Dest inat ion Repor t Ghent i s a spec ia l ed i t ion of M IM magaz ine N o 104 - APRIL 2009pub l i shed by Meet iing Med ia Company (Be lg ium) - www.MIMmagaz ine.eu
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ENJOYING THE GOOD LIFE
M E D I E VA L M A N H AT TA NThe ideal destination for your next congress, meeting or incentive
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Van Rysselberghedreef 2-box 3
9000 Gent Belgium
GhentWhy Ghent?sCENTRALLY LOCATEDANDEASYACCESSIBLEsEXCELLENTCONGRESSANDMEETING
Official Convention Bureau
for Ghent and East Flanders
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Alive and kicking: history meets modernityWandering about through picturesque medieval streets, along the imposing Gravensteen stronghold (Castle of the Counts) or over the magni cent St.-Michaels bridge, it's almost like travelling back in time. Indeed, the overwhelming historic heritage of this city immediately tickles your im-agination. The recent award for most authentic destination proves how well
the city is preserved. Wherever you go, you can feel the people are very proud of their city. And with good reason! The fact that the noose, once used by Emperor Charles V to humiliate the people, now is carried through the city with pride and used as its symbol, al-ready speaks for itself. On a side-note, this already reveals the obstinate, yet gentle-hearted character of the people of Ghent. In many ways, the historic heritage is given a second life. Former
Are you looking for a city that's really fun and charming to stage an event, meeting or incentive? Then Ghent has many things to offer. Thanks to Annick Debels, Director of Gent Congres, who guided us around, we got to see the city in a whole new light. We only knew the capital of East-Flanders from the typical sceneries, big events and famous museums, so this visit was a true revelation. Lots of interesting develop-ments and the latest places to be were con ded to us. At the same time, the city embraced us with a warmth and beauty like no other. Every visitor is given a warm welcome, whether it's a business traveller or a tourist. Nicolas Vanden Eynden, sales manager of the ICC Ghent describes it perfectly well: The people of Ghent are modest. Their hospitality gives you a good feeling about being in Ghent. Because of the offer and charm of the city, tourists are welcomed with open arms. And if there's already one thing I can tell: you just cant get bored here. The city is waiting to be explored!REPORT NATHALIE REGA
Ghent equals joie de vivre
warehouses are transformed into appealing res-taurants, hotels date back to the renaissance, and medieval festivities and folklore bring tradi-tions back to life. But the rich past of Ghent doesnt stand on its own. It goes together in perfect harmony with the modern, young and trendy feeling, creating a city that is alive and captivating. The frequent-ly used nickname Medieval Manhattan de nes it well. But the variety of what Ghent has to offer even goes beyond that. For instance, where else can you can nd shops selling sixties wallpaper, an artisanal mustard factory or a ower festival? Ghent is bursting with cultural life and art. Museums such as the S.M.A.K. present daring in-ternational art collections, whereas the amount of cinemas, theatres and all kinds of cultural activities is impressive. Of course, the people of Ghent are the ones who make it all happen.
Cover: real raspberry cuberdons of Ghent
They create a cultural dynamism and a fun atmosphere, while some 60,000 students keep the city young and vibrant.
Events on all sidesGhent is the largest university city in Flan-ders, so there's always something going on early (or late) in the evening. The beauti-fully illuminated night scenery already revealed to us that the city had come to life again. The night-life is pulsating in every corner and includes everything from cultural happenings, and hot clubs to trendy bars. We went to try out a few places ourselves. In the trendy brasserie Caf Theatre with its cosmopolitan style and classy bar, you can have an aperitif while you're waiting to go to the opera. The young and cosy Hot Club de Gand, is an ideal spot if you wish to see live jazz performances in an attractive setting. De nitely hot! And if you dont feel like partying, why dont you have a tea in the trendy and spacious caf, het Oeverloze Eiland? In addition to the many places to go out, events and festivities are going on all through the year. Wouldn't it be excel-
lent if they would take place at the same time of your meeting or event? Music lovers will certainly nd something to their liking among the many music festivals, while lm fans certainly cannot miss the International Film Festival of Ghent. The famous Ghent Festivities of July perfectly re ect the spirit of Ghent. And in 2010 the Ghent Floralies, a ower festival that offers possibilities to corporates, will take place again. It almost becomes dif cult to miss any of those festivities.
