The first settlements in the area in which now you can find Ghent, are dated in the Stone Age. In the High Middle Ages, it became the first European industrialized zone. Also, in 1500 Charles V (Charles I of Spain) was born in the city.
The city is really beautiful, mostly thanks to its architecture, as it preserves the medieval style of its buildings, restoration after restoration. Also, this, together with the fact that its center is a carfree area, gives you the feeling of having gone back in time.
Its streets are completely irregular in shape, being some of them really narrow others very wide, some of them doing strong curves or going in zigzag, sometimes making it difficult for tourists to get oriented.
The presence of water is really nice, although not massive (I’ll speak about the Venice of Belgium soon). Anyway, the many channels it has gives Ghent a particular strength, and we have to remember that the city has the third largest port of Belgium.
The people in Ghent is polite, but I don’t think they’re generally open. They where mostly kind, but sometimes it was hard to get some help from them, which I think is a real pity.
The weather when I was there was really strange… and even more extreme than the one I found in Geneva . Sun rays were alternated with really heavy showers that forces you to seek for a place to cover yourself for long periods of time. Also, it was colder than I expected.
Nightlife in Ghent is what you can expect in a city with a university. Most of the pubs, discos and bars are located in a particular area which is really lively and crowded during the nights, offering your endless chances to enjoy.
Ghent is a beautiful and lovely city, but I don’t think that I could enjoy it for long periods of time, as sometimes it seemed a little bit gray, and the weather was too irregular for my taste.