Floraliën Gent - Ghent Flower Show & Floral Festival

This article first appeared on My Travalogue by Bhushavali

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VISIT FLORALIËN GENT 2022

WHY IS FLORALIËN GENT SPECIAL?
I came to know of Floraliën Gent by chance when a Flemish friend mentioned it. She said that it happens once in 4 years and this time it's happening after 6 years because it didn't happen in 2020 & 2021 due to lockdown and restrictions! So obviously, I checked online and found yet another bewildering piece of information - it happens only for 10 days! So just 10 days every 4 years!!! I mean, it is rarer than the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken!!! So yes, I booked the ticket right away, and here's your ultimate guide to visit Floraliën Gent.
Floralien Gent Ghent Flower Show Floral Festival


Floralien Gent Ghent Flower Show Floral Festival Tom de Wilde

Mystic Lamb Jan Van Eyck Floralien Gent

Mystic Lamb Jan Van Eyck Floralien Gent

Mystic Lamb Jan Van Eyck Floralien Gent

WHERE IS FLORALIËN GENT TAKING PLACE?
Floraliën Gent is taking place, of course, in Ghent, but in multiple venues. The primary venue is the Citadel Park inside the ICC Exposition Halls. There's another venue inside the Citadel park itself, at the Botanical Gardens of Ghent University (Universiteit Gent - Plantentuin). Flower displays are also at other places all over the city including Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse and Huis van Alijn.

FLORALIËN GENT VENUE 1 - CITADEL PARK:
Within the Citadel park, Floraliën Gent is happening in 2 venues - ICC Exposition halls and Botanical Gardens of Ghent University. 
My first stop was of course, the main venue ICC Exposition Halls. There's a way-marked trail, so you can only is that way. Unfortunately, I didn't find the time to stop by at the University gardens.
As soon as I entered, there was an art installation with a blue piano and a floral installation over it. As I went in, there were some displays followed by what I was looking forward to, the most - Belgian florists versus the Mystic Lamb! Ghent is known for the Ghent Altarpiece at St.Bavo's Church, the Mystic Lamb, painted by Jan Van Eyck & his brother in 1432CE. Various Belgian florists have taken various portions of the painting, gotten inspired by it, and made their own floral art installations. The first was the image of the rays surrounding the Holy Spirit, recreated with barks & flowers! Then were the musical instruments, reimagined with pipes and flowers! Another installation was of floral displays on square boxes in various heights inspired by the buildings in the background! So many more!!!
The next area was dedicated to Houseplants and the first display was by Groenwand who use moss to create art! It was quite something. They call it the carefree moss which can be used in the interiors on the walls and doesn't need any maintenance, may it be bricks or logos or art! This was followed by many more displays on how interiors can be improvised with plants & floral decor. 
This was followed by the section dedicated to Azaleas! Guess what? Ghent Azaleas are protected by Geographical Indication! Some of the stunning Azalea art installations by Tom de Wilde had a stunning couch in the midst for the perfect photo-op. Seriously, for the next one week, Floralien Gent is one of the most instagrammable spots in Ghent!
Beyond this was the main hall of the Exposition area with several floral art installations and amongst them was a monumental Lamb, of the Mystic Lamb, entirely made of flowers and leaves and barks, including the pouring Holy blood & the chalice!!! Halfway through the main hall there's a diversion to visit 'A Forest in the Cycling Paradise' section. Believe me, it is literally that! In the central area of the indoor cycling race track inside ICC, a mini forest has been set up complete with a humongous ball light, signifying the moon!!! The path, then again leads to the main hall. There are quite many interesting artworks. One of those seemed familiar - Rise Above by Scheppers Institute in Wetteren - yes, I had already seen that in Brussels, during the Brussels in Bloom (Bloeiend Brussel) event last year! Tom de Houwer's floral installation with a cube exterior and water dripping details was handsdown Atyudarini's favourite. 

Groenwand Moss art Floralien Gent

Floralien Gent Ghent Flower Show Floral Festival

Floralien Gent A Forest in the Cycling Paradise

Tom de Houwer Floralien Gent Ghent Flower Show Floral Festival

Where is Gent Citadel Park (on Google Maps)? Floraliënhal
How to reach Gent Citadel Park? The Citadel Park is located about 1km from Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station which could be walked. If not, the nearest bus stop to Floralien Gent is Gent Ledeganckstraat which is connected by many buses including DeLijn bus routes 34, 58, 76, 77, 78, etc. It is just 2 stops away from Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station. 
Floraliën Gent at Citadel Park ICC tickets: €27 (more details below)
Floraliën Gent at Citadel Park ICC map: via Floralien Gent
Floraliën Gent at Botanical Gardens of Ghent University tickets: Free
Floraliën Gent at Botanical Gardens of Ghent University map: via Nature makes Healthy

