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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.

From Brussels: Bruges and Ghent in a Day Guided Tour

2. 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. 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, the Dijver Canal and the tiny piazza of Tanners Square (Huidenvettersplein). Go to one of the city's most photographed spots at Rozenhoedkaai, and admire the Belfry on Castle Square. Admire the facades of the Gothic-style Town Hall and the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood. Visit Market Square (Grote Markt) to see the Bell Tower (Belfort) and Sint-Salvator’s Cathedral. 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 look at the painting “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 charming Patershol neighborhood, the Great Butchers’ Hall, the Old Fish Market, and Friday Market Square.

Ghent: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and City Tour

3. Ghent: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and City 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. During the tour, see Saint Michael's Church, Saint Michael’s Bridge. Handelsbeurs, Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. Belfort van Gent, Saint Nicholas’ Church, Korenmarkt, Sint-Jacobskerk, Vrijdagmarkt, Gravensteen, and more.

From Brussels: Bruges & Ghent Full-Day Trip

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

Discover the highlights of Bruges and Ghent, Belgium's most attractive cities, with 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 09:30 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. Scheduled return to Brussels will be at 18:00 and arrival at 19:00 with your guide. 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. Brewery ‘De Halve Maan’ is the only brewery still operating in the city center. Afterwards, 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 is one of the oldest churches in the city. Admire its impressive tower that is still one of the tallest brickwork towers in the world, and take a look to 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 Groeninge Museum, Burg Square and Markt Square, the 10th century city market that has been for a millennium the economic heart of Bruges. Admire its imposing guildhalls and its bellfort tower, which is one of the most famous Gothic buildings in Belgium. At 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. Step into the marble choir and private chapels, 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. Then, go to City Hall to see its extraordinary mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Continue to Market Hall to look at the Belfort Tower and 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 of brick facades where restaurants and cafes offer the best of Flemish cuisine. Go to the 15th century Great Butchers' Hall to discover one of Europe's oldest meat markets.

Ghent: Discover Belgium's Beer World with a Young Local

5. Ghent: Discover Belgium's Beer World with a Young Local

Meet your guide in the center of Ghent and set off on your beer tasting adventure. Learn more about Belgium’s proud brewing traditions from your passionate guide as you walk to your first stop and discover the secrets behind its wide range of beers. As you make your way to the first bar, stop by your guide's favorite chocolate shop to taste some artisanal sweet treats. Discover how to pair chocolate and beer using different flavor combinations.  Your first stop will be at one of the city’s most popular bars. Here, sample your first beer, swap thoughts on the flavor and notes and soak up the convivial spirit as you chat to your group.  From here, move on to another lively beer haunt, loved by and known only to the locals. You will visit bars that range from trendy and modern to medieval and traditional, so there will be a bar to satisfy every age group. Over the course of the tour, sample a blend of bigger brands and craftwork brews, tasting a gutsy mix of malty, hoppy, fruity, reddish, and herby beers to sour and triple varieties. Finally, head to your last stop. Here, sample some delicious Trappist and Lambic beers, perfectly matched with Belgian chocolate and other local delicacies. Finish your tour in central Ghent, where your guide will leave you after giving you some recommendations on where to continue bar-hopping.

Ghent: Private Walking Tour

6. Ghent: Private Walking Tour

Ghent is located about 50 kilometers from Brussels and is considered a historical jewel of Belgium.  The city is the birthplace of Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and heir to the house of Habsburg. Ghent played an important role during the industrial revolution in continental Europe. Here, the first labor movement was established in 1859. Today, the city has maintained its medieval center, and several of its Gothic buildings are listed as a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Among the places you may visit are Saint Bavo’s Cathedral (visit to the altarpiece, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by the Van Eyck bothers), the market square, the Belfort tower and the covered market, the city hall, the churches of St. Nicholas, St. James, and St. Michel, the Graslei, Gravensteen, Patershol and the medieval butchery.

From Brussels: Ghent Discovery Full-Day Small Group Tour

7. From Brussels: Ghent Discovery Full-Day Small Group Tour

The tour begins with pickup from the meeting point in Brussels and heads out of the city towards Ghent where a day of adventure awaits. During the journey, listen to your passionate guide bring to life the rich-history of Ghent and the ancient capital of Flanders whilst soaking up scenic views of the countryside. Arrive in Ghent and stretch your legs with a guided tour of the city’s highlights including the churches of Saint Jacob, Saint Michael, and Saint Nicholas, as well as the Town Hall, the Cloth Hall, and the Old Harbor. Next, enjoy a guided tour of the cathedral where you can learn about the Adoration of the Lamb painting by the Van Eyck brothers. Later, discover the impressive Castle of the Count of Flanders, one of Europe’s most important medieval castles which was built in the late 12th century. Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, head over to the medieval Great Butcher’s Hall where you can taste local Ganda Ham that has been cured amongst the great wooden rafters. The ham is salted and dried by local craftspeople following an age-old traditional recipe. Afterwards, enjoy an option set lunch in the heart of the city followed by free time to explore at your own pace. The highlight of the day is a scenic boat ride along the rivers of Ghent, providing a unique perspective of the city. At the end of an unforgettable day, sit back and relax on the return journey to Brussels.

