8,4 km - 11 300 steps
Good to know
- A relaxed walk along well-known and lesser-known inspiring spots within walking distance of the historical centre.
- The walk forms a loop with the start and end point at the Gent Zuid shopping centre, but you can easily shorten the route, starting and ending the walk wherever you want.
- Walking time: half a day, but if you wish to stop regularly for a drink and/or a visit, you should reserve an entire day.
You set off at Gent Zuid. Instead of entering the shopping centre, walk past the beautiful arcades on Graaf Van Vlaanderenplein square in the direction of Lange Violettenstraat. There you will find one of the most beautiful, grand and inspiring places in Ghent: the Small Beguinage of Our Lady Ter Hoyen. This walled city within the city has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and is a real must-see!
Passing by the street art of Tweebruggenstraat, you reach the river Scheldt. Here you will find a second inspiring landmark: St Bavo's Abbey and its adjacent green church. Did you know that this medieval abbey boasts the oldest wall in Ghent?
St Bavo's Cathedral concludes our list of holy sites. Known around the world as the home of Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece, the cathedral has provided inspiration for masterpieces of religious art for over 1000 years. Want to bet the Ghent Altarpiece will inspire you too? On the adjacent green Maaseikplein square you can continue to enjoy this wonderful experience.
Winding alleys and charming, inspiring spots
In this part of the walk, you will experience that inspiring spots can be small, hidden and timeless. After passing by the beautifully restored St Bavo’s House, you explore Ghent’s medieval alleys.
At the bend of Biezekapelstraat, you will find the elegant Achtersikkel square with its two towers, well and music academy. A little further on, you will find the equally photogenic Graffiti Alley. The winding alleys lead to the secret garden of Hof van Ryhove, the flea market at Bij Sint-Jacobs and the façades in Wolfstraat with their funny maxims. Always surprising, always different.
If you really love alleys, you will enjoy the labyrinth of medieval streets in the Patershol neighbourhood!
After the tranquillity of Patershol, you have now arrived at the lively Groentenmarkt square, where you can find some of Ghent’s most iconic shops. Telesco, Timmermans and Tierenteyn all testify to the passion and craftsmanship of their owners and will surely inspire you. Under the centuries-old beams of the Great Butchers' Hall you can taste a regional beer. If you fancy a coffee, go to the nearby Mokabon coffeehouse.
Or take in the beauty of it all while enjoying an ice cream on the lowered quays in Ghent’s hotspot, Graslei & Korenlei.
Grand and inspiring
If you can’t get enough of Ghent’s inspiring spots and your legs are still not tired, don’t hesitate to do this final stretch of the walk. After passing the monumental Pand conference centre and the hidden garden of the D’Hane Steenhuyse mansion, you will reach the Ghent Opera.
Then stroll along the green banks of the river Lys to the inspiring Bijloke site, an arts hub featuring a wonderful concert hall. By the way, did you know that Ghent has been awarded the title of Unesco Creative City of Music?
Finally, Kunstlaan takes you to the heart of the vibrant student neighbourhood. Sit down and relax in the tranquil vineyard of St Peter’s Abbey or conclude your walk by having a drink on the patio of the iconic Vooruit art centre.