The place to be
Ghent, dazzingly authentic
Ghent, which was the 16th century's most powerful city in north-western Europe, next to Paris, is now the lively core of a large area (population 237,000) with a historical centre that breathes history and charm. Cosy corners alternate with pleasant and busy shopping streets. Ghent distinguishes itself from other Flemish cities by its combination of industry and commerce, and agreeable charming inner city that has preserved many of the old medieval quarters. At the end of November 2008, National Geographic Travellers Magazine ranked Ghent third in its global ranking of Authentic Destinations! The university campuses are spread across the city, which enlivens the atmosphere.
The city is, moreover, also a cultural attraction with its important music and film festivals, as well as its varied theatre and performance scene. Did you know that Ghent is a very old, but at the same time a very young city? For every traditional theatre, there are five small, independent venues and for each commercial cinema complex, there is an arthouse cinema as well. The music scene is live and original, with many international bands playing Ghent, and the Belgian festivals, all year round. In June 2009, Ghent has received the title 'Unesco Creative City of Music'.
Ghent was also the first city in the world to officially launch a vegetarian day, which has received worldwide attention in the press. The campaign "Thursday Veggie Day" was officially launched in Ghent on May 13th 2009. Through the campaign Ghent citizens are encouraged to eat vegetarian at least one day a week, for example on Thursday.
Through a decrease in meat consumption, the City of Ghent, one of the 370 European climate cities, is taking a big step in its engagement to go beyond national and European environmental objectives. Moreover, a lower meat consumption perfectly fits in the health policy of the City of Ghent.