From LAX, connecting service (change of planes) to Brussels is offered on Lufthansa, Swiss, American, KLM, United, Delta, British Airways and Continental. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $656. Ghent is less than an hour by train from Brussels, Antwerp or Bruges.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 32 (country code for Belgium), 9 (city code for Ghent) and the number.
WHERE TO STAY
Monasterium PoortAckere, 56 Oude Houtlei; 269-2210, fax 269-2230, www. monasterium.be. Once a convent, it is now a hotel with modern comforts. Doubles $131 with buffet breakfast.
Sofitel, 63 Hoogpoort; 233-3331, fax 233-1102, www.sofitel.com. An Art Nouveau hotel in the city center. Doubles from $162.
Puerto Patershol, 55 Kraanlei; 225-7532, www.bedandbreakfast-gent.be. A centrally located bed-and-breakfast. Doubles from $54.
WHERE TO EAT
Ghent specialties include waterzooi, rabbit with prunes, green eel, and rye bread with currants.
Brasserie Pakhuis, 3 Schuurkenstraat; 223-5555, www.pakhuis.be. In a renovated glass-and-iron 19th century textile warehouse. Dinner for two, with wine, about $90.
De Hel, 81 Kraanlei; 224-3240. Flemish specialties. Shrimp croquettes, about $13.50; rabbit, about $17.
Waterzooi, 2 Sint-Veerleplein; 225-0563. Three-course meal with wine, about $48.
TO LEARN MORE
Ghent Tourist Office, 17A Botermarkt (in the crypt of the Belfry); 266-5232, www.gent.be.
Belgian Tourism, 780 3rd Ave., Suite 1501, New York, NY 10017; (212) 758-8130, fax (212) 355-7675, www.visitbelgium.com.