Ghent's Top Architecture (Self Guided), Ghent

Ghent is a city full of 15th-century architectural monuments. Medieval buildings are everywhere, and these old buildings contribute to Ghent's fairy tale cityscape, especially along the channel and in the squares. Take this self-guided tour to see some medieval architectural gems in Ghent.
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Ghent's Top Architecture Map

Guide Name: Ghent's Top Architecture
Guide Location: Belgium » Ghent (See other walking tours in Ghent)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Toreken
  • Bond Moyson
  • Fish Market Building
  • Graslei & Korenlei Streets
  • Old Post Office
  • Lakenhalle (Cloth Hall)
  • 'Aula' of the University of Ghent
  • The Court House

1) Toreken

Toreken is the oldest building on Friday Market Square. It was built in the 15th century in the Gothic style. It features a distinctive staircase tower with a clock. The interior is very impressive too, especially the upper floors. Today Toreken houses the Poetry Center. At the top of the building, you will see the mermaid Melusine who watches over the square and holds up her mirror. She shows the direction of the wind.
Bond Moyson

2) Bond Moyson

Bond Moyson, also called the Socialist Building, is situated at Friday Market Square, which was once the main square of Ghent. Most buildings on this square were built in the 18th century. Bond Moyson is a great example of the eclectic style of architecture. It was designed by F. Animals. It features Art Nouveau windows and horseshoe windows that attract the attention of tourists. Bond Moyson was built between 1899 and 1902.
Fish Market Building

3) 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 Ghent, the Scheldt River and the Leie River.
Graslei & Korenlei Streets

4) Graslei & Korenlei Streets (must see)

Graslei and Korenlei are two streets along the river that boast some of the most beautiful architecture in all of Belgium. There are always crowds of tourists along these streets and on the nearby bridges crossing the river. Sightseers stop to stare at the eclectic architecture and elegant facades of the houses in this area, together with the peaceful environment with boats riding along the canal.

Make sure to climb the steps of Sint-Michielsbrug (St. Michael's Bridge), where Graslei & Korenlei can be viewed well with the canal. Another very nice viewpoint and photo spot is directly on Korenlei, looking in the direction of Graslei. From there you can see the building guild houses as well as some of the famous landmark buildings like the Belfry in the background. Take your time to look around, and then perhaps do it a second time with binoculars.
Old Post Office

5) Old Post Office

The Old Post Office of Ghent is set in the historic center of the city. It is not an especially old building, as it was constructed in the early 20th century, but it blends perfectly with the medieval buildings of the city. You will recognize it by its high clock tower. There are many decorative statues on the building. It is a good example of the beautiful neo-Gothic style of architecture.
Lakenhalle (Cloth Hall)

6) Lakenhalle (Cloth Hall) (must see)

In the Middle Ages, Ghent 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 building. The building’s façade reveals all sorts of Gothic style decorations chiseled in soft sand-lime brick, which is much easier to work in than grey limestone.

Visiting the Cloth Hall is free; the belfry, however, is not.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-6pm
'Aula' of the University of Ghent

7) 'Aula' of the University of Ghent

'Aula' of the University of Ghent represents the neo-Classical style of architecture. It was built by Ghent's outstanding architect Louis Roelandt. 'Aula' is an abbreviation for the Assembly Hall of the University of Ghent. Construction of the building was completed in 1826. The building incorporates many Classical elements, and its design was inspired by ancient temples.
The Court House

8) The Court House

The Court House is another beautiful historic building. It was constructed in the 19th century by the outstanding Ghent architect Louis Roelandt. He is the architect of many remarkable buildings in Ghent. Many impressive statues depicting judgment scenes decorate the courthouse.

Walking Tours in Ghent, Belgium

Create Your Own Walk in Ghent

Create Your Own Walk in Ghent

Creating your own self-guided walk in Ghent is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Tour of South Ghent

Tour of South Ghent

Ghent is a city with many attractions. There are exceptionally interesting things to see even outside of the city center. The south section of Ghent boasts some fabulous architectural sights, such as the Book Tower and an old religious complex. There are also some museums that are definitely worth a visit. Take this self-guided tour to explore the best South Ghent has to offer.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
Ghent Introduction Walking Tour

Ghent Introduction Walking Tour

Ghent 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 Ghent's most famous landmarks.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Ghent's Specialty Shops

Ghent's Specialty Shops

Ghent has many local foods and crafts that you will want to buy. There are several specialty shops that sell unique Belgian and Ghent merchandise. Belgium is especially famous for its delicious chocolate and good beer, and there are many stores selling these delicacies. Other specialty shops include bakeries and local designer clothing stores. This self-guided tour will lead you to the best...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Ghent's Shopping Areas

Ghent's Shopping Areas

There are a lot of memorable things to buy in Ghent. Ghent's shops are full of Belgian souvenirs, chocolate, artwork and other delights. If you're not looking to buy, you can still enjoy window shopping at the many shops surrounding the main historic areas. Take this self-guided tour to discover the best shopping in Ghent.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Ghent's Historical Churches

Ghent's Historical Churches

Ghent has several cathedrals and churches that are definitely worth a visit. Ghent is a city that values beautiful, elegant architecture, which is reflected in its sacred buildings. Some of the most magnificent churches are Saint Bavo Cathedral, Saint-Nicolas' Church and Saint Michael's Church. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most stunning churches in this splendid city.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Tour of West Ghent

Tour of West Ghent

West Ghent will surprise you with its hidden architectural gems, medieval monuments, museums and shops. There is also a city cemetery where you will see many beautiful monuments and statues. Take this self-guided tour to explore the western area of Ghent.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles