Growing up, I’ve always had such a desire to travel. I have made lists of places I have dreamed of visiting. Being here in Europe, I’ve gone to a lot of places that were never on my list that still completely surprised me. Gent, Belgium has DEFINITELY been added to that list. Belgium is so close to France I knew I wanted to go since it could easily be done in a weekend trip. I chose Gent as opposed to Brussels or Bruges because a good friend of mine, Iris, is there studying. So a couple friends and I hopped on a bus and made our way to Gent with no idea what to expect.
HOW WE GOT THERE : As I’m sure a lot of you are aware of by now, I ALWAYS go for the cheapest option. For my journey to Gent we yet again rode a bus. Through Flixbus, we got to Gent after four and a half hours WITH wifi. Call me crazy, but I actually really like bus rides.
WHERE WE STAYED : Without a doubt, the coolest hostel I’ve stayed at to date. We stayed at the Ecohostel Andromeda hostel. This was a hostel ON A FREAKING BOAT. It was cool, cozy, and simple with free breakfast (my favorite!). There was a little problem with the toilet being clogged (still am scarred from the things I saw from that toilet) but other than that…. STAY THERE!
WHAT WE DID : We were so lucky to have a Gent guide (Iris) to show us the most beautiful parts of the city. Since we were there for such a short amount of time we just walked around and explored the beauty of this town. I whipped my camera almost every corner we turned. With all of the canals and buildings, there is so much to see.
After a little bit of walking, we kept taking breaks to eat famous Belgian food. Our first stop? WAFFLES! I am your every day Leslie Knope with a huge love of waffles. We stopped at Jacks waffles ( Pensenmarkt 1 9000 Gand). For 8 euros (shocking price, but worth it) I got a waffle topped with chocolate and strawberries. I now understand why Belgian waffles are so dang famous. As I bit into my waffle, it was fluffy and as sweet as can be. They even put a little Belgian flag to make it instagram worthy!
After we fulfilled our sweet tooths (for now, there is still chocolate to be had!) we continue exploring through the canals of the city. I can’t get over how charming this city is!
For dinner, we all weren’t super hungry after the waffles so we all thought we would be satisfied with another famous Belgian food… fries! These things are sold everywhere in big cones of fried deliciousness. We chose Frituur frans hooiaard (Hooiaard 3-15, 9000). With the small cone of fries being huge and only 2.50 euros, I was excited to try these guys. Contrary to the name FRENCH fries, fries apparently started in Belgium and I would believe it. These fries were the BEST I’ve ever had. Heated to perfection, these fries were the perfect mix of crispy and soft. It was topped with a healthy (I use the term “healthy” with a grain of salt) of mayo which was the perfect addition. If you’re not a mayo fan, they had TONS of topping options. Just don’t get ketchup! This is the time to try new things!
These fries were delicious, but the serving was enough to make us not want to walk anymore. We went to the store and bought our bars of Belgian chocolate and called it a day! I didn’t get any pictures of my chocolate, just know that I bought it from the grocery store, I bought a LOT, and it was incredible.
Our second day wasn’t quite long given the fact that our bus left at 2pm. We just continued exploring, checked out a book market, and the big church.
It was chilly and as a big fan of Belgian chocolate and hot chocolate, I decided I needed to try Belgian hot chocolate! Iris took us to a little chocolate cafe called Chocoloto ( Sint-Michielshelling 7, 9000) and this place is a hot chocolate lover’s dream. They had a build your own hot chocolate option where you can pick the kind of chocolate, flavoring, and topping! I got milk hot chocolate, with cinnamon flavoring, and topped with crumbled speculoos (a delicious European cookie) and it was incredible and only 4.50 euros for a small! They even threw in a piece of chocolate for each of us!
What an incredible quick trip I had in Gent. I’ve never been to Brussels but Gent had such little tourists I feel like that wins it for me. The food was so delightful and the city was so charming. Many thanks to my friend Iris for showing us around!