Photo Essay: Falling In Love with Ghent

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“You must visit Ghent,” they said, “It’s the hidden gem of Belgium,” they said. Even Lonely Planet called it “the best kept secret in Europe.” And yet… I was still not prepared for Ghent’s incredible beauty. In August, I spent a week traveling throughout Belgium. Brussels charmed me, Antwerp underwhelmed me, and Bruges met all of my dreamy expectations. But Ghent? Ghent stopped me in my tracks.

I arrived on a glorious summer’s day in August and almost immediately regretted my plan to only spend 24 hours in the city. Please, do yourself a favor and spend at least 3 days in Ghent. Exploring the streets of Ghent is like walking through a historical painting. Your eyes are treated to an architectural feast of castles and cathedrals around every corner. Completely mesmerized, I kept asking myself, “People actually LIVE here?”

Due to my tight schedule, I hardly had any time to check out all of the attractions. Nevertheless, I was more than content with just strolling through the streets, camera in hand. Instead of reading me rave about Ghent for 10 more paragraphs, I’ll let my pictures do the talking. Hopefully, you’ll fall a little bit in love with Ghent too.

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I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon in Ghent than strolling along the Leie River and admiring that gorgeous Belgian architecture.

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Can you spot a mini Big Ben?! London is my favorite city so this was wonderful to see.

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Korenmarkt has become a large outdoor terrace where locals and tourists alike come to enjoy their surroundings and find a bite to eat.

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Despite being the second biggest city in Belgium, Ghent remains spacious and charming with lovely plazas such as this.

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Here’s a view from the back of Saint Nicholas’ Church, one of the oldest and most prominent landmarks in Ghent that dates back to the 13th century.

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Colorful flowers line the river walk in Ghent as you approach St Michael’s Bridge.

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Getting lost in Ghent is something I’d highly recommend to any tourist.

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In the distance, you can see a part of Gravensteen Castle which originates from the Middle Ages.

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This photograph reminds me a bit of the colorful Nyhavn buildings in Copenhagen. Does anyone else see the resemblance?

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Those people on the left had the right idea to sit along the river and admire the wonder that is Ghent.

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I had to save this picture for last because it is my absolute favorite. The best spot to admire Ghent’s cityscape is by walking across St Michael’s Bridge.

Which photo is your favorite? Have you ever been to Ghent? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below.

Happy travels!

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