The 5 most inspiring museums Ghent


Jozef Guislainstraat 43
Western Ghent
+32 (0)9 216 35 95

Here is a strange and haunting museum on the edge of town. It occupies one wing of a model psychiatric institution founded in the 19th century by Dr. Jozef Guislain. Visitors can wander through chilling deserted wards still furnished with iron beds and old medical equipment. One room contains a terrifying mechanical saw used in operations to remove the top of the skull. The temporary exhibitions are always fascinating, as is the extensive collection of outsider art. Almost no one leaves this museum untouched.


Kraanlei 65
Central Ghent
+32 (0)9 269 23 50

This captivating museum of local life is located in a 14th-century almshouse on the Leie waterfront founded by a local family in the 14th century to atoner for a brutal murder. The 77 tiny houses are now occupied by a museum of local folklore. The collection was reorganised in 2018 to reflect daily life in Ghent. You will see a fascinating range of old toys, funeral relics, shop interiors and family snapshots, as well as a puppet theatre and an old Flemish tavern where you can drink a Ghent beer.


Jan Breydelstraat 5
Central Ghent
+32 (0)9 267 99 99

One of the world’s most inspiring design collections lies hidden behind an 18th-century mansion. The older rooms have creaking wooden floors and historic furniture, including a magnificent wooden chandelier and two armchairs owned by Catherine the Great. But the real delight of this museum lies in the modern building added at the back by the Ghent architect Willy Verstraete in 1992. Here you find several sublime Art Nouveau rooms along with striking modern objects acquired for the collection by the director Lieven Daenens.


N. De Liemaeckereplein 2
+32 (0)9 240 76 01

Ghent’s contemporary art museum opened in 1999 in the Citadelpark with a boxing match organised by the curator Jan Hoet. The museum organises temporary exhibitions in a series of white rooms, as well as major art events that can take over the entire city.


Minnemeers 9
Sint Jacobs Quarter
+32 (0)9 323 65 00

Located in an old textile mill, the Industriemuseum is an inspiring museum of Ghent factory life with an impressive collection of industrial relics. The most striking feature is a reconstructed textile factory floor with rows of working machines that create a deafening noise during demonstrations.

part of 55 places to discover Ghent

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Ghent