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Saint Bavo Cathedral

Saint Bavo Cathedral: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

1. From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day Tour

Discover 2 of Flanders’ most enchanting cities and follow your guide back in time on a day tour. Choose between a private and a shared option. Walk through both cities and see some of their most famous landmarks, including Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral of Ghent, Bruges' Old Town, and the Lake of Love. Ghent’s medieval architecture and vibrant atmosphere will impress you as you visit Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous Mystic Lamb painting (option), and pass by the Castle of the Counts of Flanders the picturesque medieval harbor Graslei and much more. In Bruges, you will enjoy the peaceful Lake of Love and the old beguinage. With your guide, discover the city and its cobbled streets on foot and you also have the option to enjoy a pleasant boat trip along the narrow canals.

Ghent: 50-Minute Medieval Center Guided Boat Trip

2. Ghent: 50-Minute Medieval Center Guided Boat Trip

Take a boat close to the amazing Castle of the Counts to discover the most beautiful places in Ghent. A guide will take you through the fascinating history of medieval Ghent and its historical buildings and architecture on this 50-minute tour. Enjoy the famous three towers of Ghent, various medieval churches and monasteries, the birthplace of Charles V of Spain, majestic guild halls, a breathtaking castle, and much more! Hear the stories behind these magnificent monuments. Your tour is guided in English, Dutch, and French. There are also illustrated translations in German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Japanese available on board.

From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

3. From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the center of Brussels and relax on the 100-kilometer journey to Bruges by bus. Upon arrival, discover the charms of “the Venice of the North” and see why the entire historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Marvel at highlights such as the Lake of Love (Minnewater Lake) and the 13th-century Begijnhof complex, founded in 1245 to house lay religious women. Go to Walplein Square, where the shady trees and cafes provide a perfect place to relax. Visit Stoofstraat on the site of the city's former Red Light District, and see medieval monuments such as the 11th-century Old St. John’s Hospital. Look at the world's second tallest brickwork tower at the Church of Our Lady, and see other historic monuments such as Gruuthuse Palace or the Dijver Canal. Go to one of the city's most photographed spots at Rozenhoedkaai, and admire the Belfry on Castle Square. Visit Market Square (Grote Markt) to see the Bell Tower (Belfort). Then enjoy 1-hour's free time for lunch (at your own expense) and the chance to sample some of the city's delicious chocolates.  Next, drive to Ghent, where the inhabitants have been popularly known as "noose-bearers“ since the days of Charles V. Take a guided tour of the city's historic buildings, such as the Castle of Gerald the Devil and Saint Bavo Cathedral, where you can learn about the painting of “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. Admire the Belfort (Bell Tower) and peculiar Gothic and Renaissance-style Town Hall. See one of the city's oldest monuments at St. Nicholas’ Church opposite the unusual facade of the Masons’ Guild House. Journey along the embankments of the medieval port of Graslei, and discover other highlights such as the majestic Castle of the Counts of Flanders, the Great Butchers’ Hall, the Old Fish Market, and Friday Market Square. Enjoy some free time in this magical city before returning back to Brussels. Our adventure is over! Don't wait and enjoy this day with us!

Ghent: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour

4. Ghent: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour

Uncover the highlights in Ghent with an interactive smartphone app. Stroll through the city solving location-based riddles on this walking tour. Marvel at the Gothic-style Saint Michael's Church and the medieval Gravensteen castle.  Uncover 10 of the most important attractions in the city as you walk. Stop and find clues at each attraction to reveal your next destination. Enjoy the challenge of using logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to finish the game. Start or pause the tour whenever you want as you control the schedule. Explore the city at your own pace, and stop to snap pictures as you please. Reveal an exciting puzzle at the exterior of each attraction and learn local facts along the way. Start your tour from Sint-Michielskerk, in the center of Ghent. Visit Sint-Michielsburg with its unique architecture and explore Sint Niklaaskerkt with its magnificent architecture. Take a picture of the Belfry of Ghent that is straight out of a fairy tale. Let yourself get lost in Sint-Baaf's Cathedral with its unique interior and imposing exterior. Learn about the ornate Gothic facade of Ghent City Hall and see the Korenmarkt at the heart of the city. Admire Place de Neuve with its imposing statue and be enchanted by the Sint-Jacobskerk. Pass by Vrijdagmarkt with its lifelike statue and great history. Gaze at the medieval castle of Gravensteen and learn about knights, princesses, and stories from the past.

