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Museum Night Ghent 2018

The annual ‘long night of museums’ has long been a popular concept in many European cities. And this Thursday 6th December 2018, it comes to Ghent for the 12th time. Museums open their doors between 6pm and 1am – for free! Most of the museums also offer a temporary bar where you can buy drinks and snacks to keep you going. Be kind to your legs and follow our location-based guide to the eight different museums taking part in Museum Night Ghent.

Spot a fake @STAM

Citadel park and around

Situated on the Bijloke site, the STAM (Ghent City Museum) is putting their crime collection in the spotlight. Train your detective skills, get your own mugshots taken, enjoy ‘criminal’ drinks and burgers from a converted police van.

Hop on your bike and scoot round the Ring to the Citadel park – and into the heart of Ghent’s art scene. At the MSK (Museum of Fine Arts) you’ll find Shalan Alhamwy and Ehsan Yadollahi playing next to the artworks that inspired their music. Next door at SMAK (Museum of Modern Art), it’s all about jazz. Enjoy the exhibitions of Raoul De Keyser, the famous Belgian painter, and the second installation of the photography exhibition.

From here you can stroll towards the city centre and take in two locations on Sint-Pietersplein square. At Sint-Pietersabdij the organisers are asking you to explore music, Discover 60 years of Dutch-language music from the Low Lands.

City Centre museums and beyond

The Design Museum Gent takes a look at composite materials and their use in fighting the growing mountains of waste. Between 8pm and 10pm you can listen to warm melodies with a mix of cello sounds. After 10.30pm you can enjoy live DJ-set.

Afterwards cross the pretty streets of Ghent’s historic city centre to Het Huis van Alijn. The ongoing exhibition SMOKE will look at the way tobacco products have been a part of our lives and how our perception of them has changed. The inner courtyard is the place to party and enjoy your cocktails in the silent disco. But before you get too carried away on the dancefloor, there are still more museums to fit in…

To round off take your pick between the Industry Museum (formerly known as MIAT) – a 10-minute walk away – and Museum Dr. Guislaan, a bus ride away in the north-eastern district of Rabot. The Industry Museum is also the location of the Children’s Museum Night, running from 4pm to 6pm.

At the Museum of Industry you can follow the history of machines through the lives of six people from different centuries. At the museum night you can personalise your handkerchief, cosy up at the winter garden or dance to the britpop and indie rock from Manchester.

The Museum Dr. Guislaan explores the topic of sensations. You can listen to the improvisations by students of the art school, inspired by pieces from Sensations. Adult art course school Wisper will be present with several workshops on art and insanity, for which you can sign up or just come and see the result. In the courtyard, you can experience Kyoko Scholiers’ sound installation Misconnected.

What next?

If you’re not ready to hit the sack, from 11pm you can also join the after-party at Charlatan. For 5 euros (on the door), expect disco, house, funk and pop madness with several different DJs.

Getting around

Tired from all that running from one venue to another and dancing? Hop on a bus or a tram – all public transport in Ghent will be free from 5pm until the end of service (including the night buses).

And if you couldn’t fit them all in, some of the museums also offer Ghent residents free entry on Sunday mornings (10am-1pm). You will need to show your residence card which you got when registering to live in Ghent.

Heather is a language and travel geek at heart, having gotten the bug for it while studying German and Italian in her home country, England. After managing hotel content for a start-up in Berlin, being an Erasmus student in Bologna and writing for Frommer's travel guides while in London, she moved to Gent in 2015 for a year. Still here, Gent must have been doing something right! She's now determined to help other newbie expats settle in and build a great life here in this beautiful city. If you'd like to get in touch, send an email to

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