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24 hours in Ghent like a local

Sometimes you can get a bit bored by all the tourist highlights in a city. Sure, the Gravensteen and St. Bavo’s Cathedral are nice. But let’s dig a bit deeper and explore the places only locals know about. Our friends from Spotted by Locals made a 24-hours guide to the city, all ready for you to use. Now you just need to take a day off and enjoy Ghent for a day!

Gust © Gust

10:00 Brunch at Gust

It’s rare, but Gust is one of those places that offer brunch all week long. If you want to escape the weekend crowds, go have your brunch on a weekday and you won’t regret it. Whether you’re fancying a classic breakfast, pancakes or something vegan: go to Gust and you’ll be happy.

Swimming Pool Van Eyck © Zwembad Van Eyck Gent

11:30 Take a swim at swimming pool Van Eyck

Time for some exercise! But let’s keep it cool, by taking a swim in the Van Eyck swimming pool. It was entirely built in Art Deco style, which makes it quite the experience. Apart from swimming it’s also possible to take a hot bath or shower in the cellar. It gets quickly overcrowded, but definitely worth to give it a try!

13:00 Lunch amidst the plants at STEK

Let’s face it: you just had a swim, so you’re hungry. If on top of that you’re a plant lover, STEK (featured image) is the place to go. You can opt for a smaller portion in the shape of a ciabatta or a full-on pasta dish – depending on how hungry that swim has made you. Make sure to check out their plants and artwork if you’re interested in adding something nice to your interior!

Design Museum Gent © Design Museum Gent

15:00 Bring out you artsy fartsy side at Design Museum

It’s always nice to incorporate some cultural activities into your day. The Design Museum in Ghent has you covered when it comes to that matter. The exhibition ‘Object Stories’ showcases about 200 design objects, divided into different categories. Whether you prefer curious things, materials or social responsibility: go check it out.

Citadel Park © Visit Gent

17:00 Take a stroll

Time to digest all that yummy food and those cultural vibes. What better way to do so than by taking a stroll in the park? Ghent offers quite some options, but we’re big fans of the Sint-Pieters Abbey Gardens. It may not be really well-known, but there are actual vineyards over there. If you’re in the mood for a bigger park, try out the Citadelpark. Especially in summer, it’s stunning thanks to all the greens and roses. Since all the trees have nameplates, you may even learn something on your walk!

De Roos © Tahnee Naesen

19:00 Dinner like grandma’s at De Roos

This restaurant is a bit like having dinner at your grandma’s. De Roos has a daily special which focuses on quality comfort food. On top of that, the interior is very vintage, which totally adds to the charm. Don’t let the location discourage you, as it’s really worth the effort and if you feel like it, you could easily spend an entire evening at this spot.

Sphinx © Sphinx

20:30 Watch a movie at Sphinx

A cinema visit can’t be lacking in your schedule. Cinema Sphinx feels – contrary to the big movie theaters – authentic, cozy, and just perfect for a date with friends or your loved one. In addition to having a great schedule, they also provide a bar. Which can be used in different ways: as a pre-movie drink spot, as a place to wait for your friend who’s always late or to discuss the movie afterward. Multitasking done right.

23:00 Finish off with some jazz at Damberd

Not tired yet? Time for some music and drinks then! A ‘bruin café‘ is a typically Belgian concept. It’s difficult to explain, but certainly a bit gloomy, cozy, artistic, and boozy. Not sure if that sounds appealing or not… Fact is: you should definitely try it out at some point. Damberd is the perfect spot to do so and meanwhile listen to some jazzy tunes. The night is all yours as of now.

And that’s it! A pretty busy day, but that’s alright when you get to do this much nice things. We really hope you enjoyed this guide – maybe you’re already feeling like a total local right now. Check out Spotted by Locals Ghent for more local Ghent tips!

About the author:

Although lots of people think Camille is French, she was actually born and raised in Belgium. She considers herself a walking Belgian cliché. Waffles, chocolate, fries, beers… You name it and she loves it. Living from meal to meal and from trip to trip she’s trying to understand the world a little better.

Guest author
Guest authors are expats and Gentenaars who enjoy spreading the word about Gent to the world. If you'd like to join us, contact us at

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