Tour of West Ghent (Self Guided), 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.
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Tour of West Ghent Map

Guide Name: Tour of West Ghent
Guide Location: Belgium » Ghent (See other walking tours in Ghent)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • City Cemetery
  • Museum Dr. Guislain
  • Het Rabot
  • Burgstraat Antique Shops
  • Hotsy Totsy
  • Patershol Quarter
  • Dulle Griet
1
City Cemetery

1) City Cemetery

The City Cemetery of Ghent is a historic cemetery northwest of the downtown area. It looks pretty much like a garden, and has many monuments and statues. There are several military plots of various nationalities, including the British Commonwealth. Dating from WWI, the Commonwealth graves total 86 and include POWs who died in German captivity, plus two others relocated here after the Armistice from Jabbeke Churchyard. Also, nearby, there are 111 graves of the WWII period.
2
Museum Dr. Guislain

2) Museum Dr. Guislain (must see)

Housed in Belgium’s oldest psychiatric clinic, built in 1857, Dr. Guislain Museum explores the history of psychiatry. It bears the name of the doctor who defended the rights of the mentally ill in the 1820s, a time when these people were often mistreated and even kept in chains. Part of the exposition is devoted to the art of the mentally ill people, among which is the Serbian painter, Goran Djurovic. There are also exhibits examining relations between people, including an exciting retrospective of how people look at each other, titled "People on Show". The museum puts on both rotating and permanent exhibitions. The latter include a comprehensive history of psychiatry, a catalog of photographs of the mentally-ill taken in the 1860s, and a collection of outsider art.

Why You Should Visit:
Most rooms have trilingual explanations (Flemish, French, English); the objects are well-arranged and not too many.
The staff at the till are very knowledgeable and friendly. The grounds are great for a stroll, especially on a sunny day.
The exhibition of 'outsider art' is amazing. Made by people experiencing mental health issues, it contains art that is both strange and wonderful.

Tip:
One of the highlights here is sitting at the cafe in the courtyard of this calm, beautiful facility. For something really spooky visit the other on-site café with the giant mannequins.

Opening Hours:
Tue–Fri: 9am-5pm; Sat, Sun: 1-5pm
3
Het Rabot

3) Het Rabot

Het Rabot is a historic building and an architectural site. It was built in 1489 and was part of the city wall. This fortified bridge over the river was built after the unsuccessful siege of Ghent by Maximilian of Austria in 1488. This building has two towers. It was recently restored and has become a cultural destination.
4
Burgstraat Antique Shops

4) Burgstraat Antique Shops

There are many antique shops in Ghent. Burgstraat is lined with numerous shops of this kind. In the shops along this street, you can find rare silverware, old furniture, china, porcelain, posters and pictures. The buildings here are good examples of the beautiful, historic architecture of Ghent.
5
Hotsy Totsy

5) Hotsy Totsy

Hotsy Totsy is a popular art-cafe that first opened more than 30 years ago. Some of the best local Belgian artists display their art at Hotsy Totsy. Here you can taste all kinds of beers; there are more than 50 kinds from which to choose. You can also enjoy some delicious snacks.
6
Patershol Quarter

6) Patershol Quarter (must see)

The small, cobblestoned Patershol quarter is the authentically medieval heart of Ghent. You can walk through it in half an hour, as it is not too extensive. The buildings in Patershol date back to the 15th century. It used to be the part of Ghent that housed textile workers. Nowadays, travelers and locals alike wander its narrow alleys to seek out some of the best restaurants that offer local Flemish cuisine, as well as Thai, Japanese, Tibetan, Greek, Spanish, Italian, and other international foods. Some of the best café, bars and small shops with a selection of good wines and specialties of cakes and chocolates are also to be found here. You can walk down the little side streets to see how the locals live. Enjoy getting lost!

Tip:
During the day it's a nice walk but in the evening is where you see its true charm.
If you visit Ghent in August, check the dates of the famous Patersholfeesten – they truly transform this quarter into one big party weekend with music, food and alcohol, of course.
7
Dulle Griet

7) Dulle Griet (must see)

The Dulle Griet ("Mad Meg", named after the Flemish folklore figure Dull Gret) is a medieval supergun located in Ghent. 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 Ghent in the siege of Oudenaarde, but fell into the hands of the defenders on the retreat and was only returned to Ghent in 1578. Today, the cannon is set up close to Friday Market square in the old town. It originally had the same red as today and weighed over 12 tonnes (currently it is less due to rust and wear).

Why You Should Visit:
The big red cannon will probably be interesting to boys, while parents will like the eponymous bar located nearby. Just go there and check the many choices of beers they have and if you dare, try their hilarious challenge.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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.
Ghent's Top Architecture

Ghent's Top Architecture

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.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 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
Museums and Galleries Walk

Museums and Galleries Walk

Ghent is a beautiful Belgian city, the largest one in the East Flanders province. It boasts many interesting museums and art galleries , many of which showcase contemporary art. The most important museums include the Design Museum, the House of the Alijn Family, the Museum of Folklore and more. An art lover's trip to Ghent won't be complete without a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts and...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 Km or 3.6 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 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
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