Ghent Belgium Tips From Locals
Ghent is a city of merchants
Every day, you will find a market on a square somewhere. On Sunday mornings, you can look
for a punnet of strawberries or the collected works of Dickens from the city centre all the way to Ledeberg – there really is something for everyone. Tailor your walk to the markets and discover Ghent in an original way. The ‘Sunday-market walking route’ (for further details, go to visitgent.be or pop into the Visit Gent information office) does not just take you on a tour of the Sunday markets, it also shows you the three towers, Graslei and Korenlei, Mad Meg and many more beautiful sights.
Kouter: Flowers | Ajuinlei: Books | St.-Michielsplein: Food | Groentenmarkt: Arts And Crafts (Until 6 P.M.) | Bij St.-Jacobs: Antiques And Second-Hand Goods | Oude Beestenmarkt: Small Domestic Pets And Farmyard Animals, And Second-Hand Bicycles | Ledeberg Market: The Largest Market In Ghent, Just Outside The City Centre
Organic Foods: Groentenmarkt – Fridays – 7.30 A.M. To 1 P.M. | New Goods: Vrijdagmarkt – Fridays – 7 A.M. To 1 P.M. And Saturdays – 11 A.M. To 6.30 P.M., Concerts On Sundays | Antiques/Curiosities/ Second-Hand Goods: Bij St.- Jacobs And Beverhoutplein – Fridays & Saturdays – 8 A.M. To 1 P.M. Jacobs And Beverhoutplein – Fridays & Saturdays – 8 A.M. To 1 P.M.
Restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece
Ghent is my favourite
Bart Devolder (BDV): “I was delighted to return here. Ghent has always been my favourite Belgian city, purely out of sentiment: there's always something going on here, without it having to be perfect. It's welcoming without trying too hard, and touristy but not excessively so. Did you know, compared to Americans for example, that Belgians are far more reserved? Yet somehow this doesn’t really apply to the inhabitants of Ghent.”
Wonderful details of
the Ghent Altarpiece
BDV: “For years, I had a postcard of the ‘Singing Angels’ panel in my office, so I've always had a connection with the Ghent Altarpiece. In recent months, I've been working practically full-time on the restoration of ‘the angel Gabriel’, so I've been able to get to know it even better.” He is coordinating the restoration work on the retable, demonstrating how he and his colleagues are bringing the Ghent Altarpiece back to life with infinite patience. “The many layers of varnish which have been applied on top of the paint over the centuries have increasingly hidden Van Eyck's genius under an almost opaque layer. We are now removing these layers very carefully and discovering wonderful details in the process. For example, in the background we found a spider's
web painted in minute detail, and we now know that nobody has seen it since the 16th century!”.
Watch the restorers at work
BDV: “The Ghent Altarpiece is the pride and joy of local residents, of course, so we want to demonstrate our working methods to them and all its other admirers. We are therefore inviting everyone to come along to the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK) and take a closer look at what we're up to. And many people are actually doing so, with a great deal of interest and enjoyment.”
The sun’s out! Time to head to one of the many cafés with terraces throughout the city. That refreshing pint or sunny salad always tastes so much better under the open sky (or the parasol). You can also enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city, watch passers-by and feel the gentle breeze on your skin. It's the best way to breathe in the unique atmosphere of the Ghent city centre.
Cultural centre with a café and a multi-functional, modern terrace area on the side of this classical building. This ‘green tower’ is a wonderful place to relax.
French-Belgian brasserie with a unique balcony terrace on the first floor of the theatre building.
Brasserie serving classic Ghent dishes with a view of St.-Baafsplein, in the pleasant hustle and bustle between the Belfry and the Ghent Altarpiece.
BAR JAN CREMER
This bar single-handedly changed Kramersplein into a place to see and be seen. It also has loungers which will make you dream of far-off sandy beaches.
Bar and brasserie which boasts one of the most beautiful terraces in Ghent. The perfect spot to enjoy this city along the water, literally just above the spot where the Lieve and Lys rivers cross paths.