Paying entrances in museums and monuments can quickly become an expensive part of your trip. But there are more than a few alternatives in Ghent!

* Once a year (early december), during the Ghent Museum Night, 9 museums can be visited for free between 6 pm and 01 am.

* On Sundays between 10 and 13 o'clock, entrance is free for Ghent people (!) to the Museum of Fine Arts, the DesignMuseum, the MIAT (Industrial Archeology and Textile), the SMAK (Museum of Contemporary Art) and 'Het Huis van Alijn' (Folklore).

* The 'Museum van de Zusters van Liefde van Jezus en Maria' and the 'Triestkamer' (Museum of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary and the remembrance room of P.J. Triest) can be visited for free on fridays (by appointment only).

* 'De School van Toen' / The School of Yesteryear is free of entrance and open from monday to friday.

* All churches that are open to the public can be visited for free (except for the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb in the Saint Bavo Cathedral).

* The Abbey of Saint Bavo can be visited for free on sundays between 13 and 18 o'clock (+/- april-october).

* Free visit by boat 'Jacob Van Artevelde' to the Ghent harbour: every day during the 'Gentse Feesten' (10 days around the 21st of july). (online inscriptions between the 1st and the 15th of july).

* The luxurious interior and the rear facade of the 18th century Hotel d'Hane-Steenhuyse are seldom open to the public, with exception of the 'Gentse Feesten' when you can visit the mansion for free.

* The sublime Villa De Bondt (an art deco masterpiece) organizes from time to time small jewelry exhibitons. Only at these moments, visits for individuals are possible and for free!

* Exhibitions in the Caermersklooster (Dutch) are nearly always for free and allow you to see other parts of the monastery. Vrouwebroersstraat 6, Patershol.

* Small exhibitions (of local importance) are accessible for free and allow you to see quite a lot of the Abbey of Saint Peter. If you go for the Alison tour, then you have to pay entrances. The garden and the orchard are always open to the public (during day time, entrance through a different gate at the extreme right of the main building, Sint-Pietersplein).

* Most exhibitions in the 'Bank van de Arbeid' are free of charge and allow you to see the interior of this bank building, once one of the crown jewels of the socialist movement in Ghent, Voldersstraat 1.

Website for more ideas

This site shows every week a new list with free activities. Descriptions are in Dutch, but if you read something with the word Jazz, Folk, Rock or Indie you can be sure this means a free concert! You can also ask for a weekly newsletter.