Eco-friendly travel guide to Ghent advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Ghent, Belgium.
- Air quality: 4 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$40 - $100
- Budget per day: US$80 - $300
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Ghent is a city in Belgium. It is the largest city of the Flemish province and the third-largest city of Belgium after Antwerp and Brussels. This city is best known for its market places and monuments. The area of this city is 156.2 square kilometers. The total population, according to the statistics of 2018, is 260,341. More than one million tourists visit Ghent, which states that this city is among Belgium's popular cities. There is a port in this city and an excellent university which has a lot of international students. As a responsible citizen, you must make your trip eco-friendly because it faces a rise in air pollution. There are different ways by which you can lower your carbon emissions as much as possible. There are many things to enjoy, especially the Ghent Festival, which takes ten days to end, this festival welcomes many tourists, and the reason is its popularity.
Air Quality and Pollution
Air quality in Ghent is moderate due to its less population. Here, people follow less traffic, fewer pollution rules, fewer accidents, and more people are using their bicycles and public transports. Local businesses feared that customs would drop if people could not reach them by car. But people came in support of the rule, and air quality has improved to some extent. The arrangement makes extra roads vehicle-free, confining vehicular development by impeding a few passages into the middle from the ring street, making it difficult to start with one part of the standard then onto the next via vehicle. One of the plan's goals was to decrease the concentration of fine particles and gas emissions in the city center. The air quality was improving because of fewer diesel-burning cars on the roads. Air quality matters in everything, such as poor air quality will also affect crops and trees in various ways. Ground-level ozone can lead to a reduction in the growth of crops and the survival of trees. Sunshine, rain, high temperature, wind speed, and mixing depths all affect air quality. Forests are affected by air pollution the most, and industrial and commercial activities also affect water bodies.
Respect the Culture
Ghent is a home to people who welcomes and follows different cultures, ideas, and ways of life. Tourists must respect their strong beliefs in cultural norms so that local people can show affection towards them. Respecting the culture helps us to understand a lot of details related to those cultures. Disrespecting someone and someone's culture will upset the person and his sentiments because people grown up believing in a certain set of values just like their family members and friends. With such diversity, it helps when we all respect and understand other people's cultures. Developing cultural self-awareness, learning to appreciate and value diversity, avoiding imposing your views, and much more such things will help you respect others' culture. We all are members of different cultures, and our cultural identities are also very different from each other. There are so many cultural elements, such as self and space, communication and language, dress, food and eating habits, values and norms, and appearance. Tolerance is another way to respect and accept any culture. You must follow and admire every culture of the city where you visit.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Ghent City Hall: Ghent City Hall's building is in two parts, making it a fascinating sight in Ghent. You must visit Ghent Town Hall during your city trip. You can see the beautiful, romantic stained-glass window, a labyrinth of corridors, and chambers inside the building. You can learn about the local culture, history, and lives of the locals here.
- Gravensteen: Gravensteen is a famous castle with a moat and exciting views in the city of Ghent. It is present in the Sint-Veerleplein, Ghent. It is a symbol of the Counts' power in the turbulent town of Ghent. This castle is the best castle to visit in the city.
- Graffiti Street: Graffiti Street is one of the most amazing places ever with the artistic quality. The street never looks the same from one week to the next. This narrow alleyway is an officially sanctioned street art tunnel in Ghent. You must-visit this street while exploring the different parts of the city.
- Saint Bavo's Cathedral: Saint Bavo's Cathedral is a 10th-century Romanesque cathedral in the city of Ghent. It is present in Sint-Baafsplein, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. This church is a magnificent sight in this stunning city. The workpiece of this cathedral is one of the most important works of the early Northern Renaissance.
- Vrijdagmarkt: It is a city square in the historical center of Ghent, Belgium. Vrijdagmarkt is named after the weekly tradition to stage a market every Friday morning. It has a rich history, but there is a dark side to the story. It is a must-visit place in Ghent.
- Belfry of Ghent: Belfry of Ghent is a fourteenth-century belfry and watchtower in Ghent. It is the tallest belfry in Belgium. It is the part of Belfries of Belgium and France. It is the most-visited place in Ghent.
- Korenmarkt Ghent: Korenmarkt Ghent is a historic square with an iconic building in Ghent. Present in Korenmarkt, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Many local people and tourists visit this beautiful building. You must see this place in Ghent with your friends and family to spend vacations.
- Saint Nicholas' Church: Saint Nicholas Church is a late gothic church with rich interiors. It is present at Cataloneiestraat, Ghent, Belgium. It is one of the oldest landmarks also in Ghent. You should visit this beautiful church at least once during your visit to Ghent.
