Ghent Museums and Art Galleries

(Ghent, East Flanders, Belgium)




Aerial picture of the historic city centreSomewhat overshadowed by the enormous selection of quality museums and leading Belgian art galleries in Brussels, most visitors will not find the need to leave the city of Ghent to enjoy an afternoon or two of unadulterated culture. A relatively recent addition to the arts scene in Ghent, the Museum of Modern Art is often referred to locally as simply the SMAK, an acronym standing for the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst.

Close by and still within central Ghent, the Museum of Fine Arts is worthy of some time and you should allow at least a couple of hours to fully appreciate the exhibits on display. Also of interest is the Folklore Museum (Museum voor Volkskunde), where workshops from the past have been carefully recreated with great attention to detail and offer an insight into Belgian handicrafts from yesteryear.


Photo showing the Folklore Museum (Volkskunde)

Folklore Museum (Museum voor Volkskunde)


Address: Kraanlei 65, Ghent, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 09 223 1336
Offering a true insight into folklore from the 18th century, the acclaimed Ghent Folklore Museum comprises a series of thoroughly renovated and revamped almshouses, which feature both reconstructed workshops and period rooms. This attraction is truly quaint and set within the grounds of the House of the Alijn family (Huis van Alijn). Children will always enjoy the rather unexpected puppet shows and theatrical events.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Museum of Modern Art (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst - SMAK)


Address: Citadelpark, Ghent, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 09 221 1703
Situated within the Citadelpark, the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK) is a vast gallery space, so large in fact that you will make good use of the map of the building handed to you as you arrive, which will enable you to locate the works of famous artists, such as Hockney and Warhol. Belgian artists are also well represented here and include Karel Appel, Lucebert and also Pierre Alechinsky.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge

Picture of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Sierkunst en Vormgeving)

Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Museum voor Sierkunst en Vormgeving)


Address: Jan Breydelstraat 5, Ghent, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 09 267 9999
Often overlooked by tourists visiting Ghent in favour of more commercial and prominent attractions, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design is actually nothing short of a true gem. Inside, the museum is actually divided into two separate sections, with period furnishings spanning the Renaissance period and 19th century, along with some glorious art works and 20th-century creations, including some rather stylish sofas and Art Nouveau cabinets, displayed in the relatively new addition of the glass wing.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:30 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for students

Museum of Fine Arts (Museum voor Schone Kunsten)


Address: Citadelpark, Ghent, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 09 222 1703
Located close to the SMAK gallery, highlights at the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts include a series of Flemish Primitives, and some excellent pieces by Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, with his famous and somewhat controversial piece 'Bearing of the Cross' (De Kruisdraging) being a particular highlight for many a visitor. Also big names at the Museum voor Schone Kunsten include Anthony Van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and Peter Paul Rubens.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:30 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Museum of Archaeology and Industrial Textiles (Museum voor Industriële Archeologie en Textiel - MIAT)


Offering an interesting way to spend an hour or two, the Museum of Archaeology and Industrial Textiles is housed within a former weaving mill and allows you to almost step back into the past. Here you can enjoy weaving demonstrations and take a close-up look at some very old weaving and spinning machines from yesteryear.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:30 to 17:00
Admission: charge






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