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Ghent lies at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie. This riverside location has been a key factor in the history of the city. And it's a fascinating history. There was a time when Ghent was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in all of Europe.
The town originally grew up around two abbeys founded in the 7th century. However, the importance of river transport in the medieval period saw Ghent bloom as a center of trade. By the 11th century, it became an independent city-state. By the 13th century, it rivaled Paris in size. And some of the city's most iconic buildings date back to this period of wealth.
Trade in textiles was a huge part of Ghent's prosperity. That, and the river passage to the North Sea, fueled the town's economic growth for centuries. But the good times couldn't last forever. During the Belgian Revolution, when the country fought for its independence from the Netherlands, Ghent lost its access to the sea. The economy collapsed. While unfortunate for those who had to live through it, the end result is a town that remains astonishingly well preserved. Nowadays, the medieval heart of Ghent brings millions of tourists every year to this Belgian city.
A big part of Ghent's charm is the ancient buildings in the old town. But there's more to this vibrant city than just its history. You'll also find great shopping, restaurants, and everything you need to enjoy a fun vacation.
Admire the military technology of a bygone age at Gravensteen Castle. This imposing fortification was built in 1180 and was the home of the counts of Flanders. Over the course of its long history, it has also been a prison, a currency mint, and even a wool factory.
See the spiritual heart of Ghent at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. This Gothic church with its tall tower dates back to the 14th century and is best known as the home of the Ghent altarpiece, one of the outstanding works of Belgian art.
Take in a stunning view at the Ghent bell tower. The tallest belfry in the country, this tower is one of the three medieval towers that form the skyline of the city of Ghent. It's well worth the climb up this nearly 300-foot tall tower to look over the city and the countryside surrounding it.
Soak up the atmosphere in the neighborhood of Graslei. This canal-side neighborhood is one of Ghent's most popular, and is full of charming bars and restaurants that make the perfect place to grab a meal or a Belgian beer and admire the old buildings reflected in the rippling water.
Appreciate the diversity of Flemish art at the Fine Arts Museum. This museum contains paintings by Bosch, van Dyck, and Rubens, among other world-famous artists. The full history of Flemish art is represented in this stunning collection.
Most travelers reach Ghent by way of Brussels and its large international airport. Brussels Zaventem has a direct rail connection to Ghent, and the journey takes around 45 minutes. Charleroi airport is around 70 minutes away via a direct bus connection that makes the journey nine times a day.
Ghent's main train station is right in the heart of the city. It can be reached by high-speed train from Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, or Lille. This region of Europe has excellent rail connections, making it easy to reach Gent from many cities in the area.
Tram line 1 from Ghent railway station will bring you to the city center in ten minutes. Ghent's network of trams and buses is excellent, and it's easy to reach any point in the city by public transport.
The medieval heart of Ghent is quite small, and that makes it a great destination for walking. The pedestrianized streets are a wonderful place to explore on foot while you take in the atmosphere of this ancient town.
To make things easier, drop off your heavy bags at a Bounce luggage storage service in Ghent. Your back will thank you as you explore in comfort, and your bags will be waiting safely for you whenever you're ready to pick them up.
Bruges: Ghent isn't the only well-preserved medieval town in the region. The city of Bruges lies a short train ride to the West of Ghent, and is also well worth exploring. The quiet canals and ancient Guildhalls make Bruges one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, and you can easily lose yourself in the bars and restaurants of the old town for a day or longer. Make the journey easier on yourself by dropping your bags at a luggage storage in Ghent before you head to Bruges.
Brussels: The capital of Belgium, Brussels, is also easy to reach from Ghent. This truly international city is famous for its chocolate, its waffles, and of course, its beer. It's also the home of the country's Royal Palace and parliament, and several important institutions of the European Union. Brussels is a city where old meets new, and there's always something going on in the Belgian capital.
Tournai: The city of Tournai, with its well-preserved 12th-century cathedral, is a fascinating place to explore. Approximately an hour and a half from Ghent, the city is just as beautiful as Ghent, but since it lies in the province of Wallonia, it has a different vibe from the Flemish town of Ghent. Check out its lively Grand Place or take a stroll along the many canals and experience a different side of Belgian culture.
Convenient to the Met, which does not allow luggage at coat check. Very easy check in and check out process, with lovely people at the front!
This was so cool!!!! Great service, extremely easy to use, and totally affordable! I didn't know where I'd leave my luggage while we explored San Fran, so I easily Googled luggage storage and found this company. At first it was a little odd dropping my bag off at a chocolate store, but the lady at the register was able to immediately pull up my reservation without any problems and then she put a lock on my suitcase and gave me a card to get it back with. She pushed the bag to the back of their storage room and I came back about 6 hours later to pick it up. Great service, I will definitely be using this again when I travel!
Can’t believe I haven’t used this service until now. So easy & convenient. I 100% recommend.
The price for luggage storage in Ghent is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
There are multiple locations all around Ghent which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near Vliedberg Boudewijnskerke, Fort Steendorp, Vliedberg Bergweg and many other areas.
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $10,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Ghent.
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Ghent. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Ghent where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $10,000 Bounce Gurantee.
The most popular restaurants to visit are Amadeus, Manhattn's Burgers, and Holy Food Market. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Ghent are Place2stay, NH Gent Belfort, and Monasterium Poortackere.
Ghent offers several scenic parks including Bos van Kasteel Ten Bieze, Scheutbos, and Citadel Park.
You can find local tourist information at Infokantoor Toerisme Gent, Natuur- en milieucentrum De Bourgoyen, and Infopunt Project Gent-Sint-Pieters.
If you're looking for a good museum in Ghent, we recommend Belfry of Ghent, Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, and City Museum for Contemporary Art. If you prefer to be outside, you can give yourself a walking tour and see some of Ghent's most popular historical attractions including Sport Vlaanderen Domein Hofstade, Provinciedomein Fort van Beieren, or Gravensteen Castle and monuments like Dorpspomp. Lastly, you can enjoy the local ruin of St Bavo's Abbey.