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Behind the planet-well-known van Eyck altarpiece and away from the crowds of Castle Gravensteen, there’s an option and quirky side to Ghent that you will want to uncover. Here’s your ultimate guide to the greatest of hidden gems, uncommon issues to do, and secret spots in Ghent!

Hidden gems and the best kept secrets of Ghent, the most overlooked and underrated city in Belgium. A Complete Guide to the best of unusual, offbeat, hidden, and quirky things to do in Ghent

Holy Meals Industry

For the ultimate foodie knowledge in the city, be certain to head to the Holy Meals Industry. As its name would recommend, this meals hall can essentially be discovered inside the walls of a former church. And, as the foodie hotspot markets itself, dining right here is just place a ‘divine’ knowledge.

Housed in a 16th-century former chapel, this space is inspired by meals halls like these of Rotterdam and Barcelona, as soon as inside you can anticipate to locate a wide range of cuisines from Japanese meals to Portuguese dishes, there’s lots of alternatives to decide on from (even though the value tends to err on the pricier side). On Monday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings, the industry is even transformed into a dance club!

Holy Food Market in Ghent

Drink a ‘shoe beer’ in Pub de Dulle Griet

Have you ever been to a bar, only to leave a deposit of a shoe in exchange for a glass? Properly, in Ghent you can! Pub de Dulle Griet can be discovered on a square of the identical name. The bar is open just about every day of the week and boasts the biggest choice of Belgian beers in Ghent!

In addition, if you are seeking for 1 of the most uncommon issues to do in Ghent, it has to be ordering the proef onze max van het huis (‘max of the house’ residence beer). Just after all, must you opt to order this drink, not only will you quickly uncover that the shape of the glass is most uncommon (and comes with its personal small wooden stand), but that in order to be provided your tipple, you will require to hand more than a shoe, which is then hung more than the bar in a small metal cage! The bar is money only. Proost!

Drink a 'shoe beer' in Pub de Dulle Griet

Frequent, ‘t Galgenhuis, the Smallest Bar in Ghent

Seating just eight individuals and situated close to the Groentenmarkt, this developing was as soon as in use as a tripe residence exactly where individuals could obtain animal entrails at a lowered price. Just after all, though the other side of the River Scheldt dealt in fish, the side exactly where ‘t Galgenhuis can now be discovered was exactly where meat was sold.

These days, you can wander into the adjacent ‘Great Butchers’ Hall’ (Groetenmarkt 7) exactly where the good quality of meat sold in the city was regulated through Medieval occasions. Back at the cosy brown bar (identified in Dutch as ‘bruine kroeg’ and characterised by its wooden furnishings and smoke-stained walls), the café has served locals and guests alike because 1776.

Frequent, 't Galgenhuis, the Smallest Bar in Ghent, Belgium

‘Little Nose War’

Even though not necessarily a hidden gem so a great deal as a story you must know about, it is the spat behind the Belgian delicacy of the cuberdon that is just so fascinating! If you have by no means heard of this normally Ghent sweet just before, then this treat is also identified as neuzekes (small noses) and is primarily a ‘nose shaped’ sweet with a candy tough shell and sweet raspberry interior.

The story goes that 1 day, 1 vendor decided to tout his wares from his bakery window on the Groetenmarkt in the city centre. Quickly adequate, a different city vendor caught onto the prime place and moved to the Groetenmarkt. Just after the original salesman decided that switching to a vintage cart would improve sales, the other man even purchased a close to identical cart!

What was to ensue was a extended and tough battle among the two salesmen. So a great deal so, that the nearby media has dubbed the fight ‘the small nose war’. Just after all, incidents have escalated to a brawl on the streets among the two males, water dumped more than 1 a different, and of course, lots of gossip!

Cuberdons in the Groetenmarkt Ghent Belgium

Ghent Graffiti Street (Werregarenstraatje)

Inside the heart of the city, actions away from the historic city centre, 1 street is exclusive in that it is 1 of the only locations in Belgium exactly where graffiti is not only legal but is actively encouraged by the authorities. This ever-altering and offbeat street can be discovered among Onderstraat and Hoogpoort.

Elsewhere in Ghent street art lovers will definitely adore the Tweebruggenstraat, as properly as the promotional fresco ‘The Monuments Men’. This mural was produced by graffiti artist Bart Smeets on the corner of Predikherenlei and Van Stopenberghestraat and is undoubtedly properly worth admiring if you are passing by…

Ghent Graffiti Street (Werregarenstraatje)

Le Bal Infernal Utilized Book Café

For some of the quite greatest speciality coffees in the city, as properly as the chance to peruse some reading material, be certain to head to Le Bal Infernal employed book café. Close to the Griet Dulle bar and not far from the Serpentstraat, this coffee shop serves delights such as speculoos macchiato and chai tea.

