Ghent itself is a lively mix of the medieval and the modern, with numerous museums, parks, restaurants and attractions. If you decided to arrive a little early, or leave a little later, you won’t lack for things to do. Note: Monday is the closing day for most Belgian museums, so be sure and check opening times.
MSK, Museum of Fine Arts
The Fine Arts Museum is located in Citadel Park. Famous for its collection of Low Countries art, with pieces ranging from Bosch to Ensor, the museum is currently hosting the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece.
The MSK has kindly consented to grant AIW attendees a reduced entrance fee, use the ‘coupon’ in your registration packet.
S.M.A.K., Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art Ghent
Located next to the Fine Arts Museum in Citadel Park, S.M.A.K. has one of the largest contemporary art collections in Belgium. Featured exhibitions during the conference include works by the winners of the Art Viva prize, and works by Hiwa K.
Huis van Alijn
The House of Alijn is dedicated to the history of ‘daily life’ in Flanders. If you love looking at everyday objects, this museum is definitely recommended.
One of two castles in the city, and the only one open to the public, the medieval ‘Castle of the Count’ houses a weapons collection and a small museum on torture and execution in Ghent. It was scheduled for demolition at the end of the 19th century, before being (somewhat inaccurately) restored for the city’s World’s Fair in 1913. It is currently undergoing an extensive restoration based on archaeological investigations.
There are numerous places to eat in Ghent near the conference venue, or which are located in or around the historic city centre. A quick and tasty meal can be had at the following locations:
‘t Hoekse – a UGent student and staff hangout, they serve various sandwiches. Try the ‘martino,’ a Flemish specialty.
Vooruit – located in a historic building that formerly belonged to the Ghent socialist movement, the Vooruit serves gastro-pub meals, made with fresh and organic ingredients. Vegetarian options are available. It is also a good place to have a local beer after work.
Pietersbar – in St Peter’s Abbey on the plane next to the Faculty of Economics and Business. Pietersbar is a socially directed initiative, serving food made with local products.
Le Pain total – sandwich and snack bar. Conveniently located midway between conference venues.
Groot Vleeshuis – located in the historic city center, the ‘Great Butcher’s Hall’ serves specialities from East Flanders. A little pricier than the other lunch options on this list, the beautiful wood ceiling makes it worth a visit.
Beirut Streetfood – great reviews and great food. This tiny restaurant offers quick Lebanese meals.
Parnassus – located in a former Franciscan church, Parnassus employs people with fewer chances on the labour market. The organic vegetables and fruit used in its dishes are locally grown. The menu changes daily, and always includes a vegetarian option.
Oude Houtlei 122
De Kastart – close to the conference venues, this little Italian restaurant offers a full menu of tasty pastas and pizzas.
Greenway – vegetarian takes on world cuisine.
The Noodle Bar – various Asias noodle dishes at a reasonable price.
The following hotels and hostels are within easy walking distance of the conference venues, as well as the city centre.