Saturday, June 22, 2024

Belgium’s most walkable city is a historic gem

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Belgium is something of an underrated European destination. Despite the ease of reaching it from the UK, many Britons prefer to head further south for a city break.

However, the country has some beautiful cities to explore – not to mention it’s famous for beer and fries.

Ghent, a port city on Belgium’s northwestern coast, is often overlooked in favour of Bruges or Brussels, but it’s a gorgeous destination that also happens to be Belgium’s most walkable city.

Ghent has a car-free city centre which helps to keep the city free of pollution and safe for pedestrians.

The tourism board’s city walk ticks off many of Ghent’s top attractions in under 5 km and fewer than 6,000 steps.

The team recommend starting your walk in Ghent’s historic centre, visiting the Castle of the Counts, the Graslei and Ghent’s three towers.

The Castle of the Counts is a medieval castle with a moat, gatehouse, ramparts and a stable to explore.

After ticking off the sites, head to Patershol, the city’s old quarter which still exists in a medieval street pattern.

Make sure to visit the House of Aljin which is a restored almshouse with recreated shops offering a glimpse into local life.

Known as the culinary heart of Ghent, Patershol is one of the best places to indulge in local delicacies.

Ghent still has around 250 breweries so if you’re a beer fan, the city is the ideal place to sample a huge range.

Don’t be confused if someone offers you a Ghent nose. A local treat, these nose-shaped delights are made from sugar, fruit and gum and they’re the perfect sweet snack after a walk.

If you’re trying to improve your carbon footprint, there’s good news as there’s no need to fly to Ghent.

Tourists can reach the city in under three hours from London by catching the Eurostar to Brussels, then a short connection on to Ghent.

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