I Heart My City: Sandra’s Ghent

It’s time for another guest appearance from our friends at Spotted by Locals!

Sandra de Lobel moved to Ghent to study and fell in love. She’s currently renting an old but cozy apartment near the city center and loves living where everything is in arm’s reach. Check out Sandra’s insider tips for what to see and do in the Belgian city she describes as “not too big and not too small.”

Ghent is My City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is the Graslei, the heart of the city center.

Stroll along the Graslei, the heart of Ghent. (Photograph by Simononly, Flickr)

When I crave french fries I always go to De Papegaai.

To escape coldness I head to Sauna Aqua Azul.

If I want to relax I go for a swim at Van Eyck.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at Portus Ganda.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with Pierke Pierlala.

If you have to order one thing off the menu from Aba-Jourit has to be Spaghetti Maison.

Labath is my one-stop shop for great coffee.

You can see the whole city from the Belfort. (Photograph by Simononly, Flickr)

Locals know to skip the main shopping street and check out the little exclusive boutiques instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go for lunch at Parnassus. For a huge splurge I go shopping at Twiggy.

Photo ops in my city include Korenlei, and the best vantage points are Belfort and Gravensteen.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Gérard Depardieu, a real gourmand.

My city has the most fashionable men.

My city has the most spontaneous women.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves canoeing over the Leie.

Sandra's pick for best museum: STAM. (Photograph by Marianne Janssens, Flickr)

My city’s best museum is STAM.

My favorite jogging/walking route is along Coupure.

For a night of dancing, go to the Vlasmarkt and Charlatan. Or, for live music, check out Hotsy Totsy.

‘t Hoekske for a quick bite or J.E.F. Eet Laat for a special treat is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Zone09 or check the Weekup site.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they are spontaneous and talk with the rolling ‘r’ accent.

In the spring you should enjoy a beer in the first sun on the terrace of Marimain.

In the summer you should sunbathe at the DOK Beach.

In the fall you should enjoy a coffee at La Dolce Barista during the flea market.

Grab a coffee from La Dolce Barista and head to the flea market. (Photograph by Marianne Janssens, Flickr)

In the winter you should try the dip at Blaarmeersen.

A hidden gem in my city is the beautiful area of Prinsenhof.

For a great breakfast joint try de Brooderie.

Don’t miss the Gentse Feesten festival in July.

Just outside my city, you can visit the nature park, Bourgoyen.

The best way to see my city is to start walking in it.

Start your day off right at de Brooderie.(Photograph by Hans Kerrinckx, Flickr)

If my city were a pet it would be a hedgehog — sociable and always ready for a party.

If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live just next to it ;-).

The best book about my city is Beluiken, Poortjes en Cités by Roger Moreau.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is ”‘t Vliegerke” by Walter De Buck.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss Parkkaffee in summertime.

Throwing a party because your country did not have an established government for more than 250 days could only happen in my city.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it is the most beautiful city in the world ♥!

Catch up with “San” (as her friends call her) on her personal blog.

Comments

  1. Sid Hill
    Starkville, MS USA
    January 9, 2013, 11:24 am

    I’ve been there and it’s really wonderful. The people are friendly to strangers. It’s also home to a major university and the students, in my opinion, give Ghent an air of liveliness which is missing in Brugge.

  2. Nathalie
    Gent
    October 30, 2012, 9:46 am

    Hey San,

    What a great line up!
    If you ever need inspiration, give us a tweet, or a call at visitgent ;-)

    Cheers
    Nath