GHENT - GETTING AROUND
The center of Ghent is quite small, so you can walk around on foot. The car-free city center is perfect for pedestrians and cyclists. However, the main station (Gent Sint-Pieters) is not in the city center, but takes a walk of about half an hour. The best option is to take the tram, which takes you directly to the center in 10 to 15 minutes.By Bicycle
There are many bike rental companies in the city. A bicycle is the recommended way to get around in Ghent. However, there are many roads with cobblestones that make cycling a shaking experience. Also make sure you stay clear of the tram rails. Nevertheless, you will see you are not alone on your bike: many local residents use bikes to get around. There are many bike stands around to make it easy to lock your bike (important!). Many one-way roads are made two-way for bikes.By Public Transportation
The transport system is Ghent is excellent and usually on time. A single ticket costs about €3.00 if bought in the bus/tram or around €1.60 if bought from ticket machines near stops, such ticket is valid for an hour`s travel on all trams and buses. If you are planning to stay for a while, buy a pass for € 16.00, it is valid for 10 trips within the city and can also be used in other Flemish cities (such as Antwerp or Bruges). The trams are the quickest and most comfortable way to travel, especially from the railway station to the city center.
Note that if the bus/tram stop has a ticket machine, you will have to buy the ticket there, as the bus/tram driver will not sell you one in this case. You can also buy a ticket through SMS if you have a Belgian cell phone, instructions are on the poles at each stop. The transportation company is De Lijn.
In the Lijnwinkel kiosk (located near Sint-Pieters train station), you can get free map of city and surroundings, with all bus and tram lines.
If you arrive in Ghent at the Gent-St-Pieters train station, you can take tram 1 (until `Korenmarkt`). Journey time is ten minutes. Gent-Dampoort is located closer to the center (about 15 minutes walk), and is connected with the city center by several bus lines.
In the rare case you decide to discover Ghent by car (which is not recommended), you have to be aware of something called the `mobility plan`. It`s a measure that was taken by the Ghent city council in 2017 that divides the city in 6 areas, making it impossible to get from one area to another by car. Make sure to always watch for traffic signs of one-way-streets or forbidden entries; there are quite a few. If the road is painted completely in red, it`s either a bicycle street or an infamous `knip` (meaning cutoff). You`re allowed to drive in a bicycle street, but you cannot overtake a biker. You will get fined if you do. A `knip` or cutoff means you are not allowed to cross there, unless you have a permit.
Driving a car is best for exploring the surrounding areas of the city.
Though the mobility plan makes visiting the city by car a little tricky, taxis can be a good work around. There are numerous taxi companies based in Ghent, all of which are supposed to operate at the same rate. Environmentally conscious travelers may opt for an electrical taxi, but not all companies can provide this service. Electrical taxis in Ghent are, by the way, no more expensive than their non-electrical counterparts.