Ghent illuminated walk

Watch the city twinkle: Try the Ghent Illuminated Walk

Ghent is pretty in daylight, but the city certainly also knows how to impress at night. As day turns into night artificial lights are turned on, turning the charming city into a magical wonderland of light and shadow. Architectural gems, cobbled streets, impressive monuments and well-visited squares are lit up to display them at their best. If you do the Ghent Illuminated Walk, also known as the Ghent Light Walk, you are sure to be dazzled. If you decide to walk the walk – you will be exposed to 30 of the 55 beautifully lit buildings in the city center. Remember to give yourself enough time as the functional lightning takes over from the atmospheric illumination at midnight.  


The Ghent Light Plan

Ghent designed the elaborate Ghent Light Plan in 1998 in order to provide sustainable lighting for the city without wasting energy. As a side effect, Ghent is today one of the most beautifully lit cities in the world. The city has even won several international prizes for its light plan.

But back to the light walk: If you want to do the whole tour, it will take you about two hours, but you can also just pick and choose the places you want to see. There are, however, a few must-sees: 


1: The Lightning Bird Tree.

The Lightning Bird Tree is an art installation best seen from the street Predikherenlei. The installation is also known as “Les Oiseaux de Mr. Maeterlinck” and is a tribute to the Ghent Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck who wrote the fairy tale “L’Oiseau Bleu” (The Blue Bird). The tale is about the quest for happiness symbolized by a bluebird, and thanks to the art installation the story does not only live on paper but also in the Ghent air. 

The Ghent Light Walk


2: Graslei

Graslei is a Medieval Port in the Historic Center of Ghent and considered to be one of the oldest places in Ghent. The place has a lot of atmosphere and charm, and the old buildings breathe history. It is probably also one of the most photographed places i all of Ghent. And with good reason. Unfortunately for me, I did not get a picture of Graslei at night as I went on the Ghent illuminated walk a few days after the Ghent Festivities. They were still cleaning up, and I’m not sure the lights were on, so I decided this would be my excuse to come back to Ghent sometime in the future. But from what I see on the internet – Graslei is a must in the evening.


3: The canals

Charming in the daytime – just as charming when it has gone dark. Be sure to take a stroll at the canals and see the beautifully illuminated buildings close to the water. Find more info on the Light Walk here: Ghent illuminated walkGhent by night

Ghent illuminated

Ghent lighting


The Ghent Light Festival

Every three years Ghent explodes in a fantastic display of lights during the Ghent Light Festival. During the festival, international light artists light up the city through performances, events and spectacles based on light. Read more about the Light Festival here: The Ghent Light Festival. Are you going? I am definitely going!


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Explore magical Ghent at night | Ghent travel | Ghent Belgium | Ghent itinerary | Ghent Ligth Walk | Ghent illuminated walk | Ghent guide | Ghent city guide |

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  1. Pingback: 15 things to do in Ghent: The free, the fun and the tasty things

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