how to get there

Low budget flights often fly on Brussels South Airport, which is located in a city called Charleroi, at 60 km from Brussels. From Charleroi Airport, you can take a Flibco shuttle bus to Ghent. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Charleroi railway station and then take a train.
Brussels Airport (Zaventem) is the main international airport. There’s a railway station in the airport where you can take the train to Gent-Sint-Pieters. Check which train you have to take on the SNCB app or website. If you’re coming or going to Brussels Airport, you always have to pay a so-called “Diabolo” supplement of € 5,4, which is usually automatically included when you buy the ticket.
  • Take care if you arrive late at night! In Belgium there’s almost no night public transport. The last trains from Brussels to Ghent are around midnight. There are almost no night buses in Ghent. You could of course take an expensive taxi (+32 9 333 33 33), Uber doesn’t work.

Ghent has two main train stations: Gent-Sint-Pieters and Gent-Dampoort. Gent-Sint-Pieters is the biggest railway connection, but the venues of Folk Marathon are closer to Gent-Dampoort. As there will be less public transport because of strikes around New Year (30 December – 3 January), best to take the train to Gent-Dampoort and walk from there!
You can plan your train trip on the SNCB app or website.
  • A ride from Brussels takes around 40 minutes. You arrive in Gent-Sint-Pieters where you can take a train direction Antwerp, and get off at the first stop Gent-Dampoort. The ticket to Ghent is valid for both Gent-Sint-Pieters and Gent-Dampoort, so no need to buy an extra ticket.
  • A ride from Antwerp takes around 55 minutes. The first stop in Ghent is Gent-Dampoort.
You can buy a ticket in the station, on the SNCB app or online, but there’s no need to book in advance. The ticket is valid for any train on the day of the ticket. Antwerp-Ghent and Brussels-Ghent costs around € 9. If you are under 26 you can buy a “Go Pass 1” for € 6,6 (or “Go Unlimited” for € 20 if you want unlimited train travel for one week). If you’re coming or going to Brussels Airport, you always have to pay a so-called “Diabolo” supplement of € 5,4.
You can book a ride with Flixbus straight to Ghent. The bus stop is close to railway station Gent-Dampoort, which is close to the Folk Marathon venue. If there’s no straight ride to Ghent, try Brussels or Antwerp as destination, where you can take a train to Ghent.

To improve air quality, Ghent’s inner city will become a low-emission zone (LEZ) on 1 January 2020. All venues and the Kaba hostel are situated in the LEZ, only the communal sleeping place is outside. Only vehicles with a ‘euronorm’ of 5 or higher are allowed into this zone. More poluting vehicles with lower euronorm can enter the city for a restricted period after buying a permit.

However, all cars with a foreign license plate have to register in order to be allowed in this zone, even if their euronorm number meets the conditions. You can check online whether your vehicle is allowed and register. Although the city communicated that in the first month of 2020 they won’t fine people yet but only send warnings, we strongly advise you to take this information into account!

  • Are you driving to Ghent for Folk Marathon? Or looking for a ride? Share a ride to Folk Marathon on the page for carpooling!

  • Park-and-rides (P+R): perfect for long-term parkers, most of the P+R spaces are free and connected with public transport or bicycles.

  • Street parking: you have to pay to park you car in the streets, there are different parking zones and tariffs.

    • Yellow zone: Planeet Mars (communal sleeping place)
    • Orange zone: De Centrale (main venue), Muzikantenhuis, Op de wolken (jam places)
    • Red zone: Trefpunt (one of the dance workshop places), Kaba hostel

already in Ghent? let’s go to De Centrale!

  • Google Maps works very well to check public transport in Ghent. However, there are strikes around New Year, so there could be less buses, or they could not arrive at the time given by Google Maps. The closest bus stop to De Centrale is Gent Stapelplein (2 min. on foot), the tram stops neary at Gent Coppinstraat (7 min. on foot). You can buy a ticket on the bus or tram (€ 3), but it’s cheaper to buy it in the railway station or in the app (€ 1,8).

  • There’s almost no night transport. You can call a taxi but they are expensive (+32 9 333 33 33).

  • Ghent is very bike-friendly, renting a bike can be a very good idea. At the railway station Gent-Dampoort you can rent for 4h, a day or longer. Or you can take an orange shared Donkey bike at various places in the city for a short trip via the app.

  • Alternatively you could walk, Ghent is not so big! From our main venue De Centrale you can reach the railway station Gent-Dampoort in 11 min. on foot and it takes +/- 15 min. to the city centre or the communal sleeping place and the Kaba hostel.