Ghent on a bike

Ghent is a treasure chest full of heritage and greenery. Today we criss-cross through and around this historic city on our bicycles, from a nature area here to a heritage gem there.

Ghent on a bike



Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station (c) Stad Gent-Dienst Toerisme Photo by Martin Corlazolli

Start: Ghent

Our cycling adventure begins at Gent-Sint-Pieters, one of the busiest train stations in the country. From there, we head straight to one of the favourite spots for many people living in Ghent: the Blaarmeersen. This gigantic sports and recreation park offers a wide range of sports and games options, as well as a convivial sunbathing area, a nice beach and a huge swimming lake. Especially in nice weather, it is a great place to be.  


Unspoilt nature

From the Blaarmeersen we cycle onwards towards the Lys, which winds its way into Ghent along this road. Where the river crosses the canal, we turn left. On that virgin asphalt, the two-wheeler reigns supreme. Cars are permitted, but are not allowed to overtake cyclists. We whistle on our way, and a little further ahead we turn left again. We reconnect with the Lys, which takes us towards the Bourgoyen. This breathtaking nature reserve on the outskirts of the city covers more than 200 hectares. The nature is unspoilt with vast marshes and tens of thousands of birds that hatch their eggs here. From the numerous walking trails, it is a joy to behold. 


Two heritage gems

After that green intermezzo, we press on. Passing the western cemetery, we have to navigate the traffic for a short while before we can get back on a traffic-free cycle path. This takes us towards the centre of Ghent where two historical monuments are waiting to welcome us with open arms. First we cycle past the Prinsenhof. Centuries ago, this was a walled residence for the Count of Flanders. In the year 1500, Emperor Charles V was born there. He would later lead an empire the size of the former Roman Empire.

From the Prinsenhof, which today is a picturesque residential area, we ride on for one more minute. This brings us to the gates of the Gravensteen Castle. This medieval moated castle still stands proudly in the heart of Ghent. If you visit the castle, you can learn more about the eventful history of this building, the turbulent political and social history of the city and the knights culture in the 12th century.  


Relax at the docks

Now that we have gained some knowledge, we can move on. We cycle right through the convivial city centre. After some twisting, turning and winding, we arrive at another edge of the city. We have come to the Houtdok. This is one of the old docks in Ghent that is getting a complete makeover. Cycling along the graceful walking promenade, we arrive at Kapitein Zeppospark. We have reached the halfway point on our bicycle trip; time for a break. We park our bicycles, take a breather, and enjoy the restful water.

With batteries recharged, we continue our journey. A dedicated cycle path takes us further along the old docks. The area is in full development, although a historic blue crane still reminds us of the neighbourhood’s harbour past. We ride on, past the busy Dampoort roundabout, towards the Scheldt. Besides the Lys, this is the other river in the twin-river landscape of Ghent. 


Lovely greenery

A low-traffic towpath along the Scheldt leads us automatically towards the Gentbrugse Meersen. This recently developed park and nature area has plenty to offer: sports, relaxation, fauna, flora, footpaths and cycling paths. The little ones can enjoy themselves in a huge playground. After getting acquainted with this greenery, we hit the road again. Along the water, we cycle straight back to the city centre. There, the tower of Saint Bavo’s Cathedral adorns the Ghent skyline. The cathedral is well worth a visit. Inside you will find The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. This painting by Jan van Eyck is one of the masterpieces of European painting. It also has a particularly turbulent history. It is known as the most stolen painting ever. You can get to know all these stories better in the state-of-the-art visitors’ centre

De-Krook-Ghent-6 © Michiel Devijver

Finish: Ghent

After that rollercoaster, we ride on again. Unfortunately, we have now reached the final kilometres. Via the city library De Krook, a contemporary architectural gem, we reconnect with the water. That takes us back to Sint-Pieters station. There we can put our bicycles on the train and head for another destination. But we will postpone that for a little while. Ghent still has so much to offer. Would you like to come back so that you and your bicycle can get to know it even better? That would be delightful. 




  • Parking:
    Parking Gent-Sint-Pieters, Parking Gent-Dampoort
  • Public transport:
    Station Gent-Sint-Pieters, Station Gent-Dampoort
  • Bicycles for hire:
    De Fietsambassade
  • Nodes:
    This route is not located on nodes. Ask for the brochure from Visit Gent inquiry desk, Fietsambassade or use the GPX.