It is hard to imagine that the small medieval town of Gent (also spelt Ghent) was once Europe's largest city after Paris. It is now overshadowed by Brussels but has retained its wonderful architecture which lines the banks of the Scheldt and Leie Rivers. It remains the capital of Belgium's Oost-Vlaandered region. The university students ensure that Gent remains a lively city with plenty of attractions, restaurants and nightlife. As you explore the area around your Gent holiday rental, you will hear Dutch, Flemish, French and German spoken, although most people also understand English too.
A great way to get your bearings and learn a little local history when visiting Gent is by taking a local walking tour. Your guide will take you in and out of the maze of cobbled streets, highlighting the sights as you go.
Gent has an exceptional collection of museums. The Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK) is a leading modern art gallery while the Gent Museum of Fine Arts has more historic Flemish artworks. The Folklore Museum includes several restored almshouses and period workshops giving a snapshot of Gent's cultural history.
One of the main attractions to visit from your Gent holiday rental is the Sint-Baafskathedrael. The whole cathedral is captivating, but the piéce de résistance is the painting "The Adoration of the Lamb" by the Van Eyck brothers. The cathedral is free to visit but there is a small charge to view the painting and listen to the accompanying audio guide.Brussels
Brussels, Belgium's capital city, is within easy reach from your Gent holiday rental and sights include the Grand Place (Grote Markt), the Royal Palace and the well-known bronze icon, the Mannekin Pis.Antwerp
Antwerp is a historic town and major port on the banks of the River Scheldt, close to the river estuary and the North Sea. Look for the icon of the city – a giant hand which relates to a local legend about a boy cutting off the hand of the giant. Antwerp is noted for its architecture including the 16th century Guildhouses, the ornate Cathedral and the grand City Hall.
Gent has a typical European continental climate with mild winters, generally remaining above freezing and warm sunny summer days reaching 23°C (73°F) in August. It has a couple of inches of rainfall every month, although the spring is slightly drier.
The closest airport to your Gent holiday rental is Brussels (BRU) Airport, 57km away. Alternatively, use Lille/Lesquin (LIL) Airport in France, which is 70km away. If you prefer to drive to Gent, there are many ferries from Ramsgate or Hull to Ostend or Zeebrugge.