Ghent keeps surprisingWith several projects and investments, the city of Ghent constantly strives to improve city life and attract an international public. In April a crowd of thousands of twirlers and majorettes and their fellow travellers have taken in the city during the World Championship of Baton Twirling. It's no surprise that the sports event took place here: Ghent boasts the only indoor facility in the Benelux: The Topsporthal. Even to people like Annick Debels, who knows the city inside and out, Ghent keeps surpris-ing every day. The city's brand new logo,
consisting of the word Ghent, followed by a double point, marks the soul of the city: a place that has many stories to tell and where people are open minded.
The Burgundian way of living:a gastronomic ambianceIn every way, the city awakens your senses. As an indication, there's the many terraces on the river banks, the numerous cafs around the market squares, and the 300 or so different restaurants. Culinary adventurers will nd themselves at the right address here: Restaurants serve outstanding gastronomic delights next to the traditional local kitchen and multicul-tural menus. Be aware that choosing a restaurant will be harder than looking for a good one. With the Korenhuis, restaurant of the Ghent Marriott hotel, the Auberge du Pcheur outside of Ghent or The Belga Queen, just to name a few, a business diner becomes pure pleasure. An array of specialities makes the gastro-nomic diversity complete. For instance, who hasnt heard of the Ghent cuber-dons? The Butchers Hall, once a meat
market, promotes local products from dried hams to local gin, cheeses and cakes. In Chocolatier Van Hoorebeke on the St. Baafs square, two generations dedicate themselves to the traditional fabrication of the most exquisite Belgian chocolates. Just take a peek trough the partly glazed oor to discover the craftsmanship with which father and son create those great-tasting chocolates. Does that make your mouth water already? Then try one of the typical local beers in caf de Dulle Griet or a jenever in t Dreupelkot. Several of those breweries and local manufacturers open their doors for company visits. And in case you're interested to make your own bread or chocolates, workshops, such as Atelier Plus, provide these possibilities.
Good livingOn a Friday, Saturday or Sunday its very likely that you come across one of Ghents many markets. And can you imagine a more refreshing way to start the day on a lazy Sunday morning than with a glass of champagne and some Oysters at the Blau-we Kiosk at the Kouter? Afterwards you can continue your way up to the second hand book market at the Ajuinlei, followed by a visit of the Groentenmarkt with its traditional products, and maybe end with gazing upon the curiosa and antiques at the Beverhoutplein. Indeed a pleasant way to pass the day in a different way. A lucky thing everything is at walking distance. Moreover, you wont get stressed out from cars chasing by. The historic centre has the largest pedestrianised area of Belgium.The presence of the water in the city, with the rivers Lys and Scheldt is another thing that makes the city so very enjoyable. Who doesnt want to wake up in a hotel
room, such as the Ghent-River-Hotel, and have a marvelous view over the river? Small boats take you to one of the cafs or restaurants on the waterside. The Oude Vismijn (Old Fish Market), at the Lys is just one of those places. For a long time this former industrial building has been liter-ally covered with question marks. But we managed to nd out the answers for you; an info-box for tourists has already been set in place. In the future, a multifunctional event hall, and a modern brasserie with a completely glazed terrace will be added. Because it will be possible to open up the terrace near the river, the sh market will become the perfect spot to catch a cool breeze on a warm summer evening.
Easy accessGhents openness is also shown in its ac-cessibility. Coming from major European cities you can easily reach Ghent by car or coach, using one of the two European high-ways (E 17 and E 40) and Brussels airport is only 45 minutes away. Ghents railway station, Gent-Sint-