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Ghent is a historic city, yet at the same time a contemporary one. The modern daily life of the city's active inhabitants plays itself out against a gorgeous historical backdrop. In Ghent, they live, work and enjoy life over and over again each day. A couple enjoys the peace of an authentic beguinage. Parents and children stroll through the traffic-free streets of the city centre. A tourist snaps a photo of the three towers, as so many have before, but just a little differently. A businessman with an iPhone walks along the distinctive Graslei, crosses the Lys and enters his stylish four-star hotel hiding behind a medieval facade. Dozens of pavement cafes invite you to discover Ghent's specialities. The sun is reflected in the many waterways. The city is alive and bids you welcome.
Top things to do in Ghent
St Bavo's cathedral
A trove of art treasures: 22 altars (!), a Rococo pulpit in marble and oak and of course the exquisite highlight: ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ by the Van Eyck brothers.
When Charles V was baptised there in 1500, the metamorphosis from a closed Romanesque church to a spacious Gothic one was fully underway. However, despite substantial financial support from the emperor, the cathedral still remained unfinished 58 years later. As a result, the funeral service for the deceased sovereign could not take place there.
All that remains of the original Romanesque church is the crypt.
St. Bavo’s Cathedral houses an impressive number of art treasures: the baroque high altar in white, black and red flamed marble, the rococo pulpit in oak, gilded wood and marble, a major work by Rubens, the ‘Calvary Triptych’, attributed to Joos van Wassenhove, alias Justus van Gent, tombs of the Ghent bishops, and much more.
However, one work stands out head and shoulders above the rest: the world-famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck around 1432.
Museum of Fine Arts (inside)
The strength and the charm of the MSK is the variety of its collection and the way it is presented: never before have the old masters hung so perfectly in place as they do in the fully restored museum. An auditorium, a library, a children’s workshop and a café-restaurant make it into a modern, multifunctional complex where you can spend many happy hours surrounded by things of beauty. The Collection of Flemish Art Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, James Ensor, and many more: their works are on display throughout the world. Nevertheless, nowhere else will you find a fuller picture of these and other world-renowned Flemish artists than in their home country. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Groeninge museum in Bruges and the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent tell the story of the visual arts in the southern Netherlands from the 15th to the 20th century. Their collections have shared a parallel historical development and complement each other perfectly. Together they form the Collection of Flemish Art.
The Belfry is the proudest symbol of the city’s independence. The civil privileges the city received
in 1180 are still kept in the tower. The Cloth Hall was built onto the side of the Belfry. In a euphoric Brabant Gothic style, this monument glorifi es the industry to which the city owes so much.
At the corner of the Cloth Hall is an old jailer’s lodge. The façade is adorned with the ‘Mammelokker’ which depicts the legend of Cimon who was condemned to starve to death. He was saved by his daughter who fed him daily from her breast (‘mamme’: breast - ‘lokken’: suck). The Belfry is the middle of the famous three-tower row, together with the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and the Saint Nicholas’ Church.
Saint Michael's Bridge
Nowhere else can you see so many marvellous buildings in one glance as from St Michael’s Bridge. The monumental bridge can itself be better admired from the Graslei.
Castle of the Counts of Flanders
‘I’ll show them who’s boss’: that’s what Philip of Alsace had in mind. So he had the imposing castle rebuilt (1180). Overlooking the city from its battlements high up on the keep, one can sense the feeling of wealth and power that the lord of the castle must have had. Thanks to the movie guide, a unique, interactive computer-controlled guide, this remote history really comes to life. On certain weekends, you may even meet some real knights.
This design property is situated in Ghent, near Het Huis van Alijn and Gravensteen. Another nearby point of interest is Stadhuis. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning. This Ghent property provides an airport shuttle (surcharge). Hotel Harmony also offers a bar/lounge, wireless Internet access, and high-speed Internet access. The property has a 24-hour front desk. Hotel Harmony is a smoke-free property (fines may apply for violations).
