 16th century. Saint Bavo was originally constructed in the Romanesque style and later converted into the Gothic style.

The Rococo pulpit is made from marble and oak. The Tower was restored from 2012 – 2018.

Constructed started in 1313, it is the tallest belfry in Belgium. The views are spectacular at the top.

Book your Skip the Line Ticket here

What is the Ghent Altarpiece?

Wikipedia states that the Ghent Altarpiece is: “The Ghent Altarpiece (or the Adoration of the Mystic LambDutchHet Lam Gods) is a large and complex 15th-century polyptych altarpiece in St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium. It was begun c. the mid-1420s and completed by 1432, and is attributed to the Early Flemish painters and brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck. The altarpiece is considered a masterpiece of European art and one of the world’s treasures.”

Where can you see the Altarpiece at Ghent?

The Ghent Altarpiece can be found in St Bavo’s Cathedral.

How many times has the Ghent Altarpiece been stolen?

It has been stolen 6 times and has been a part of a crime 13 times.

Saint Nicholas Church Ghent


Saint Nicholas’s Church dates back to the early 12th century. The Church is built in the Scheldt Gothic Style and overlooks the Korenmarkt.


St Michaels Church Ghent


In the 11th century, Saint Bavo’s abbey founded a chapel here.  The Church was completed in 1672. It took 200 years to build and the tower was never finished. The Church houses the famous painting by Van Dyck “Christ Dying on the Cross”.

The Belfry of Ghent


The Belfry of Ghent stands at 91 m tall.  Belfry often housed the citys’ archives.  It is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Belfry of Ghent is the tallest in Belgium.


More things to see in Ghent

Wander the canals of Ghent
Wander along the canals of Ghent

Want to see Ghent Architecture? We recommend wandering the streets of Ghent and heading down back streets and alleyways.

St Michaels Bridge Ghent

The pedestrian-free St Michael’s Bridge in Ghent is the ideal location for 360-degree views of Ghent and its main attractions – St Nicholas Church, the Belfry and St. Bavo’s Cathedral.

Ghent City Hall

The Ghent City Hall is built in two different styles:

  • on the Hoogpoort side the style is late Gothic
  • on the Botermarkt side the style is the Renaissance style

Ghent Castle – Castle of the Counts

Visit Ghent Castle
Visit Ghent Castle

The Castle of the Counts is the only medieval fortress in Flanders that dates back to the Roman occupation.

In the late 18th century the Castle was sold to private buyers who converted the castle into an industrial complex.

In 1807 the Castle housed a cotton mill.

The Castle has a unique collection of torture equipment.

You can book your tickets to visit the Castle in advance here.

Ghent Restaurants

Tripadvisor Ghent has listed the best restaurants in Ghent as rated by travellers to the city.

For the list of the top restaurants in Ghent from Tripadvisor click here

FAQ’s Ghent

Is it Ghent or Gent?

Gent is the Dutch spelling of Ghent.

What is the difference between Bruges and Ghent?

Two similar towns in Belgium, Bruges is the busiest of the two attracting more tourists than the larger Ghent. The distance between the two by road is 48 km or 45 minutes of driving time. From what we learnt is that if you want nightlife you head to Ghent, it is a university town, so that accounts for the popular Ghent nightlife whereas we found Bruges to be quiet after dinner.

What is the Ghent Treaty?

The Treaty of Ghent was signed on 24th December 1814.  It was a peace treaty that ended the 1812 war between the UK and the USA.

Ghent Belgium Weather – when is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Ghent is during the Spring and Autumn. Summer is very busy with tourists.

Transport to Ghent

Day trips to Ghent can be undertaken from many European cities.

Train Brussels to Ghent – the train journey is approximately 30 minutes and there are 78 trains per day

Bruges to Ghent – the train journey is approximately 27 minutes and there are 91 trains per day

Amsterdam to Ghent – the train journey is approximately 3 hours with 35 trains per day

Paris to Ghent –  the regular train journey takes around 2 hours 51 minutes with 24 trains running per day

London to Ghent – the average journey on the Eurostar takes 3 hours and there are 18 trains a day

Antwerp to Ghent – the average journey time is 50 minutes and there are 52 trains daily

Calais to Ghent – the average journey time is 3 hours 17 minutes with 13 trains daily

Ghent Public Transport

Travel Ghent by Tram
Ghent Tram Lines – image by Dimitris Vetsikas Pixabay

Ghent Tram Map

Click here for details on Ghent Public Transport

Train/Bus Tickets to Ghent

For the latest train and bus tickets click here

Ghent Train Station

Information from Ghent Visitors Office:

Ghent has two railway stations: Gent-Sint-Pieters and Gent-Dampoort.

There are train connections to the main station Gent-Sint-Pieters from all Belgian cities. There is also a direct line to this railway station from Zaventem airport.

If you travel to Belgium via the European high-speed train network, you can transfer to a train to Ghent at the station of Bruxelles-Midi, Antwerp or Lille (France).

For passengers arriving at the station of Gent-Sint-Pieters, tourist information is available at a digital 3D information station for visitors. 

Parking in Ghent

There are 12 car parks available with 6,000 spaces. You cannot drive in the pedestrian zone unless you have a permit. The pedestrian zone covers 5 car-free areas.

Flights to Ghent

Ghent does not have an airport.  You will need to fly into Brussels.

Find the cheapest flights with Skyscanner who then directs you to the airline’s website with no extra fees to pay.

Car Rental in Belgium

For car rentals throughout Europe, we use AutoEurope.

Travel Insurance

We recommend that you take out travel insurance when you travel.  The best time is when you book flights and hotels and pay deposits on tours and cruises.



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Pinterest photo of Ghent


We hope you have enjoyed our 1 day in Ghent itinerary.  There are so many things to do in Ghent in 1 day that you may just have to return to visit the city again.

Ghent is one of the best cities in Belgium to visit. It is walkable, safe, historical, excellent beer to enjoy by the canals and great food.  It is a great destination for families, couples and solo travellers.  We loved a boat tour of Ghent, so hopefully you can have time to do one too.

If you have any questions or would like some advice we would love to hear from you. You can reach us via our Facebook page or email us here.


Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are 'chase time not money' and 'age is no barrier when it comes to travel'.

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