After the match we were naturally in need of a few beers, and a recommendation by our hotel’s receptionist led us to this down-to-earth, friendly and still-open-at-midnight local bar. It isn’t anything fancy, but if you simply want a refreshing beer or two, and maybe a chance to meet a few locals, I really couldn’t fault this place. The beer was very good and very reasonably priced (1.7 EUR for the better of the two draft beers on offer, Petrus) but what made it for us was the friendly welcome we received. When we asked about having a few nuts or similar with our drinks (some of us hadn’t eaten since lunchtime!) the barman popped next door to the pizzeria and brought back a plate of cheese. And when eventually we asked for the bill we were told they hadn’t charged us for the last round which was “on the house”.
One of us gave his football scarf to the super-helpful barman, which he wore with pride, as you can see in the second of my photos!
Dress Code: None - very casual place (see third photo - football strips welcome!)
This was the real find on the second trip to Ghent and pushed some old standbys to the side in the process. Their selection wasn't the most amazing but they certainly had some nice beers on offer and the atmosphere was candlelit magic. We enjoyed Rochefort's rare 6 and the intoxicating warm (and strong) Bush.
De Hopduvel is the premier beer cafe in Ghent with over 120 different beers on offer and is larger than it appears on the outside, with multiple rooms and covered beergarden in the back. It's located at Rokerelstraat 10, about half hour walk from the city center.
My second visit here was a bit anticlimatic. It was empty due to a Christmas Beer festival going on near Antwerp. This would not have to be a bad thing aside from the fact that we couldn't get the bartender to pay any attention to us! Still, the beer selection was great and I had the pumpkin pie infused De Ryke Christmas beer.
Well what can you say about the Dulle Griet, it is simply the place that all beer tourists must go to if in Ghent, you'll be ridiculed and lambasted by your mates if you fail to pay homage with a visit. It is superbly decorated with brewerania, the walls are bedecked with drapes, mirrors, posters etc. You can hardly see the ceiling for the number of hanging bits and pieces including some macabre effigies of people hanging by their necks. There are even a couple of tableaux in the back room which also has an upstairs gallery.
It has a very attractive brick bar and large barrel tables. The beer list is one of the most extensive I have seen and the hefty beer menus also show labels or pictures which is helpful. Some of the beers I recall we drank between us included Guillotine, Duchess De Bourgogne, Delirium, St Sebastiaan and of course the star attraction for tourists the MAX house beer in a special glass which is covered in my local customs tip.
The prices obviously depend on how many of the specialist beers you go for (for example the St Sebastiaan was 11 Euro) but we had 18 beers between us plus a few plates of snacks and the bill came to about 88 Euro. One other thing to mention, some other reviews I have seen about this bar say that the service is a bit indifferent. Well that may be so but they do have a sense of humour, as the five of us guys walked in and found ourselves a table, mouths already watering in anticipation, the waiter walked over and with a straight face said "one , two, three, four, so will that be five coffees gentlemen?"
A great experience and I strongly recommend a visit.
Dress Code: None, although don't wear your best shoes (see local customs tip)
Here is a database from the Use-it website where you would find many joints for some nightlife spots in the city of Ghent.
So far, and as far as I know, Ghent is the only Belgian city that is covered by Use-it crew. So, you'd rather use it... Personnally, I like the style, the down-to-earth information that doesn't exclude fun. In the contrary! It is intended to students, youngs, budget travellers who would like to have fun despite budget limitation so how can't it be fun?
Dress Code: check the website about specificities of each joint
Wow! I attended the Gentse feesten and I nearly forgot this. hihi
Attending the Pole Pole festival and the Gente feesten on the quays was a great experience. A bit crowded but hey! it was a festival!
What it was about? Live music, mojitos, cool people.. and at night, fireworks and son et lumière shows. I missed the fireworks because I had to leave early but do know that this is in the package if you attend the Gentse Feesten. Picture is courtesy of Dannie (irisbe). She has more of the fireworks and Son et lumière show pics in her Ghent page.
