By foot, bike, (own of shared) car, tram, bus... There are different modes of transport in Ghent.
You can use different modes of transport to get about.
In Belgium it is common for employers to subsidise (part of) the commuting costs for their employees. Enquire at your company for more details.
Sometimes it’s easier to walk to your destination than to use public transport. A great part of the historical city centre (51 hectares!) is car-free, giving you the opportunity to go shopping or to get lunch without having to be concerned about busy traffic.
Shops, bars, restaurants, museums and markets … everything is just a stone’s throw away, making it very easy to discover the city by foot. The city consciously invests in better and broader footpaths, safe crossroads and the general road safety of its citizens.
The city of Ghent has over 51 hectares of car-free or low-traffic areas. This pedestrian area is lovely for walking, shopping or enjoying an outdoor cafe. Cycling is permitted in most streets of the pedestrian area as long as pedestrians are not impeded.
Ghent is crazy about bikes. Consult all sorts of practical information on, for instance, existing bike routes, parking, route planner, free bicycle registration, bike storage and (on how to avoid) bicycle theft. The city and the police sometimes organise a sale of second hand bikes. At Fietsenambassade you can rent and park a bike or get a bike repaired. The city is building guarded bicycle parking facilities and is trying out new forms of enclosed garages, such as bicycle lockers, bicycle drums and neighbourhood parks.
There are different modes of public transport available:
Ghent is easily accessible by train. There are 2 main stations, Gent Dampoort and Gent Sint-Pieters. You can buy tickets online.
Buses and trams
Public transport in the city is well-organized by De Lijn. Buses and trams ride from early in the morning till late at night. Browse a list of all the stops, routes and schedules of the day network (“dagnet”) in Ghent (every day between 6 am and 11.30 pm).
There are also night buses that run 7 days a week. They run from 11.30 pm until 1 o’clock at night. The buses are indicated with N+number of the regular line.
Tickets and day passes are the cheapest solution for those traveling occasionally. For trips and group travel there are the: Single journey, Lijnkaart, Day ticket and Omnipas
- General website De Lijn
- Website De Lijn in Ghent (only in Dutch)
- Website to buy De Lijn tickets
- Night bus schedule
Ghent has many taxi companies. Here you will find a list of them (in Dutch).
Ghent taxis operate with a base rate and a social tariff. In addition, fixed prices are also lower for long rides from airports or other cities. Check out the basic rates for taxis in Ghent.
Ghent is currently (mid-2016) in the middle of a large-scale mobility plan reshuffle, so some streets might become one-way or pedestrian. Check out the circulation plan (in Dutch)
Anyone who drives a motor vehicle on public roads must possess a driving licence and have this on them. If you are a citizen of an EU member country, you do not need to obtain a Belgian license. Other foreigners permanently residing in Belgium and driving in this country may initially use an International Driving license, but should apply for a valid Belgian driving license on being issued an identity card. Check out more info on driving licence.
Vehicle registration and import
If you live in Belgium and you drive a car or vehicle it should be registered. Exceptions are if you hire a car or work for a foreign employer and the car is registered abroad. You can also register your car temporarily.
If you wish to import your car, it must be registered under temporary or standard license plates. Duty-free and tax-free status can be granted if the car has been owned and used before arrival and is not resold within two years of importation.
Buying, renting or sharing a car
Since both the new and second-hand car markets in Belgium are well-regulated, they offer good protection to consumers and the prices are competitive compared with neighbouring countries. Read more on buying a car.
You can also rent a car. There are a lot of rental car companies. Surf online to find out where you can hire a car in Ghent.
A 3rd possibility is to share a car. This literally means that you share a car with other people. Several people use the same vehicle, so alternate their use of one or several (joint) cars. You use the car when you need it, at other times someone else drives it. You use the car but you do not own it.
For occasional car sharing/ride sharing, you can check specialised websites such as blablacar.be. Uber is not operational in Ghent.