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Things to do in Ghent | Belgium | Travel

October 31, 2018

Things to do in Ghent | Belgium | Travel

October 31, 2018

Belgium has been on my ‘list of places I HAVE to visit’ for as long as I can remember, and a few weeks ago I finally got to cross it off!

Having been invited to stay in an unopened boutique hotel ahead of its launch, I thought I’d make a full weekend of it in one of Flanders’ most underrated cities – Ghent. 

Whenever I was looking at trips to Belgium, I always thought either Bruges or Brussels would be best and honestly didn’t even consider Ghent. I mean, who the hell goes to Ghent? 

Well, it turns of Ghent is actually one of the prettiest, most fairytale like places I have ever visited. 

We managed to pack so much into our two full days in the city, so I wanted to round everything all the things to do in Ghent in a handy blog post.

Take a Boat Ride Around the City

This was definitely one of my favourite things that we did over the weekend as it gave us a chance to view the city from a completely different perspective. The boat trip was around £7 each for just under an hour tour, with a handy guide pointing out all of the coolest spots – some of which we ended up going back to on foot afterwards!

Enjoy a Belgian Waffle from Jack’s

Waffles are one of my favourite foods, so I couldn’t go to Belgium and not have a Belgian waffle could I? Although I loved the look of all the fancy chocolate covered options, it was absolutely chucking it down and with nowhere to sit, I wanted something I could eat on the go. We went to Jack’s after a friend recommended it, and I was definitely not dissapointed with my choice of a plain sugar cover waffle. It was PERFECT.

Climb to the Top of the Belfry Tower

”The Belfry is the middle tower in the famous row of three, between St Bavo’s Cathedral and St Nicholas’ Church.  In 1402, it was the place where city privileges were kept: in a chest, locked up in the Belfry safe.”

As well as holding an incredible history, you can also climb to the top of the tower for the most incredible views of the city. If you’re like me and dread the thought of climbing hundreds of steps, from the second floor onward you can even hop in a lift to the top.

The view from the top is amazing, giving you a 360 view of the city and both St Bavo’s Cathedral and St Nicholas’ Church – well worth the £5 ticket!

Visit all of the Chocolate Shops

This is another ‘when in Belgium’ situation – as you really can’t say no to Belgian chocolate!

On our second day we decided to stop off in any chocolate stop we saw along the way, sampling as much as we could! Although not all shops offered sampled, it was still amazing to see all of the different chocolate creations the city had to offer. My favourites we’re the Gent Dragons we found in Sophie’s Chocolatier and although they were expensive, they had a special meaning to the city. 

Visit the Cities Castle Gravensteen

”This important sight in Ghent is a castle with a very turbulent past, closely intertwined with the complex—often stormy—political and social history of the city. It is the only remaining medieval castle with a moat and largely intact defence system in Flanders.” 

I’d heard that there was a castle in the middle of the city, however, I wasn’t quite prepared for how beautiful it would actually look! It was such an odd sight to stumble upon as you wander around, but with its own little moat surrounding the entrance, it was definitely one of the most interesting spots we visited.

Although we didn’t have a chance to explore the inside – now a torture museum – we did get a chance to see the castle from a number of different angles, including from the boat on a boat tour on the first day.

Eat at the Holy Food Market

I discovered the Holy Food Market on Instagram whilst do some research on where to eat and I knew I HAD to go. This food court had an incredible twist as it was a converted 16th Century Church. With around 15 different places to eat and a bar in the centre, this was the perfect evening hangout.

Try Cherry Beer and Belgian Frites

I LOVE cherry flavoured beer and knowing it was from Belgium originally, I made it my mission to find some. I actually ended up ordering it from the Holy Food Market mentioned above, however, it wasn’t something that was difficult to get hold of. Obviously, as a lover of the drink already I LOVED it, and would probably go back to Belgium for the beer alone.

I’d had Frites in Amsterdam and Rotterdam before, however, I have heard from so many people that Belgium actually have the best fries. Of course, I wanted to put this to the test, so on our second day in the city, I ordered myself a cone of frites with samurai sauce (as much as I love the dutch sauce Joppie, I wanted something a little spicier). They were probably the best fries I’ve ever eaten, and have therefore ruined all future fries I will ever eat. Thanks, Ghent.

