Ghent is one of Belgium’s not-so-hidden gems.
Medieval gable-roofed buildings and monumental Gothic spires keep watch over meandering canals. It has a cityscape to rival that of Bruges, its more famous – and much busier – neighbour.
But which are the best areas to stay in Ghent? With first-hand knowledge of the city, this is where I can help.
Discover where to stay in Ghent with this lowdown on its neighbourhoods, to whom they are best suited and Ghent accommodation options. From solo travellers to families, luxury to budget travellers, I’ve got you covered.
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Where to Stay in Ghent: The Bottom Line
In a hurry? Let’s cut to the chase.
Here are my recommended places to stay in Ghent.
- Luxury hotel in Ghent – Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent
- Mid-range hotel in Ghent – B&B PETIT PRINCE, GENT
- Budget hotel in Ghent – Het Rustpunt
- Recommended apartment in Ghent – Snooz Ap Holiday & Business Flats
- Solo traveller in Ghent – Hotel The Boatel
Top Picks: Best Areas to Stay in Ghent at a Glance
As Ghent is a sprawling city, it’s good to get a handle on its neighbourhoods.
Most of the city’s main tourist attractions, including Gravensteen Castle, the Belfort and St Bavo’s Cathedral are in Ghent’s historic city centre. A little east of Het Gravensteen, but still centrally located, is the trendy area of Prisenhof.
Towards Ghent St. Peter’s Station, south of the city’s historic core, is its artistic epicentre with the excellent Fine Arts Museum and Contemporary Art Museum (S.M.A.K.). Finally, in the northeastern suburbs of the city is the family-friendly neighbourhood of Sint-Amandsberg.
Here are my recommended neighbourhoods of Ghent, based on how you roll travel-wise.
- Where to stay in Ghent for the first time – Historic city centre
- The coolest neighbourhood of Ghent – Prisenhof
- Best area of Ghent for day-trippers & budget travellers – Around Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat
- Best area of Ghent for families – Sint-Amandsberg
Where you stay in Ghent is likely to be determined by what you plan to do and your style of travel. Each neighbourhood has its own vibe and price tag and it’s the case of picking the one that’s right for you.
READ THIS NEXT: One Day in Ghent, Belgium: Itinerary + 20 Awesome Things to Do
Recommended Accommodation in Ghent
Let’s get real. It would be impossible for me, as one traveller, to try out all of these recommended places to stay in Ghent.
I have based these recommendations on first-hand knowledge of these neighbourhoods, and by researching reviews across more than one platform. In choosing these places to stay in Ghent, I have taken the same care as if I was shortlisting accommodation for myself.
I’ve done much of the heavy lifting for you.
Ghent has a range of accommodation choices from luxury hotels to bed and breakfasts, and boutique hotels to chic apartments. You can even sleep in a houseboat in one of the city’s harbours (and that’s one of my choices!).
There is something for every type of traveller.
To help you pick places to suit your budget, I have grouped these Ghent accommodation choices into three price categories:
|£££||> £150 per night|
|££||£100 – 150 per night|
|£||< £100 per night|
As prices can fluctuate by season, and sometimes by the day of the week, check the latest room rates online.
One of the things that I don’t like about solo travel is that you often pay more for accommodation when you are travelling alone. Where available, I have indicated which of these hotel choices offer single rooms.
READ THIS NEXT: 10 Factors You Cannot Ignore When Choosing a Hotel
Where to Stay in Ghent: The Best Neighbourhoods
Let’s dive into the best areas to stay in Ghent.
Historical City Centre: The best area to stay in Ghent for the first-time visitor and sightseeing
Ghent’s city centre is home to a clutch of historic buildings and attractions, not to mention a remarkable work of art, Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. You will find evidence of Ghent’s medieval glory days in its guildhouses that line the docks of Graslei and Korenlei.
All of its main attractions are walkable and this is also one of the best areas of Ghent for eating and drinking. And as much of Ghent’s accommodation is clustered here, you shouldn’t have a problem finding somewhere to rest your head.
The only downside of staying in Ghent’s city centre is that it is a 30-minute walk to the main Saint Peter’s railway station. But if you are feeling weary, tram line 1 connects the train station to the city centre.
Splurge (£££) – B&B The Verhaegen
Push the boat out and stay at this guesthouse housed in a historic building in the heart of the city. There is also a peaceful garden in which to relax after a hard day’s sightseeing.
Mid-range (££) – Snooz Ap Holiday & Business Flats
I stayed at this superb apartment in the heart of the historic city centre, which is a great self-catering choice in Ghent. The washing machine, Nespresso machine and roof terrace were welcome bonuses.
Budget (£) – Hotel The Boatel
For something a bit different, stay in this hotel on a moored boat. This has excellent reviews and the experience was recommended to me by a couple I met on a beer tour of Ghent.
Hotel the Boatel has a single room for solo travellers.
Prinsenhof: Where to stay in Ghent for cool local vibes
Behind Het Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts) is Prisenhof. In the 14th Century, this is where the Count of Flanders upped sticks. Charles V was born here in 1500.
Originally, Prinsenhof was a walled castle with a zoo and a pleasure garden. Today, it’s a largely residential and pretty neighbourhood and one that retains a local vibe.
This tranquil oasis in the city of Ghent has a clutch of lovely old houses and offers the opportunity for leisurely walks along the River Lieve.
