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Old and New in Ghent, Brussels

Simon Turner, co-owner 
of Simon Says, a B&B 
and café in Ghent’s 
Patershol neighborhood.

Photo: Sean Rocha

Its flemish sisters antwerp and Bruges may be better known, but the town of Ghent, a 30-mile drive northwest of Brussels, has the best of both worlds: stylish new restaurants, bars, and boutiques that compete with Antwerp's line centuries-old cobblestoned streets similar to those in Bruges.
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Destinations: Ghent

Inspired by: T+L's Guide to Ghent, Belgium — by Sean Rocha, Published Sep. 2010

Hotels (4)

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    Hotel Harmony

    At the family-run property, top-floor rooms have views of the Kraanlei canal and the city's tiled rooftops.

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    Chambre Plus

    The husband-and-wife team run a cooking school in the cellar where guests learn to make Belgian chocolate. Upstairs, you’ll find three spacious gue

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    Simon Says

    In the Patershol district, British transplants Simon Turner and Christopher Joseph opened this B&B at their casual coffeehouse. The Art Nouveau bui

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    Boatel

    A moored canal boat refashioned into a seven-room floating hotel.

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Restaurants (4)

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    Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant

    To sample the best in Belgian ale, head to the cozy bar overlooking the Leie River. What to try: one (or more) of the 22 beers brewed by Trappist m

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    C-Jean

    Opposite the towering St. Nicholas church, you'll find this Michelin-starred restaurant where the nine-course seasonal menu of local specialties su

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    Brasserie Pakhuis

    The place to go in town for oysters, with an Art Nouveau glass roof and cast-iron interior that could have been built by Gustave Eiffel.

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    Belga Queen

    The restaurant is set in a 13th-century granary on the oldest canal in town. Expect low beamed ceilings, a backlit lounge, and stainless-steel acce

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Activities (7)

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    Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.)

    A two-story, white-walled space in the southern part of the city, this museum is one of the best contemporary art museums in Belgium, with a perman

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    Design Museum Gent

    A building in two parts: the old wing, an 18th-century mansion that showcases re-creations of domestic life in that era; and next door, a modern ex

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    Obius

    A clothing boutique with Martin Margiela sweaters and Veronique Branquinho heels.

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    Het Oorcussen

    Caroline Naudts was so taken with Belgium's emerging fashion scene that she opened this boutique to showcase innovative designers such as Ann Demeu

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    Eva Bos

    The designer makes custom vintage-style jackets and dresses. Pick up one of her tailored, Audrey Hepburn-inspired evening gowns.

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    Vitrapoint

    Midcentury Modern furniture by such legendary designers as Charles and Ray Eames and Jean Prouvé.

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    St. Bavo Cathedral

    The Gothic spires are one of the town’s most recognized landmarks, but inside the church is the true treasure—the 15th-century altarpiece Adoration

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