Look out for the Dragon at the top of the Belfry

”Legend says that the gilded dragon first featured on the prow of the ship which the Norwegian king Sigrid Magnusson left with on a crusade in 1111. Hundred of years later, the Flemish count Baldwin IX had the showpiece transported to the Flemish region, where it ended up in the hands of the people of Bruges. After the battle on the field of Beverhout in 1382, the inhabitants of Ghent took the dragon as a war trophy and put it on top of their Belfry.’

I didn’t actually spot it at first, but at the top of the Ghent Belfry, there is a gold dragon, looking out over the whole city. Although it’s not quite as impressive as the dragons in Game of Thrones, this little statue has become a symbol for the people of Ghent.

Treat yourself to some Cuberdon (from two competing stalls in the city centre)

Believe it or not, Ghent actually has a sweet/candy that is native to the city. The Cuberdon is a VERY sweet raspberry flavoured sweet that is often called a ‘Ghent Nose’ due to its shape. I didn’t buy any myself, however, the hotel I was staying in had them to try and oh my gosh, they were amazing. You can’t manage more than one or two at a time as they’re so sweet and they were definitely better when frozen and dropped in prosecco….

Wander Along the Canals for the most Magical Views

Most of Ghent is sat on a string of canals, so no matter where you walk it feels as though you’re never too far from the waterside. The buildings alongside the river are absolutely stunning, so it’s well worth spending the time getting lost along the canals. If you’re fancying a bit stop, stop off at the ‘Beer House on the Waterside‘ – somewhere that many people recommended to us for a drink!

Follow the ‘Coin Route’ through the City

While we were walking around the city I noticed lots of small, bronze circles on the floor. Most of them had a different image, so I couldn’t help but look at them as we walked around. It wasn’t until I got home and Googled them, that I realised why they were there….

”The idea behind the Coin Route (Muntenroute) is to visualise the Middle Ages’ trade route between Bruges and Cologne, which went through Ghent.”

The route is only 1km long, so I wish I’d have known and followed it around the city. Oh well, there’s always next time 😉

There were still so many things I didn’t get to do and after such a small taste of the beautiful Flanders, I’m dying to go back and visit more, with a visit to Ghent thrown in!

Kirsty Leanne

xoxo

  • Atowle October 31, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I love the architecture of the buildings! Great informative post. Atowle|https://formationvacations.com/

  • I'M KIRSTY LEANNE

    My mission is simple. I want to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, I want to inspire and advise people like me on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences.Join me as I share my own personal experiences, my best tips and tricks and all of the challenges I face along the way. It won’t always be an easy ride, but it sure as hell will be a fun one.

