The 5 most interesting neighbourhoods in Ghent
This old quarter of narrow alleys and brick houses was settled in the 10th century by leather workers. It became a notorious slum in the 20th century, populated by criminal gangs and prostitutes. But the city began a major renovation in the 1980s and Patershol is now an attractive old quarter occupied by restaurants, bars and galleries.
It was once the site of a great palace, but the Prinsenhof neighbourhood is now almost forgotten. You can wander here along empty cobbled lanes lined with brick houses from the 17th century and occasionally come across a deserted stretch of the River Lieve.
3) Dok Noord
The abandoned Ghent docks to the north of the city are slowly being transformed into a new urban quarter. The old quays provide a striking setting in the summer for rock concerts, art exhibitions, film screenings, pop-up restaurants and a cool urban beach.
4) Portus Ganda
The old port area to the east of the old town lies at the confluence of the Leie and the Scheldt. It used to be a rundown neighbourhood, but the city has transformed it into a lively waterfront district with restored quaysides and moorings for small boats. Look out for the tiny blue summer bar called Kiosko at the end of Hagelandkaai.
Follow Krijgslaan under the railway line and you come to a quarter of grand villas overlooking a romantic park. Known as the Miljoenenkwartier (Millions’ District), it was built in the 1920s on the site of the 1913 World Fair. Several local architects created distinctive villas in art deco style for Ghent’s élite.
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