NH Gent Sint Pieters
Ideally located in Gent, between the Sint Pieter railway station and the historic centre, the NH Gent Sint Pieters Hotel offers 4 star accommodation in the capital city of Belgium's Oost-Vlaanderen province. This 4 star Gent hotel offers a cosy atmosphere, with charming interiors and a welcoming staff. On-site features are thoughtfully designed for guest comfort and include spacious and refined accommodations and lobby bar. For any meeting and social event, you can be sure that every detail will be meticulously taken care of at the NH Gent Sint Pieters hotel. Whether you are at the NH Gent Sint Pietershere Hotel for business or leisure, you may use one of the four meeting rooms with natural light.
NH Gent Belfort
A fantastic deluxe hotel in the heart of Gent! Blending wonderfully with the city’s beautiful architecture, the NH Gent Belfort Hotel offers exquisite accommodation right in the historic centre of this mediaeval city, and would be a fantastic choice for your Gent city break, as well as being ideal for a business trip or even a longer holiday in Belgium. With a wide choice of top amenities geared at business and leisure travellers alike, this 4 star hotel in Gent comes highly recommended as one of the very best places in town, with its gorgeous setting opposite the town hall and next to Saint Bavo's Cathedral. All the very best sights of this unique city are within easy reach of the NH Hotel Gent Belfort, from the UNESCO World Heritage belfry and béguinage to Gravensteen castle and the Graslei street along the banks of the old harbour. Modern, stylish and perfect for a wonderful weekend! This luxury accommodation in Gent offers a relaxed setting, elegant but also cosy, while the views make you feel immersed in the history of Gent. During the summer months, you can enjoy a drink or dinner in the beautiful garden terrace, a lovely spot in which to relax after a day of sightseeing around town. All year long, the wonderful Van Artevelde restaurant invites you to experience the best of Belgian cuisine, alongside excellent international dishes and a wide selection of superb wines and local beers. A delightful sauna and relaxation area, modern fitness centre and ample underground parking just complete the offering of this fantastic hotel. No matter what you have in mind, let the NH Belfort Hotel take good care of you during your stay in Gent. All work and no play… If you need to visit Gent for work reasons, why settle for a soulless hotel when you can combine excellent business facilities with a spectacular setting at this fantastic business hotel in Gent centre? As well as being able to enjoy wireless Internet access anywhere in the hotel, there is a superb selection of 10 function rooms, with capacity of between 10 and 500 people and state of the art equipment available. You’ll have the freedom of choosing a room and seating arrangement that’s just right for whatever you have in mind; whether it’s the breathtaking cellar dining room, with curved brick archways and stone pillars, for a cocktail reception or dinner, or one of the bright and airy boardrooms for a company meeting, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re after at the Belfort Gent Hotel.
Situated in a strategic area of the city, the Castelnou Hotel in Ghent Belgium is within short distance of many of the main attractions such as historic sites, great shopping as well as the university. This 3 star hotel in Belgium is ideal for business travelers as well as vacationing tourists. Unlike regular hotels, the Aparthotel Castelnou offers comfortable, furnished apartments with full hotel service. Guests interested in trying some of the local cuisine will want to stop in at the Restaurant Dali which serves both regional and international favorites. The Castelnou Hotel features 3 spacious meeting rooms equipped with state of the art necessities for the business traveler. There is also a very modern lounge bar perfect for that well deserved pre-dinner drink.
Aquarius Boutique B&B
With its location 4 km outside the city centre the B&B is perfect for a peaceful stay. By tram you can easily reach the centre and the nice shops of Ghent. When you return to the B&B, you can make free use of the luxurious amenities: a sauna, Turkish steam bath, jacuzzi and a heated indoor swimming pool. In the 4 star B&B guests can rent (free) a bicycle to explore the surroundings. You can park your car for free at the private parking area.The deluxe room 21 m2 has luxurious facilities such as an Auping bed, coffee and tea making facilities, a safe, radio and an LCD flat screen television with a DVD player with free DVD's. In the bathroom there are bathrobes, slippers, a hair dryer and a bath. The toilet is in the hall.To guarantee a pleasant stay in our hotel, children are not allowed.This property has provided all content and is solely responsible for its accuracy.