Splurge (£££) – Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent
This beautiful 4-star property has a wellness centre, bistro and bar and offers a range of room types right the way up to an enormous penthouse suite.
Mid-range (££) – B&B PETIT PRINCE, GENT
This charming property is in a quiet yet convenient location and has the bonus of a garden.
Budget (£) – Het Rustpunt
Do you fancy sleeping in a Carmelite monastery? Then book into this 3-star bed and breakfast which offers single rooms for those travelling alone.
Around Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat & Citadel Park: Best area of Ghent for day-trippers and budget travellers
This area of Ghent that stretches north from Citadel Park is not only hipster central, but also one of the best areas to stay in Ghent on a budget. There are a number of cultural attractions, including De Vooruit, an arts complex dating from the 1910s that hosts film screenings, concerts and more.
Citadel Park is home to two more of Ghent’s cultural institutions: MSK (Fine Arts Museum) and S.M.A.K. (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst). Both of these attractions are included in the excellent Ghent City Card.
Thanks to its proximity to Ghent’s main railway station, this is the best area to stay in Ghent if you are planning to take a day trip to Brussels, Bruges and beyond. The flip side is that you will need to walk into the city centre to see the sights.
Mid-range (££) – Chambre d’Amis by Alix
The stylish Chambre d’Amis has attracted stellar reviews. It is also close to Citadel Park and the train station.
Budget (£) – Hotel Chamade
Located on the edge of Citadel Park this modern 3-star hotel offers single rooms.
Sint-Amandsberg: Best area of Ghent for families
On the other side of the city centre is the family-friendly area of Sint-Amandsberg.
Many of the homes in Sint-Amandsberg’s tree-lined streets hark back to the 19th Century and the neighbourhood has a very residential feel.
This is not the area of Ghent in which to stay if you are looking for a chain hotel. Instead, there are some lovely guesthouses and B&Bs to stay in.
Booking a room in Sint-Amandsberg is another good option if you are planning day trips from Ghent, thanks to the nearby Gent-Dampoort train station.
From Sint-Amandsberg, it’s a 30-minute walk to Ghent’s historic centre. Alternatively, hop on a city bus (plan your route here).
Mid-range (£££) – B&B Martijn Dewulf
These superb self-catering units come with either a terrace or a balcony. Optional breakfast is also available.
Mid-range (££) – B&B Villa Emma
The quadruple rooms in this 4-star B&B are perfect for a family visit to Ghent. Villa Emma’s large garden is a bonus as is the free parking.
Budget (£) – Maison MIELOU
Some of the units of this 3-star property are equipped with kitchenettes and the larger rooms have a sofa bed in addition to a large double bed.
Where Should a Solo Traveller Stay in Ghent?
Ghent is one of the safest cities in Europe and there are no “bad” neighbourhoods as such. Your best bet as a solo traveller is to stay in the historic centre, close to the city’s main attraction, bars and restaurants.
Personal safety is a priority of many female solo travellers. Overall, Belgium is a relatively safe country for single travellers, even if you are a first-time solo traveller.
This is a friendly university city with residents and tourists enjoying its attractions, bars and restaurants. Even after dark on weekdays, I felt safe.
As always, a bit of common sense goes a long way. Stay vigilant and keep your belongings close to you. If you have a safe at your accommodation, use it to store valuables.
Best Hotels in Ghent with Parking
Are you driving to Ghent? If so, there are a few things to consider.
Ghent’s inner city is a low-emission zone and you will need to check that your vehicle will be allowed entry. Also, you will not be able to drive or park your car in the city’s five pedestrian zones.
There’s more information about driving in Ghent here.
If you’re travelling by car, your best bet is to book accommodation that includes parking. Some hotels in Ghent’s historic centre have parking on-site but reckon on paying at least 25 Euro per day for the privilege.
1898 The Post (££)
Housed in one of Ghent’s most historic buildings in an unbeatable location, 1898 The Post has a dizzying range of rooms, from an affordable double room up to a superior king suite. The hotel offers private parking at a nearby location.
Yalo Urban Boutique Hotel Gent (£££)
For something more modern, take a look at this trendy 4-star hotel in the city centre. There are some electric charging stations available on François Laurentplein, next to the hotel, or in the public car park.
Staying in Ghent: Frequently Asked Questions
How many days in Ghent is enough?
Although you can cover most of Ghent’s main attractions in one day, I recommend allowing two days to see all that the city has to offer in a leisurely fashion. Ghent is also an excellent base to visit other Belgian cities, including Bruges and Antwerp.
Where is the best location to stay in Ghent?
The historic city centre is the best area to stay in Ghent to be close to the city’s main attractions. This attractive area of canals and narrow cobblestone streets is home to many great restaurants and bars.
Is it better to stay in Bruges or Ghent?
Whilst Bruges is a gorgeous city, it is not exactly a well-kept secret and visitor numbers can be overwhelming. I think that Ghent trumps Bruges in that it is equally charming but feels more relaxed and – dare I say it? – real
Should I stay in Ghent or Brussels?
Stay in Brussels for its convenience and in Ghent for its charm.
Thanks to its excellent train connections, Brussels is one of the best cities in which to base yourself if you are exploring Belgium by train. However, Ghent is a smaller and prettier city and one that has a relaxed local vibe.
And That’s a Wrap
I hope that this guide to where to stay in Ghent will help you plan your trip like a pro.
Check out this Ghent guide if you are looking to make the most of your few days there, but most of all have the best time in this quietly seductive city.