Part of Ghent’s modern magic lies in its devotion to ecotourism and emphasis on green spaces. Within the city there are numerous parks, like the artistic Citadel Park, and even small green corners like Appelbrugparkje that offer shady areas for weary walkers. If you need to get out of the city, explore Flanders, the surrounding region, which is home to the Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen Nature Reserve. This marshy park is spectacular for bird lovers who can watch the yearly migration, or city-worn travelers who just want a place to watch the sunset.
As with any vibrant city with a plethora of historical monuments, gorgeous architecture, and bustling neighborhoods – a walk is in order. If you follow the de Leie river, you’ll pass through the best parts of Ghent, from the picturesque Graslei, up through the historic Patershol neighborhood. Discover the best architecture, cafes, and boutiques before picking a market to wander. Our favorites include the flea market in St. Jacobskerk Square, the secondhand book market, or the upscale flower market. If walking isn’t your thing, hop on a boat and view the city from the canals. Like its sister Brugge, Ghent has a latticework of canals crossing the city, but unlike Brugge, a boat tour will not break the bank. Hop aboard a boat, a kayak, or even a paddleboard to see the city from a fresh perspective.