Length 4.1 km (2.5 miles), terrain: flat
Gent Running Routes:
Old Town Route
Watersportbaan Lake Route
For more running routes, see Route List.
Gent (Ghent in Dutch) is a typical Flemish town: lots of 17th century architecture criss-crossed by rivers and canals, so that you are constantly crossing a bridge and viewing old brick houses reflecting in the waters. Every few steps, you find yourself surrounded by another fascinating collection of houses, churches, bridges and market squares. I love the style of the buildings, with their richly decorated gables and huge windows for their times.
|At Graslei, pedestrian lane along the river|
|Graslei at night|
There's nothing like getting out there in the streets with your running shoes on, so let's get to the start right now!
|Graslei, seen from the other shore|
Face south, with the river to your right and start running along the riverbank, heading under St. Michael's bridge. Make sure to take a good look around at Sint Michiels: the view to the left of the town's Three Towers is impressive! Continue until the path ends at the next little swivel-bridge, at Hoornstraat.
|The three towers, seen from Sint-Michiels bridge|
|The courthouse, seen from the trail|
|The Coupure canal|
|Did I mention that there are a lot of bikes?? The other bank is quieter|
The Coupure curves towards the right, bending northwards. You'll cross a busy car- and tram-bridge at Papegaaistraat and continue until the next car bridge, at Brugsepoort.
Now turn right and run along the only few blocks of the route without water, along Begijnhoflaan. The street has tram tracks running within a green stripe between both sides of the street. This street, like Coupure, is in the new town, with houses built in the last 150 years, typical neighborhoods for most Gent residents.
|Rabot gate-tower, seen along the Lieve|
|Along Sint-Antoniuskaai, statues honoring the life of Emperor Charles V, Gent's most famous son|
|Along the Lieve|
|One of several cool restaurants along Jan Breydelstraat|