Ghent is about a 2 hour train ride from Paris and can easily be done in a day. My recommendation is to start early, so that you have the whole day to explore. We took an early train around 7:15 AM from Gare Du Nord and arrived in Ghent around 9:30 AM. From the Gent Sint Pieters train station, we took a cab to the city center. Our first stop was breakfast at Brasserie Agrea. They are known for good Belgian waffles! The restaurant is also nicely situated across a beautiful cathedral. After breakfast, we made our way to Graffiti Street. It is situated in an alleyway and is filled with beautiful graffiti art. From there, we continued our exploration of Ghent, stopping occasionally to take photos. Our next big stop was Gravensteen Castle. It’s not necessary to purchase tickets ahead of time since there generally isn’t much of a wait time. The castle was pretty interesting. It was used as a place of torture back in the day, so you definitely get those vibes walking through. All the stops are numbered, so it would be difficult to miss anything. At the top of the castle, you will get an awesome view of the city. After the castle, we indulged in a bit of local Ghent food, such as fries and mayo. Don’t forget about Belgian chocolates either! Since we had a bit of time to kill before our train ride, we decided to hang out by the water. It’s a pretty popular spot and a great place to people watch.
There are definitely many more activities to do while in Ghent, but we didn’t want to overload ourselves. Ghent, I feel, is meant to be a relaxing and chill day trip and that’s exactly how it felt during our time there. Overall, if you are ever in Paris and want to go on a day trip, Ghent should definitely be on the list.