Exposition: war in short trousers

The memory of the First World War remains very vivid in our little Belgium. It’s a part of our common history, memory and heritage. War in short pants looks at the First World War through the eyes of a child. Until the 2th of April seven children from seven different countries tell their story in the abbey of St.-Peter. They experience each their war: close up the front, at the other side of the world, fugitive on the way,...

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The exposition tells the story of the children in a personal way, making it impossible to remain unmoved. With their own pen and pencils the children described how the monster of World War I invaded their living room, class or village. The voice of the children, which guide you through the exposition fulfil the experience. They make you think about the excruciating horrors of the war that hit these innocent souls.
War in short pants departs from the world of children and test it on the world of adults. Childish fantasy and adult reality walk hand in hand through the exposition. The toys of children are placed in a broad perspective through photography and moving images. Together they bring alive the world where a child grew up in the first world war.
It’s the exchange of the fantasy world of a child and the harsh reality of the adult world that makes this exposition unique. Through the enlargement of the children’s toys you can almost literally step in the world of the infant. This feeling is magnified by the theatrical approach of Historische Huizen Gent.
In short, it’s an exposition you simply can’t miss when you visit Gent. The combination of a personal starting point with a very professional organisation makes this for every visitor of Gent an absolute must.

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After the visit of the museum you can always enjoy the city which baths in a marvellous winter atmosphere. After another drink you can end this perfect day by a cosy stay in hotel Astoria. Like the exposition we go for a personal but very professional touch to make your stay as perfect as possible.

For more information on the exposition, click here.
For a reservation in Hotel Astoria, click here.

In the Lair of the Dragons!

Whether they’re called Fafnir, Smaug or Hungarian Horntail, dragons are a fixture of legends and myth from all across the world. From December 2 2016 until May 28 2017 you can get more acquainted with these fabulous creatures in the Ghent City Museum STA.M, thanks to the exposition “Dragons”.

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Dragons have different roles in different cultures. Some are intelligent, some are malevolent, some are lucky, some are gods, some are the devil. A dragon combines several characteristics, but did you know that most of these actually occur in nature, even breathing fire or sporting multiple heads?
The exhibition “Dragons at the STA.M” (Bijlokesite, Godshuizenlaan 2) features an overview of beautiful historical artifacts, legends from all across the world, links to our modern world and strange, embalmed animals. There’s even a dragon’s skeleton, which was especially assembled for this exhibition.

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For the youngest visitors (ages 6 and up) there’s the audio guide “Drakonia” (a story full of sound effects, emotions and humor), and there are dragon rooms for reading, looking, building and playing. There are also guided tours for everybody on February 18 and 19, March 19, April 16 and May 21.

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And of course no dragonish visit to Ghent would be complete without a look at our most famous inhabitant: the golden dragon which has crowned the spire of our belfry since 1377. Legend has it that this monster was once defeated with the help of courageous soldiers from Ghent after it had abducted the daughter of count Baldwin IX. You can buy a combi-ticket at the STA.M for both the exhibition and the belfry. For more information click here.
A real dragon slayer needs his castle to sleep in, and to that end we would like to bid you welcome to Hotel Astoria. We may not have ramparts or towers, but we can still give you a royal welcome.

