As much as people say that Ghent is very similar to Brugge, I highly disagree. Ghent felt like its own city entirely. For starters, the walk from the train station is longer and less breathtaking than Brugge. I recommend taking the bus into the main touristy area. If you plan to walk, it’s a good 20-25 minutes if you’re walking quickly.
The churches are huge and of course beautiful to see both inside and out and all in close proximity to one another. We went inside Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and discovered that they had some of the most beautiful art, specifically the Mystic Lamb. They have tour guides or you can purchase one of the little brochures that maps out the art and gives you the name, artist, date, and a brief description.
We also went inside the the Gravensteen Castle on a self-guided tour. They have old weapons and suits of armor on display as well as a mini torture exhibit displaying some of the devices and methods they used to interrogate prisoners. The best part of the cast is the top. You get a beautiful view of the city. This was the first sunny day of our trip (and sadly the last day of our trip) so we spent a lot of time taking in the views. We had a lot of fun and the castle wasn’t very crowded, so I think it’s well worth the fee to get in.
Since this was our last day of our Europe day we spent the day eating. No joke, we stopped everywhere! We found a Paul’s for lunch and grabbed baguettes and a little pizza for Theo. Todd also had to have ice cream from the little stand outside of the castle. I found my favorite dessert place while walking down the street and spotting someone sitting outside eating a massive milkshake outside a chocolate shop called In Choc. I knew I had to have one. Todd accidentally ordered a hot chocolate first (oops) but when we finally got our shake, it was well worth it! They had tons of funky flavors, we went with Oreo because that was the one I had seen outside. The larger Oreo is a mini ice cream sandwich! I highly recommend going with a group and trying all sorts of flavors, we just split the one. Plan on a longer wait, it takes them about 20 minutes to make it.