Velo-city 2024
Ghent
18-21 June 2024

Cycle with us

             
   

About the city

Welcome to Ghent, a pocket-sized city that embodies the energy, dynamism, and bravado of a metropolis. As Belgium's third largest city and Flanders' largest university city, Ghent invites you to step into the footsteps of a 1000-year-old heritage. Immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of medieval towers, historic buildings, and picturesque canals. Fall for the vibrant local culture found in funky hangouts, an array of museums, theaters, and captivating historical venues.

Beyond its rich history, Ghent is a city firmly focused on the future. In Ghent, we do things our own unique way. We eat, talk, party, care, play, and innovate as a united force. Ghentians are known for their generosity and open-mindedness, embodying the qualities of soft-hearted rebels, trailblazers, and inventors.

The city boldly experiments with innovative policies. We pull out all stops to build the city together with its people. In Ghent, we pioneer. We run ahead of the pack, but we leave no one behind. We look each other in the eye and look out for one another. This approach has inspired numerous other cities and earned Ghent international recognition.

In 2024, Ghent takes pride in holding the title of 'European Youth Capital,' and aspires to become the European Capital of Culture in 2030.

Mobility Strategy

Ghent has long since prioritised cycling as a mode of transport, with the implementation of a bicycle plan in 1993, showcasing its early support for sustainable transport. However, it wasn't until the bold circulation plan was implemented in 2017 that cycling truly skyrocketed. The city witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of people cycling, reaching approximately 35% in 2018, surpassing the target set for 2030. 

With a population of 270,000 and an influx of 80,000 students each week, Ghent serves as an economic hub attracting 100,000 daily commuters. Additionally, it boasts the busiest train station in Flanders, connecting to major cities like Brussels, Antwerp, and Bruges. Ghent is unique in many ways, but faces challenges similar to most cities worldwide, such as a growing and aging population, changing economic dynamics, climate change, and increasing motorised traffic hindering accessibility.

 

The only logical way to cope with these challenges was to remove motorised through traffic from the city center, creating more space for people. This transformation was accomplished almost overnight and with an extremely small budget. The results were astounding, with reduced congestion, fewer accidents, improved air quality, decreased noise levels, and a significant rise in cycling. 


Ghent's commitment to cycling infrastructure is evident in the construction of numerous cycling bridges and underpasses to facilitate safe passage through busy intersections. The city boasts an extensive network of nearly 400 km of
cycling infrastructure, featuring 17,5 km of bicycle streets designed as safe zones and magnets for cyclists. Additionally, 12 school streets are established each school morning by enthusiastic parents and teachers who volunteer their time. Ghent's ambitious bicycle parking policy aims to provide bicycle parking within 100 meters of every resident's doorstep.

The city's commitment of promoting bicycle culture is further bolstered by the Cycling Embassy of Ghent. This non-profit organisation was founded in 2021 by the City of Ghent together with Ghent’s higher education institutes. The mission of The Cycling Embassy of Ghent is to promote cycling and cycling culture through service. The organisation does this by providing a wide range of bicycle services:

 

  • rental
  • parking
  • repair
  • knowledge sharing
  • projects & innovation
  • inclusion - cycling for everyone

 

The Cycling Embassy of Ghent is one of the organisers of Velo-city 2024, together with ECF and the City of Ghent. Their hope is to inspire other cities to promote cycling, not only through infrastructure and communication, but also by providing services that support cyclists.

Things to see and do in Ghent 

Ghent is well worth adding a few extra days to your stay. 

Extend your stay in vibrant Ghent and discover a city that is truly worth immersing yourself in. Quirky, lively, and culturally rich, Ghent offers an enticing blend of trendy modernity and historical charm. It's a place where people savour life, embracing a laid-back atmosphere where anything is possible and a genuine human connection is felt. The city offers an exciting blend of rich history and a vibrant array of events, exhibitions, festivals, theater plays, and concerts that are unrivaled anywhere else in the world. You won’t have a dull moment in Ghent!

Allow us to give you inspiration for your trip:  

  1. Top 10 things to do in Ghent  
  2. Calendar: spoilt for choice in exciting Ghent  
  3. Cycling in Ghent, a true love story  
  4. Sustainability, the Ghentian way of life  
  5. CityCard Gent, experience Ghent to the fullest  

 

 

Top 10 things to do in Ghent