FLORALIËN GENT VENUE 2 - HOTEL D'HANE STEENHUYSE
After a peaceful picnic lunch at the Citadelpark, we headed to the next venue - Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse. When I heard the name I thought it is an actual hotel, but no; it was once the palace of the Counts of Ghent!!! Currently, the building is being managed by the city. It is a typical palatial building in 2 floors and various rooms like Count's room, Room of the Countess, Italian room, Octagonal salon, Dining room etc, all with stunning chandeliers, majestic frescoes, and grandiose furniture. Now, it is all topped with a floral decoration!
The self-guided walking tour begins on the ground floor and continues to the first floor and finishes at the cellars. The ceiling frescoes are an absolute stunner, especially at the part just below the ceiling is always the most confusing ones - are they stucco sculptures or are they painted??!!! Here, they were all painted!

Where is Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse (on Google Maps)? Hotel d'Hane-Steenhuyse
How to reach Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse? Tram 1 (DeLijn) from Gent-Sint-Pieters takes you to Gent Kortemeer from where Huis van Alijn is about 500m (7mins walk) away. 
After visiting Floralien Gent at CitadelPark, get the same tram at Gent van Nassaustraat tram stop which is about 200m (3mins walk) away from the exit point of Floralien Gent in CitadelPark. 4 stops away is Kortemeer tram stop and the tram runs once every 10 minutes or so and they are just 4 tram stops apart.
Floraliën Gent at Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse Ticket: Free

Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse Ghent Ceiling fresco

Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse Floralien Gent

Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse Floralien Gent

Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse Floralien Gent

Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse Floralien Gent

FLORALIËN GENT VENUE 3 - HUIS VAN ALIJN:
My last stop was at Huis van Alijn. There's a temporary exhibition here as well as a permanent collection. It is the permanent collection that is decked with the plants of Floralien Gent and that's where I went first.
Huis van Alijn is called the Museum of Daily Life! It is a like a Museum of People and Cultures! Huis van Alijn gives a walkthrough of the daily life of a local family throughout a year from celebrating new years day, taking a resolution to a depressing Monday morning to easter to the birth of a child to a family wedding to the death of a family member to kids rooms & toys to moving days to everyday objects from household items to lucky charms and much more!!! It is quite an amusing museum!!! You might get so amused and spend 2 hours here or you might get bored and get out of here in 30 minutes - it is truly that kind of a museum!!! I was pretty amused!!!
At Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse, thanks to the palatial setting, the floral decor was regal and exotic too. But here, at Huis van Alijn, since the setting is of the daily life of common people, there wasn't much 'floral' decoration, but more of plants that a typical local family, a commoner would have in their house! So, don't visit Huis van Alijn, expecting something like Citadel Park ICC or Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse.
Huis van Alijn museum has a nice cafe too. Don't miss to taste the Roomer elderflower drink, a typical local aperitif. It literally has the flowers floating in it! I've always liked Elderflower flavor and since it was a sunny day, it was just the perfect drink to wrap up the day with!

Where is Huis van Alijn (on Google Maps)? Huis van Alijn
How to reach Huis van Alijn? Tram 1 (DeLijn) from Gent-Sint-Pieters takes you to Gent Gravensteen from where Huis van Alijn is about 500m (7mins walk) away. 
After visiting Floralien Gent at Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse, get the same tram at Kortemeer or Korenmarkt tram stops, both of which are about 200m (3mins walk) away from Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse. Just 1-2 stops away is Gent Gravensteen tram stop.
You may also choose to walk from Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse to Huis van Alijn. Huis van Alijn is about 750m (9mins walk) away from Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse.
Floraliën Gent at Huis van Alijn Ticket: €8 (included in MuseumPASSmusées). If you show the ticket of Floralien Gent main venue, you can get €2 off on this ticket! 

Huis van Alijn Gent Museums

Huis van Alijn Gent Museums

Huis van Alijn Gent Museums

Huis van Alijn Gent Museums

TIPS TO VISIT FLORALIËN GENT
1. The main citadel park venue is wheelchair/stroller friendly. 
2. There is no baggage locker in the Citadel Park venues, so if you carry a large backpack you'll have to lug it around. There is a baggage locker in Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse though.
3. The Citadel park by itself (apart from the ICC) is huge with lots of greenery and water bodies. Close to the exit point of the Floralien Gent in Citadel Park is a kids' playground as well. There are also a few picnic benches. You could bring your packed lunch and have a picnic here!
5. Since entry at Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse is free of cost, it can get a bit crowded. However, the crowd is controlled by limiting the number of people let in at a time. So there may be a queue and waiting time to enter the place. 
6. If you're really pressed for time, or you're there for the flowers only, you could skip Huis van Alijn.
7. Kids get a free activity book at the main venue.   

