Sometimes you are not going to be allotted a very long time in a city. We would generally say that if you have 24 hours or less in a city than it is more of a day trip. However, that does not mean there's not still a ton of stuff to do and see!
Here is a list of things you should and can do, see, and eat in Ghent, Belgium in just 24 hours!
Possibly one of the absolute coolest castles I have ever visited, Graventeen is located to the north of Ghent's city centre. This castle screams middle ages with it's semi-moat and beautiful architecture. When walking up to it, all I could think about was one of my favorite movies "A Knight's Tale". You can even go inside a look around for an entrance fee. 100% recommend.
We actually accidentally stumbled upon this gem of the city on our way to our hostel but it is actually very easy to find! All you have to do is to type into your maps app "Graffiti Street Ghent" and it pops right up! This whole alley is filled with the artwork of some amazing street artists and is a great place for a photo shoot or a background for your next profile pic! You may even get lucky and run into one of the artists while they are adding to the walls, it is really cool to watch them work.
Saint Nicholas' Church, Het Belfort van Gent, Saint Bavo's Cathedral, Sint-Michielsbrug
The reason these four locations are all lumped together is because they are all so extremely close to each other. We did not go inside any of these breath taking buildings but we did spend the late afternoon on the greenway outside Saint Nicholas's Church admiring all that was around us. The bridge/ street next to St. Michielsburg is where you can see all four buildings at once. This is a great place for pictures!
The St. Jacobskerk Cathedral was the first place we went when we got to Ghent. On Sunday mornings this is where you will be able to find a really nice flea market. This is a great place to stop by, talk to some locals and maybe even pick up some super-unique souvenirs!
You can easily get to Citadelpark on one of the trams from the train station. It is a very large park in the middle of the city with it's own gardens, museums and beautiful tranquility pond!
What used to be the fortified five sided Leopold Barracks have now become home to the Higher Institute of Fine Arts. The building is right across the street from Citadelpark and is a mammoth of a building with absolutely beautiful architecture. If you are passing by, trust me you will not miss it!
Muinkpark was our last stop during our time in Ghent and it is just this really cute really tiny park in the middle of a residental area. Definitely a cute place to take kids, go for a run or just sitting and think. While we were there, the tranquil little pond was surrounded by Cherry Blossom trees in full bloom.
Komkommertijd which literally translates to cucumber time (I mean how cute is that!) is a completely vegan restaurant set up in that buffet-style. The food was great, however, it is great for a very pretty penny. Also, tables here fill up pretty quickly so I suggest reserving a table if you think it might be busy. This is a great place for vegans and vegetarians, and they also offered gluten-free options! NOTE: Komkommertijd only takes cash!
This is not a 100% vegan restaurant, but Mosquito Coast is the ultimate restaurant for travelers and backpackers alike! Just down the street from Graffiti Street, here you can find drinks and dishes from all over the world! The vibes here are amazing but it is a very popular place so I definitely suggest making a reservation in advance. They are English friendly with both menus and website in English!
Ghent was such an amazing city but we actually never took a real tour while we were there. This is one of those cities that is extremely walk-able and, honestly, when you can walk to all the major monuments I suggest saving your money and creating your own walking tour! I also highly recommend looking up USE IT MAPS for their Ghent map, it has all the must-see places on there!