In Gent, there are about 320 cafés/bars. For a pretty small town like this, this fact is an immediate example of our beloved beer drinking culture. If you want to discover it all, get yourself a café-plan and get started… I’m sure that if you ask your dearest ESN-board members for some advice, they’ll all have their own favourites. But there are also some zones in town every student knows:
Looking for a party where you can get wasted, dance and have a lot of fun? In that case, Overpoort is the place to be. If you have never seen a long street where every house is a bar, this is your first area to visit. Dead during daytime, more and more alive as the night proceeds. Nice detail: most pubs here don’t close before 6 o’clock in the morning. And most of those stay open as long as there are people inside. Don’t be surprised that if you keep partying, daylight will be on by the time you leave. And don’t be surprised when you’re not the only one to still be there…
While Overpoort is the place to be during the week, during the weekends the locals move to Vlasmarkt to party. There, you will find a couple of well-known pubs and, from time to time, waiting lines to get in. These pubs are bigger compared to those in other areas of Ghent, and the club Charlatan even accommodates multiple party rooms…
In this pub, hidden in one of the side-arms of the Overpoortstraat, you will always find an ESN member or two. Every Wednesday, there is a special offer, often a Belgian beer (our national pride!). Additionally, every other Sunday ESN will transform the pub into a cosy and chill meeting place for international students, offering various activities such as beertastings, quizzes…
Situated in the heart of Overpoort, Twitch is the centre of ESN nightlife. Here, the fabulous ESN Parties at Twitch will be held, with various themes such as a Welcome Party, Traffic Light Party and a Throwback Party! At the end of the term, we will say goodbye with a bang with our Write on White Party, where you can leave funny/sweet/erotic/nostalgic/memorable messages on the shirts of all your fellow students! Opening at 11PM, and with a Happy Hour from 12AM to 1AM, Twitch will turn your Fridays into some of the best of your life!
A cosy Irish pub close to the historical centre, Patrick Foley’s is a large but atmospheric pub loved by international people, expats and Belgians alike. It is the place to be on Thursdays, when the weekly ESN karaoke nights are held (from 10PM until late!). It provides discounts to holders of an ESN card and offers excellent food as well. The pub also houses a beautiful patio that you can enjoy during the warmer days.
After all this partying, there’s always a time you need to rest. And what better place to have a nice time off than a terrace in the afternoon sun? Around Vrijdagsmarkt, Korenmarkt and Graslei, there are some tea-rooms with (sometimes large) terraces to drink another beer, which, some say, is the best remedy against a nasty hangover...
And last but not least, between Zuid and Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat there are some cafés with a nice atmosphere, such as some world cafés and Vooruit Café. For other curiosities, find yourself a small street that has a café in it, or a remote part of town where the only thing to do is that particular café, and be prepared to get surprised!