Times and Opening Seasons of Sighteeing Musts.
If there are things you would particularly like to do in Gent during a winter/low season visit do avoid disappointment and check with the Tourist Office before your visit to make sure it will be possible.
The Belfry Tower is normally Open mid March to mid November 10am - 6pm.
We would have loved to have gone to the top ; the weather was so clear the views would have been exceptional.
We knew it closed for general visits in "Mid- November", but arrived 16 November to find it had closed just the day before - "mid" really did mean the middle of the month!
During closed winter months it is accessible, by arrangement, to organised groups only.
We wanted to see the Murals in the Crypt of St Bavo's Cathedral but left it until an hour before our departure to find that the Crypt is closed every morning for High Mass at 11 o'clock.
(Check the Notice Board just inside the Cathedral for details of Regular and Special services )
The Staff in the Tourist Office are among the most helpful and friendliest team we have met.
Their Office is in the Belfry,
On a sticky hot day..
Appointment was taken. After the cowspotting afternoon in Brussels to visit Ghent and attend the Gentse Feesten.
So, on July 21, Dannie and I visited Ghent. In fact, it was rather I who visited Ghent and she who guided me. Yep! She again.
We arranged to meet ourselves at 10.00 or 10.30 am at Gent Sint-Pieter train station. Then the tour started there. Of course she had everything prepared already. She knew the itinerary, the places... But we managed to get lost in a city park that day! Still cracks me up!
We visited many areas: some are classical one, other more off beat track... Well, many things to enjoy. A lot to do in one day: walking, two small museums and other contemporary art exhibitions, chilling out, picking fruits in an abbey then going to the festival. Yep, the festival where we had a mini-meeting with Ian-Grace and hubby Werner. This was there that I met Rudi (diamonddog) for the first time too. Boy! This page can be a bit unusual of Ghent but it is Ghent.
Now, follow me... to have an insight of what we've done there on sticky hot July 21 afternoon. Whatever the purpose of your visit here, whether for partying, for paying a visit to a friend or for a guided tour, one thing is sure: you will always have fun here!
Outside the 10 festive days of Gentse Feesten, the city will be always be the same: serene, beautiful.. though its past would have been a little more hectic than nowadays....
Especially, here have a look at off beat path tips. We had during that day some unusual experiences, encounterings.
the two 'steens'
The Gravensteen is the Castle of the Counts. It was the residence of Philip of Alsace, count of Flanders, until he moved out. It then became a prison and later a textile mill. Inside don't miss the little torture museum, from the turret don't miss the great views, if you are tall. Address: Sint-Veerleplein Opening times: 9am-6pm (apr-sept),9am-5pm (oct-mar) Price: 4,96 EU
Geeraard de Duivel Steen is the castle of Gerald the Devil. Right now it's used by the city to store the city's archive but the legend tells that it used to be inhabited by Gerald, who used to kill a wife after the other in order to remarry (nice guy eh?). I think he had 5 wives, in total... Personal joke: I can think of better devils
Photo: view of the Koornlei
Finding You Way Around
Gent's old city is compact and easily walkable - although the cobbles can be a bit hard on the feet. All the main sights and places of interest are well signposted with directions on pretty much every corner. There's also plenty of easy-to-read city maps posted at strategic locations.
St Peters 'Abbey
Visit an exhibition at the arts centre St Peter's Abbey. We visited with all the VT-members the beautiful picture-exhibition: 'The earth seen from heaven' from Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Beautiful pictures from a lot of different places around the world.
You will find this arts centre at Sint-Pieterplein 9. It has also a very beautiful garden.