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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in ghent
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Ghent - or Gent as it is said by the natives - is a city with a population of a quarter of a million. As such, the inhabitants praise the city for its interesting crossover between open cosmopolitanism and the quiet atmosphere of a provincial town. Ghent is thriving as many young people choose to live here instead of in the narrow minded countryside or the crowded and disintegrating city centers of Brussels and Antwerp - the two larger cities of Flanders.
Ghent is a city of history. At the time of the Renaissance, it was one of the richest and most powerful cities in the world. This can be seen clearly when viewing the imposing architecture of churches and the houses of rich traders. The whole of the city center is restored in this fashion, and still breathes the atmosphere of a thriving late-medieval city state. As the city council made the center free of cars, it is now a very welcoming and open area, which does not fail to keep impress even the people who live there.
Ghent is also a university city. As such, its streets are filled with young people. But, unlike Leuven, another university town in Flanders, youth is not the only category of people living there. There is an interesting mixture of foreigners who came to live there, or artists, in between the native people of Ghent. Interestingly, other than smaller provincial cities or the bigger city of Antwerp, this mixture makes the people more tolerant, instead of being more and more afraid. And this atmosphere seeps into every aspect of city life. Many people of Ghent truly see the place like home, and are very proud to live there, seeing it as a place that will always welcome them back home.
The transit system is Ghent is excellent and always on time. For one Euro, you can purchase a transit pass for an hour. This gives you access to both the tram and buses. Careful though, the last trams and buses leave at about midnight. If you know you will be there for awhile, you can buy different passes which will be a better deal.
Unless you know what you are doing or have a good book, get the tour. There are a couple of walking tours which are great.
Great places are the three towers of Ghent: the cathedral of St. Bavo, the church of St. Nicholas and the Belfort. The Graslei and Korenmarkt are fine places to walk.
The Ghent Festivities: 10 days of free festivals on several squares in the historic centre of Ghent, in the heart of Flanders. 1.5 million visitors go crazy at the greatest cultural and popular festival in Europe. This starts at the end of July. Find the official site (http://www.gentsefeesten.be). It's in Flemish but there is an English version as well.
- French Fries, or should I say Belgian Fries always taste well.
Stay away from the English pubs. They are the most expensive as they always attract tourists. Any pub that has a bartender under 30 should understand English fairly well.