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Ghent Private Tour: Highlights and Hidden Gems

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Ghent Private Tour: Highlights and Hidden Gems

Ghent is often called Europe’s best kept secret, a hidden gem away from crowds like those in Amsterdam, Paris or Bruges. While it is definitely true that Ghent still remains in the shadows of Brussels and Bruges, more and more visitors are discovering this diverse city, both a historic gem rich in history and architecture and a vibrant, innovating city. Come and explore Ghent’s highlights and hidden gems with a local guide!

As one of Belgium’s oldest cities, Ghent has a very interesting story to tell. Its history dates back to the Roman times but it is especially in the Middle Ages and the Industrial Revolution that Ghent really made a name for itself. The story of Ghent is illustrated in its architecture, with its mix of Medieval and Renaissance/Baroque buildings and structures from its industrial era as well as modern architecture. 

Ghent is not only a historic and architectural gem but also very much a living city. It is one of the most important  student cities of Belgium (with more than 75,000 studying in Ghent!) and partly because of that it is the most progressive and innovative city of Belgium. Especially concerning environmental and social sustainability. It is for instance the veggie capital of Europe and the entire city centre is a Low Traffic Zone. The city council also strongly promotes fair trade and has many projects that are aimed at reducing inequality. A very interesting city indeed!

This tour is a comprehensive overview of these diverse sides of Ghent. Medieval history and architecture with castles, belfry, churches, guild halls, abbeys and merchants’ and patricians’ houses. Repurposed industrial structures and the monumental buildings of the socialist movement from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Picturesque neighbourhoods and photogenic bridges over one of Ghent’s rivers or canals. 13th century beguinages (closed community formerly inhabited by a movement of pious laywomen) and 21st century modern structures. Disappeared abbeys and palaces. University buildings and many students.

Ghent has so much to offer and this local would love to show it to you! 

Meeting Location

Any Ghent hotel or Ghent train station


3.5 hours

Price Includes

  • Guiding services
  • Entrance Fees
  • Local insights and hidden gems
  • Flexible and customized tour

Itinerary Private Tour of Ghent

Highlights of Ghent

The tour starts in the historic centre with the highlights of Ghent. There are too many to sum them all up, but this private tour will definitely include:

  • The main market squares: Vrijdagmarkt, Korenmarkt, St. Baafsplein, Groentenmarkt, Veerleplein.
  • The former port with its medieval guild halls: Koren- and Graslei
  • The main churches of St Michael, St Nicholas and the St Bavo Cathedral
  • The Ghent Altarpiece
  • The Abbey of St Peter’s and the remains of the St Bavo Abbey
  • The Castle of the Counts
  • City Hall
  • The Meat Hall and the former fish market
  • The medieval neighbourhood of Patershol
  • The disappeared Prince’s Court (where Emperor Charles V was born)
  • The City Pavilion
Hidden Gems of Ghent

There will be plenty of hidden gems on the tour, some of them in the main historic centre, some of them a bit further away in the southern district (just 10 minutes walking). Including the former Industrial Age slums (beautifully renovated), the hypermodern library, the beguinage hidden in the middle of a busy neighbourhood, street art, picturesque alleys and streets, historic and modern university buildings, and so much more. 

Local specialties

Ghent is a very walkable city but we will still need a few breaks during the day. It’s part of the local culture… We will take this opportunity to explore a different aspect of Belgian and Ghent culture, food and drinks! Ghentians love to eat and enjoy a drink in one of the many bars, restaurants or snackbars. As a local, your guide knows where to get the best fries, chocolates and beers. But, why not try a more alternative delicacy? For instance, a shot of jenever for instance (as Belgian as beer) or a Ghent Nose (a local candy).