Cocktails in Ghent

A taste of Ghent? Perhaps you’re thinking of our famous “stoverij” stew, the “neuzen” candy or the “mastellen” buns? Well, how about a cocktail instead? Ghent is quickly gaining a reputation as the city of cocktails. As a critic of the magazine Culinary Ambiance pointed out: you won’t find such a concentration of high quality cocktail bars even in London or Paris. Let’s look at a small selection of what’s on offer.
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Pony’s ligt een beetje apart van de rest, in Nieuwe Wandeling 62 (jawel, niet zo ver van de befaamde Gentse gevangenis!). Pony’s is het kleine broertje van cocktailbar Jigger’s (zie verder) en serveert een selectie van enkele van hun bekendste cocktails, samen met speciale bieren, huisgemaakte cider en bijzondere frisdrankjes. Jigger’s zelf, voluit Jigger’s The Noble Drugstore (Oudburg 16), staat te boek als de beste cocktailbar van het land en eindigde vorig jaar zelfs op de 88ste plaats van de beste bars ter wereld. Het schitterende interieur is gebaseerd op de “speakeasies” uit de periode van de Amerikaanse Drooglegging. Elke week staan er vijf nieuwe cocktails op de kaart.
Verdoken in een keldergewelf naast een hoedenwinkel zit Old Fashioned (Hoogpoort 19), een sfeervolle bar in Roaring Twenties stijl met een indrukwekkend gesnorde uitbater. Naast de cocktails is hun specialiteit absint, de groene fee onder de drankjes. In 2015 werden ze verkozen tot beste cocktailbar van België in de invloedrijke Venuez-wedstrijd. Wil je in deze koude tijden misschien eerder iets exotisch opzoeken? Dan kun je terecht in The Drifter (Oudburg 47), een rasechte Tiki-bar in hartje Gent, met tropische cocktails gebaseerd op rum (en met Indiana Jones-muziek op de achtergrond).

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Wil je dat natje toch combineren met een droogje. Dan is er nog Uncle Babe’s Burger & Bar (Sluizekensstraat 2). Uncle Babe’s serveert overheerlijke verse hamburgers, en heeft een ruime keuze aan cocktails (meestal gebaseerd op bourbon of mescal) en Amerikaanse artisanale bieren.
Aan het einde van deze rijk overgoten tocht kun je tot rust komen in ons vertrouwde Hotel Astoria, om hopelijk weer fris op te staan.




Tomorrow’s Ghent: A Glimpse Of Where We’re Going

A city is a bit like a living being. Ghent changes and grows continually, available space becomes more scarce. How do we deal with that? What are the dreams and ideals for the Ghent of tomorrow? The exhibition “A Glimpse Of Where We’re Going” in the Ghent City Museum STA.M. (Bijlokesite, Godshuizenlaan 2) tries to answer these questions between October 23 2016 and May 7 2017.


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Artist Elly Van Eeghem invited more than thirty creative people from different disciplines for this exhibition: artists and scientists, developers and town planners. What is their vision for the future? The answers they give are sometimes utopian and sometimes dystopian, sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract, sometimes an indictment and sometimes a dearest wish. The end result relates the possible future history, not only of Ghent, but of cities the world over.

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And just like the city itself, this exhibition doesn’t remain the same, but keeps growing throughout its allotted time, with new salons and workshops added regularly. You can find more information on the website of the STA.M.
Our trusted Hotel Astoria is within walking distance of the STA.M. Today or tomorrow, we welcome you any day.

Delicious breakfast pastries, now also gluten-free

For some time now Hotel Astoria has been offering a gluten-free alternative for our breakfast bread rolls. But, as the saying goes, man does not live on bread alone. From now on you can enjoy a selection of tasty gluten-free pastries along with our well-stocked breakfast buffet.
The idea is simple: we strive to offer people with allergies an equal variety at the breakfast table, since our breakfast is on of Hotel Astoria’s strongest points.

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Be advised: since we want to make sure that our products are fresh, we ask you to request these gluten-free pastries in advance during your reservation. When you reserve a room here, you will be able to fill in a field “remarks” in which you can fill in this question. We wish you to enjoy a delicious breakfast!

Shopping Sundays in Ghent

In the Netherlands it has been a tradition for many years now, but in Belgium it’s still a relatively new phenomenon: the Shopping Sundays. This winter Ghent will see its first four editions. Then, from March unwards, there will be fixed opening hours on each first Sunday of the month.
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On December the 4th , 11th and 18th and on January 8th shops in Ghent’s inner city will be open for the Shopping Sundays. A perfect time to do some Christmas shopping. And if it all becomes a bit “last minute”, then you can still shop during the evening of December 23th. The fourth Shopping Sunday on January 8 is in the middle of the sales season, which runs from January 8 to 31 2017.
From March 5th 2017 onwards, shops in the city centre of Ghent will open during each first Sunday of the month. All participating shops can be recognised by their window banners.
Shop & Hop – a service for handsfree shopping – fits perfectly in the concept of comfortable and carefree shopping on Sunday in the city of Ghent.
And if you feel like dropping after all that shopping, our steadfast Hotel Astoria is there to receive you! If you bought too much, then you can always book a second room.

