City Orientation Walk, Ghent

City Orientation Walk, Ghent
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the iOS app "Ghent Map and Walks" on iTunes App Store or the Android app "Ghent Map and Walks" on Google Play. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Gent is one of the most beautiful historic cities in Belgium. The city's many medieval buildings, breathtaking squares, and impressive monuments attract thousands of tourists from around the world. Take this orientation walk to see Gent's most famous landmarks.

City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Belgium » Ghent (See other walking tours in Ghent)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Author: vickyc
Friday Market Square

1) Friday Market Square (must see)

On many occasions in the past the fate of Gent was decided on this beautiful market square, called Vrijdagmarkt. The name translates from Dutch as 'Friday Market' because on Fridays the market is held here. Throughout centuries the square has witnessed countless celebrations and bloody battles. All that have taken place here was in one way or the other related to the activities of the corporations, among which the weavers and the merchants were the most influencial. Back in the Middle...   view more
Dulle Griet

2) Dulle Griet (must see)

The Dulle Griet ("Mad Meg", named after the Flemish folklore figure Dull Gret) is a medieval supergun located in Gent. This wrought-iron cannon was constructed in the first half of the 15th century from 32 longitudinal bars enclosed by 61 rings. In 1452, the bombard was employed by the city of Gent in the siege of Oudenaarde, but fell into the hands of the defenders on the retreat and was only returned to Gent in 1578. Today, the cannon is set up close to Friday Market square in the...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Het Huis van Alijn

3) Het Huis van Alijn (must see)

Complete with a beautiful inner garden, café and shop, this museum holds a special place in the historic centre of Gent. The House of Alijn brings to life a fascinating tale of all things big and small, offering a vivid portrayal of the evolution of the 20th century everyday life culture. On display are ordinary objects and curiosities which deliver a striking introduction to the mankind's common heritage. The exhibited items convey the spirit of the times, much as the ways and customs of...   view more
Patershol Neighbourhood

4) Patershol Neighbourhood (must see)

Patershol Neighbourhood is a small, historic neighborhood of Gent. You can walk through it in half an hour. The buildings in this quarter date back to the 15th century. It used to be the part of Gent that housed textile workers. Now it is a rich neighborhood with many good restaurants that offer local food. There are also some of the best cafes, bars and boutiques...   view more
Gravensteen Castle

5) Gravensteen Castle (must see)

Gravensteen, or "Castle of the Count" in Dutch, dates back to the Middle Ages. The present castle was built in 1180 by Count Philip of Alsace and was modeled after the crusaders' castles the count encountered when he participated in the second crusade. In 1885 the city of Gent bought the castle and started a renovation project. Gravensteen attracts a huge number of tourists. The castle has been repaired enough to allow people to travel through it and climb to the top. It is still...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Fish Market Building

6) Fish Market Building

The Fish Market is housed in an old building with a charming Baroque facade, which was built in 1689. The facade is decorated at the top with a statue of Neptune. Other statues at this building represent the two rivers that pass through Gent, the Scheldt River and the Leie...   view more
Museum of Decorative Arts and Design

7) Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (must see)

The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design is one of a kind in Belgium. It showcases objects from various periods, and has two major collections displayed in two different sections. One is housed is the former Hotel de Coninck, built in 1755, and containing 17th and 18th century decorative furnishings. The hotel's exquisite decor—grand with the carved wooden chandelier in the dining room—is an attraction its own right. The other, newer space is a modernist wing constructed in 1992. Its...   view more
Saint Michael's Church

8) Saint Michael's Church (must see)

Saint Michael's Church is a Roman Catholic church devoted to the Archangel Michael. Construction of the current church probably began in 1440 and took place in two phases, separated by a long interruption. During the first phase, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the western part of the building was built, including the tower, the three-aisled nave and transept. This was completed in 1530. Continued construction of the steeple started in in 1566. Then, due to religious conflicts,...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Koren Markt

9) Koren Markt

There are many small shops in the center of Gent that sell local food. These shops can be found on the streets starting from Koren Markt until Sint Baafsstraat. These shops sell everything from chocolate and candy to pastry, cheese and beer. These products are Gent specialties, and you must try them on your...   view more
Gent Town Hall

10) Gent Town Hall (must see)

Gent Town Hall, commonly referred to by locals as Gent Stadhuis, is one of the most impressive buildings in the city, and is situated close to the Belfry in the historic downtown area. Of the multitude of medieval buildings found in Gent, the Town Hall stands out as the one reflecting most vividly the history and the evolution of the city starting from the late 15th century until the present. It consists of several connected buildings that were added in different periods, and that represent a...   view more
Belfry

11) Belfry (must see)

The 91-meter-high Belfry of Gent is one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city center. Over the centuries, it has served not only as a bell tower to announce the time and various warnings, but also as a fortified watchtower and town treasury. Construction of the tower began in 1313 to the design of master mason Jan van Haelst, whose plans are still preserved in a museum. After continuing intermittently through wars, plagues and political turmoil, the work reached completion in 1380....   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cloth Hall

12) Cloth Hall (must see)

In the Middle Ages, Gent was already a major commercial city, renowned primarily for its textile industry. The decline of the latter in the first half of the 15th century prompted the construction of a new, spacious indoor textile market. The venue turned out to be overly commodious for the market and demanded co-tenants to share the space. The Sint-Michiels fencing guild showed interest in the upper floors which they used as sports halls. This 17th-century guild still occupies part of the...   view more
Saint Bavo Cathedral

13) Saint Bavo Cathedral (must see)

Saint Bavo Cathedral, also known as Sint-Baafs Cathedral, is the seat of the Diocese of Gent. The building is based upon the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, a primarily wooden construction; it was consecrated in 942. Traces of this original structure are evident in the cathedral's crypt. The chapel was subsequently expanded in the Romanesque style in 1038. From the 14th through the 16th centuries, nearly continuous expansion projects in the Gothic style were executed on the structure. A new...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
Castle of Gerald the Devil

14) Castle of Gerald the Devil

In spite of its name and grim appearance, no devil has ever lived in the Castle of Gerald the Devil. Built in the 13th century, this ancient castle and fortress features Romanesque style. It carries the name of the knight Gerald the Great, nicknamed "the Devil", who once lived here. For centuries, the castle has served as a home to knights, an arsenal, a monastery, a school and a bishop’s seminary. In 1623, it provided a refuge for the mentally ill and accommodated male orphans....   view more

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