We are going to spend three nights in northern Belgium in between stops in Amsterdam and Paris in mid-July. The Ghent Festival will be going on, but we also enjoy bicycling and beer. We were considering spending all three nights in Ghent and taking a train to Bruges to spend one of our three days.
We are an adventuresome, fairly fit couple in our early 50's.
Ghent is my favorite Flemish cities! The Ghent Festival is a lot of fun and there is a lot to do during that time. If you like to bike, go to the canals on long bike rides and you can get to see a more rural side of Flanders. I suggest you also take a day trip to Antwerp from Ghent, it's cheap and short trip on train.
Since Belgium is small you can stay in Ghent and move around. It's about a half hour to Bruges, or about the same if you want to visit Antwerpor even Brussels. So if you do not want to move with suitcases all the time it would be a good idea to stay in Ghent You can take a small boat when the weather is nice in Ghent. You are your own captain and see some great nature and houses… Have fun !