Ghent: Historic City Exploration Game

8. Ghent: Historic City Exploration Game

The city game starts at Kouter 172. It will take you between 1 to 1.5 hours to complete and you can also explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from the location where you paused it. You will finish at Gravensteen.. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. Ready for an adventure? After your booking, you will receive an email with instructions on how to download and play the game on your phone. You can play on your own, in a large group or in several smaller groups that compete against each other and meet at the final stop of the game. We recommend that each user purchases a ticket for an optimal experience, although several people can share a phone.

Brussels: 3-Day Belgium Discovery Tour by Bus

9. Brussels: 3-Day Belgium Discovery Tour by Bus

Get to know Belgium on a 3-day bus tour and visit the 5 most important cities. Begin the tour in the capital city and take a short walk to the majestic Grand Place, the cradle of medieval Brussels. Then, hop onboard of the coach where a multilingual guide takes you to all the must-see highlights in the city center. To complete your Brussels tour, visit the outskirts of Brussels to see the Atomium, the Royal Residence Palace, and the EU district. Next stop on the tour: Antwerp, the old city with an impressive 13th-century castle that guarded the city and its medieval river port. Visit numerous sights of the world's largest harbor city including the Cathedral of Our Lady. Marvel at the countless paintings by world-class artists of the 17th century including the masterpieces of Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens. Continue the tour through Antwerp to see the gothic guild houses at the Market Square, the Antwerp railway station, the Diamond District and the Jewish quarter. If you can, try the local beer called 'Bolleke' in your free time. The third and fourth stop takes you to the cities of Ghent and Bruges. Visit the Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, home to the world-famous Mystic Lamb Painting (optional) and walk along the Castle of the Counts of Flanders, a picturesque medieval harbor. Then, savor a delicious lunch in Bruges and enjoy the view of the peaceful Lake of Love and the picturesque Beguinage. Your guide will reveal stories and secrets from the Viking period until the end of the Middle Ages. Visit the top highlights of Bruges including the Basilica of the Holy Blood of Jesus, the Belfry Tower, Our Lady’s Church, Saint John’s hospital, etc. Optionally, take a pleasant boat trip along the narrow canals. On the last stop, your guide will take you on a breathtaking walk through the ancient heart of Leuven. Marvel at the architecture of the beautiful city hall, the largest Beguinage in Flanders, the ancient cloth hall, the baffling university library and many more. Visit the Shrine of Father Damien, the patron of the lepers who was recently beatified. See the highlights in this city including the unique ‘Old Market’ area with its many catering establishments. Although you will be seeing a sound portion of the city highlights, you'll also get some free time to discover the city at your own pace.

Ghent: Private Historical Highlights Walking Tour

10. Ghent: Private Historical Highlights Walking Tour

Travel back in time to the golden days of medieval Ghent on this private walking tour that shows you the historical highlights of the city. Listen to stories of love, glory, and fortune, as well as tales of intrigue, war, and conflict. After meeting your guide at Saint Michael's Bridge, you’ll walk through the medieval heart of the city on a route that includes all the must-visit spots. You'll visit Saint Michael's Bridge, Saint Nicholas Church, Grass Quay & Corn Quay, Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, the Belfry, the City Hall, the Guild Houses, Gravensteen Castle, Friday Market, Duivelsteen and many more. As you explore highlights and hidden gems, you’ll get the perfect mix of history, funny stories, legends, and facts — everything you need to make your experience of Ghent authentic and exciting. By the end of the tour, you'll know more than a local and you'll have a better idea of where to go and what to do during your time in Ghent. As an added perk, we'll offer you a booklet with discounts and gifts at local restaurants, museums and shops.

Other Sightseeing Options in Saint Bavo Cathedral

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What people are saying about Saint Bavo Cathedral

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,226 reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed the day trip to Ghent and Bruges. Our guide (Stefan) was very knowledgeable, giving us all the history and interesting facts about both cities. He also made sure we had time to take pictures and answer any questions we had. If you do this tour make sure you wear comfy shoes because it is a lot of walking! There is also not much opportunity for free time but we managed with the time given. Overall a great day out and would recommend!

The tour Stefan was knowledgeable. It was an amazing trip with fabulous details . Such a Fantastic Day with a little rain, but it didn’t interfere with our trip at all. Would absolutely recommend.

Had a great day trip! Jamal was an excellent tour guide and created a great atmosphere throughout the tour with his manner!

A professional and pleasant guide. Learned a lot and gained a lot of humor. A great trip. Strongly recommended

Thank you to all the team responsible for the blue team Very informative and beautiful places