Hello and welcome to Belgium! The home of the Belgian (sigh ok… French) fries, beer, chocolate and more… Bohemian‘s spring meetup will take place in Ghent. This guide will contain all you need to make it through the week. In Belgium, we officially speak 3 languages: Dutch, French and a bit German. However, most of us speak English as well ;) The meetup will be in the Flanders where we just speak Flemish, a nice Dutch variant.
You’re probably getting in via the airport or train.
If you are flying, please be sure to take a flight to the real Brussels Airport (BRU) and not “Brussels-South Charleroi” (CRL). No-one knows why it’s called Brussels South Aiport as it’s more than 50km (31miles) from Brussels… ¯ _(ツ)_/¯ Once you are in the airport, please ignore the soldiers. As it’s the capital of Belgium and the “facto capital” of the Europe Union, we are in a protection mode. Don’t be scared. Belgium is a safe country (most of the time) 🙂
When you are at the airport, please follow the signs to the railway station. The station is under the airport… You will have direct trains to Gent-Sint-Pieters. Be sure to take a train indicated with IC and not L as the L trains are stopping in every small town… The trip should be arround ~50 minutes. You can buy your ticket at the station itself, which I recommend as you will need to have an addition fee (Diabolo) to support the building of the tunnel… (so enjoy the tunnel!). When you buy the ticket at the station, this extra fee will be included automatically. Be sure to buy a single ticket as a retour means going back on the same day or weekend. We don’t have peak/off-peak prices and no reservation system, however we have first and second class category. There is no need to buy your ticket in advance, just get it at the station before you jump on the train. Railway website
If you took a high speed train from London, the Eurostar, then you will normally arrive in Brussels Midi/Brussel Zuid. Just take a connection to Gent-Sint-Pieters. There should be plenty of trains and the trip is only 30 minutes. Be sure to buy a ticket from the office or machine before getting on the train (single!). If you are coming from The Netherlands, you need to take a connection in Antwerp or Brussels North/Central/South to Gent-Sint-Pieters, whatever you prefer. If you changed in Antwerp, be sure to get of the train at Gent-Sint-Pieters and not at Gent-Damport.
Once you have arrived in Gent-Sint-Pieters. Take the front exit and take tram 1 to Wondelgem. Jump of the tram at the Korenmarkt. It’s a ~12 minutes trip on average. One local tip: You can buy a 10-travels card for 15 euro at the station, which you can share with your colleagues. Just enter the card 1 time in the yellow machine (in the tram) per person. If you have a machine with numbers.. don’t click them. They are not “X persons” but “X zones”, however we don’t use zones anymore.. If you don’t want to buy a 10-travels card, buy a single ticket for 2 euro at the machine outside the tram stop. Do not buy it in the tram as it will be 3 euro and more difficult (drivers can be angry, up to you..). Your ticket will be 1h valid, starting the moment you put it in the yellow machine.
No Uber here. Sorry. Legal shizzle. We do however have taxies.. You will find them in the front of the station. The prices are fixed by the city (Dutch).
Your hotel is the “IBIS Ghent Centrum St Baafs Cathedral”. It’s an IBIS and it has a lovely location, very close to the old historic center and close to bars. There are no cars allowed in the center, only cabs, trams and some busses. Our rooms will be on the top levels of the hotel to avoid any possible noise and allowing us to have some good nights… As I never slept in a hotel in Ghent, I cannot share my experiences. Sorry. 🤞
The workspace, restaurants eg are all in less than 15 minutes walk of the hotel. Did I mention already we don’t have hills like in Porto or Edinburgh? When you are super lazy, you can take the tram to the workspace… DeLijn is the company for public transport (except Trains) in Flanders.
We have two different work spaces. The first spot, De Abt, will be our meeting spot for Tuesday. We will have one big room that fits for everyone of us (I hope). Pieter will start with a state of union and we will have more presentations that are team focused this day.
Address De Abt: Lange Kruisstraat 4, 9000 Gent. Spoiler: It’s 50 meters of the hotel… so you can sleep 5 minutes longer… There is also a small brasserie in the building…
For Wednesday and Thursday, we will relocate to a small business center at the South park. In the building, there are multiple smaller companies like game developers… We will have 3 smaller rooms and a lounge that we can use. See the calendar for more information about the planning.
Address Park Office: Hofstraat 269, 9000 Gent. See GMaps for the best route.
So as summary:
Our team dinner is on Tuesday, 19:00. We are going to a small brasserie “Des Arts” with local food. No pizza, sorry… we will keep the pizza places for lunch 🙃 They don’t have a website.. so no spoilers here. The place is accross the opera, and they have quite some good beers.
Address: Schouwburgstraat 12, 9000 Gent
Unconfirmed spoiler… We will be baking pies and other stuff on Thursday afternoon… MadamBakster. The other evenings can be used to practice the national sport: drinking beer at a bar…
Address: Onderstraat 12, Gent.
Well, there are a lot of shops in Ghent like every city ;) There are two big streets (Veldstraat & langemunt and everything in between). Ping me when you are looking for something. We don’t have an official Apple store in Ghent, only in Brussels…
You can get pretty much every cuisine in Ghent. The city itself has some lists available:
Ah, and if you need to wash your clothes.. there is a wasbar in the center, where you can wash your clotes and have some beer/food at the same time.
Below is just a small selection…
Hmm.. way to many to list. Just walk arround…
Close to the first meeting spot:
Closer to the second meeting spot:
Vegan & Vegetarian
Small map with the hotel, station, two meeting spaces and the team dinner.
Need a place to work?
We call ourself the noose bearers.
We just love food.. and food.
Come Friday, and we’ll be sad each other leave. You should be able to take your original route reversed to get home. Take the Tram 1 at the Korenmarkt, headed to Flanders Expo and jump off at Gent-Sint-Pieters station. The stop is at the shoppingstreet “Veldstraat”.
See Google Calendar for the latest version 😀
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