- Graslei: Graslei is a vibrant city hub with historic buildings in Ghent. It is on the bank of the Leie River. It is also known as Korenlei. Many local people and tourists visit this iconic place on weekends.
- Sint-Michielsbrug: Sint-Michielsbrug is a road bridge, a place for romantic hearts; you can take spectacular selfies on the bridge, with amazing views. The bridge is in Ghent, East Flanders, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium. It is a unique place because of the art, sights, location, and stunning views. You must-visit this beautiful bridge to see and enjoy stunning scenes.
Ghent is a beautiful city, and here you can explore many attractive places. It is a city where you will feel wow after visiting here, which offers so much to explore. With wealthy culture, unique historical places to visit, and many stunning and beautiful places, this is the most-visited city in Belgium. You will get to know many different cultural values, cuisines, clothing, and you can also enjoy other local foods by exploring each ad every place thoroughly. Analyzing will help you know a place better, and you will get to know various people, their beliefs and norms, their interests, and many more such things. You can explore city parks that add beauty to the city, museums that tell about Ghent's history, national parks where you can see many florae and fauna types, and many historical places are also there to explore. Visiting new sites is always fun. It will help you try out new and different things you might have never tried. Exploring not only helps in gaining knowledge about the city, but it also helps in making memories with your family and friends.
City parks are one of the city's tops attractions and draw the attention of many visitors. Ghent has many city parks which offer many fantastic sightseeing experiences and views. You can visit Ghent's various city parks to explore the city's beauty and spend your vacations in peace. City parks are places where you can remove your daily tension, as it has a refreshing environment. Ghent has many green spaces, gardens, and city parks where you can not take your eyes from the beauty and stimulating atmosphere. The city's clean and fresh parks attract many visitors from local people to foreigners. Some city parks are family-friendly to spend weekend evenings and enjoy with your children, and some are special for couples to spend some quality time. It would be best if you explored these beautiful city parks of the city. Here is a list of the city parks where you can visit with your family and friends.
- Playground Blaarmeersen
- Citadel park
Beaches are another place where you can enjoy your weekends with your family, friends, and loved ones. Many people love to hang out on beaches because of the calm and peaceful feeling they get from it. Beaches can help you to relax your body and mind through the sound of the waves. In addition to enjoyment, many health benefits are also there in visiting beaches. You will get positive vibes on the beach at night because of the calmness around the shore, and it will help you get a nice and peaceful sleep. Ghent has many lovely beaches, some of them are given below.
- Blaarmeersen Strand
- Play Beach
- Zebra Beach
- Blankenberge Beach
Ghent has many historical attractions, including the castle, museums, harbors, and beautiful medieval buildings. It has many iconic landmarks that attract many local people and foreigners. Ghent's main landmarks are all present within walking distance from each other. The landmark's actual meaning is a geographic feature used by explorers and others to find their way back or through an area. Ghent is a very chilled city, where you will enjoy the most in your vacations, and its landmarks will guide you in a better way to reach your destination easily and quickly. Some of the best landmarks are mentioned below.
- Huis Van Alijn
- Kasteel Van Ooidonk
- Dulle Griet
- 'Harry Malter Family Park
Museums are places where there is a collection of cultural, artistic, and historical items. Ghent is a famous city with many stories to tell that it has so many museums. It helps us get knowledge about history, culture, and society, making us smarter. It is a permanent institution open for the public to gain experience. Visiting Ghent's museums is worth it because you will leave the city with so many memories and knowledge about its history, history, and other things. Some of the famous museums of Ghent are;
- SMAK -Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art
- STAM-Ghent City Museum
- Design Museum Ghent
- Museum Dr. Guislain
There are a lot of things to eat in Ghent. You will explore many traditional and local dishes with so many varieties available in almost every corner of the city. Mussels are the traditional Ghent dish, and you can try it either with fries or eat it alone. Rabbit with prunes is another famous dish of the city; seafood delicacies are especially renowned. While visiting a city, you must explore local cuisines to understand the town's taste and people better. You will get different specialty in different items in other cities, and this is the best way to learn about the food culture and befriend local people and visit their home.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Ghent has many traditional local restaurants that serve many regional cuisines, which are very famous. Traditional foods are foods that are passed on from generations and have been consumed for many generations. And the best thing about traveling to different countries is getting to explore different cuisines. Traditional restaurants are the best place to experience local and traditional foods, and they have seafood varieties and meat meals. Traditional foods help in weight maintenance, heart health, and many more health benefits. Some of the famous conventional local restaurants are.