The walls are stacked from floor to ceiling with books you can study, though a ‘free cookie’ wall beckons you to order a coffee and sit back and loosen up for a though. Best for hanging out with mates this trendy hotspot even lets you exchange books you have currently study for new ones!

Le Bal Infernal Used Book Café

Begijnhofdries (Holy Corner) Ghent

Inside the city limits of Ghent nowadays, there stay a handful of beguinages you can nonetheless discover for free of charge. Generally discovered all through the Netherlands and Belgium, ‘Hofjes’ as they are so-named in Dutch had been normally religious-founded almshouses exactly where older girls and these most in require would reside.

This beguinage was founded as early as the 13th-century byCountess Johanna van Constantinople and is now 1 of the quietest secret spaces in Gent. For other European examples of beguinages, you must verify out the hofjes of Amsterdam or the Begijnhof close to the Antwerp city centre.

Begijnhofdries (Holy Corner) Ghent

Soak up the ambience of a former abbey in Coyendanspark

Just a handful of hundred metres away from the Dampoort station, all that remains of a former Abbey Church is a green space and a handful of crumbling walls that now function as a public park. No cost to check out and outdoors the historic city centre, the ecclesiastical developing was destroyed by Charles V in the 16th-century.

As soon as upon a time, Saint Bavo’s Abbey was constructed in an try to convert residents of nearby Ganda, the ancient name for the contemporary city of Ghent, to Christianity. Like numerous such buildings all through Europe, the abbey’s prosperity peaked in the 11th-century.

Regrettably, this was not to final and following the Ghent uprising of 1540, Charles V destroyed the abbey and adjacent town of Ganda (contemporary-day Ghent, or Gent as it is locally identified). These days, the crumbling wall of the abbey is generally stated to be ‘Ghent’s oldest wall’. Now, must you frequent the park, you will quickly uncover that the shape of the Romanesque church is laid out in towering box shrubs.

Soak up the ambience of a former abbey in Coyendanspark Ghent

Serpentstraat

One particular of the prettiest streets in Ghent can be discovered in the kind of Serpentstraat. Actually translated into English as ‘snake street,’ this cobbled lane is filled with independent shops and boutiques. Someplace among the graffiti street and the Dulle Griet piazza, be certain to head right here if you are seeking for some quirky purchasing experiences in Ghent!

Serpentstraat: Is this the most beautiful street in Ghent, Belgium?

Smallest Prison in Ghent

Positioned beneath the Execution Bridge (also identified as the Decapitation Bridge and in Flemish as Onthoofdingsbrug or Hoofdbrug) and close to Ghent’s fortified castle, the smallest prison in Ghent can solely be identified by a small iron grill. For the duration of its time, the prison could only hold two individuals on their knees.

If you want to see this smaller web-site for oneself, then the small cell can only be spied from the water! As such, you will require to book a boat tour like this 1. I personally loved the 40-50 minute tour as our chatty guide revealed lots of secret information and small identified issues about Ghent.

Smallest prison in Ghent, Belgium

Admire Geeraard de Duivelsteen, Ghent’s secret and option castle

Ever dreamed of living your personal fairytale European dream? Properly, in Ghent you can! Even though Ghent officially only has 1 castle (the Gravensteen), the 13th-century Geeraard de Duivelsteen (Castle of Gerald the Devil) is undoubtedly an impressive feat of architecture. More than time, the ‘castle’ has been employed as a monastery, a bishop’s seminary, and even as a prison.

Admire Geeraard de Duivelsteen, Ghent's secret and alternative castle

Admire Les oiseaux de Mr. Maeterlinck art installation (Lightning Bird Tree)

Wander along the Scheldt River at evening and you can anticipate to get pleasure from the illuminated installation of the Lightning Bird Tree. Inspired by l’Oiseau Bleu fairytale, this piece of quirky Gent art was previously a highlight of the Ghent Light Festival in 2012. Prior to you go following drinking a handful of of these Belgian beers, you must know that the birds are only lit up just before midnight!

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Looking for the most unique and unusual things to do in Ghent (Gent), Belgium? Here's your ultimate guide to the best of hidden gems, quirky attractions, and secret spots in Ghent, the beautiful and underrated city of Belgium

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