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    • AD | Gifted 💫 Happy Saturday! I’m going to be spending my weekend doing some housework, making my garden look pretty and trying to find ways to convince my boyfriend to take some new outfit shots for me. If there is one thing he hates, it’s being behind the camera even though he’s actually really good at it. For those of you that manage this on a regular basis, please please share your tips (I already offered a meal out, so that’s out of the question) 😂🤞🏻
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❤️ Jumpsuit gifted by @dorothyperkins
📸 @unwrittenchloee #plussizefashion #plussizeootd #plussize #psblogger #psbloggers #plussizeblogger #plussizeblog
    • AD | Discounted 💫 I am FINALLY getting around to writing some of my Trek America content and I’m getting super emotional reliving all of the amazing things that we did! As much as I love my home comforts, my dream would be to spend a couple of months getting Greyhound buses between as many States as I possibly can! With 9 already ticked off my list, I still have some exploring to do.... 🗺🇺🇸❤️
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So, who is coming with me? 😏🙌🏻
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❤️ My @trekamerica Trip was Discounted in return for content #trekamerica #trekmoment #itrekhere #visittheusa #nashville #nashvillemurals #nashvillemural #thegulch #thegulchnashville #nashvilletn #nashvilletennessee #visitnashville #nashville_tn #nashvillegram #instanashville #nashvillelove #plussizetraveltoo #plussizetravel #travelinclusivity #fatgirlstraveling #fatgirlstravelling
    • AD | Gifted 💫 It’s been a long time since I posted a carousel post on Instagram but I felt like the Kennedy Space Center definitely deserved it. I mean, just look at all of those incredible rockets 🚀
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Do you ever have those places where you’ve wanted to visit for as long as you can remember and then they exceed your expectations, even though you didn’t think it was possible? That was the KSC for me. It’s been just over a month since I visited and I still can’t stop thinking about how incredible the different exhibitions were. From learning about incredible American astronauts and driving around launch pads to seeing immersive replicas of both failed and successful launches, it really was an experience I’ll remember. I 100% left feeling like I could achieve anything ✨🛰
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❤️ My tickets to The Kennedy Space Center were gifted to me by @kennedyspacecenter #ksc #kennedyspacecenter #thekennedyspacecenter #kennedyspacecenter🚀 #kennedyspacecentervisitorcomplex
    • AD | Gifted 💫 For years I have been looking lustfully at all of the cute play suits in stores thinking that I’d never be able to wear one. Not only would they not suit me but oh my gosh, can you imagine the chub rub?! I’d written them off and decided that I’d stick to jumpsuits instead 🤷🏼‍♀️
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I don’t know why, but when I found out I was going to Garorock Festival I decided that if I was going to wear a playsuit, now would be the perfect opportunity. It was going to be 41 degrees and if anything, I could pass it off as festival fashion if it didn’t look right. I ordered two, one from @missguided and one from Boohoo 🙌🏻
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As you can see it DOES suit me (I think) and the chub rub? NON-EXISTENT. I’m definitely a playsuit convert and now wondering what other clothes I have written off without even giving them a chance! Co-ords? Dungarees? Bodycon Dresses? What should I try next?! 😏👇🏻
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❤️ Playsuit gifted by @missguided
❤️ Bag gifted by @boohoo
❤️ I was invited to Garorock as a plus one, so I was under no obligation to post #Garorock #festival #festivalfashion #plussizefestival #psoot #psbloggers #psblogger #psblog
    • AD | Gifted 🌈 Do you ever find a dress that as soon as you put it on, it’s all you want to wear for the rest of the summer?! 🙊
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This candy coloured sundress from @yoursclothinguk is definitely THE dress of the summer for me, especially as it’s the coolest linen material ever. It’s been so so comfortable on days where it’s hit 30 degrees (or 41, like it did in France) ☀️☀️🙌🏻🙌🏻
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P.s. please ignore the sun burn, apparently factor 50 every half an hour was STILL not enough for my ginger skin 😭🤦🏼‍♀️ #yoursclothing #yoursclothinguk #psbloggers #plussizebloggers #plussizeblog #plussizeootd #stylehasnosize #plussizefashion
    • AD | Gifted 💫 I’m definitely still recovering from the weekend but it was so so worth it as I go to go to my first ever festival. The four-day Garorock festival in Marmande consisted of lots of beer and Aperol, an endless supply of glitter, incredible music and non-stop dancing. ☀️🎶
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Highlights include reliving my childhood by seeing @sum41, dancing to @djsnake on day 3, discovering the amazing @christineandthequeens, listening to @twodoorcinemaclub and realising I know way more songs than I thought and the INCREDIBLE headline that was @macklemore. I’ve still got no voice because I sang and screamed so much 😂🙊
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As far as festivals go, Garorock was a great first choice. It was INCREDIBLY clean (look at the lack of rubbish in my photo) and it was all pretty contained and easy to get to. Not only that, but the crowd were amazing. I’m a little worried I may have been spoilt and I’ll have a bit of a shock at my next festival, but there’s only one way to find out, right? 😂🙌🏻
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📸: @absolutelylucy
❤️ I was a plus one on this trip, so under no obligation to post
❤️ Dress and bag gifted by @boohoo @boohooplus #festival #festivaloutfit #festivalinspo #plussizefestival #festivalfashion #spacebuns #garorock #garorock2019 #playsuit #romper
    • I’ve had a little bit of an Instagram break the last five days as I’ve been living my best life in France at my FIRST EVER festival! 🙌🏻🎉
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Although I would have loved to get the full festival experience by camping, the heat was hitting the 40’s most days. Luckily we had our very own Gite to stay in, fully equipped with a pool and all the wine I could drink. Clearly, I took full advantage of that🥂🍾
