Although the public transportation in Gent is well developed, the only authentic and real mode of transportation for students are bikes. Before coming to Belgium, I only knew about the famous Dutch bikes tradition, but the more time I spent here, the more I realized how, at least in Gent, the atmosphere and the way of living are quite similar to those in Netherlands. While walking through Gent, you can immediately notice a large number of bikes, but it will be nothing compared to the shocking number of bikes you will be able to see on the huge bike parking lots.
After arriving to Gent, you will definitely want to get one as soon as possible, and luckily its quite effortless. Each student can rent a bike for a symbolical price of €15 to €30 per semester, depending on the bike type. If you perhaps want to get a better and higher class bike, you can search numerous options on second hand market, or even go for a new one.
Since travelling by train in Belgium is also super cheap, and students tend to use this benefit, I wanted to find a bike that is good for both riding around town, but also easy transportation. Fortunately, the official UGent bike department ‘’studentENmobiliteit’’ had something that suited my needs perfectly. A foldable bike, which when folded occupies a really small space, and is thus free for taking it into trains, unlike regular bikes, which require buying of a supplemental ticket.
According to the statistics, bikes are among the most stolen things in the World, so unfortunately Gent is not an exception to this trend. But, if you want to forget about this problem or at least minimize the chance of having your bike stolen, my advice is to rent a UGent bike. Their bikes have an embedded GPS device, but are also very recognizable, which makes them much less interesting for lawbreakers.
To sum up, when coming to Belgium, if you want a fast, secure and fun way to explore the cities, make sure to grab a bike and pedal out to an adventure.