Thursday, 27 October 2016

Where To Go, What To See and Where to Stay in Ghent, Belgium

 I'm so glad we visited Belgium because the days we spent in Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges were some of the highlights of our trip. Ghent, “the best kept secret of Europe”, according to Lonely Planet. I cannot stress enough how beautiful and charming this historic city is. It's like walking through a medieval painting with streets lined with old merchant houses, churches, cathedrals and a majestic castle dominating the view of the city. We took a boat ride through its many winding canals and it was such a relaxing and lovely way to take in the scene and enjoy the beauty of Ghent. Then once the sun sets, the city is beautifully lit up. Make sure to take an evening stroll and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

Old Fish Market (photo above), located opposite the Castle of the Counts.

Castle of the Counts (Gravensteen)
A castle in the middle of the city!

Belfry of Ghent

St Bavo Cathedral

St Nicholas Church

Market Hall
Contemporary architecture in Ghent

The Royal Dutch Theater

 St Pieters Station


Masons' Guild Hall

The 15th Century Great Butcher's Hall

Inside the Great Butcher's Hall

St. Michael's Bridge and St. Michael's Church
Beautiful at night as it is during the day.

St Nicholas' Church and Belfort from St Michael's Bridge.

We rely on trains more than any other mode of transport when we travel. Hence, choosing a hotel near a train station is most important. Many hotels in Ghent are in old buildings with no lifts and stairs can be narrow and steep so be prepared to climb some steps and keep your luggage light. 

 We chose Hotel Carlton because of its proximity to St Pieters Station (3 minute walk) and spent 2 nights here. The hotel is run by two amazing brothers who by the minute we walked in have been very friendly and extremely helpful throughout our stay.  One of the brothers, Steven if I remember right provided us with a map, gave us a brief history of Ghent, advised us on what to see, where to eat and even tried to book us a table at j.e.f. (one of Ghent's best restaurants). The large room was modern, comfortable, clean and tidy. Breakfast was fantastic and delicious. They have freshly baked bread, plenty of fruits, freshly squeezed orange juice, variety of cheeses, etc but my favourite has to be their egg dishes cooked in whichever way you prefer. 
I don't normally review hotels or places I've stayed but I have to make this an exception. I've been to many hotels and resorts globally but what set this small charming hotel apart was the level of service and personal attention given to every guest. Hotel Carlton is clearly an excellent value for money. It certainly ticked all the boxes and we were very, very happy and satisfied.

Breakfast was fantastic at Hotel Carlton in Ghent.


Scrambled with bacon

1 comment: