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Graslei, Ghent, Belgium

The Weekend Hop on Hop off Water Tram in Ghent

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This year there’s a new way to explore Ghent on the hop-on-hop-off water tram operating every Saturday and Sunday until November. It’s a great way to visit the city’s attractions.

Water Tram Stops in Ghent

Ghent Gravensteen -

above: Ghent Gravensteen – “The Castle of the Counts” by  Simon Q, Creative Commons

Running from 11 am to 6.15 pm, the tram has  six stops including:

Castle of the Counts

The Gravensteen (meaning Castle of the Counts in Dutch) dates back to the Middle Ages and was the setting for some of the scens in the BBC drama series “The White Queen”. Built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace, the present castle is on the site of a previous wooden castle believed to have been built in the ninth century. The castle served as the seat of the Counts of Flanders until they abandoned it in the 14th century. It was later used as a courthouse, a prison and eventually fell into ruin. Houses were built against the walls and in the inner the courtyard. Walls were dismantled so that the stones could be used for new constructions. In 1885 the city of Ghent bought the castle, saving it from demolition and started work on its renovation. The newly built houses were removed and the walls and dungeon were restored to their original condition. The castle can now be explored once again and inside is a museum with various torture devices, including a guillotine, that were once used in the city.


This medieval port, is the thriving heart of the city. Lined with elegant historic buildings, it is a meeting place where young and old, local and visitor alike, gather in the cafés and by the water’s edge. Graslei, Ghent, Belgium

above:  Graslei by VisitGent, Creative Commons

St Peter’s Abbey

Home to the Centre for Art and Culture St. Peter’s Abbey, this is a wonderful international exhibition space while the gardens and vineyards form a green oasis in the city.

St Bavo’s Cathedral

St. Bavo’s Cathedral is home an impressive number of art treasures: the baroque high altar in red, black and white marble, the rococo oak, gilt and marble pulpit, a major work by Rubens, the ‘Calvary Triptych’,  tombs of the Ghent bishops, and so much more. The most impressive and world famous of them all though is the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck around 1432. Discover more at Visit Gent.


Ghent central pedestrian shopping street has a number of splendid, authentic façades and numerous inviting shops. A day pass costs €12.50 and a two-day pass costs €15.00. When you buy a CityCard Gent, the day pass is included in the purchase price.

Author: Kathryn Burrington

Travel writer, photographer and blogger for the Serenity Holidays group, including the short break experts, Great Escapes.

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