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Sunday train trip from Brussels to Ghent

What does one suggest when you arrive at Ghent on a Sunday ,places and things to do.
Just for that day.

Posted by
14561 posts

We day-tripped to Gent from Bruges on Sunday. A couple of things we did:

Gravensteen castle: open every day except 24th, 25th and 31st December and 1st January.

St Bavo's Abbey: opened to visitors on weekends from April to October: on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: 14 – 18.00 hrs. Free. Don't miss the exterior part where they've planted rows of poplar trees to outline the layout of the long-gone church. We ran into this on our walk from the train station (Gent-Damport) into town. It's also marked as Coyendanspark on google maps.’s-abbey-0

St Bavo's Cathedral:
Open to casual visitors 1:00 - 6:00 on Sundays (closes at 5:00 Nov - March)
A must! The church is free but If you are an art-lover ( I am) it's well worth the 4 euro to see the brothers van Eyck's "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" altarpiece. Your ticket comes with an audioguide narration. A masterpiece of Flemish painting in intricate detail. The crypt is also a don't-miss.

St Nicholas' church: a very old and important lady
Open Sundays: see the calendar on the website:

St James was open on Sunday but sadly doesn't appear to be any more.

Just walking around looking at the architecture is enough to keep you occupied for hours. We would have done a few more interiors but ran into a big festival in one of the markts and, well, it was just too much fun to grab a few good Belgium brews and hang out in the sunshine with the happy locals. I guess we'll see more of Gent next time! :O)

Posted by
149 posts

My wife and I enjoyed the Museum Dr. Guislain. There, in addition to the history of psychiatry, you'll find some interesting art. Be sure to explore the exhibit of "outsider art" which is in a separate building.

Posted by
1796 posts

Be aware that the "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" is undergoing restoration. Since the end of 2016 the back panels are completely finished and back in the chapel of the St. Bavo cathedral. Half of the front panels are now under restoration in the Museum of Fine Arts / Museum van Schone Kunsten in Ghent and according schedule if I remember well finished halfway 2018. You can see the specialists there doing their work. The other half will be finished at the end of 2020, so still some time to go. The actual schedule however can be different, meaning it can take longer depending what the specialists discover in the proces as the back panels took longer to finish as planned revealing a lot of interesting details during the painstaking proces of restoration.

jkb - I agree that visiting Museum Dr. Guislain (1797 - 1860) is worth a visit as he was well ahead of his time.