Our first two trips to Ghent had been day trips from Brussels in 2012 and 2014, and each time we really liked the city. For this visit we originally considered a day trip from Bruges, then decided we needed at least one night in Ghent, so we made it our first stop.
After checking-in we headed out to Waterhuis aan de Bierkant, a beer bar that we had visited on each of our previous trips. I started with the house beer, then a Bush Noel, and Leandra choose the St. Bernadus Christmas ale. After about 15 minutes a couple in the corner left so we snagged their spot (helped by the fact that you pay for each beer on delivery).
Leandra had made a reservation at Mémé Gusta, so we headed there next. We went with traditional plates – beef stew for me (paired with Rodenbach classic) and steak tartare for Leandra (paired with the red blend). Everything was excellent!
On the way back to the hotel we checked out the night lighting along canals and churches.
The next morning we started by checking out several street-art murals.
Shops were now opening, so Leandra bought lots of mustard at Tierenteyn to bring home for friends (and us)!
Meanwhile, I was checking out the local bakery options. From Bakkerij Himschoot we bought a cherry strudel, apple flap, and a chocolate eclair-like pastry that was quite sweet. We ate (and warmed up) in our hotel room, then checked out and stored our bags.
Not ready to leave Ghent yet, we did another loop of street-art murals including another Roa (stork, below). Graffiti alley on the way back was better than our 2014 visit! Some cool pieces and some actively spraying.
Finally, we checked out several of our favorite clothing stores on the main shopping street, then stopped for some chocolates at Chocolaterie Luc Van Hoorebeke (just as good as we remembered, probably the best of the trip) and groceries at Albert Heijn.