The beautiful port city of Ghent, which is situated in the Flemish region of Belgium, is the biggest city in the province of East Flanders.
With a population of about 260,000 people, the city is small enough to hold onto that old-world charm it’s known for, and big enough to have a modern cosmopolitan feel.
Ghent is one of the oldest cities in the country, so you can expect to see medieval architecture and cobblestone streets mixed in with modern public squares, markets, world-class museums, and outstanding restaurants showcasing the food scene the city is famous for.
The friendly locals embrace the good life and make the most out of their free time. The best time to witness this zest for life is after dark, when the city is beautifully lit up and the beer – which the city is also known for – flows.
A number of festivals are held throughout the year in Ghent, including the Ghent Festival and the International Film Festival of Ghent.
Below are 15 of the best tours in Ghent.
1. Take a Private Walking Tour of Ghent
Meet your guide at your hotel or pre-determined meeting spot and get a private walking tour of a Medieval area of Ghent in the historic heart of the city.
Walk along the old streets and see many of the main attractions, including St. Nicolas’ Church, Gravensteen Castle, St. Bravo’s Abbey, Dulle Griet, House of Alijn, and Town Hall.
Admire the beautiful architecture as you take in the sights and sounds of this vibrant section of the city. End the tour at the Old Fish Market.
2. Feel the Wind Through Your Hair with a Bike Tour of Ghent
Meet your guide and be provided with a mountain bike, helmet, and complimentary water bottle so you can explore some of the more off-the-beaten areas of Ghent in comfort. During this three-hour tour, you’ll see parts of the city that aren’t usually seen by tourists.
Soar through the suburbs and more natural areas of the city but see some of the well-known landmarks as well. Along the way, you’ll see colorful street art and hear stories and facts from your informative guide.
3. Get a Taste of Belgium Beer
Belgium is known for its beer, and the city of Ghent is the perfect place to experience a lively local bar scene and taste some of the great beers that are brewed in the country.
Meet up with your guide in the city center and spend the next three hours admiring the architecture of the city, seeing iconic landmarks, tasting local delicacies, and sampling a variety of craft beers. Along the way, learn about the history of local brewing techniques.
Before you even get to the first bar on the tour, you’ll stop at your guide’s preferred chocolate shop, where you’ll have the chance to sample some sweets and get some tips on how to pair chocolate with beer.
During the tour, you’ll taste beer at five local watering holes, each with a different atmosphere. You’ll also play a fun beer game with your fellow tour participants.
At the end of the tour, your guide will provide you with suggestions on the best bars to go to if you wish to continue sampling local beers on your own.
4. Enjoy a Relaxing Boat Trip Through Medieval Ghent
During this 50-minute tour, you’ll get to see some of Ghent’s most beautiful landmarks from a unique perspective – a boat.
During your sail through the Medieval center, you’ll pass by St. Bavo’s Cathedral, the Fish Market, St. Nicholas’ Church, Castle of the Counts, and the Belfry, before sailing through the ancient port of the city.
Along the way, your knowledgeable guide will narrate the fascinating history of Ghent and provide information about historic sites.
5. Visit Belfort of Ghent without the Line-ups
This ticket allows you to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Belfort without having to wait in line to gain entry.
During your visit, you can climb to the top of this must-see attraction in Ghent. Once at the top, you’ll admire panoramic vistas from the 14th-century tower, which is also the tallest belfry in the city.
6. Take a Combination Bus/Walking Tour of Ghent
During this 2.5-hour tour, you’ll explore Ghent by bus and on foot and see various architectural styles and historic sites.
The tour starts on the bus. As you make your way through the city streets, you’ll see the Millionaires’ Quarter, St. Peter’s Church, and Vooruit.
The walking tour focuses mainly on the historic center of the city, where you’ll see Woodrow Wilson Square, Fortress Gerard de Duivelsteen, the Belfry, Town Hall, St. Bavo’s Cathedral, The Friday Market, and St. Nicholas’ Church.
Listen carefully as your guide recounts stories of times past and provides a history of the buildings along the way.
7. Play the Escape Room Game
Escape the city for some time while trying to escape from a room in a unique setting inside Bar Bielologie. You’ll have one hour to solve clues and puzzles that will help you escape the room before the time is up.
Kick back with some local beer in the cozy bar afterward.
8. Participate in a Private Photo Session
Whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, it can be hard to get good photos of you and your party while exploring Ghent. This private photo session is the perfect way to capture your visit and have something to look at for years to come.
Your professional photographer will suggest the best locations to take the photos and make recommendations on what you can do to ensure you get the best shots. In the end, you’ll have edited HD photos of your memorable trip.
9. Indulge in Local Chocolate
It’s not hard to find places that sell local chocolate while wandering the streets of Ghent. However, it’s hard to know which places have the best chocolate. On this two-hour walking tour, you’ll have a chance to admire some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, and sample eight different chocolate-based treats at some of the city’s best shops. Learn about the city, its famous sites, and its notorious chocolate-making history.
10. Take a Guided Tour of Mons Memorial Museum
During any trip to Ghent, you’ll get a number of history lessons covering various time periods. The Mons Memorial Museum is a must-visit if you wish to get a lesson on one crucial but painful time in the history of Ghent and Belgium as a whole.
During this tour, you’ll make your way through the museum at your own pace while your guide, who is also a local historian specializing in war history, recounts the history of that time.
See artifacts and exhibits relating to the soldiers and the battles they fought during World War 1 and World War 2.