Ghent: Hop on hop off Water-Tramway

5. Ghent: Hop on hop off Water-Tramway

Welcome to the Hop on hop off water-tramway in Ghent, the perfect way to explore this beautiful city by boat! Our water-tramway offers you a unique and scenic way to see the city's most iconic sights and attractions. Ideal to combine with a nice stroll through the streets of Ghent. Using the Hop on hop off water-tramway in Ghent is easy and convenient. Simply purchase your day ticket. Once you have your ticket, just hop on board at one of our 6 stops along the waterside and enjoy the ride. Information regarding the timetable of the departures can be found in the table above. Our water-tramway is equipped with an amazing and informative audio guide in multiple languages (Dutch, French, English and German), so you can sit back, relax, and learn about the history and culture of Ghent as you cruise along the waterways. As the name suggests, our Hop on hop off water-tramway allows you to explore the city at your own pace. With multiple stops along the different waterways, you can hop off at any stop to explore the attractions that interest you most. When you're ready to continue your journey you hop back on the next available water-tramway. Some of the top attractions you can see on our Hop on hop off water-tramway route include the St Bavo’s Cathedral, the Belfry and St Nicholas’ Church, the Ancient Port of Ghent Graslei-Korenlei, the Castle of the Counts, the Saint Bavo Cathedral, the St Peter’s Abbey dating from the 7th century and it’s vineyard among many others. In short, the Hop on hop off water-tramway is a must-try experience for anyone visiting Gent. It's a fun, convenient, and affordable way to explore the city's many attractions. So, don't hesitate to hop on board and start your adventure today!

Ghent: Guided Walking Tour

6. Ghent: Guided Walking Tour

Discover the beauty of Ghent and its medieval monuments on a walking tour with a Spanish-speaking guide, and learn more about its historical former residents, including the famous Van Eyck brothers.  Learn why the local inhabitants have been known as "noose-bearers“ since the time of Charles V, a Ghent native who went on to become the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. Visit the 13th-century Castle of Gerald the Devil and see the Gothic facade of Saint Bavo's Cathedral, where you can learn about the well-known painting “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. Look at the Belfort bell tower and the peculiar Gothic and Renaissance Town Hall. Marvel at St. Nicholas’ Church and the nearby Masons’ Guild House. Go to the Graslei embankment, and see the majestic battlements of the Castle of the Counts. Stroll the Patershol neighborhood, and see the open wooden truss roof of the Great Butchers’ Hall. Experience the lively atmosphere of the Old Fish Market and Friday Market Square.  Ask your guide any questions you may have along the way. Get recommendations on places to eat lunch outside the touristic area, advice about Belgian beer and what monuments and museums you might like to see on your own.

Ghent: Guided City Tour with Food and Drink Tastings

7. Ghent: Guided City Tour with Food and Drink Tastings

Taste your way through Ghent on a guided food tour. Combine sightseeing with sampling local foods and learn about the city's culture from your guide. As you explore, see important icons such as the three medieval towers of Ghent: Saint Bavo Cathedral, Saint Nicholas' Church and the Belfry. The Belfry Tower is the tallest of its kind in Belgium and a Unesco World Heritage-listed site. Make sure to take some photos of these picture perfect sights. Meet your guide in the historic center of Ghent and set out on your foodie walking tour. As you walk, learn about local culture, discover the city's most important landmarks and find out why Ghent became famous for its street art. See Korenmarkt, a historic square located between the Old Harbour and Saint Nicholas' Church. Wander along cobblestone streets and admire the intersecting rivers that lend this historic town its character and name. You will also have the opportunity to see important architectural highlights, including the Ghent City Hall (stadhuis) and City Pavilion (Stadshal). Along the way, you'll make a total of 5 stops to savour the tastes of Ghent, sampling a food specialty or drink at each one. Every location has been carefully chosen, with an emphasis placed on small, locally owned businesses. Interact with the proprietors and hear their stories to gain insight into the city of Ghent and its people. Your tour comes to an end near the historic city center, the ideal spot to continue exploring on your own. 

