Ghent is such a pretty city, I don’t think you need more than 24 hours there as it’s fairly small, unless you want to go inside every museum and cathedral, in which case, give yourself a couple of days. Here is what your budget can get you!
Free things to do;
Admire the architecture. Hands down Ghent has some of the best architecture I’ve seen in a long time. Every building is unique and it’s pretty, even when it’s trying not to be. All the medieval buildings bring a great charm to the city and makes it lovely to get lost in!
Take a stroll along the canal. This is a nice gentle stroll that gives you some of the best monuments and views along the riverfront.
Go hunting for street art. It’s hidden but it’s certainly there, and Ghent has a lot to offer where street art is concerned!
Waffles. Lots and lots of waffles. You’re in Blegium, you gotta have a waffle! In a restaurant or on the street, this is always a good idea. Though it is messy!
Most attractions are within 10 euros. You can take a river cruise, go to a museum, or a cathedral.
A nice dinner at one of the many restaurants on offer.
Coffee shops come up fairly cheap, only around what you’d pay in Starbucks, but for nicer food and coffee. And there are plenty to choose from in Ghent.
A word on hostels and hotels; Ghent is not a budget friendly place for accommodation. The norm is around €130, a hostel being around €40-90. Honestly, if you can, it’s better to avoid staying in the city overnight. If you’re crafty you could have a sleepless night in a bar or club open until fairly late, but drinks can add up quickly! This is another reason I reccommend Ghent as a day trip rather than a base.
In saying that, there is a great hostel bar that’s open to all with free wifi, nice food and drinks. Backstay hostel, with a bar located in the back open almost all day from 7:30am to 10pm is certainly worth the trip for some quiet time and reliable wifi. And it’s been a lifesaver whilst I’ve waited to walk to the bus stop (which is an hour out of town -.-)
How is did I spend my 24 hours? Wandering around, getting lost, stumbling upon fantastic art, cafe hopping and being unable to say no to chocolate covered waffles! Personally I think this was a great way to spend 24 hours!