- T'oud Clooster
- Seli's Noodle bar
Vegetarian and Vegan
Vegetarian food is famous in Ghent, as many people here are vegetarian and eat vegan foods. Many people nowadays are turning towards vegan and vegetarian foods, as they are termed as healthy. Many restaurants here serve pure vegetarian foods, but some do non-veg also. Cozy seating and a lovely view on the street through big glass windows are also available in Ghent's many restaurants. The names of food are very confusing in this city, so make sure you are only giving vegetarian food. Some of the vegetarian restaurants are;
- Greenway Ghent
- Le Botaniste
- Cucumber Time
- Tasty World
Street food is very famous in Ghent, and several places serve mouthwatering street dishes. Some big restaurants also best serve street food in their way, but eating street foods from the street is the best way to try them. Many stalls across the road serve amazing street food, which attracts many local people and tourists. Some restaurants serve the best Asian eats in Ghent, and they are also very affordable. The top places to purchase street food include:
- Orientali Streetfood Bar
- Osteria Al Sikulo
There are a lot of things to drink. Drinks are of two type's alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Non-alcoholic ones are known as beverages. These drinks are best to provide energy and refreshment to anyone. The minimum age required to purchase a beer or wine is 16, and for other alcoholic beverages such as vodka, rum, whiskey, etc., the age limit is 18. However, there is no age limit on consumption. The national drink of Belgium is Jenever, also known as Paket. It is an alcoholic drink. The most famous drink in this city is Beer.
- Belgian wine
- Orange Blossom Cocktail
- Black Russian
- Chimay Red
- Kriek Lambic
This city's tap water is fit for drinking, but the locals and travelers have advised drinking bottled water. There can be two reasons for it. Maybe the people want to increase the sales of their water bottles. The second reason might be that the water purification plants are efficient enough, but the drainage pipe may have some fault. They might not have cleaned the drainage pipe, which has led to the rise in various microorganisms and insects. Therefore, if you want to consume, then you must always boil the water before drinking. Other than this, if you are living in an apartment, then you can install a water filter, but that would cost higher for you. Also, purchasing a plastic water bottle can be very harmful to nature; therefore, you must find another solution for this issue.
Organic cafes are those cafes that are best in providing healthy food. Organic food involves the use of those ingredients which are beneficial for health. The components such as vegetables or fruits are grown without any use of harmful chemicals. They even don't use food colors to decorate their food. Therefore, you might find the dishes unattractive. Organic cafes support local farmers a lot as they have to deal with them for regular supply. However, these café costs more than traditional restaurants, but they are good for your health.
- Le Botaniste
- Greenway Ghent
- Eat Love Pizza
Breweries are the place where beers are made and sold. There are a lot of breweries and microbreweries present in this city. Microbreweries are small breweries that generally produce lesser than traditional breweries, and it is usually owned by a private person rather than a big organization. There are a lot of different types of breweries present in this city. There are benefits of drinking beers. Beer provides nutrients to the body and alcohol, and it also helps dilute stone in anyone's body. There are beer bars or pubs situated near the beaches which can provide you with a lot of pleasure.
- Ghent Gruut Brewery
- Dok Brewing Company
- Brouwerij Haeseveld
- De Laatste Drinker
There are a lot of actions which can be performed in this city. Exercises help us in gaining experience and memories. Some cathedrals and castles can tell you many things about Belgium and how it was Ghent during the medieval period. It can also teach you many things about the architectures' engineers and excellence that created such a masterpiece without modern machinery. There are various monuments dedicated to multiple leaders and artists like painter, musician, singer, etc. are placed, and at the bottom of the statue, there are names and their works. You can also enjoy Ghent's beaches as beaches are the best place to relax our minds and bodies. There are water sports activities which can be performed there, such as snorkeling and water surfing, some of the beaches also involves parasailing. There are boat tours available which help a tourist to see this city from a different angle. There is rock climbing available, which is an adventurous activity. Other than this, parks can be used for walking and observing nature and spending some time in nature.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is an ancient practice which is running for a very long time. Yoga helps a person to remain fit and healthy. There are many benefits of yoga as it helps us keep our body fit and healthy. It also helps to cure cardiovascular disease, as well as it also provides flexibility to the body. Many yoga centers are available in this city that can help you perform yoga in the correct form. Each yoga studio has a team f expert who knows the best yoga, as not everyone can do the same method. Everybody is different; therefore, to make that fit, there are different types of yogas. You can also perform yoga in parks as there are trees which will provide you fresh environment and positive energy.
