Ghent is not the first name springing to mind when it comes to places in Belgium to explore – and quite frankly that’s criminal. This Flemish city is a gem which has gone hidden for too long. Here are five amazing reasons why you’ll want to visit Ghent in the near future.
At a time when tyrannical leaders seem to be continuously rising to power, it may be pertinent to take a leaf out of the Ghent history books.
Having grown tired of the regime of the Roman Empire and the Spanish King Charles Karel V, in 1539 the people of the city rebelled against their rulers in an attempt to take the city back.
Okay, so maybe they failed (and were promptly paraded through town in their undergarments with a noose around their necks), but you can’t fault their underdog mentality. Inspiring stuff.
What other cities in Europe can boast a shop which sells wallpaper from the past five decades? That’s right, we didn’t think you’d be able to name any.
Ghent is host to a bevy of different, incredibly unique, stores where both locals and visitors alike will be able to find all sorts of bizarre oddities.
Vintage antiques stores are also common, but arguably the must-see shop of the region comes in the form of Bloemenijs – a florist which also serves ice-creams flavored with rose, jasmine and cherry blossom.
With a staggering 65,000 students in a population of just under a quarter of a million, it’s perhaps no surprise the vibe is buzzing in Ghent.
Alright, nobody wants to be walking around in some kind of constant party zone – and don’t worry, you won’t be – but it’s nice to know there are places you can go if you’re looking for a wild night out.
With 250 different brands of beer on tap across the city, you’ll certainly be able to find a brew of your liking to get the juices flowing.
Bruges has become one of the most frequented cities in Europe across the past few decades – and, in truth, that’s ruined the tiny and picturesque locale somewhat.
You won’t experience any of that in Ghent, with this hidden gem currently remaining for the most part untouched by the hordes of tourists who clutter the Bruges streets.
That’s not to say you won’t also find plenty of visitors here – but the key difference is they don’t outnumber the locals, meaning the city retains a lot of its natural heritage.
5. The Sites
Aside from the contemporary reasons to visit, Ghent also has a varied number of historical features which will lure in anyone looking for a splattering of culture.
Churches are a particularly affluent feature, with castles also playing an important role in the history of the city.
For anyone with a strong stomach you might even want to check out the torture museum located within the famous Gravensteen castle – enter at your own risk, however.
By now you’re probably starting to understand why Ghent is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. The next time you’re in Belgium, why not take a trip and see for yourself why this majestic locale deserves more love?
A story by Andrew Luke :p