Dress Code: anything goes, probably not the stillettos regarding the cobblestoned streets :)
In de Dulle Griet you can order a Kwak. A belgian beer served in a big long glas. The trick is to drink it very slowly, or the airpocket will throw the beer in your face. (Kwak can also be translated as throw)
This glas is so expensive you have to give your shoe to the waiter in return for the glas. When you emptied it, and the glas is returned, you will get your shoe back.
The name already speaks for it self. It is a beerhouse, this has to be a place where they sell beer..... In fact they have over 150 different beers.
Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant. (The Waterhouse at the Beerside) It must be a joke as this Beerhouse is at the Waterside.
Ghent is filled with Brown Bars. Dark, intimate, cozy havens from the cold of night. They are incredible. Just imagine a Frans Hals painting come to life. Most of the Brown Bars are several hundred years old. A few of the Brown Bars are only known to locals, there is no sign telling you that it's a bar. I wish I had some names of specific places, but I unfortunately I don't. Check other VT sites on Ghent, I'm sure another traveler or VT member that lives there, will have some great recommendations. The Brown Bars are all over Ghent, I don't even drink and I visited about 4 in a 5 day period. Ask any of the locals, and they will advise you where to go, or proabably suggest they take you there. The locals are very proud of their lovely city, and jump at the chance to show it off, and so they should be.
Dress Code: Casual
Proving that Belgians have a sense of both humour and irony, one of the premier places to drink beer in Gent is the Waterhuis aan de Bierkant which translates as the Waterhouse on the Beerfront. It is of course the converse being an excellent beerhouse that happens to be on the waterfront. It is perhaps both helped and hindered by being mentioned in all the tourist guides but it still attracts the serious drinking locals who tolerate the hoards of tourists with good humour. Well I think they do, we're still not sure what that drunken local woman was saying to Keith but everyone seemed to find it amusing so we joined in.
It is a busy bar but we managed to find ourselves a table and under the expert guidance of Michael we got stuck in to a wide range of both draught and bottled beers including Duval, a Chimay, the house beer Gandavum, Rochefort 8, Barbar Blond and an interesting Cantillon Gueuze.
The experience was only spoiled by vague memories of Scotland beating England in the Six Nations rugby, a fact that proved correct on reading the papers the next day. Still I would definitely go back again even though it prompted such an upsetting and unlikely sporting result.
One final thing, they miscalculated our bill by leaving off the final round, we did the decent thing and pointed it out, they did the decent thing and gave us the last round at half price. Good chaps.
This "Live Music" performance was without doubt the highlight during the Gentsche Fieste - edition 2003.
Polé Polé is a festival - wellknown in Belgium
not only in Gent Center - Gent Oostakker - but also at the Belgian Coast during the summer holidays - in Duinbergen
This event was also a scenary in Antwerp (ask Irisbe) .
Dress Code: Depends on the season - but in the year 2003
it was HOT HOT
I know, every European city has one or more Irish pubs nowadays. Then why should you bother going to another one?
Because this one is special! I've been to quite a few Irish Pubs and this is still my favourite one. The interior is amazingly Irish, the waiters are friendly and the food is delicious! A little piece of Ireland in Ghent!
Near the Gravensteen lies the 'Patershol'. This network of little medieval streets stretches out over a surface of about 4,5 ha.
Since 1980, the Patershol is famous for its many trendy restaurants and bars.
In August they have their own festivities: the Patersholfeesten. It's more or less like the Gentse Feesten (see local customs) but on a smaller basis.
When you're in the neighbourhood, have a look at the café 't Velootje. It's the most famous pub in this area. The interior is made of , eh, well everything normal people throw away :-): there are bycicles, candles, tons of clothes, statues, lamp holders, .... hanging and lying all over the place. Also the bar tender is worth a look!
A small and nice bar when you can find some nice cocktails and visited mainly by students and locals... Mostly they play Jazz or South American music and the music is very relaxing! It's a very nice place to start your night out! And also very central (in front of the Belfort)!
I always have the feeling when you go to an Irish Pub that there's always a very commercial atmosphere but this Irish Pub feels very genuine because the prices are okay, the interior is not too extreme and the staff is very nice!