Sometimes 24 hours is all you can spare, but it can be enough time if you spend it wisely. #DreamDayIn is my series of dawn-till-dusk travel guides. From what I’d eat to where I’d lay my head to rest and everything in between, this is my dream day in…
7:30am: Wake up at 1898 The Post, a once dilapidated post office which is smack bang in the centre of the city. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading out.
8:30am: Pick up a €30.00 ‘City Card’ a solid investment which will get you around the city via public transport, into all of the major attractions and museums, including temporary exhibitions and even includes a boat tour and bicycle hire.
9am: Start the day strong with a 91-metre climb up the UNESCO recognised Belfry, the tallest bell tower in Belgium. From up here you can admire the architectural patchwork of castle turrets, flamboyantly gothic churches, Romanesque-style cathedrals and medieval merchant houses.
10am: Back on the ground, grab a coffee at family-run #Vandekerckhove, who have been roasting since 1854.
10:30am: Brush up on Ghent’s rebellious past at the city museum STAM and then visit the Design Museum for modern inspiration.
12:30pm: Take the perfect cityscape snap by walking halfway onto St. Michael’s Bridge, the only spot where you can see the three medieval towers – St. Nicholas’ Church, the Belfry and St. Bavo’s Cathedral.
1pm: Ghent is home to the world’s largest number of vegetarian restaurants per capita, so it’s only right you try one of them out. Go for Naturell, Le Botaniste or humus x hortense for a little fine dining.
3pm: The best chocolate you’ll eat here comes from Van Hoorebeke. Pick up a box to take home and while there, don’t forget to peek through the shop’s glass floor down to the in-house chocolate factory below.
3:30pm: Marvel at the impossibly tall stained-glass windows, Roman crypts and Hubert van Eyck’s The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb at St Bavo’s Cathedral.
5pm: Thirsty work! There’s no shortage of quirky locales for a spot of day drinking. Visit Proof Tasting Room for a sample of Flemish gin or female-run Gruut Brewery.
7pm: Work up an appetite with a walk around the city centre, that also happens to be car-free, so you’ll only have the ancient cobblestones to contend with.
8pm: Eat dinner at De Superette a modern craft bakery that’s also an unassumingly cool restaurant. The menu is unfussy, confident and concise – try a few starters to share followed by pizza.
10pm: Back at 1898 The Post, grab a window seat at The Cobbler for cocktails while overlooking the River Leie. Gooooodnight!