Belgium is known for its beautiful medieval cities, impressive architecture and delicious delicacies such as chocolate, waffles and beer. When people decide to travel to Belgium, they often choose to visit the most famous cities such as Brussels and Bruges. As a proud resident of Ghent, I think it’s important to introduce you to my hometown, which I really love. No better way to do this with a photo guide of the most instagrammable places to visit in Ghent.
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The most instagrammable places to visit in Ghent
Ghent is a beautiful medieval city that consists of a historic center with mainly late Gothic architecture, cozy cobbled streets and alleys, romantic canals and enchanting bridges.
1. Sint Michiels bridge
My favourite place to admire all this beauty is Saint Michaels Bridge. On the top of the bridge you have a breath-taking cityscape on the most beautiful towers of Ghent. (Belfort, Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and Saint Nicolas Church)
When you descend along the bridge you end up on the korenlei alongside the canal. Here you still have a perfect view of the 3 towers from a different angle.
If you walk a bit further along the canal, you have a beautiful view of the historic warehouses with typical stepped facades. Today you will find nice restaurants or cozy bars inside these buildings.
3. Gras brug – Grass Bridge
At the end of the Korenlei, you can cross the Grasbrug. Here again you will have enchanting views of the entire area of the St. Michael’s Bridge, including the beautiful historical and impressive warehouses.
In the middle of Ghent you will find the Gravensteen. This is a must see medieval fortress. Today it is still accessible as a museum where you can witness the most terrible torture equipment that was used in the Middle Ages. The exterior is quite impressive and therefore perfect for a snapshot.
But as a true local, I have a secret spot where you can create a unique image of this beautiful medieval castle in total seclusion. When you are in front of the castle, go left over the bridge and then take the first street on the right. Then take the first street on the right again and follow the Sint-Widostraat to the water. There you really have a phenomenal view over the Gravesteen.
2. Sint Baafs plein – Sint Bavo’s square and surroundings
At this location you are within walking distance of the most impressive late gothic buildings in Ghent such as the Belfort, Saint Bavo’s cathedral (where you can also spot the famous painting ‘Lamb of God’), Saint Nicolas Church and the town hall. From here you have different possibilities to take the most stunning photos.
The place with the most spectacular view over the 3 most famous towers of Ghent, is the Saint Michael’s bridge.
One of my favourite buildings in Ghent is the Vooruit. This spectacular building was the first concert hall In Ghent. Today it is still used for concerts, events, … I especially adore the mesmerizing architecture in Art Nouveau style.
Best cozy streets
The historic centre of Ghent consists out of several city squares and a maze of cobbled streets and alleys. Here are the top instragram worthy streets of Ghent.
1. Oudburg and Patershol
Patershol is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Ghent. Historically, the district has a varying reputation, a back and forth between prosperity and marginality.
Today this is a vibrant and trendy area with the most cozy and tasty cafes and restaurants. The little cobblestoned alleys in this neighbourhood are therefore the prefect location for unique photos.
At Oudburg you will also find the ‘zuivelbrug’ that is very popular with instagrammers because of the little pontoon over the water. As beautiful as this place is to take a picture, this wooden narrow pontoon is fenced for a reason. Beware of slip hazards.
2. Jan Breydelstraat
In this street you will find the most appealing and instagram worthy shop windows. Even if you are not into shopping, it’s just fun to stroll through this street. In the middle you also have a little hidden parc ‘appelbrugparkje’ where you have a wonderful sight over the canal.
The most adorable street in Ghent is undoubtedly the serpent street. This is decorated with flags and this is the spot where you’ll find the nicest vintage shops.
Best urban vibes
1. Graffiti straat – Graffiti street
Drop by the Werregaren Street in the centre of Ghent, better known as the graffiti street. This is the alley where graffiti artists let their creativity run free. You will find the most remarkable and original street art. The perfect spot if you are looking for a colourful backdrop.
2. De dokken – The docs
This area is situated on the edge of Ghent. This is also the place where I am currently living. It used to be the vibrant centre of the industry. Today this old working class neighbourhood is reviving with new and modern projects. The reason why I like this location so much is the mix between old an new. You can still find many traces of the flourishing industrial period in combination with contemporary trendy ventures that are perfect for photoshoots.
3. Grindbakken – Gravel bins
Shortly after the Second World War, the City of Ghent built a whole row of concrete gravel bins along the docs. Not much remains of these original buildings. The deserted place is still used by graffiti artists to exhibit their art. If you are looking for a rough, yet playful environment, than this is the place to be.
Best hidden gems
The Lievekaai is a bit more hidden in the centre and is therefore less known among tourists. It is a charming and peaceful location where you can enjoy sitting under the majestic weeping willows on a beautiful day. The neighbourhood consists of picturesque houses and a dreamy bridge where you can admire the enchanting scenery. In short, the ideal place for a whimsical photo.
2. Portus ganda
Another lesser known place among tourists is Portus Ganda. This is a small city port where travellers by boat stop to spend the night. There is a large pontoon on the water where you look out over the picturesque harbour and the most remarkable historical facades of Ghent. The best moments to get an amazing picture are sunrise and sunset. In the summer this is an excellent place to meet up with friends and have a picnic by the water.
3. Jozef Kluyskensstraat
During the spring when the Japanese cherry blossoms and turns completely pink, this street is the favorite attraction of the locals. You have to be quick though, because after a week these beautiful flowers have already finished blooming. For a beautiful pastel-colored spring shot, this is definitely the place to be. Besides, this is a very nice neighborhood for a walk or a bike ride.
I hope this photo guide helps you with finding the most instagrammable places to visit in Ghent.
Do you make to make a weekend getaway out of it and are you looking for a unique accommodation with the little extra touch of luxury, then I could recommend Hotel Harmony in the heart of the historical centre in Ghent. Below you can find other accommodations in Ghent as well.
What are your favorite instagrammable places to visit in Gent? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.