Be a knight for the day!
The Gravensteen Castle or the Castle of the Counts in English, is located bang in the centre of Gent and is an iconic symbol of the medieval charm of the city. It is next to the Sint Veerleplein, a little square with bars and restaurants and outdoor terraces where you can sit and take in the views of the castle. This 10th century fortress has been restored in the 19th century so is in no means in ruins and looks spectacular flood-lit at night and illuminated during the Gent light shows and as part of the magic of the Gent Christmas lights. The castle is still partly surrounded by a moat so really does look like something straight out of a history book!
Walking into this castle certainly give you a flavour of how people lived in medieval times and it is a museum in itself with many artefacts exhibited inside its stone walls. Why have we selected this as a great place to visit with small children? Quite simply because it can set their imaginations alight as they pretend play being knights and princesses for the day in their very own castle and exploring every rampart, corridor, room and nook and cranny inside and out! It is possible to have a private tour of the castle but we say just go off on your own. Much more fun!
It is important to mention that access for buggies isn’t possible because the stairs up to the top of the castle are narrow and winding. However, we decided that this didn’t matter too much as older toddlers will love walking up the stairs themselves and younger ones and babies can be carried. The walk is worth it as once you are at the top you are treated to panoramic view of the city skyline in all its splendour. As is the case with most of Gent’s tourist attractions, entrance for children is free of charge.
Toddlers can run between the different rooms and the dungeons and they can also see real weapons and costumes from the olden days. There is even a torture chamber with a guillotine in it!
Just like the rest of Gent this is a very authentic and quirky place to visit and somewhere interesting and educational too, if not a bit gory in places! A real fairytale castle!
Located in the centre of Gent, with lots of shops, bars and restaurants close byShow on map
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