7 Unusual Things To Do In Ghent Belgium – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Ghent, Belgium, is a charming city known for its historic architecture, picturesque canals, and vibrant cultural scene. While exploring the traditional attractions is a must, there are also plenty of unusual things to do in Ghent Belgium that will make your visit truly memorable. From quirky museums to hidden gems off the beaten path, Ghent offers a range of unique experiences for adventurous travelers. Whether you’re interested in discovering unconventional art installations, exploring underground crypts, or sampling local delicacies at unconventional eateries, Ghent has something to offer for everyone looking to step off the typical tourist trail.

Visit the Gravensteen Castle

Essential Information

– Address: Sint-Veerleplein 11, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily
– Fee: €12 for adults, free for children under 19
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and families

Why is it so unusual

Gravensteen Castle, also known as the Castle of the Counts, is a remarkable medieval fortress that offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past. What sets this castle apart are the unusual activities and experiences it provides for tourists.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Gravensteen Castle is the opportunity to witness live demonstrations of medieval torture devices. Visitors can see how these instruments were used and learn about the dark history of punishment during that time period. This immersive experience sheds light on the harsh realities of medieval justice.

For those seeking a more hands-on experience, the castle offers archery lessons within its walls. Channel your inner Robin Hood as you learn the art of shooting a bow and arrow in the same setting where medieval archers once trained and defended the castle.

Another unusual activity at Gravensteen Castle is the chance to participate in a medieval banquet. Step back in time as you dine on traditional dishes and drinks while being entertained by costumed performers. This feast allows guests to indulge in a culinary experience fit for a noble of the Middle Ages.

Additionally, the castle hosts special events such as falconry displays, where visitors can marvel at the grace and skill of these majestic birds of prey. Witnessing these aerial acrobats in action against the backdrop of the ancient castle walls is a truly unforgettable sight.

In conclusion, Gravensteen Castle stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its immersive historical experiences, from witnessing medieval torture demonstrations to partaking in archery lessons and medieval banquets. For a journey back in time filled with unique activities, a visit to this castle is a must for anyone intrigued by the medieval era.

Explore the street art in Werregarenstraat

Essential Information

– Address: Werregarenstraat, Ghent, Belgium
– Opening Hours: 24/7
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts, photographers, urban explorers

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring the vibrant city of Ghent in Belgium, one of the most unusual attractions that you simply can’t miss is the street art in Werregarenstraat. This narrow alleyway, also known as Graffiti Street, is a hidden gem that showcases a unique blend of urban creativity and artistic expression.

As you wander through Werregarenstraat, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors and intricate designs adorning the walls on both sides. What makes this street art experience truly unusual is the ever-changing nature of the artworks. Artists from around the world regularly visit Werregarenstraat to leave their mark, resulting in a dynamic and evolving outdoor gallery.

Visitors can witness the artists in action, adding a sense of excitement and spontaneity to the experience. From larger-than-life murals to thought-provoking graffiti tags, each piece of art tells a story and contributes to the vibrant atmosphere of the alleyway.

For those seeking a break from traditional tourist attractions, exploring the street art in Werregarenstraat offers a refreshing and offbeat way to appreciate art in a public space. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast, a photography enthusiast looking for unique shots, or simply an urban explorer curious about hidden gems, Werregarenstraat promises a memorable and unconventional adventure in the heart of Ghent.

Take a boat tour on the Leie River

Essential Information

– Address: Leie River, Ghent, Belgium
– Opening Hours: Varies depending on tour operator
– Fee: Typically ranges from €10 to €30 per person
– Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and those seeking a unique perspective of Ghent

Why is it so unusual

When exploring the charming city of Ghent, one of the most unusual yet captivating experiences you can partake in is taking a boat tour on the picturesque Leie River. This activity offers a distinctive way to soak in the beauty of the city and its surroundings from a different vantage point.

As you glide along the tranquil waters of the Leie River, you’ll be treated to a serene journey that unveils hidden gems and lesser-known sights of Ghent. Unlike traditional walking tours, a boat tour allows you to witness the city’s stunning architecture, lush greenery, and historic landmarks from a unique perspective.

What sets this experience apart is the opportunity to witness Ghent’s vibrant street art scene from the water. Admire colorful murals and graffiti that adorn the city’s walls, adding a modern twist to its rich cultural heritage. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to spot local wildlife, such as swans gracefully swimming alongside the boat, adding a touch of nature to your urban exploration.

For history buffs, a boat tour on the Leie River offers insights into Ghent’s past, with knowledgeable guides sharing fascinating stories and anecdotes about the city’s evolution over the centuries. Learn about the significance of the river in shaping Ghent’s identity and discover hidden historical gems that are often overlooked by conventional tours.

Moreover, the tranquility of the Leie River provides a peaceful escape from the bustling city center, allowing you to relax and unwind as you soak in the scenic beauty that surrounds you. Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or as a couple, a boat tour on the Leie River offers a refreshing and memorable way to experience Ghent like never before.

Discover the secrets of the Patershol neighborhood

Essential Information

– Address: Patershol, Ghent, Belgium
– Opening Hours: Varies by establishment
– Fee: Free to explore
– Visit Duration: Half a day
– Ideal for: History buffs and food enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Patershol neighborhood in Ghent, Belgium, offers a unique blend of history and gastronomy that sets it apart from other tourist attractions in the city. While many visitors flock to the main sights and landmarks, those who venture into the cobblestone streets of Patershol are rewarded with a more off-the-beaten-path experience.

