As the year 2017 is just around the corner, we decided to see how was the year 2016. Well, it was wonderful! We started the Travelers Child and we put our traveling to whole new level. We spent most of this year traveling and exploring not only different places, but different foods, different cultures, met a lot of new great people and just had one of the best years of our life. It’s hard to sum up everything and put it all into perspective, but we decided to do exactly that. And what’s a better way than just to look back and think which places we enjoyed the most. Though it’s a difficult task, as we enjoyed every single moment, this also is a very pleasant objective. We hope that you will enjoy this trip down our memory lane as much as we did!
So allow us to introduce you, Dear Reader, to our No. 6, which is:
Gent is fourth largest and one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium. City with more than 250 thousand residents is located in the Dutch-speaking Flemish region, and together with Brugge and Antwerpen is top tourist destinations here.
Gent’s history started in Early Middle Ages at the confluence of two rivers – Scheldt and Leie, and by the 14th century it was one of the richest and biggest cities in Northern Europe. So this is why modern Gent is famous for its fascinating medieval architecture, its beautiful canals and rich history.
Believe us, Dear Reader, when you enter city’s old town for the first time, it’s hard to realize that you aren’t in film cast or theme park. Gent Centrum is magical! Architectural sights mixed with the beauty of canals makes this city look astonishing. No wonder why it is named as UNESCO World Heritage Site, or World’s Best Kept Secret by Lonely Planet in 2011. It is one of those cities where you can wander all day, all week, all year and still discover something unique and unseen.
Also, we have to admit that we did a little bet here. While we were doing our TOP 10 list all of our destinations were the same, though in different order and also we had a destination per each that wasn’t on the others list. We knew that we had Brugge left to visit and as we were very hyped about it we predicted that it should go somewhere in the 7th spot.
We visited Brugge and we liked it, though we were not sure if it should make the TOP 10. Then we got few of our followers on Instagram telling us, that Gent is even prettier, so we decided to come here too. What we found exceeded all of our expectations. Actually, the emotions we felt were kind of those that we were probably expecting in Brugge.
So though we had a 7th spot reserved for Brugge, finally, it turned out that we had to move Gerberoy to this place and move Gent up to 6th. This city was just FANTASTIC!
What L. has to say about Gent
Place on L’s list: 6
My mind is still overtaken by the things that I saw in Gent. As you, Dear Reader, probably know, I love destinations where I find something magical. And, whoa, Gent met my expectations in 500 percent! It looks like the city with the biggest wizarding community in Belgium. Actually, in the evening after our trip there, I saw one picture from Gent on Instagram with the title that reflected my thoughts quite great. It sounded something like: ‘I know. I can’t believe this isn’t the set from Harry Potter either.’ So yes, Dear Reader, some parts of Gent Centrum looks unreal. Simply cosmonautics.
The part which I loved the most in Gent was St Michael’s Bridge. This is where our wanderings begun, and this is where we understood that we have discovered the most beautiful city in Belgium1. Here I fell in love with the city.
St Michael’s Bridge is built over the Leie River and it’s like a scenic overlook to the most beautiful sides of the city. As we entered Gent through it, in front of us in the distance opened-up a bouquet of spectacular architectural sights, like towers of St Michael’s Church, or Castle of the Counts. But if that would be not enough, Christmas Market with a huge white panoramic wheel was taking place among them. Really, Dear Reader, the view simply blasted my head.
We spent all day there just talking with each other in a phrases like ‘This is unbelievable!’, ‘This is mind blowing!, ‘No, I can’t believe how awesome this is!‘, etc. We were completely stunned for almost 5 hours. The bridge. Christmas Market. Hot chocolate. Canals. Cozy streets. Greek kebab. Canals, again. Panoramic wheel. The bridge, again.
All in all, Gent doesn’t deserve to be No. 6. It should be ranked higher. But what should we do when we have visited even more mind-blowing places this year?
What P. has to say about Gent
Place on P’s list: 6
Before arriving to Belgium it was all like – Oh you have to visit Brugge; Oh, you will love Brugge and etc. And, of course, the movie2. I was so hyped it’s hard to even describe. So when we came there, I really loved it, it really was very nice, but it wasn’t IT. Like, there was nothing that clicked.
BOOM! We entered the city through St. Michael’s bridge and actually, few meters before even reaching it and just seeing the view I already knew I was going to fall in love with this city. I took a record number of 500 pics here, it was the first time that my fully charged camera died in one day.
As always, L. has already said almost everything I could think of. So, I would just add that during our almost four months spent in Belgium, Gent definitely became the place that I’d recommend for everyone to visit if planning to visit Belgium.
And if I may, I would love to close my review by leaving you with a pic that I made and that I’m pretty proud of.
( Full Size)
The conclusion is pretty simple here. If we were asked which ONE place you should visit if you are travelling to Belgium, our answer would be – Gent. It has everything that a great city for sightseeing and spending wonderful time needs – amazing architecture, beautiful bridges, two rivers converging in to one, lots of cafes… EVERYTHING!
We loved this city and we could bet that everyone would love it too. It’s probably everything that you would expect from a European destination. Just make sure that you’re entering the city through St. Michael’s Bridge and then we guarantee you, Dear Reader, you’ll be blown away immediately!
Rest of the TOP 10
1. Praia da Ursa (Portugal)
2. San Sebastian (Spain)
3. Saxon Switzerland (Germany)
4. Porto (Portugal)
5. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
6. Gent (Belgium)
7. Gerberoy (France)
8. Durbuy (Belgium)
9. Mont Saint-Michel (France)
10. Colmar (France)