Gent Sint-Pieters railway station is currently in the midst of a transformation into a state-of-the-art station with escalator and lift access up to the platforms.
Gent Sint-Pieters is the main station in the city, but it is located on the southern edge of the central area of Gent/Ghent, some distance from the heart of the city.
Frequent trams link Gent Sint-Pieters to the city centre, but some trains (including IC trains on the Oostende – Brugge – Gent – Antwerpen route) also call at the city’s other station, Gent-Dampoort.
Gent-Dampoort station is closer to the city centre than Gent-Sint-Pieters, it takes around 12-15 minutes to walk from Dampoort to the cathedral and the main square.
No trams serve Gent-Dampoort, though bus line 3 provides a frequent link to the city centre, although the bus makes a diversion away from the direct pedestrian route.
Gent Sint Pieters station is a 25-30 min walk from the city centre along the street named Koning Albertlaan.
So the best option is to take tram lines 1 (direction Evergem) or line 21 to the Korenmarkt tram stop - the nearest tram stop to the stunning main square in the heart of the city.
Tram 1 also serves the northern edge of the historic heart of the city centre, take the tram to the Gravensteen stop.
To access the Tram line 1 stop, turn left when leaving the station by it's main entrance and head towards the bus station.
The stop for the trams heading to the city centre is on the left - it's a 2 min walk and step free.
Gent has easy access by direct train from/to Bruxelles National Aeroport.
There are 2 x trains per hour between the airport and Gent St-Pieters, but the faster train (via Bruxelles) takes around 55 mins, while the slower train (heading from the airport to De Panne) takes 1hr 20 mins.
Train times can be looked up here
Gent/Ghent is the ideal base for exploring Flanders by train, it is closer to more destinations in Flanders than Brugge; it also also has faster access to Bruxelles and has direct trains to/from Lille.
However, Gent St Pieters station, the city’s main rail hub is a tram ride or 25-30min walk from the city centre, so if you want to use Gent as a base for exploring Belgium by train, then seeking out a hotel by the station is a good idea; SMTJ can personally recommend The Carlton Hotel.
to The Flanders Coast:
There are 2 trains per hour from Gent to Oostende and hourly trains to the coastal resorts of Blankenberge, De Panne and Knokke, the journey time to all three towns is under 50 miins.
Blankenberge, Knokke, Oostende and towns south of Oostende including Middelkerke, Nieuwpoort and De Panne are all linked every 15 mins by The Belgian Coastal Tramway
The train stations at Blankenberge, De Panne, Knokke and Oostende are all adjacent to Coastal Tram stops.
The most picturesque town on the coast, De Hann, has easy access from Gent via Oostende and the tram.
A highly recommended day trip from Gent is to take the train to Knokke transfer to the tram there and then travel the entire coast to De Panne, stopping off whenever you need a drink and a hot waffle.
Stopping off De Hann and Nieuwpoort is particularly recommended, while the stops to the south of Oostende town centre and at Middelkerke are steps away from the beach.
You can then take the train back to Gent from De Panne.
Other easily reachable locations:
Other easy train links between Gent and other destinations in Flanders are:
As Gent-St-Pieters station is some distance from the city centre there are comparatively few hotels in the vicinity (The Hotel Carlton is personally recommended), this is despite Gent being an ideal base for exploring the best of Belgium by train.
If you can’t find a room near the station at a price then suits, then the city centre is a good option thanks to the excellent tram service between the station and the heart of Gent.
Though the benefits of taking a tram are inevitably negated, if you then have to trek some distance to where you’re staying from the tram stop, hence the options below being recommended, due to their particularly easy access from/to Gent-St-Pieters station.
Hotels within 5 min walk of Gent St Pieters station
Hotels with direct access by tram to Gent St Pieters station
Harmony Hotel Ghent (3 min walk from Gravensteen tram stop on line 1)
Ghent Marriot (5 min walk from Korenmarkt tram stop on lines 1 and 21)
Schopenhauer B&B ( 3 min walk from Zonnestraat tram stop on lines 1 and 21)
De Waterzooi B&B (1 min walk from Gravensteen tram stop on line 1)
Hostel Uppelink (5 min walk from Korenmarkt tram stop on lines 1 and 21)
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.