Ghent is a medieval port city with more historic buildings than any other Belgian city. While this town might also be considered A MUSEUM, there are more modern sections than Bruges and it does not have quite the same charm. Ghent can be reached, by train, from Brussels, in about an hour. Take Tram 4 from the station to the center of town. Once in the center you can walk to the attractions.
KOORNMARKT: This is the center of town, where one usually begins to explore Ghent.
CATHEDRAL OF ST. BAVO: Daily 9:30-12, 2-6. Sun 1-6. This church is a hybrid of Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque styles. The belfry offers fine views of the countryside. The real reason one visits this church is to see the very famous masterpiece by Jan Van Eyck – “The ADORATION OF THE MYSTIC LAMB, a very famous altar piece. The altar piece is located in one of the chapels…to the left of the entrance.. It has recently been cleaned and is in perfect condition. This altar piece is considered by many to be the first OIL painting. Most tours stop in Ghent to allow the visitors to see this piece…and then continue on to Bruges. If you’re “doing it” by train, and have limited time, you can also stop, check out the altarpiece, and then get back on the train to Bruges.
FINE ARTS MUSEUM (Museum Voor Schone Kunsten): Hours 9-12, 2-5. Located in Citadel Park. Contains a splendid collection of Dutch, German, French, Italian, and Spanish paintings.
CASTLE OF, THE COUNTS OF FLANDERS (S’Gravensteen): This is a splendid old castle-fortress, surrounded by a moat … excellent views of the town from the towers. Self-guided tours. It’s worth a visit. Hours 9-5:15.
GUILD HOUSES: … from the 12-17th centuries… all over town, and on every major square … especially along the canal going toward the CASTLE. Very picturesque. Also see TOWN HALL