Ghent: Guided Walking Tour and Canal Boat Trip

8. Ghent: Guided Walking Tour and Canal Boat Trip

A local Ghent expert guide will make sure you finish your tour with the feeling that the city no longer holds any secrets for you. On our tour we will visit the Church of St. Nicholas and the Cathedral of St. Bavo, which, in addition to its architectural value, stands out for housing one of the most outstanding paintings in history: 'The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb', by the Van Eyck Brothers. Interpreting it will be a piece of cake with the explanations we will give you about its symbols. Nearby, you will see the Town Hall and the Belfort of Ghent, a bell tower that acts as a lookout point and is one of its tallest towers. But if the heart of the city surprises you, you've only just begun. Next, we'll delve into 16th-century Ghent by visiting the Herb and Grain Quay, a key trading post in the city at the time. Here we will also learn about the old guild trades. From here we will also discover the Meat and Fish Markets, the supermarket of the time, where we will find out why they played such an important role in the development of the city. We will continue our tour through the Patershol (or weavers' quarter) to the Castle of the Counts of Flanders. Its history is full of legends and curiosities and we will tell you all about them. In addition, so that you can visit other places of interest in Ghent on your own, we will give you recommendations and tips that will make your stay in the city unforgettable. In the second part of our tour we will take a boat trip along the main canals of Ghent. Sailing along the river Leie and the Lieve canal, we will have a wide view of the two banks and their lively life. In the meantime, we will have an audio guide with illustrated translations that will make our trip much more enjoyable and interesting.

From Brussels: Bruges & Ghent Full-Day Trip

9. From Brussels: Bruges & Ghent Full-Day Trip

Discover the highlights of Bruges and Ghent, Belgium's most attractive cities, with a round trip by train from Brussels. Tour two of the most fascinating medieval cities in Europe with an English/Spanish or French-speaking guide on a 10-hour guided day trip. Depart from the Grand Place at 9:30 AM only on Sunday. Upon arrival at the central station of Bruges, begin with a 2.5-hour walking tour and 2 hours of free time for eating, souvenirs, and a boat trip. The scheduled return to Brussels will be at 17:00 and arrival at 6 PM with your guide. In the case of small groups, there is the possibility of choosing between returning with the guide at the scheduled time or spending more time there and returning later by yourselves. Program in Bruges: In the ancient city wall park, the "Lake of Love" is one of the main water reservoirs nourishing the canal system of the Venice of the North. Visit the Beguinage, one of the best-preserved examples of medieval gated communities in which only women could live. See Brewery De Halve Maan, the only brewery still operating in the city center. Afterward, Old St. John’s Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe, where you can appreciate 800 years of European architecture, learn about its history and visit the museum of Hans Memling (optional). Head on to Our Lady of Bruges one of the oldest churches in the city. Admire its impressive tower which is still one of the tallest brickwork towers in the world, and take a look at its art treasures, including Michelangelo’s Madonna with the Child (optional). Stop by the VisMarkt (fishmarket) and the Tanners’ Square, two of the oldest squares in Bruges with their beautiful guildhalls and lovely cafés and restaurants. You will also visit the Groeninge Museum, Burg Square, and Markt Square, the economic heart of Bruges. Admire its imposing guildhalls and its Belfort tower, which is one of the most famous Gothic buildings in Belgium. In the end, have an optional canal tour (8 EUR per person, pay while embarking on the boat), which is one of the best ways to see Bruges. Program in Ghent: Journey to the port city of Ghent, located at the scenic confluence of the Leie and Scheldt Rivers. Start your tour of the historic city at Saint Bavo Cathedral and admire the spectacular Gothic church and Baroque ornamentations. Next, step into the marble choir and private chapels, and appreciate the painting of “Saint Bavo Enters the Convent at Ghent” by Rubens and the beauty of the Rococo pulpit. Look at the stunning frescoes of the Romanesque crypt. Then, opt to visit the altarpiece of "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by the Van Eyck brothers and admire one of the most important works of art from the Middle Ages for a small extra fee. Continue to City Hall to see its extraordinary mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Go to Market Hall to look at the Belfort Tower and the covered market. Marvel at the nearby churches of Saint Nicholas, Saint James, and Saint Michael, serving as reminders of Ghent’s medieval past. Proceed to the old port of Graslei for beautiful views of the river Leie and the old guildhalls. Then, head to the medieval castle of Gravensteen, where the counts of Flanders used to live. Explore the picturesque district of Patershol and see charming buildings with brick facades where restaurants and cafes offer the best Flemish cuisine. Finally, head to the 15th-century Great Butchers' Hall to discover one of Europe's oldest meat markets.