One of the most unusual activities in Patershol is exploring the hidden courtyards and alleyways that are tucked away behind the historic facades. These secluded spaces offer a glimpse into the neighborhood’s past and provide a peaceful escape from the bustling city center.

Food enthusiasts will also find plenty to love in Patershol, as the area is known for its diverse culinary scene. From traditional Belgian dishes to international cuisine, the neighborhood is a foodie’s paradise. Visitors can sample local specialties at cozy cafes and trendy restaurants, or pick up fresh produce at the weekly market.

For those interested in history, Patershol is home to several museums and cultural sites that offer insight into the neighborhood’s rich heritage. The Museum of Folklore and the House of Alijn are must-visits for anyone looking to learn more about Ghent’s past.

Overall, the Patershol neighborhood stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its charming atmosphere, hidden gems, and vibrant culinary scene. Whether you’re a history buff or a food enthusiast, this hidden gem in Ghent is sure to captivate and delight.

Climb the Belfry of Ghent

Essential Information

– Address: Sint-Baafsplein, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
– Fee: €8 for adults, €6 for students, free for children under 19
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and adventure seekers

Why is it so unusual

The Belfry of Ghent stands tall as a symbol of the city’s rich history and architectural prowess. While many visitors come to admire its stunning views and learn about its significance, what sets this attraction apart are the unique experiences it offers to those willing to climb its 300 steps.

As you ascend the narrow staircase, you’ll be greeted by the mesmerizing sight of the intricate carillon, a musical instrument consisting of bells housed within the belfry. The opportunity to witness the carillonneur in action, playing melodies that resonate throughout the city, is a rare treat that few get to experience.

Once you reach the top, the panoramic views of Ghent are truly breathtaking. But what makes this climb even more extraordinary is the chance to participate in a bell-ringing session. Feel the thrill of pulling the ropes and making the bells chime, creating a symphony that reverberates across the cityscape.

For those seeking a truly unique adventure, consider visiting the Belfry of Ghent during one of its special events, such as the annual carillon concerts or the traditional bell-ringing ceremonies. These occasions offer a glimpse into the centuries-old traditions that continue to thrive within this iconic landmark.

In conclusion, the Belfry of Ghent offers more than just a bird’s eye view of the city. It provides an opportunity to engage with history in a hands-on way, making it a must-visit destination for those looking to add a touch of the extraordinary to their travel itinerary.

Wander through the Botanical Garden

Essential Information

– Address: Karel Lodewijk Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily
– Fee: €5 for adults, free for children under 12
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, families, photographers

Why is it so unusual

When exploring Ghent, one might not immediately think of visiting a botanical garden, but the Botanical Garden in Ghent offers a unique experience that sets it apart from the city’s other attractions. What makes this garden unusual is not just its collection of plants, but the array of activities that visitors can partake in.

One of the standout features of the Botanical Garden is the opportunity to participate in guided plant identification walks. Led by knowledgeable botanists, these walks provide a deeper understanding of the diverse plant species housed within the garden. Visitors can learn about the medicinal properties of certain plants, their ecological significance, and even how to propagate them at home.

For those looking for a hands-on experience, the Botanical Garden offers workshops on botanical illustration. Participants can unleash their creativity and learn the art of capturing the intricate details of plants through drawing and painting. This unique activity appeals to both art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Another unusual aspect of the Botanical Garden is the chance to engage in plant-themed scavenger hunts. Perfect for families with children, these hunts encourage exploration and discovery while learning about different plant species. It’s a fun and educational way to spend time outdoors and bond with loved ones.

Additionally, the garden hosts seasonal events such as botanical photography contests and plant-themed festivals. These events attract both locals and tourists, creating a vibrant atmosphere within the serene surroundings of the garden.

Overall, the Botanical Garden in Ghent offers a refreshing and unconventional experience for visitors seeking to connect with nature in a dynamic and engaging way. Whether you’re interested in learning about plants, honing your artistic skills, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll amidst lush greenery, this hidden gem is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Visit the Museum of Industrial Archaeology and Textiles

Essential Information

– Address: Ghent, Belgium
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
– Fee: €8 for adults, €5 for students
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, textile lovers

Why is it so unusual

When exploring Ghent, one might not expect to stumble upon a hidden gem like the Museum of Industrial Archaeology and Textiles. This unique attraction offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s rich textile history, showcasing a collection of machinery, tools, and artifacts that tell the story of Ghent’s industrial past.

Visitors can witness the intricate process of textile production through interactive exhibits that demonstrate weaving techniques and machinery from different eras. One of the most unusual activities at the museum is the opportunity to try your hand at operating some of the vintage textile machines under the guidance of knowledgeable staff.

For those seeking a hands-on experience, the museum also offers workshops where visitors can learn traditional textile crafts such as spinning and dyeing. This immersive approach allows guests to appreciate the skill and artistry involved in creating textiles, making it a truly unique and educational experience.

In addition to its industrial displays, the museum also houses a collection of vintage textiles and clothing, providing insight into the fashion trends of bygone eras. Visitors can marvel at the intricate designs and craftsmanship of these historic garments, offering a glimpse into the cultural significance of textiles throughout history.

Overall, the Museum of Industrial Archaeology and Textiles stands out as an unusual tourist attraction in Ghent, offering a blend of history, craftsmanship, and hands-on activities that appeal to both history enthusiasts and textile lovers alike.

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