Belgian university city and provincial capital of East Flanders. Gent in Dutch, which they speak there, and Gand in French, which they don't. Less touristy than heavily reconstructed Brugge, it has a very late medieval city centre which is well worth the tram fare from Sint Pieters station. A pleasant and livable town, threaded throughout by waterways, and also a major inland port via a ship canal that joins the Scheldt estaury at Terneuzen. About 45 minutes by frequent train from Brussels and close to the E40 motorway.

Worth seeing:

Historically, Ghent was a rich trading centre during the Renaissance, with ties with Italy; it was also the birthplace (and spiritual home) of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, or Keizer Karel as he is known locally.