Ghent: Walking Tour with Audio Guide on App

10. Ghent: Walking Tour with Audio Guide on App

Explore Gent on your terms with this self-guided audio tour, accessible on your smartphone! Immerse yourself in the beauty of this historic city at your own pace and in your preferred language. This self-guided audio tour offers you the flexibility to choose your destinations and decide how long you wish to spend at each site. Nestled in the Flanders region of Belgium, Ghent exudes a unique charm that harmoniously intertwines its storied past with a vivacious modern energy. Often hailed as one of Belgium's best-kept secrets, Ghent surprises its visitors with a vibrant tapestry of medieval architecture, dynamic culture, and progressive sustainability initiatives. The city is threaded with a network of picturesque canals, flanked by cobblestone streets, and dotted with an enchanting array of historical buildings and landmarks. The Gravensteen, or the Castle of the Counts, stands as a monumental reminder of Ghent’s medieval might, while the Graslei and Korenlei, two streets facing each other across the Lys River, showcase a striking array of ancient guild houses that tell tales of the city's prosperous trade history. The splendid Saint Bavo's Cathedral, which houses the renowned Ghent Altarpiece, is another must-visit historical site, showcasing sublime religious artistry. Ghent is also a city that embraces the future. With a large student population, the city pulses with youthful vibrancy, offering a plethora of cafes, bars, and eateries, as well as a thriving arts scene. Ghent has established itself as a champion of environmental efforts in Belgium, notably through its car-free city center and the promotion of vegetarian cuisine. We have carefully crafted the most beautiful walking route for you and gathered more than 29 captivating and interesting stories. You'll pass by all the well-known landmarks but will also be surprised by new discoveries and hidden gems. Explore Gent's rich history, embrace its vibrant present, and be delighted by its captivating legends and stories. Whether you're embarking on a solo adventure, enjoying a romantic city stroll with your partner or exploring the city with friends or family, our self-guided audio tour caters to all preferences. Plus, you'll receive a nice discount when you do the tour with companions.

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What people are saying about Saint Bavo Cathedral

Overall rating

4.5
(4,246 reviews)

We had the most fantastic day with our guide Miguel. I wouldn’t let reviews below put you off saying about people being left behind and not explaining meeting point .. Miguel very clearly explained at the start of the tour that people must be on time out of respect for the group that the bus cannot wait for anyone and I think this is fair as it isn’t fair hanging around waiting for other people. He also showed up how to pin the meeting point in google maps and also gave us landmarks beside us so we would know where to meet. The tour itself was so well organized from start to finish. Miguel was also so knowledgeable and interesting to listen to along the tour. Please bear in mind there is lots of walking and Bruges was extremely busy so expect it. I would 100% recommend this tour and great value for money. It takes the stress out of trying to organize all this yourself .

The guide was great. The small negative point was the timing of eating. But neither he nor we could have predicted that there would be so many people in Brugges. In any case for a first discovery of Belgium and in particular of Gent and Bruges it is really very pretty. I definitely recommend this excursion if you want to discover these two cities.

The tour is very good, allows you to walk around as part of the tour and also gives you breaks to go explore by yourself, what I find to be brilliant. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and the bus very comfortable. And definitely recommend going on the boat tour.

Very good trip slightly ruined by rain on the Ghent stop. Overall a very pleasant trip with plenty of time to enjoy the 2 cities

Our guide David was great. He was very knowledgeable and helpful. Our driver Alfonso was also great.