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED TO VISIT FLORALIËN GENT?
The Citadel Park ICC venue alone takes about 2 hours (or more if you stop a lot to click photos or shoot Instagram reels)! Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse takes about 30-45 minutes. 
Huis van Alijn pretty much depends on your interest in the museum itself. There are no decorative floral arrangements here like in Citadelpark or Hotel d'Hane Steenhuyse. Depending on your interest in the museum itself, you could spend just 30 minutes or 2 hours here!
A quick walk through the Botanical Gardens of Ghent University takes about 45 mins, but since it is an open space you can also choose to just see a portion of it as a quick visit or sit there and enjoy nature for several hours together!

WHERE TO EAT AT FLORALIËN GENT?
Inside the Floralien Gent Citadelpark ICC venue, there's a little cafe close to the exit point. There are the basic light food varieties like sandwiches, soups, drinks, etc. That said, there are quite a few restaurants of all cuisines, available all over Ghent!

Rise Above by Scheppers Institute in Wetteren Floralien Gent

Groenwand Moss art Floralien Gent

Floralien Gent Ghent Flower Show Floral Festival

Floralien Gent Natural Plant Dyes

Floralien Gent Ghent Flower Show Floral Festival

FLORALIËN GENT TICKETS:
Floralien Gent ticket prices: Adults: €27 online (€32 at the ticket office); Children under 6yrs - €1
Buy Floralien Gent tickets online from the official website of Floralien Gent.
This ticket is for the main venue at CitadelPark ICC Exhibition halls. With this ticket, you can get a €2 off on Huis van Alijn ticket if you choose to visit there too. 
The rest 2 venues are free to enter!

FLORALIËN GENT 2022 DATES & TIMINGS:
April 29, 2022 to May 08, 2022 - Everyday 8:00AM to 6:00PM (last entry at 5:00PM)
There's a special nocturnal walk on May 04 to May 08. All days from 7:00PM to 9:00PM (last entry at 8:00PM)

HOW TO REACH FLORALIËN GENT BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT:
The best way to reach Floralien Gent is to take the SNCB-NMBS train from Brussels To Gent-Sint-Pieters and then walk or take a bus to Citadel Park and then take a tram to the other venues. The local buses and trams in Ghent are operated by DeLijn. Here's all about DeLijn bus tickets. Here are some ways to get cheap Belgian train tickets

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN GHENT

VIDEO OF FLORALIEN GENT 2022


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Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 78 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of Sept 2020. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands

9 comments:

  1. It is good to read about Floralien Gent before wanting to visit. With it only happening once in 4 years, we would definitely need to plan for this treat. A great reason to visit Ghent and enjoy all the flower displays. But I might be distracted with the amazing views inside the Hotel d’Hane Steenhuyse! What a charming spot. Linda (LD Holland)

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  2. This is good to know. This is actually my first time to hear about it and would love to visit in the future. The flower displays are soooo beautiful. Thank you for sharing this detailed post. Enjoyed reading it.

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  3. WOW! These displays are fabulous. I imagine keeping them fresh is a lot of effort and understand why the festival is only 10 days. This must be very expensive to create, I can’t believe adult tickets are only €27.

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  4. What an amazing flower show! It's unbelievable that it happens only every four years, which I believe makes it even more spectacular as the artists have time to come up with those gorgeous flower arrangements and designs. It's good to know that there are several locations where the flower show takes place, and that you can visit them all.

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  5. Although we have visited Ghent on a day trip from Brussels, wish we could be there again sometime during the Flower show. It certainly is such a refreshing experience. Thanks for a complete guide which makes it so much easier for a traveler to plan a visit. Your photographs depict so beautifully what to except in this multiple venue event.

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  6. This is the first time I have read and heard about the Floralien Gent flower show! What an event! I love the combination of art and flowers. I will try to visit this show in the future for sure.

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  7. Floraliënt Gent is only held once every four years, therefore I wanted to see it as soon as possible! Congratulations to the organizers of this event; they did an outstanding job in creating such lovely floral arrangements! If I ever got the chance to visit Ghent, I'd definitely snap a lot of photos with these beautiful flowers. That's fantastic!

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  8. I have only been to Belgium once and we travelled past Ghent, but would love to visit for a long weekend as it seems stunning. So when I do arrange this trip I will make sure I will time it perfect for this flower/ art show. Being massively into architecture the flower displays and arrangements really satisfy me. Lovely blog and very helpful.

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  9. I LOVE flower shows and garden shows. So lovely! It's interesting that there are a variety of venues as the ones I've been to were all under one roof. However, I think this is a much more fun way to do it. It looks like you had a great time. It's gorgeous!

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