The city of Ghent, capital and largest city of East Flanders, has a long medieval history. In its centre, plenty of medieval buildings in a very good state can be seen. The Graslei harbour, in medieval times one of the most important in Europe, is a spot not to be missed by any visitor. A guide explained that Ghent in fact ruined its chances of obtaining a UNESCO World Heritage status when taking a more tolerant stance on architecture. Nevertheless, Ghent is in reality not less scenic than Brugges. The presence of a university spices up the local lifestyle.
While it is possible to come close to the center by car, it simply feels wrong to use it. A visitor will naturally leave their car in a car park and discover Ghent by walking or even cycling. The omnipresence of cobblestones makes a comfortable bike highly recommandable. While walking and cycling are dominating the urban landscape, any account of Ghent’s city transportation options would not be complete without mentionning horse carriages and very scenic boat tours for tourists. There is even an electrical tram. The importance of everyday cycling becomes visible at several spots where bikes are parked in huge amounts. A protected bicycle parking integrated in the pillar of an old bridge is for sure a highlight.
Cycling culture in Ghent even has its specific meeting points where owners of especially cool laid back bicycles show off as if they were riding a Harley Davidson. No doubt, the Flemish city of Ghent is a bicycle lovers’ territory. If you appreciate bicycles, arts, European history and Belgian food, chances are really high that you will fall in love with Ghent.