According to National Geographic, hip and historic Ghent is one of the top three authentic destinations in the world. In particular you should visit the many vintage shops and markets, the Museum of Contemporary Art (SMAK) and the live restoration of the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb And if you love comfort, ambiance and atmosphere, then you certainly shouldn't miss the Ghent Festival in July. Ghent, Europe’s best kept secret!

Ghent exudes history, but simultaneously bubbles with culture and modern city life. The city has numerous trumps, such as its beautiful architecture, the award-winning magical building lighting, the water, and rock 'n roll gastronomy with the greatest veggie offering in Europe. In addition, in 2009 UNESCO designated Ghent 'Creative City of Music', an honour as well as global recognition of the importance of the city as a leading musical trendsetter.

What you must absolutely see:

  • The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, the world’s most coveted masterpiece. The Van Eyck brothers painted this unique altarpiece in 1432. It is the highlight of the Flemish Primitives and a milestone in art history, which you can find today in St. Bavo’s Cathedral. Though admittedly, the ‘Just Judges’ panel, which was stolen in 1934, is still replaced by a reproduction.
  • St. Bavo’s, an impressive Gothic cathedral built in the 15th century on top of the remains of a Romanesque church, with numerous art treasures such as a masterpiece by Rubens, the mausoleums of Ghent bishops, and of course the world famous The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.
  • The Gravensteen, an imposing fortress in the heart of the city. Overlooking the city from its battlements high up on the keep, one can sense the feeling of wealth and power that Philip of Alsace must have had in 1180.
  • The Graslei and Korenlei, a medieval port with its unique row of historical buildings, which are reflected in the long river, is the meeting place par excellence. Young and old, inhabitant and visitor, everyone meets on one of the many café patios or simply by the water. This is the thriving heart of the inner city.
  • For good dining, you can choose from one of the many restaurants which have sprung up in the medieval alleys of the Patershol quarter. From Japanese to Thai, to delicious traditional Flemish cooking, you’ll find everything here.
  • The Belfry is the proudest symbol of the city’s independence and listed as a Unesco World heritage site.
  • The St Michael's bridge offers a magnificent view of the old port and the row of towers, Saint Nicholas' Church, the Belfry and St. Bavo's Cathedral.
  • Boat trips on Ghent's inland waterways.

photos ©visitflanders ©milo-profi
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Near Ghent you can go for an introduction to golf at Golfschool Ghent, which has extensive practice facilities, or you can play nine holes in the unique and historic setting of Zwijnaarde Castle at Executive Private Golf Club Zwijnaarde.

A little further away there's the picturesque Sint-Martens-Latem 18-hole course, set in beautiful wood- and parkland, in one of the oldest golf clubs in Belgium, Royal Latem Golf Club.

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