Ghent hotspot: Walking with Belmodo App

Discover a new way to explore Ghent! Thanks to Belmodo Hotspots App you have the best Belgian addresses always at hand.

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Belmodo and Visit Flanders proudly present the long-awaited Belmodo Hotspots App. Through this app, you do not longer have to search various websites looking for suitable lunch spots or unmissable sights. All these addresses in our Flemish cities are now gathered in one app. With the app you can conveniently go looking for hotspots that interest you through the different sections fashion, beauty, coffee, deco, drinks, food and sleep. Moreover, you can save your favorite hotspots thanks to the like button and thus draw up your own list of favorites.

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The Belmodo App also lets you discover new places in addition to the classic sights. Take a tour through Ghent and stroll through this vibrant city along the various recommended addresses or simply Join the “Gentenaar” on a summer day with a drink at the Graslei and Korenmarkt. End this beautiful day at Astoria Hotel to rest up for another day full of extraordinary experiences in Ghent.
Welcome to the planet of the Apps! Let’s go through a small selection of what are some of the coolest spots in Ghent, according to the Belmodo.
Let’s start with some footwear for our walk. In Dope (Onderbergen 74) you’ll find a diverse range of sneakers, from classically white to eccentric using pony hair. On the other hand you’ll find exclusive labels of shoes and handbags at Rio (Lange Kruisstraat 23), labels such as Givenchy or Stella McCartney. Shoes, handbags and other accessories by prestigious fashion designers are also available at Sevens (Henegouwenstraat 34-38).

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You can complete your outfit at fashion house A Suivre (Brabantdam 27), a beautiful stores full of women’s clothing by international labels such as Phillip Lim and J-Brand. Oorcussen (Vrijdagmarkt 17) presents major names such as Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens in a splendid 17th century house. Respectively in Vlaanderenstraat 11 and 51 you’ll find Sprezzatura Men and Sprezzatura Women, casual yet chic clothing for him and her. Men and women can also feel their fashion sense tingling at Rewind (Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 13). In concept store L’AmuZette (Krommewal 2) you can shop for clothing, accessories, vintage and design items, but also for books and children’s items. You can even still your hunger with delicious tapas, lunch or a pie and coffee. Children’s clothing, colourful decorations and original toys are also available at Teddy (Afrikalaan 289E).
Treat yourself to just that little bit of extra at Fin du Jour (Vlaanderenstraat 80), a treasure trove of beauty products, featuring some of the leading labels. Or do you prefer a makeover for your house? Then head to Bliss (Brabantdam 56) for design and deco items.

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Feeling a bit hungry after all that shopping? At Moor&Moor (Jakobijnenstraat 7) you can eat healthy local produce in this combination food store/ brunch restaurant. Le Botaniste (Hoornstraat 13) serves food straight out of nature’s kitchen with their vegetarian cuisine. For delicious fresh soup and tasty salads Soup+ (Lammerstraat 33) is the place to be.

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Let’s end with a steaming cup of coffee or a fresh drink. Coffee house Bar Bidon (Bisdomkaai 25) offers you a foaming cappuccino or a savoury lunch, and also double as a bicycle shop. Jigger’s The Noble Drugstore (Oudburg 16) is the only Belgian elect on the list of the hundred best cocktail bars in the world, and now also has its own pub, De Ganzerik (Druifstraat 29). And in the Groenevalleipark (Nieuwe Wandeling 62) you’ll find WATT, a unique sleep-, eat-, drink- and shop-concept with something different on every floor.
This is just a small selection of Ghent’s cool spots according to Belmodo. Be sure to go out on a shopping expedition of your own in our fair city, using this App as your guide. And if you finally feel like dropping after all that shopping, check in at our trusted Hotel Astoria to rest up.

TripAdvisor Récompense: Certificat d’Excellence 2015

Nous sommes fières que de nouveau cet année l’hôtel est affiché dans le top 10 des hôtels Gantois sur TripAdvisor!

