From the Ghent Port, the medieval architecture of Ghent, Belgium will enchant the cruise tourist. The third largest Belgian city speaks Flemish; it is found in the East Flanders province. Flowers are its biggest exports. The Lys and Scheldt Rivers saw the humble beginnings of this settlement. During the Middle Ages, Ghent achieved an image as a rich Northern European city; thanks to the clothing industry. "Ghent Fests", a street festival, is celebrated for 10 days each year. Since Ghent, Belgium is a car-free city, cruise tourists can leave their cars at the Park and Ride zones upon arrival at the Ghent cruise terminal. Buses are available for free rides on Saturday and Sunday nights.
You can have a glimpse of the old world at Fallen Angels; toys and postcards make nice presents. Budget-conscious tourists can relish the oldies selection at N'Importe Quoi. Rataplan, Vynilla, Kiekehoe, and De Schaar are also good choices for thrift purchases. Second-hand CDs, videos, and books are available at De Katf. Book lovers who love rare stocks will be thrilled with Sanderus.
While strolling about the shops, there are various food purchases to consider. The "mastel" or bagel, shaped like a donut, is sold at bakeries. Flemish beef stew (stoverij) can be bought anywhere. Originally, freshwater fish produces the "Waterzooi" gotten from the Ghent creeks and rivers; chicken is the present ingredient that replaces the fish. A side large pot is served with it in nouvelle-cuisine-style.
Things to See
The cruise tourists will be awed upon arriving at the Ghent cruise port. The Medieval architecture is preserved and creates a strong presence. Northern Renaissance style is observed at the Saint Bavo Cathedral where The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (Ghent Altarpiece) and The Conversion of St Bavo are found. The altarpiece painting is 24-panels long.
To see Ghent from a high-rise perspective, visit the Belfry. This tower, stands at 295 feet; it gives a captivating city view and is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the interiors of Gravensteen castle or Castle of the Counts all the way to the top. Historical torture material can be found inside. Old Graslei harbor also presents mesmerizing architecture.
Saint-James, Saint Michael, and Saint-Nicolas are the most famous and beautiful churches. Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Museum of Fine Arts) keeps the paintings of Flemish masters including Peter Paul Rubens and Hieronymus Bosch. City Museum for Contemporary Art or SMAK presents the works of Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys from the twentieth century. The art of Le Corbusier and Victor Horta are treasured in the Design museum. Children’s puppet shows and folk theatre shows are watched at Huis van Alijn.
Henry Van de Velde’s modern works of art are seen through the Boekentoren or Book Tower. Gentse Feesten, "10 Days Off" musical festival, and Internationaal Festival van Vlaanderen Gent are famous cultural events that can be experienced. Gentse Floraliën is a grand botanical exhibition presented every 5 years. All year round, boat day tours are available that take you up and down canals with multilingual tour guides. Winter season only has weekend tours.
Restaurants and Bars
Veggiedag is observed every Thursday where meat is not eaten. Outdoor romantic dining with French and eclectic food can be enjoyed at The House of Eliott. The old big house setting of 3 Biggetjes lets you relax while savoring Belgian and French food with reservations. An outdoor breakfast or brunch at Komkommertijd satisfies the vegetarian with healthy organic produce. International cuisine is enjoyed from Martino. Casual Asian and Japanese dining are great at A Food Affair with reservations.