Ghent

Old Sep 7th, 2008, 12:34 PM
  #1  
yk
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ghent

DH & I will spend a day in Ghent (enroute from Brugge to Brussels). We will arrive by train into the St Pietersstation.

Our plan for the day is:

1) St Bavo for the van Eyck alterpiece
2) Belfry
3) Wander around town
4) Canal boat ride
5) Museum of Fine Arts

My questions are:

1) How feasible is it to ride a bike in Ghent? On my previous visit (I took the tram), I recall narrow & crowded streets. Are there bike paths along the canal we can bike, instead of the main throughfare? Are there bike racks easily available throughout the old center?

2) If we decide to take the trams, after we finish at the Museum of Fine Arts, is it safe to walk thru Citadelpark to the train station as it doesn't look like too far? This will be around 5-6pm on a Friday.

3) Any suggestion for lunch around the old center that we can eat for €20 or less per person? Is Ghent the place where we should try waterzooi?

4) Lastly, about train tickets. When we leave Brugge, should I ask for a ticket to Brussels VIA Ghent? Will the VIA ticket specify which specific train I have to take from Ghent-Brussels? Or should I just buy 2 separate tickets at each station? Any advantage on one option over the other?

Thanks!
yk is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2008, 02:22 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
1) I never rode a bike in Gent but I presume it could be too crowded if you're not used to ride a bike a in a city. Don't know about bike racks, nor about a bike path along the canal.
2) No idea.
3) Patershol is a pretty area with lots of restaurants. I'm afraid, though, that most of them are open for dinner only. You will find lunchrooms (type tearoom) on the large squares.
Gent is indeed the place to eat waterzooi.
4) Yes, do ask for a VIA ticket. It won't specify a specific train. It will just allow you to interrupt your journey Brugge-Brussels in Gent. If you have a regular ticket, you are not allowed to interrupt your journey.
MyriamC is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2008, 06:26 AM
  #3  
yk
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you Myriam, as usual, for your help.

FWIW, last night I emailed the visitors center in Ghent to ask about bike paths and Citadelpark. This was the reply I got:

>> Hello

Thank you for the interest you have in our city.

By post we will send you the cyclingmap of Ghent and the route 'Leie (Lys) Promenade'. Can you please give us your adress ?

On the map of the Lys you can follow a path along the water which takes you to the city center. (the information on this map is only in dutch)

Near the Town Hall there are free bike racks available.

It's no problem and safe to walk or bike in the Citadelpark between 5 p.m and 6 p.m.

I hope that I have been able to help you with this information. <<

Unfortunately, we are leaving in a few days, so there's no time for them to mail me the bike map. However, if there's a bike path along Leie, it should be pretty straight forward to ride.

Anyway, it'll cost more for us to rent 2 bikes for the day, than to take the trams. We'll see how it goes when we get to Ghent.

Any other recs for restaurants would be appreciated.
yk is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2008, 06:47 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I led bike touring groups thru Belgium for years and i always told our folks to park the bike in Gent and walk - tough cycling with cobblestones, incredibly crowded at times bike paths with impatient at times cyclists who will ring their bells and shout at you if you do not follow bike path etiquette IME

I'd forget about bikes as the city centre is compact - safe? nowhere in Gent's city center at least is unsafe IMO

And if you want to see a classic Red-Light District with Amsterdam style picture windows head for the old Sailor's quarter some blocks north of the town center - this is also Gent's Turkish-arabic area and is thus interesting as well.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2008, 01:59 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can rid bike in Gent, but be carefull in the historical centre on the cobblestone roads and for the tram-tracks (your wheel can get stuck in them, you fall and the wheel can be damaged).
But if you want to try: you can hire bicycles at the station. Ride along the Albertlaan till you crossed the Leie and go right. Then you have a nice route to the centre. Just drive till you cant go on and cross the water and go further on the other side and you arrive at the Graslei. If you go right you will pass the Sint-Niklaaschurch, the Belfry and St Bavo cathedral.
From there you will have signs to the museum of Fine Arts.
From there to the station is only 5 minutes by bike. The park is not dangerous at that time (actually it is never really dangerous, but at night I should not go there ;-)

Tram and bus are cheap. Buy your ticket on the ticket-machine, it is even cheaper (at least for a one hour ticket, dont know about day tickets).

In most restaurants in Patershol you can have lunch, but if you try one of the brasseries just outside St Bavo or on the Korenmarkt (between Belfry and Graslei) you will have a nice meal.
Gentse Waterzooi is of course famous. Just ask if they have it (but most will).

What date do you come? Maybe I can pick you up at the station and guide you ;-)
Taaner is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 05:39 AM
  #6  
yk
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Taaner- thanks for you reply. We had already returned from our trip. We made a decision not to rent bikes in Ghent and took the tram instead. I wasn't comfortable riding a bike in busy cobblestone streets, and that was the right decision.

We walked from the Museum of Fine ARts (in Citadelpark) to the train station at around 5:30pm. It took about 10-15 minutes and was perfectly safe. Lots of people jogging and strolling in the park, moms taking their children for walks, teens playing frisbees etc.
yk is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 09:36 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 709
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MyriamC (or anyone else):

Do you know if the VIA ticket will allow you to interrupt the journey between Bruges and Brussels in Ghent overnight? Or does the travel need to be completed within the same day?
Kyliebaby3 is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 01:04 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13,614
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Too difficult to bike on cobblestones and especially wet ones as it rains so much in Belgium. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 01:51 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And in Gent, like Amsterdam, you also have tram tracks to watch out for - can upend careless riders.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 02:41 PM
  #10  
yk
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,010
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kylie- I don't know the answer, but since the train ticket prices in Belgium is based on distance, it costs the same whether you buy

2 separate tickets Brussels-Ghent and Ghent-Bruges
or
1 VIA ticket Brussels-Ghent-Bruges


yk is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2008, 02:48 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 709
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much! I just looked them up on Raileurope.com, and the prices are pretty low anyway. I was just curious, but will more than likely just spring for two tickets in the respective train stations. Thanks again and happy holidays
Kyliebaby3 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
travelerwife
Europe
2
Mar 12th, 2018 01:34 AM
sorriso
Europe
9
Jul 4th, 2016 07:00 AM
Betsy
Europe
2
Feb 24th, 2010 12:07 PM
dodobird
United States
17
Nov 21st, 2003 10:40 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:25 PM.