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Citadel Park

This popular public park is among the most important green spaces in the city, home to pleasant paths and several unique museums. 

Citadel Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Ghent. With many exotic trees, ponds and flowers to enjoy, this adaptable green space offers a refreshing break from the city. See several noteworthy sculptures and two of the city’s finest museums inside the park.

The spot takes its name from a Dutch citadel, which was constructed on the site in 1823. This large citadel was later removed when the park was used as the grounds for the World Exhibition in 1913.

As you stroll through the park, notice the nameplates found beside the more exotic tree species indicating their Latin names. The numerous sculptures scattered across the grounds include the dramatic Tijgers die elkaar een prooi betwisten (Tigers Contesting a Prey), a sculpture completed in 1910 by Jacques de Lalaing. The park regularly hosts temporary art projects. You might also find a concert taking place on the cast-iron bandstand.

Head inside the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (S.M.A.K.), a progressive art museum found on the park grounds. This museum houses a permanent collection of works by Belgium’s leading contemporary artists, as well as a number of prominent international artists, including Andy Warhol and Christo. Watch for temporary exhibitions, which typically showcase experimental work by local artists.

For more culture, visit the Museum of Fine Arts (M.S.K.), which is across from S.M.A.K. M.S.K is the perfect complement to S.M.A.K., housing a rich collection of tapestries, graphics, paintings and sculptures by renowned artistic masters. The permanent collection is organized chronologically, with a focus on paintings from the Southern Netherlands. Trace the evolution of art through the museum’s collection of works spanning from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.

Citadel Park is located within walking distance of Ghent’s historic center, east of the Sint-Pieters train station. The park is free, but both museums charge admission. The museums close in the evening and the park has a reputation for being somewhat unsafe after dark, so it’s best to plan your visit during the daytime. 


Best Lodging Options Near Citadel Park

See all 213 Properties near Citadel Park
Getaway Studios Gent $48
Getaway Studios Gent

Getaway Studios Gent

2 Seminariestraat, Ghent
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Ghent, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Episcopal Palace and Saint Bavo Cathedral. Gravensteen Castle is 0.6 mi (1 km) away. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 14 minutes by foot.

    Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent $155
    Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent

    Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent

    Hoogstraat 36, Ghent
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Ghent, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of School of Yesteryear, Gravensteen Castle, and Saint Bavo Cathedral. St. Michael's Church and Monastery of the Carmelite Fathers are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 25 minutes by foot.

      NH Gent Belfort $89
      NH Gent Belfort

      NH Gent Belfort

      Hoogpoort 63, Ghent
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Ghent City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ghent Town Hall, Saint Bavo Cathedral, and Gravensteen Castle. Court of Ryhove and Graffiti Street are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 16 minutes by foot.

        1898 The Post $149
        1898 The Post

        1898 The Post

        Graslei 16, Ghent
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Ghent City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Korenmarkt Square and Gravensteen Castle. Saint Bavo Cathedral and Flanders Expo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Ghent-Dampoort Station is 21 minutes by foot.

          ibis Gent Centrum Opera $70
          ibis Gent Centrum Opera

          ibis Gent Centrum Opera

          Nederkouter 24, Ghent
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Kunstenkwartier, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Nicholas' Church, Ghent University, and St. Michael's Bridge. Belfry of Ghent and Saint Bavo Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Ghent-Sint-Pieters Station is 23 minutes by foot and Ghent-Dampoort Station is 25 minutes.

            Ghent River Hotel $114
            Ghent River Hotel

            Ghent River Hotel

            Waaistraat 5, Ghent
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Ghent City Centre, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kraanlei, Gravensteen Castle, and Saint Bavo Cathedral. Big Cannon and Friday Market Square are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 16 minutes by foot.

              Hotel Orion $88
              Hotel Orion

              Hotel Orion

              Krijgslaan 181, Ghent
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Stationsbuurt Noord, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Ghent ICC, Saint Bavo Cathedral, and Gravensteen Castle. Flanders Expo is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) away. Ghent-Sint-Pieters Station is 9 minutes by foot.

                Edville Studio $49
                Edville Studio

                Edville Studio

                Ter Platen, 60, Ghent
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Strop, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Citadel Park and Saint Bavo Cathedral. Gravensteen Castle and Flanders Expo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Ghent-Sint-Pieters Station is 18 minutes by foot and Gentbrugge Station is 28 minutes.