Ghent: exploring the best of Belgium

by Jacqueline Arruda from Brazil

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Ghent, Jacqueline by Jacqueline Arruda

Ghent is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium. I fell in love with the mix between the old and new things in the city.
It doesn’t matter what you are looking for…I’m sure you will find it in Ghent.
It’s a beautiful place for people to relax and also a cool place to party because there are many students and young people from all over the world.
What brought me to Ghent was its history. I love things related to the Middle Ages, and I found many interesting things in Ghent. The whole architecture of the center of the city is medieval, but the best part is the Gravensteen Castle.

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Ghent, Gravensteen Medieval Castle by Jacqueline Arruda

Gravensteen was built in 1.180 by Philip of Alsace. If you get inside this castle you will feel the magic happens.
All the walls, gardens and rooms are full of history behind it. It’s a huge and magical place to get inspired by. But it’s important to look for the background and history of the castle before visiting it, so everything will make sense when you arrive there.

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Ghent, canals by Jacqueline Arruda

If you enjoy beautiful architecture and landscapes, then exploring the canals in Ghent is a good option for you.
They are very inspiring and you can spend hours just sitting by the river. (That’s what the students in Ghent do when they were supposed to be studying! Just kidding).
Now…if you really want to enjoy the canals of Ghent, I suggest you a boat trip.

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Ghent, boat trips in the canals by Jacqueline Arruda

It’s very easy to find someone offering these boat trips in Ghent. The cost is around 20 euros. It takes between 1 and 2 hours. And the tour guide will give you important informations about the places in the city that you are visiting.
This service is available in Ghent until 5 pm. Just like in the other cities of Belgium.
It provides you a different and more interesting perspective of the city.

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Riding bikes in Ghent by Jacqueline Arruda

Another option is exploring Ghent riding a bike. You can rent them and there is always a good place to park them.
Ghent is not a chaotic place to ride a bike. It’s very peaceful and organized. Everything you need/want to visit is so close and just around the center. So I’m sure you will enjoy this experience.

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Ghent, waffles by Jacqueline Arruda

Belgium is very popular because of the ‘belgian’ fries (not French, please!), the Belgian beers and of course…the waffles!
There’s another candy very popular in Ghent called ‘Cuberdon’. It’s good, it’s OK, but it’s not a waffle!
Just make sure that you will eat at least one waffle when you are anywhere in Belgium. They sell waffle all over the world but nothing compares to the waffles made in Belgium.
The cool thing is that each city in Belgium has a special way to prepare it. In Ghent, it was just like in the picture: strawberries, bananas and lots of chocolate. In Brugge, they made me choose strawberries or bananas, because they didn’t make waffles with two fruits (not even if you pay more for that). In Liège, the waffle was only chocolate and chantilly.
It doesn’t matter where you eat your waffle in Belgium, just make sure you eat them in Belgium!

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Bars and restaurants in Ghent by Jacqueline Arruda

If you are looking for more than waffles, there are amazing places in the center to eat traditional Belgian food.
You just need to go to the center or walk around the canals to find them.
During my first visit, I was staying at Hostel Uppelink. A very cool place in the center, a little bit far from the train stations, but it’s close to all the other interesting places in the city. The crew is amazing and very helpful, and they have free tours in the afternoon. I would definitely stay there again!
If I didn’t make you fall in love with Ghent, I’m so sorry but you should definitely go there and see everything by yourself. Then, let me know what is your perspective of Ghent!

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