Ghent’s Museum of Contemporary Art, otherwise known as SMAK, has a permanent collection containing works by Karel Appel, Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol. The gallery has also made a name for itself with exhibitions that lean towards the daring and provocative end of the scale, even suggesting that visitors ‘recover’ from their visit in Citadel Park, which is just across the road. The cobbled lanes in Patershol have remained largely unchanged since mediaeval times, making this a particularly charming neighborhood to wander round. The area was once the dwelling place of members of the Order of Carmelites, or Paters, giving the place its name. Today, many of the decorative-fronted buildings hide small restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries within their depths. Those wanting to delve even further into the past should make the trip to Saint Peter’s, a former Benedictine abbey that’s stood since the 7th century. It’s now home to a museum and exhibition space; the abbey gardens are also a blissfully quiet place to spend a sunny afternoon.