Do you feel like discovering the beautiful city of Ghent? This bike route is the perfect way to do so! It’s highly recommended and it takes you past all the must-sees in Ghent. The route is 39km long and is doable for every recreational biker! Alongside this road, we’ve selected some wonderful spots together with our Spotters you cannot miss while visiting Ghent. What are you waiting for? Grab/Rent yourself a bike and discover Ghent with us.
We’ve customised the bike route a little bit. Actually, the only thing that’s different is the starting- and ending point of the trail. Because we wanted you to start your excursion with a nice cup of coffee, we decided to let the route depart from here. The starting point is right in the middle of the city centre.
If you want, you can turn this bike route into a whole day activity, combined with our spots. I would recommend leaving in the morning or early noon to enjoy a whole day of discovering Ghent by bike! This way you will finish the itinerary in the evening, the perfect time to have dinner and some drinks afterwards. You can find the bike route we’ve selected at the end of the article. The spots that are aligned with this route can easily be found in the app.
Want to discover all spots with us? Download our Spotted by Locals app to discover all spots!
Km 0 till 12
The starting point of our route is Peaberry, the perfect place to start the day. This coffee bar is less than a minute away from Bisdomplein. The place has a really relaxing atmosphere around it and offers you a wide choice of coffee or tea. Feeling like a Sunday treat? You can also eat cake here, that makes it just the perfect spot, right?
After getting your daily dose of caffeine and maybe a little snack, it’s time to start riding your bikes! After twenty or twenty-five minutes, you will arrive at the second spot. This time it’s time for some culture. STAM is the city museum of Ghent and is located in an old abbey. This building has many stories to offer and magnificent rooms to explore. Inside you will get an overview of the rich history of Ghent, using the most modern techniques.
Ghent is very proud of this new museum and no wonder, history has never been so exciting. What about doing your own research on the stolen part of the famous painting “The adoration of the mystic lamb” by Van Eyck? In one sentence: If you haven’t been to this museum, you haven’t been to Ghent!
After viewing this magnificent museum, it’s time for a drink! And for those who are hungry, you can also have lunch here! Take a well-deserved break after covering the first twelve kilometres of the day! De Walrus is a great neighbourhood meeting place on the corner right next to the Coupure canal. Not many tourists make it to this mainly residential area of town, so you can be sure you’ll get a true slice of Ghent living if you come here for a drink or a bite to eat.
There’s a bit of everything at De Walrus – a bar with stools where you can chat to the staff, retro restaurant tables, a big sunny terrace with colourful beach-themed murals out the back, live bands playing on a Saturday night, and even a little play area with toys for kids. Food-wise it’s also a steal. They have some standard classics like chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognaise etc, but nothing is more than 15 euros so it’s really good value, especially as you can easily pay twice as much for something similar in the centre of town. They also always have a vegetarian special and lots of vegetarian/vegan-friendly options. Everything is freshly made in house.
Km 12 till 24
A couple of drinks, maybe a nice meal in your stomach and probably a nice conversation with a local later, it’s time to continue our bike day trip through Ghent! Our next stop is the Hospital Parking, this place gives you a very nice view of the city!
This parking lot actually won second place in the ‘World’s Coolest Car Park Competition 2018’. It’s an architectural gem designed to give the hospital a landmark in the city skyline. The 360-view you find here is a really attractive summary of the city.
After seeing the whole city of Ghent from above, it’s time to discover the parallel universe of Bar Bricolage. This area of the city is undergoing redevelopment. Entering Bar Bricolage is like stepping into a tranquil paradise with boardwalk paths over sandy grounds, birds singing in the leafy trees, and butterflies fluttering about. If the weather is good, entering Bar Bricolage might feel like you’ve been transported to some backpacker beach bar in a tropical part of the world.
As it’s all outside, Bar Bricolage is only open during the summer months, and it’s the perfect place to grab a well-deserved beer or a cocktail and put your feet up for a while. Good to know: if you arrive at Bar Bricolage you’re already more than halfway there, so have a little break in this chilled paradise before continuing your discovery of the city of Ghent.
Km 24 till 39
Follow the last part of the route and ride your bike next to Ghent’s beautiful waterways until you arrive at Patershol. This is the perfect place in Ghent to take a stroll through an authentic historical setting, ‘t Patershol is the medieval heart of Ghent. This cosy, picturesque neighbourhood is hidden in the shadow of the glorious Castle of the Counts. The pattern of streets has been the same since medieval times and is worth a visit. Although it seems like a tiny place, there are currently 500 families living there, among them a lot of artists, such as the Belgian-Argentinian painter Cecilia Jaime. Furthermore, this entourage is home to some specialist shops and art galleries and houses some good restaurants. Good to know: when you’ve arrived at Patershol, the rest of the spots are within walking distance. So for those who are tired, no need to ride your bike any further, you made it!
The next stop on our route is Appelbrugparkje, only two minutes away from Patershol, it is located just outside of the medieval centre. This cosy chilling place is the perfect one to catch some afternoon sun while sitting by the water. Or when with friends you can grab some drinks from the store to enjoy the splendid view of the Great Butchers’ Hall from this green spot, alongside the Lys river.
After a day filled with riding your bike and discovering the beautiful city of Ghent, you’re probably hungry and in for a good meal. Head to De Gekroonde Hoofden for the best spareribs in town! It is one of the famous spare rib restaurants in Ghent, located in the Burgstraat near the beautiful Gravensteen castle and close to the cosy area of Saint-Veerle Square.
“De Gekroonde Hoofden” is the Dutch translation for “The Crowned Heads” and refers to the Counts of Flanders. On the facade, you can see the busts of the 14 Counts of Flanders who ruled over the wealthy area since the 9th century. No wonder that besides a restaurant this is also one of the city’s finest renaissance buildings.
After dining, have a stroll through the city and enjoy Ghent and its magical city lights. When the sun sets, a new city arises. Walking around in the city after nightfall is a real recommendation because that’s when a thousand lights are switched on and Ghent turns into a picturesque scene. At night you can really see Ghent’s medieval character come alive. No wonder the famous Michelin guide awarded the Light Plan three stars.
Ghent by night, it feels like being inside a fairytale. Do it well before midnight, because Cinderella-wise the functional lighting then takes over from the atmospheric illumination.
To end the night in style, for those who are not too tired yet, head to Damberd to discover jazzy Ghent. This might be the best example of what they call a Belgisch bruin café (Belgian brown bar). It is one of the oldest bars in town, yet it’s very popular. The name has not changed since the 18th century and refers to the fact that it was a popular place to play chess.
The interior dates back to 1936 when two customers made a drunken bet. They would redecorate the interior in one single day. The result can still be seen in the nine panels offering historical views of the city. Today the owners describe the atmosphere as hip, anarchistic-libertarian, artistic, international, rebellious, Burgundy joie de vivre, marginal and musical and this might all be correct. Here you’re at the perfect place to discover a typical Belgian bar. You can try out one of the many beers or just go for a coffee, along with some jazz music.