- Yoga on Call Zuid
- Hot Yoga Bvba
- Yoga on Call Noord
- Yoga Studio Groene Valley
- Yoga Cafe Ghent
There are a lot of accommodation options which are available in this city. Many tourists visit this city annually; therefore, there are a lot of accommodation options. These accommodation options serve best in a different situation. Like apartments are best when you are visiting for a longer time. Guesthouses are best when you are traveling with a large group. Hotels are best for short visits. Different accommodation costs different because of the services they provide, the more you spend, the more facilities you will get.
Green hotels are different from ordinary hotels as they also protect nature, providing the same facilities to the customer but in a healthier way. Hotels are best if you stay for a short time because the rent of these hotels is calculated hourly, which will be very costly if you stay here for a longer time. There are trees, flowerbeds, gardens where you can roam around. Green hotels are the best hotels to stay in, and it is advised that everyone stay here. The gardens will provide freshness to your body. The facilities remain the same as in standard hotels.
- Hotel Onderbergen
- Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof
- Ghent Marriott Hotel
- Ghent River Hotel
- Hotel NH Gent Belfort
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels are best for those who do not want to spend much on accommodation and are happy with the necessary facilities. Some of the hostels provide complimentary breakfast also. Many people try this accommodation. The hostel rooms are usually shared by two or three people, depending on the room's size. You can make them friends, and you won't feel lonely. Hostels will help you in becoming self-confident. There are a lot of benefits to staying in a hostel.
- Hostel De Drake
- Hostel Uplink
- Guesthouse Gent
- HOSTEL 47
- KABA Hostel
- Eco hostel Andromeda
- 13 O'Clock Hostel Ghent
- The Cover Hostel
Apartments are best for those traveling with their friends or family and have to stay longer. Apartments are available to tourists for 15 to 30 days minimum. There will be only necessary facilities provided along with a modular kitchen and a furnished room. Flats are best at providing privacy to their customers. It also offers various additional services like a parking area; some apartments have a shared swimming pool, exercise area, park, and amusement slides for children, and many more. Apartments provide security services of high level as the entire area is covered with cameras and guards.
- ApartGent Business & Travel Apartments
- Ghent Apartment
- Apartment Stay In Ghent
- Business Apartments
- Ghent Flats
Couchsurfing is very much possible in this city. The crime rate of this city is also low, which allows safe and successful Couchsurfing. More than 16,000 hosts are registered here, but how many are genuine, we don't know. Sometimes it happens that the hosts registered here are fraud and troubles tourist a lot. You must check the reviews of each host before meeting them. There is no need for money in this accommodation type; however, you can help them do the household chores.
Camping involves watching the sky and spending nights with nature. Camping involves adventure and is best for those who love astronomy. It is advised that you must not camp in bad weather and the best season to camp in the summer season. There are camping tours organized at times by different agencies where involved involves trekking, dance, bonfire, camping, and many things; you can meet many people there so that you won't feel alone.
- Camping Vlasaard
- Verblijfpark 't Stroke
- Playground Camping Blaarmeersen
How to Get There
There are two ways to reach here, which involves airways and land ways. There is no airport in this city; however, an airport is very close to this city. The airport is connected to a lot of cities in this country. Next, you can reach by trains as international trains run from this to cities to neighboring towns. Other ways are possible, but the condition is that you have to be present in Belgium. There are intercity buses, taxis; trains are current which does not costs much.
Brussels Airport – This airport is present in Brussel, which is the capital of Belgium. There is no airport in this city. This airport is at a distance of 68 KM, which can be covered in 50 to 60 minutes. The elevation of this airport is 184 meters. This airport is vast, and it comes under the category of 25 busiest airports in Europe as it experiences many people because it is serving a lot of cities. In 2016 the departure hall of this airport faced two terrorist bomb blasts, due to which this airport also met a lot of casualties.
There are two intercity bus companies which have buses covering all the neighboring cities. CheckMyBus and Busbud are the two companies through which you can book your tickets online. Booking tickets online is beneficial for the environment as there will be no use of paper. You can even pay online, which can save you from robbery or theft. The buses here have bike slots where you can place your bicycle and have spacious seats and wifi. These buses are very much affordable, and the ride cost depends on the distance you are traveling.
There are international trains that run from cities like Amsterdam, Paris, Aachen, Köln, Schiphol, The Hague, Marne-La-Vallée Euro Disney, and Rotterdam. The names of the trains are Euro-star and Thalys. These are the international trains whose tickets can be pre-booked online. Pre-booking online can be very beneficial as at the end time there are fewer chances of getting the tickets. Also, some trains can help you travel intercity from one city to another at an affordable price.
Hitchhiking is possible in this city as there are two main highways known as E-17 and E-40. These highways connect this town to other cities even outside Belgium such as London and many additional but crossing border by cars is possible or not we don't know. Hitchhiking might involve a lot of time; therefore, use it when you have a lot of time. Even the crime rate of this city is very low. Therefore, hitchhiking is safe here.
Other ways involve taxi to travel intercity, but that can create a lot of pollution. Hiring a taxi can be very costly for you. Also, some of the taxi drivers often scam tourists by increasing the price. It would be best if you stay cautious while traveling in a foreign country.
You can move around in this city without any fear of being robbed or any crime. It is not a small one; therefore, there are many ways to move around in this city. There are bicycles which are available for rent; you can roam around the city by them. Other than this, there are trains, taxis, buses which are very much affordable.
Walking in this city is considered very safe. Walking is good for health and the body as it helps a person to remain fit. There are many parks in this city which can be used as a morning walk. Other than this, you can move around the city, exploring various street food stalls and others.
There are bicycles available in this city for rent, which can roam around the city. There are cycling tracks present in various parks where you can cycle and also there are many roads where you can cycle. However, if you visit this city in the summers, you must carry a water bottle and stay hydrated. You must be careful with the slope as you can meet with an accident.
There are electric vehicles present in this city. They are owned by the locals and also present in the form of taxis. You can move around in these taxis as it is economical because it does not consume natural fuel. These vehicles reduce noise and air pollution because they do not emit smoke, and the engine is very silent. These vehicles do not require much maintenance.
There are public buses present in this city. These buses are furnished and have comfortable seats. We can track local buses using mobile phones, which are beneficial for planning schedules. You can pay in cash or directly online for the distance you are traveling; if you pay in cash, make sure that you must have exact change. The journey of the public bus might take a lot of time as it has a fixed route.
Tram, Train and Subway
There is a total of six railway stations in this city. There are trains which travel intercity and also from one station to another. Trains are the best means of transport when you do not have much time like reaching a theatre or important meeting. There are trams in this city which runs on electricity. These means of transport does not cost much.
Sustainable shopping involves shopping for those products which are healthy and beneficial for nature as well as society. There are many markets of different categories that produce sustainable yields. This category involves the food market, which provides food with fresh and organic ingredients. These food market serves ready to eat food which is made in front of your eyes. As the food is made in front of your eyes, you can know the ingredients. It also ensures the hygiene of that vendor and the quality of the dish he is providing. Next is the flea market; a flea market is where many vendors collectively on a large ground sell their products. These markets are present in this city. Second-hand products have been used by someone else, and he is selling them at a lower price; therefore, these products cost less than normal yields. Next is the eco-fashion store, which involves producing clothes made up of wool, cotton, silk, etc., which are all-natural fibers. The dyes they use to color the dresses are made from natural products. These products are made and sewed by hand, and therefore they require more number of people.
- Carrefour Express
- BE O Bio Market
- Carrefour express
- Rommelmarkt Gent
- Sunday Market Ledeberg
Second Hand Stores
- Think Twice
- Zoe Zoe
- Velvet Shop
- Fair Eco Fashion
- Supergoods Gent
There are a lot of recycling centers available in this city. Tin and paper is the most recycled element of this city. Recycling is beneficial for nature, as it saves a lot of land. It also saves a lot of energy required to produce new products and even raw materials.
- Van Heyghen Recycling
- Galloo NV
- Recycling center
- CVB Recycling
- MAS Recycling Gent
Waste is something that cannot be used further and needs to be dumped. There are two ways to deal with waste; incineration and landfill. Incineration requires decomposing waste using thermal energy. Only 41 percent of the entire city is dirty, which means that this city's waste management is efficient.
Work and Study Abroad
There are a lot of works in this city of many kinds. There is a job agency in the city with an online portal; you can fill in the details and your education qualification. They will help you to find the right job. Other than this, the city also provides excellent scholars.
There is an international university in this city that has access to the student exchange program. You have to be a brilliant and sharp student to be a part of this program. It enables a student to meet many people and make new friends at the new place. It also boasts a student's confidence.
Au pair work is available in this city but not that much. Some families need a pair, but they are in a limited number. Therefore, you have to find these. You can ask the locals whether they are in touch with anyone who needs an au pair worker or whether they need an au pair worker. It is very responsible work; therefore, you must be extra careful. This work does not involve money because the family will offer you shelter and meals in exchange for your work.
Many organizations are looking for volunteers to work with them. Some organizations aim to protect water quality and clean the water without any government or official help. This work is out of your own will without any charge. There are different types of organizations that aim for varying kinds of issues.
- Join For Water
- Studio Globo Gent
- Fracarita Belgium
- EVA vzw