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3 days of leisure, enjoying Belgian life.
Arrive by train around 11:30, take the tram into town from the trainstation
The oldest hotel of Europe! To bad they modernized the rooms, I loved the old-style rooms. Breakfast room is still great
(Sofitel is just across the street, also lovely, and it has a good bar where you can also have a drink when you're not a guest)
Next to the hotel you can get a quick snack and a drink just before going into town: Den Turk is the oldest bar in town and often has live Jazz
13:15 Saint George is near the townhall so why not have a look?
14:00 Biggest attraction in Ghent: Only surviving medieval castle in Flanders with an (almost) intact defense system, the gate , rampart, stables, tower, all visible to the public (including an expostion about torture, a courtmuseum and weaponry museum)
16:00 after all this history it's time to grab a nice belgian beer, with 300 kinds it's hard to choose, great terrace and when it's colder: nor problem, inside is cozy as well!
After dinner (you have to try 'Gentse Waterzooi', it's delicious!)
go for a drink at the smallest cafe in town
Day2 10:00 after a nice breakfast in the lovely breakfastroom it's just a little walk over to the Belfort, 95m. high, second tower in the tower-row of Ghent. Building started in 1314
At the lakenhallen you have to look for the story of the 'Mammelokker'
11:00 of course you have to visit the buildings where the other 2 towers of the row are attached to, one of the is this Cathedral, where you can visit the Crypt and see the tryptich of Jan v. Eijk (you'll have to pay extra to see that.)
11:30 time for the third building: the St. Niklaaskerk (church)
12:00 time to get warm with a nice hot chocolate or a cuppa tea, nice view on the leien, the canals.
12:45 take a boat tour to see the marvellous houses at Graslei and Korenlei, see the town from a different side.
13:30 Grab some belgian fries on the way and go visit the old cannon called 'Dulle Griet'. Near it you will find a pub with the same name. Order a 'Maximilliaan', a big dark beer in a special glass, to obtain the beer you'll have to hand over one of your shoes, which they will hang in the top of the ceiling, untill you've finished your beer.
At van den Abeele, a backery that's near to Dulle Griet, you can buy Gentse Mokken and babbeluten, some typical sweets from this town.
Go for a walk and visit St. Jacobschurch.
15:00 Of course you have to walk over this famous bridge with the fantastic view
15:30 if you are into art deco, decorative design etc. this is the museum for you (you might even regognize some furniture from your grandparent's house
16:30 wander around in the oldest area of town, really fun, great atmosphere
18:00 best ribs in town, fantastic atmosphere, great decorationsm, brilliant '20-'50s music! you can take wine from the bottle on the table and afterwards they will messure how much you drank and that's what you'll have to pay, so you don't have to drink everything in the bottle!
If you fancy another belgian beer after dinner: try the 'Trollenbar' .
Day 3, our last day in Ghent. After brealfast and checking out, leave your luggage at the reception, since we are going to use this day to the fullest!
09:30 First stop: the flea market. Every Saturday and Sunday 8am-1 pm, all year.
After your visit, walk by 'Geraard de Duivelsteen, beautiful building, now it keeps the archives of the city, when you're in luck you can sneak a peak inside.
11:00 also cold the 'small beguinage', but it's anything but small! lovely atmosphere, really a must-see-attraction. The last beguine in Ghent died in 2008, now other people live in the houses of the beguinage.
12:15 a modern building (1933, finished in 1939) where now the university library is established, sometimes there's an open house, guided tours in the building, but you can also contact the library by email to get access.
12:45 time for the best belgian fries in town
13:30 a bit of a walk over there but the building alone is worth it. Nowadays there's an Art Centre established here with some great expositions. Nearby you will find the Citadelpark, for a nice stroll. (parts of the old kazematten are still visible)
After this visit it's time to collect our luggage at the hotel reception and fins our way back to the station.
Hope you had a nice time!