Ships have been docking here since the 11th century and Ghent wouldn’t have it any other way. It is like the song of the Lorelei. The beauty of the Graslei in Ghent brings everyone and everything to a standstill. This is the place where beautiful façades are reflected in the River Lys. Tourists and residents alike relax on either side of the water, whether dangling their legs over the quay, or sitting comfortably at a café terrace.

Lovely Grasbrug

This bridge is positively poetic. And it’s every Ghent native’s pride. On your visit to Ghent, it would be a sin to miss this little bridge just around the corner from the Korenmarkt. Cross the river at the Grasbrug and soak in the scenery. There are still boats moored at the quays today. Even better, nowadays you can take a boat ride yourself! There’s nothing that will immerse you more in the history of Ghent.

Façades on the Graslei

The houses by the water live and breathe history. The Cooremetershuys is now an accessory store. In the Middle Ages, however, the official corn measurer presided over the grain trade there. Have a good look at the completely restored façade of the Guild House of the Free Sailors as well. A lot of money has been invested in this building over the centuries, and it shows! The stately stepped gable from the old corn store has been watching over the town since the 13th century.

Taste the romance

The corn store—also known as ’t spijker—has been redefined. It’s come a long way from those old sacks of grain. Of course you don’t have to push the boat out quite that far. You can also try a cosy brasserie on the Graslei or Korenlei. Or why not just buy finger food and sit down on the quayside! Because sometimes, appreciating the little things is the most romantic.

Aperitif in the sun

Tempted by all those café terraces? There is nothing more blissful than enjoying an aperitif—or two—by the waterside. When the sun is shining, this is a delightful spot to hang out ensconced by beautiful old buildings. Enjoying the first warmth of a spring day with a chilled white wine, putting the world to rights…but anyway, we digress.

A pair of eloquent swans

On the renovated façade of the Mariott hotel at Korenlei, two graceful gilded swans swim in opposite directions. That’s no coincidence, for a swan swimming to the left used to symbolise women, whereas a swan swimming to the right alluded to drinks. Drinks and women: the sixteenth-century 'De Swaene’ mansion must have offered quite some entertainment!

The information continues beneath the illustrations.