After leaving Bruges, I wasn’t sure if any other destination in Belgium could compare, but I was totally wrong. Ghent turned out to be just as charming, if not more so in the sense that it was not nearly as touristy as Bruges.
Ghent is a seriously overlooked city, full of life and personality. Our adventure begin when we checked in to a cool little Airbnb in the red light district (yes, the red light district), smack dab in the middle of all the action.
Ghent is by no means a bustling metropolis, but it had an energy to it that Bruges did not. In fact, Ghent reminded me a lot of Moda, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Istanbul. Every twist down an alley revealed a slew of delightfully hipster shops, quirky cafes, and plenty of pubs.
Ghent is also the self-proclaimed vegetarian capital of the world (again…self-proclaimed), so it was nice to have some tasty and healthy options around. One cafe in particular – BARISTA- has forever captured my heart with it’s unbelievable homemade soups and awesome orange chai lattes. It also didn’t hurt that they offered me a free sandwich one evening right before closing that turned out to be one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.
We decided to focus on city walks during our time there since I was too sick and exhausted to manage much of anything else. The coolest walk by far was the Illuminated Walk, suggested by the Ghent tourism board. This walk is meant to be done at night and to showcase Ghent’s unique cityscape all lit up.
Ghent was such a stunning place, both by day and night. If you find yourself passing through Belgium, don’t miss out!