Fairy-tale culture with worldwide fame
If you have never experienced an overnight stay in Ghent, you have never really experienced the city. Ghent shines day and night. When night falls, Ghent is transformed. Discover the fairy-tale lighting that bathes all of Ghent’s architectural gems in beautiful light. Walk through a magical, sparkling city until midnight. Every three years, Ghent is set ablaze with lights during the free Ghent Light Festival, with exciting light art by national and international artists.
The Ghent Festivities, a party for the people
Have you ever experienced a real party for the people? Come to the Ghent Festivities, held every year in July. The Festivities are the top event in Ghent, taking over the entire city centre for ten days. Get ready for 765,000m² of party mayhem. After 200 years, the Ghent Festivities have grown into one of the biggest cultural festivals in Europe, with national and international artists, free music on more than ten squares, fun for kids at various places around the city and hundreds of indoor and outdoor activities.
The gastronomy rocks, mix & match
There’s always something to do in Ghent. Ghent is the historic heart of Flanders where you can shop, discover and taste to your heart’s content. Do you love great food? You’re in luck: Ghent is the veggie capital of Europe (according to Ghent’s inhabitants, of course), and its young, rock-star chefs are causing a sensation on the international food scene.
In Ghent, everyone is welcome. There is something for everyone here, including the thousands of students who fill Ghent with youthful vibes every academic year. Why not discover a different side of Ghent with the ‘Sorry, not sorry’ street art plan of Ghent: a bike or walking tour of the city’s colourful graffiti. Ghent is also a progressive city that stands up for equal opportunities. Ghent is striving for equal treatment and more respect for LGBQT people. Ghent: a city built on solidarity.
So much Ghent: discover it yourself
‘The historic heart of Flanders’, ‘a city of all ages’, ‘Mediaeval Manhattan’ and ‘Europe’s best-kept secret’: the nicknames Ghent has collected over the years are as colourful as the city itself. Walk through the centre of Ghent and you will immediately see why it has won so many tourism prizes and earned so much international acclaim.
Nowhere else can you flit so quickly from the 14th to the 21st century and back again, without feeling out-of-place for a minute.
The real Ghent
Looking for a weekend trip that is just that little bit different? Do you like to explore off the beaten track? Ghent will suit you down to the ground. National Geographic Traveler Magazine calls Ghent the most authentic historic city in the world, and it is buzzing with life 24 hours a day. After all, Ghent comes to life all over again when the sun goes down.
Ecotourism: pure Ghent
Cities are doing more and more to limit their impact on the environment. In Ghent, ecotourism isn’t just a fashion: it’s a way of life. Ghent is committed to the environment. Ghent has been proclaimed a vegetarian capital and has the largest low-traffic pedestrian zone in Europe. So experiencing Ghent on a bike is a really good idea: the city loves cyclists and cyclists love the city. Ghent is a manageable size and the sights are easy to find, even on foot.
Green Key, the key to nature
The ‘Green Key’ is a quality label for environmentally-friendly tourist accommodation and attractions. Ghent encourages tourism-related businesses to work as ecologically as possible. The ‘Green Key’ is part of the international ‘Green Key’ programme that exists in 17 countries. Participating accommodation has to meet a series of criteria relating to energy and water consumption, and mobility. The Green Key label is awarded for one year. You will also find some Ghent companies with this label.
The owners of these hotels in Ghent have a down-to-earth mentality and they will ask you to use your towels several times, the way you do at home. The hotels use safe, environmentally-friendly cleaning products and offer ecological soaps and shampoos. Some car hire firms also offer hybrid cars.
A pioneering vegetarian city - organic heaven
In 2009, Ghent launched ‘Thursday Veggie Day’. Ghent encourages its citizens not to eat meat or fish on Thursdays. Cities like São Paulo in Brazil and Bremen in Germany have followed in Ghent’s footsteps. Ghent has been proclaimed the veggie capital of Europe. Ghent is an organic haven for vegetarians: besides dozens of cool, trendy, quirky restaurants, you will find organic stores and an entire organic supermarket in the city.