Centuries ago, a group of people settled right where the rivers Lys and Scheldt met, giving way over the course of time to one of the wealthiest and largest cities in Belgium and the capital of the East Flanders province: Ghent. Nowadays, while tourists love its many parks and festivals, watching the sunset over the Lys –or Leie- river, and visiting the Saint Bavo Cathedral or the Museum of Fine Arts, those travelling for work normally visit Ghent to attend trade fairs at the Flanders Expo, take part in university events or do business in the port.
If you plan to travel to Ghent from outside Belgium, you will need to fly to Brussels airport first, the closest air terminal to East Flanders. International airline companies operate direct flights from a long list of European cities as well as from the United States on a daily basis. After landing in BRU, you will be able to commute by rail from the airport to Ghent in less than one hour.
Travelling from Brussels airport to Ghent by train
In order to catch a train to Ghent upon landing in Brussels airport, follow the wayfinding system guiding you to the airport railway station (Zaventem), situated on the underground floor; you can use either the lifts or the escalators to go down one level. About fifty five kilometres separate the passenger terminal buildings from the city centre, and an average of thirty six services are run every day with the aim of connecting the two points as effectively and conveniently as possible for arriving travellers. SNCB trains take approximately one hour to complete the journey from BRU airport to Ghent.
Finding accommodation in Ghent
Regardless of your estimated travel budget, it is possible to find central accommodation in Ghent –Belgium– that will enable you to walk to most of its main attractions thus saving money in transportation during your stay. From budget hotels to charming local establishments, not forgetting some internationally renowned hospitality chains, read below to find out if any of our recommendations suit your trip plans.
Guest house in Ghent, Belgium: the Flandria hotel
The Flandria hotel is a 1-star accommodation in Ghent city centre that stands within short walking distance of the Saint Bavo Cathedral, the Friday Market and the popular Graffiti Street. The friendly staff at the front desk can provide directions in English to get around town any time you need them. Furthermore, the establishment offers complimentary WiFi in the communal areas, bike storage zone and breakfast buffet every morning. As a matter of fact, this budget hotel in Ghent operates in the style of a guest house, its room occupancy ranging from single to family, including double and triple units, and gives guests the opportunity to decide whether they want to share the toilet and shower with other travellers or have a private bathroom at their disposal as long as they are available. Should you need to leave your bags in a safe place after checking out to spend your last hours in the city before heading to the airport, the left-luggage service provided here will be ideal for you.
Ibis hotel in Ghent: the Gent Centrum St. Baafs Kathedraal
This 3-star hotel is managed by the Ibis chain and boasts an excellent location opposite the Saint Bavo Cathedral, surrounded by cosy cafés, cool bars and charming restaurants. Travellers also appreciate the proximity of the Belfry, the Ghent Opera House and the Design Museum, or of Ghent Christmas Market when they visit during the festive season; what is more, if you are touring Belgium, you will be glad to know that Bruges is just a 35-minute car drive away from this point.
The guest rooms of this Ibis hotel in Ghent city centre feature flat-screen TV, WiFi network and private bathroom. There is an onsite bar serving Belgian craft beer and a restaurant serving a daily breakfast buffet for an additional fee. As is the case with other members of this reputed hospitality chain, special dietary needs are taken care of, maid service is provided every day and visitors have dry cleaning, laundry and business services and spaces at their disposal.
The Cour St Georges Hotel in Ghent, Belgium
This recommendation has also been rated with 3 stars and offers elegant rooms inside a historical building that dates back to the 18th century in the very heart of the city. They all feature mini bar, cable TV and work desk, with occupancy for one, two, three or four people travelling in a group. Former guests have declared that some of the main perks of staying in this hotel in central Ghent were the ample choice of restaurants and markets within easy reach, along with the free WiFI, the varied continental buffet-style breakfast and the possibility to commute to the Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station and so continue the journey towards other regions from this point or simply take a day trip to explore neighbouring cities.