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The festival wasn’t my only first this weekend, as this is also the first time I’ve ever worn a bikini! Despite the fact I come across as confident on Instagram, I still get self-conscious when I’m putting myself out there. I was DEFINITELY not feeling it at first, but after a bit of encouragement from @danniellelily and @absolutelylucy I felt so much better. I feel as though I’d built wearing a bikini up to be this massively scary thing for me when really, it’s not *so* bad. Here’s to way more bikinis in my life 🙌🏻
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📸 @absolutelylucy ❤️ I was invited as a plus one on this trip, therefore had no obligation to post
❤️ Bikini bought from @prettylittlething who I have worked with in the past #bikini #plussizebikini #bikiniseason #bikinilovers #plussizebikinis
    • AD | Gifted ❤️ Did you know when it comes to the collaborations that I do, I pitch 90% of the work I have? Whether it’s pitching a product to feature, a press trip to go on or a paid post for my blog - I’m a huge fan of going out and finding my own opportunities. Whilst I know a lot of people are scared of the thought of pitching, it’s one of the main reasons l was able to leave my job and go full-time. It’s also taken me to places like Croatia, Belgium, Lanzarote and France. I’ve worked with INCREDIBLE brands, and I want everyone else to be able to do the same too 🙌🏻
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If you saw my stories a couple of weeks ago, you will have seen that I launched the #bepitchperfect eBook - the ultimate guide to pitching products, payments and press trip. The guide goes into detail about all of the preparation you need to do before a pitch, ways to overcome your fears, a five-step strategy that works for me almost every time and how to stay on top of all the people you’re pitching. I also tell you how to personalise each pitch depending on what you’re pitching. It really is that detailed! 🙊💫
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At just £10, it’s honestly an absolute bargain for those looking to take their blog to the next level. It’s been launched less than a month so far and I’ve already had people message to tell me some of the amazing collaborations they’ve secured thanks to my guide! 🎉
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I’m so sorry that this post may have come across a little salesy, but as you can tell I’m incredibly passionate about pitching and how it can help your blog grow. If you’re interested in purchasing the eBook, there’s a link to buy in my profile bio. If you think you know someone who may be interested, please feel free to tag them below! 🥰🥰
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❤️ Jacket gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Skirt gifted from @primark
❤️ Lace body gifted from @missguided
❤️ T-Shirt bought from @levis #plussize #plussizeootd #plussizefashion #psbloggers #plussizebloggers
    • AD | Discounted 💫 As soon as I booked my Trek America I started planning all of the places I wanted to visit in each location, including the #whatliftsyou mural in the Gulch, Nashville. Nashville has TONNES of murals dotted around the city, but this particular one designed by @kelseymontagueart is very very popular. In short, Kelsey has designed all of the #whatliftsyou murals to encourage people to talk about what inspires them. Of course, I couldn’t miss out on an opportunity to do the same...
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✨ Traveling to new places and experiencing incredible new adventures inspires me to create new content, as well as to face my fears.
✨ My friends and family inspire me on a daily basis - whether it’s to do the best I can or to appreciate what I have. Seeing them do incredible things makes me want to do incredible things too.
✨ My boyfriend inspires me to achieve everything I’ve ever wanted to, as he’s always cheering me on and telling me I can do anything if I work hard enough.
✨ YOU! Each and everyone one of you inspire me to do the best I can when it comes to Plus Size Travel Too and travel marketing.
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What inspires you? 👇🏻
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❤️ My trip with @trekamerica was Discounted in return for content
❤️ Dress is bought from @boohoo however I have worked with them previously #whatliftsyounashville #whatliftsyoumural #nashvilletennessee #nashvillemurals #nashville_tn #visitnashville #visittennessee  #nashvillegulch

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    • Hi! It’s me! We’ve had quite a few new followers over here so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about me, the creator of the @plussizetraveltoo movement! 🙊🙌🏻
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My name is Kirsty Leanne (@kirstyleanneuk) and I’m a plus size travel blogger from the UK! I have loved travelling for as long as I can remember and have been blogging about travel for just over two years (and specifically plus size travel for officially 6 months). I like cats, peanut butter and programmes about serial killers. 
As I started to become more confident with posting photos of myself of my social media channels, it became more and more obvious that I didn’t have a place in the travel industry. Nobody wanted to feature a fat girl on their platforms or in their press trips. As time went on and it started to get to me more and more, the idea for Plus Size Travel Too started. Not only is this a community for plus size travellers to get advice from people just like them, but it’s a way to show brands that plus size people do actually travel too. In the long run, I want PSTT to help brands see that they should be showing plus size travellers in their marketing materials, as well as advising them on how they can make adjustments that can make travel a lot more comfortable for plus size people. 
I want to inspire plus size travellers, just like me, to travel and have the best adventures they can. Often people let the fact they’re plus size they can’t travel and hopefully, Plus Size Travel Too will help show people that that’s just not true. 
I can’t do it alone, so I am thankful for each and every one of you helping me along the way ❤️💫
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