6 Hours in Ghent

In planning this trip, I had borrowed a Belgium travel guide from my friend, J. (The guide also contained a small section on Luxembourg as well, which came in super handy too.) Anyway, the main takeaway this guide was that Bruges was the most popular day trip from Brussels and second to that was Ghent.

I read that most people preferred Ghent because it wasn't as crowded as Bruges while being just as picturesque. Honestly, I don't like pitting cities against each other and I wanted to form my own opinion and I had the time so I went to both. I think each city has its own charm.
Ghent was v. accessible - it was an easy 30-minute train journey - and because I was traveling on the weekend, the tickets were cheaper (€10 round trip) than they would be during the weekday (€17 round trip). Since it was going to be such a quick ride, when I initially arrived in Brussels, I just dropped off my bags and headed straight to the train station.


The trains run v. often (at least every half hour) so I just got on the next available one.
When I arrived in Ghent, at the Sint Pieters Station, there were literally thousands of bikes and I honestly don't understand how one would find their bicycle in this mess. I had the same thought when I was in Copenhagen.

The station is a 20-minute walk from the main part of Ghent and there are trams available, but they take 15 minutes to get you to the city center and when I showed up, there were hoards of people queuing up just to buy tickets so I opted to walk. It's a charming walk anyway so I think it's the better option.
For lunch, I knew I wanted to go to Balls & Glory. I had heard really good things and I love a meatball.
They had a specialty drink of the day posted on their menu, so I went for it. It was a grapefruit & fennel sparkling lemonade and it was refreshing and delicious.
I went for the pork meatball stuffed with mustard & chicory. The side options included potatoes, rice, and salad and I went for salad because I wanted something crunchy and bright. It was such a good choice because the salad would've been incredibly delicious on its own. There were huge chunks of salty goat cheese, roasted beets, mandarin orange supremes, and a bright and acidic dressing. It was such a good compliment to the hearty meatball. The meatball itself had been breaded and fried so it had a really crispy exterior and when I cut into it, exposing the perfect little hollow in the center with the oozy filling was such a fun experience.
I honestly spent most of the afternoon just wandering around, getting lost in alleys, enjoying the canals, and snapping photos.
Since Ghent is closer to Holland, most everyone here spoke Dutch, and thankfully English, to help out people like me. I remembered "dank je" from my visit to Amsterdam a jillion years ago though, which got me a smile and good service.

I headed back in time to catch the 16:30 train so that I could get back to Brussels in time to catch one of the first light shows of the night at Grand Place.
Here's my video diary: