Gent Nightlife

As in most Belgian towns, nightlife in Gent centers around grazing, drinking, and talking with friends into the wee hours. However, the city's massive student population ensures a much busier, more varied nightlife than you'll find in the likes of Bruges or other towns in Flanders. Consequently, locals have come up with a very Belgian compromise to ensure tensions don't arise between residents and

students. In an idea akin to horror film The Purge, the worst of the student revelry is contained within one hedonistic street containing 35 bars known as Overpoort. Such is its reputation that the police have been known to tape off the area and let the kids work out their frustrations. The consequence is that, despite the huge student population, the center isn't dominated by beer-fueled teens and is left mostly to the delectation of tourists and locals. But should you still desire to shake your booty away from the mayhem of Overpoort, the area around Oude Beestenmarkt and Vlasmarkt, near Portus Ganda, is a good spot for clubs, albeit of the cheesier variety.

There are special dance nights, several gay bars, and lots of gay and lesbian organizations providing help and advice. The tourist office even provides a gay and lesbian city map.

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Gent Nightlife

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't Dreupelkot

  • Bars/Pubs

To taste a potent Belgian specialty, head to 't Dreupelkot, which produces its own jenever—a liquor similar in flavor to, and said...

Casa Rosa

  • Bars/Pubs

This LGBT center has information on gay and lesbian bars, events, and organizations, and also offers help and advice (website in Dutch).


  • Music Clubs

There are concerts as well as dance nights at Muziekcafé Charlatan. It's open Tuesday to Sunday from 8 pm; music starts up at 10, and...


  • Music Clubs

Jazz musicians from all over the world have found their way to Damberd's late-night sessions, held in one of the oldest bars in Gent.

De Dulle Griet

  • Bars/Pubs

In this quintessential Gent pub, there are more than 260 kinds of drinks, but the specialty is the 1.2-liter Kwak beer, complete with...


  • Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

Located inside an old gasworks, brewer Annick de Splenter has created Gent's most prolific brewpub. The bulk of Gruut beers are made...

Het Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant

  • Bars/Pubs

At this great beer bar (next door to t'Dreupelkot), the small waterside terrace fills up quickly in fine weather. Staff aren't necessarily...


  • Bars/Pubs

This superb cocktail bar re-creates a 1920s speakeasy vibe, right down to the closed-door-buzzer policy. It fills up quickly, so plenty...

Lazy River Jazz Café

  • Music Clubs

An older crowd predominates at this friendly and intimate club. ...

Town Crier

  • Bars/Pubs

The Town Crier, who spends his days walking the streets making announcements and tolling his bell, can also take you on a pub crawl.