Happy to do airbnb or apartment or hotel. There will be four adults. Is it better to get a place close to the station or in the city centre. We will be arriving by train. Is there transport from the station if necessary? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
In Gent (which is the Flemish spelling) I once stayed in the nice Hotel Erasmus. Historic building, friendly management.
The Gent railway stations (Sint-Pieters, the main station, and Dampoort) are both somewhat from the city centre. With the four of you, a taxi is the best option. Should be less than € 10, which makes it cheaper than the tram.
In Antwerp I stayed at the Ibis http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-1453-ibis-antwerpen-centrum/index.shtml
By studying Google maps in advance I managed to avoid taxi and walked to it from the train station. It is about fifteen minutes. .70km or 4 blocks. Once I got oriented I walked just about everywhere of interest.
Ibis Hotels are cookie cutter basic always clean friendly welcoming service no matter where you go in Europe.
After enough stays they even give you a free welcoming drink at the bar.
Antwerp City Center Hotel is a short walk from the railway station:
Antwerp City Center Hotel
Appelmansstraat 31, Antwerp, 2018 Belgium
Tel: 32 (03) 203 54 00, Fax: 32 (03) 233 40 60
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Can't wait for our trip!
I wouldn't stay near the train station in either city. You've gotten some good recommendations for Ghent already. For Antwerp, try Hotel O Kathedral right on the cathedral square or the nearby Hotel Matelote in the old town. Antwerp's "Metro"--actually the underground portion of several tram lines--connects the train station to the center of the old town at Groenplaats. By the way, the Antwerp train station is amazing. Be sure to save time to explore it.
Thanks T I have read a lot about the Antwerp Station and one of the main things I am looking forward to is seeing historical, old buildings- coming from Australia you dont see too many of those!
In Antwerp I always stay at the Lindner right outside the back door of the station. Fantastic beds and a couple of shops down the street opposite to get a bite. Also a little local bar on the corner. Takes less than 30 mins to walk down Mere to the old squares and cathedral. Also this is an interesting area 20 mins walk from the Lindner http://www.cogelsosylei.com When you leave you walk back through the station under cover (make sure you get a look at the station lobby/hall).
I have seen multiple complaints from different sources about late night street noise at the Matelote.