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Ce matin nous avons reçus notre "Certificat d’Excellence 2015".
Merci bien à tous les utilisateurs de TripAdvisor pour nous donner un avis!

Hotel Astoria, the centre of Flanders

The location of the city of Ghent, and of Hotel Astoria in particular, forms the perfect starting point to discover Flanders. The station of Ghent-Sint-Pieters is a 7-minute walk and is the gathering place for more than 100 trains, trams and buses departing every day to different destinations. Those who prefer not to walk to the station, can take tram 4 right next to the hotel which brings you in one stop in front of the station.
If you have fallen in love with the city of Ghent then a day pass is a must-have! With a day pass you can make use of all the buses and trams of De Lijn in Flanders. It costs €5 and it will become your best travel companion. If you are staying longer you can also by a three-day, five-day and seven-day pass. The day passes and 10-ride tickets are available at the hotel.

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With 6 trains every hour you are in about 30 minutes in the medieval city of Bruges. A return ticket costs € 13 and is valid for one day. From the station of Bruges it’s a 20 minute walk along the Albert I park and the new concert hall to reach the historic heart of the city. Again, the day pass is valid and you can easily reach the centre by bus as well.


A bit further away you find the vibrant city of Antwerp! Three times an hour a train leaves from Gent-Sint-Pieters to bring you to Antwerp Central in one hour. A return ticket costs just under € 19 and the train stops at the beginning of the biggest shopping streets, Keyserlei and Meir, the diamond district and the Zoo. At the Franklin Rooseveltplaats dozens of buses stop to bring you, using the same day pass, to every corner of the city.


We end with the capital of Belgium, also the capital of Europe, which cannot be left out. Almost every 10 minutes a train goes from Ghent to Brussels, but there must be a number of things taken in consideration: do not travel at peak times for 9 am and between 16 pm and 18 pm, choose for the train with the least stops, which takes only 36 minutes. Brussels Central station is the closest to the main attractions and ensures you that you won’t need to use public transport. Unlike Flanders, the MIVB is responsible for all public transport, making a day pass from Ghent not valid.

Ghent restaurants join forces in an attempt to fight food waste

Earlier this week the city of Gent launched an initiative to fight food waste. 40 restaurants joined this project whereby customers can ask for their leftover food to be packed in a recyclable cardboard box. Some of these restaurants are within walking distance of our hotel. Still a bit peckish late at night? You can now enjoy your delicious leftovers in the comfort of your room.

CSI Gent instead of CSI Miami

You don’t want to discover Ghent with a traditional walking tour? Can it be a little more original, active, child friendly?
Fancy playing in a police series with friends or family? And would you rather be the good or the bad guy? Than the GPS game The Target is definitely something for you: suspense, action, strategic thinking and teamwork with the historic centre Gent as your playground. And afterwards you can chill at Hotel Astoria. You find more info on The Target.

A la recherche d’un cadeau original?

A la recherche d’un cadeau original?
Dormir et Wellness à partir de €103 par personne (les prix sont valables à partir de 2 personnes par chambre)

Réservez ici!

In the footsteps of one of our guests

At the end of February, one of our guests visited our beautiful city. This resulted in some very nice pictures which we gladly share with you.
Are you in the mood for a brisk morning walk before breakfast? Or do you feel like putting your running shoes on? Or just enjoy the sun on a bench? This is all possible in the beautiful Citadel Park, one block away from our hotel.

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The Mistic Lamb is not present at the moment because of a major restoration, but the Saint Bavo Cathedral remains a beautiful, peaceful place with lots of treasures. You should certainly take a look inside!

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Got hungry from all that action, looking and admiring? Enjoy a delicious hot waffle!

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If you feel like discovering our city as well, feel welcome in our hotel where you can enjoy our delicious breakfast with lots of homemade goodies! @ Hotel Astoria

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Des acteurs Gantois étaient guide pour un jour

L’office de tourisme à Gand vient de lancer une campagne.

Ci-dessous quelques exemples!













Reserver