As a past visitor of Antwerp, especially for their fashion shows by the city’s Academy of fine Arts and the ModeMuseum, I got to know and love its old streets, (coffee) bars, artist ateliers and stunning architecture. This great Belgium city established itself as a hot bed for diamonds and avant garde fashion.
Mostly I would travel by train from wherever I lived at the time in The Netherlands, arriving in Antwerp’s amazing central train station which after its beautifully done renovation offers a lot under its roof. Exiting, this Flemish port city on the river Scheldt, welcomes you with either a world class zoo or its main shopping street which includes culinary gems like the ‘Duke of Antwerp’ where you can get great coffee, snacks and food in an authentic setting.
Heading west you’ll hit the Groenplaats market square which regularly hosts events, activities and other outdoor entertainment permanently encircled with great restaurants and bars offering terraces almost year round. Obviously a visit to the city’s heart at the Cathedral of our Lady and the ‘Grote Markt’ surrounded by many guildhalls is a must. The whole area is covered with amazing culinary establishments and the world’s best bars offering mind boggling varieties of beer besides of course great wine and other beverages enjoyed with the very friendly people of Antwerp. After a meal a stroll to the boulevard aka ‘Kaaien’ on the river is a perfect and possibly romantic breather. Along the small main road parallel to the river you’ll find high-end restaurants and hotels besides some more historical sites.
Alternatively you can visit the Eilandje district where you can visit the largest museum MAS with the best city views and truly interesting and inspiring expositions on its building’s multiple levels. The feel of this place is great and I highly recommend visiting it. This district is upcoming and trendy.
To finish, there are many night clubs in and around the city center of which I have visited Café d’anvers leaving me with joyful memories. Sightseeing, wining and dining can also be replaced by visiting renowned festivals like Tomorrowland which will blow your mind.
Other great places to visit are the ‘Rubenshuis’ or if you enjoy historical maps the Mercator Museum which can be followed by progressing to the marina of Ostend port which holds a three-master sailing ship with the same name. To get your music or ballet on, you can visit the Opera Vlaanderen house or catch a movie at the cinema Metropolis.
All in all there are many reasons to visit Antwerp on your next city trip.
For me, I’ll just await our next visit to my husband’s father and my daughter’s ‘opa’ and ‘bonus-oma’ for great hosts and tour guides of this warm and enjoyable city. We cannot wait to see you there!