Ghent is an amazing city that holds the best of both worlds: loads of shops, restaurants with amazing foods of all different cuisines, trendy bars and all the facilities that any big city has to offer, this combined with a very cosy village atmosphere and feeling. Truly an idyllic city with the river Leie flowing right through it.
Are you visiting Ghent during a city-trip and are you lucky that you’re not seeing any of the typical rainy Belgian weather but some tropical temperatures? You must be looking for a place to cool down then? Search no more, here below you will find a list of my favorite places where I, and the other locals, go during the hot summer months to find some shade. You’ll discover some amazing hidden gems that you won’t find in any of the tourist brochures!
Boat ride on the river “Leie”
You have 2 options here. Either you take one of the very touristy boats that you will find in the historic city center of Ghent. You’ll find these at the Graslei and these are called “Bootjes van Gent”. You can combine this guided boat tour with a lot of historic and cultural information about the city as you can visit her from the water. These tour are provided in a LOT of different languages. But since I promised you non-touristy stuff as well… you can also rent your own boat (the company Minerva that is situated on the Coupure in Ghent for instance rents out boats) and go on a boat ride all by yourself. Well, and your friends of course. J Don’t forget the cooler with some drinks and bites along with an amazing Spotify playlist and go on this truly beautiful boat trip. You can either go in the direction of the City Center of Ghent where you can go straight through the historical center of Ghent or you can go in the other direction, being the direction of “Sint-Martens-Latem” and visit the amazing gardens and huge villas of some of Belgian’s most rich and famous.
Find some shade in one of the many green oasis of Ghent
In a previous article that I wrote, I made a list of all my favorite green spots in Ghent.
Have a swim in one of the many public swimming pools:
– Zwembad Van Eyck (Veermanplein 1)
– Zwembad Strop (Stropstraat 31)
– Gent Rozenbroeken (Victor Braeckmanlaan 180)
– Openluchtzwembad Neptunus (Botestraat)
It’s just a matter of finding the one that’s closest to you!
Visit one of the many historical buildings
The most obvious example being the “Gravensteen”, a castle right in the middle of the historical center of Ghent which will provide some very cool temperatures during your visits, thanks to its very thick walls. If you live in Ghent, you can visit this building for free on Sunday.
Visit Portus Ganda
Portus Ganda is the site around the new marina. This is where the 2 rivers Leie and Schelde flow together and. This popular hotspot is currently hot and happening in Ghent.
Chill at the Graslei and Korenlei (which is just on the other side of the water)
This is THE place where the locals go to enjoy the first rays of sunshine. You can relax on the terraces of the many bars or have an ice-cream cone from the stall that is almost always parked on the Korenmarkt. Many locals even bring home made drinks and bites and meet up with their friends. Or you can hop in the Albert Heijn of night shops that are just around the for some drinks or something to eat. People just hang around here, sit on the ground and relax so there is always a great vibe here.