The Ultimate Guide of Things to Do in Antwerp, Belgium

The Ultimate Guide of Things to Do in Antwerp, Belgium

I have been here in Antwerp for almost a year now — it’s a small metropolis, but it’s definitely a vast treasure trove of adventures, cultures, and experiences! Over the years up to today, people have called it a lot of things: the city of diamonds, the city of fashion, the city on the Scheldt, the city of Rubens, the port city… Yet for me, I call it the city that is my new ‘home‘.

Surely, there is a high chance that I will be moving away soon since I do live a nomadic lifestyle; however, I will forever call Antwerp as “one of my homes, away from home” since it was fairly easy for me to fall head over heels with it.

Why so? Because it’s a charming and outstanding city! Brussels is often the first place that tourists or travelers think of when they are in Belgium, but I urge you to see Antwerp as well — I originally thought of keeping this city as a secret but it’s just too good that I want you, my readers, to see its beauty as well!

So should you ever be in Europe or the Schengen Area and you’re passing by Belgium, don’t forget to stop by. To help you get the fullest experience possible, through this article, I will give you the ultimate guide of things to do in Antwerp!

#1 – Arrive by train to see the famed Central Station

Antwerp Central Station Architecture Antwerp Station Platform

I urge you to arrive by train because once you alight your vehicle and rise to the main area, you will see the architectural beauty of the Antwerpen-Centraal (Antwerp Central Station). Dubbed as Europe’s most romantic and the world’s most beautiful train station, this ‘railway cathedral’ has breathtaking qualities that perfectly depicts a mix of modern and ancient construction.

Some interesting facts:

  • It was constructed between 1895 and 1905 as a replacement for the original terminus of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp Railway.
  • It has various styles and design incorporated that it proves to be quite difficult to assign it to a particular architectural style.
  • It consists of a steel platform roof (43 meters high) and a brick station building in an eclectic style. The entrance hall is vast and often holds art exhibits.
  • It has four levels (2 levels are underground) with 14 tracks.
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#2 – Go shopping or simply view the renowned shopping districts

Stadsfeestzaal Antwerp Meir

Did you know that Antwerp is called as a ‘triomfelycke coopstad‘ (triumphant shopping city)? Which is true, because it is undoubtedly packed with various shopping centers.

As a matter of fact, it is also called a ‘fashion’ city’! Did you know that there is a famous group of fashion designers called as ‘Antwerp Six’ that made Antwerp a notable location for fashion design in the international setting? They have been such a huge influence over the years that there has been a rise of cheap to luxurious boutiques of designers that would satisfy every fashionista!

All in all, if you’re a shopaholic or simply a traveler that wants to get a glimpse of the local’s buying experience, come check out Antwerp’s notorious shopping districts!

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Most stores are open from Monday to Saturday, 10AM to 6PM. On Sunday, almost all stores are closed except for the ones located in Hoogstraat and Kloosterstraat. A tip for you: shop during the 1st Sunday of the month since that’s when there are HUGE sales that often happen! For more information, go here.

  • Diamond District
    Antwerp is the diamond center of the globe and their km2 world-famous diamond district is located just right outside the Antwerpen-Centraal station. With over 1,800 shops, you are sure to find an establishment that could offer the world’s highest quality cut called as ‘Antwerp Cut’. To experience a guided tour of the ‘diamond business’, go to DiamondLand that is on a nearby side-street called as De Keyserlei. Other than being a shop that sells certified diamonds that is directly from the source, you can also watch cutters, setters, and goldsmiths at work here as they cleave, cut and polish precious stones.
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  • Meir
    (Favorite ♥) This is the main shopping street in the city and it is the most important shopping area in the country, both by number of shoppers and by rent prices! One of the places that you should absolutely check out is the De Stadsfeestzaal (City’s Party Hall) — containing about 40 luxurious shops, it is one of the most beautiful shopping centers that you will ever see! (It used to be a dance hall and as you will see in the photo above, it has a sweeping marble staircase, a golden glass dome, and a mosaic floor). TRIVIA: When it opened in 2007, it helped put back the Meir as the most expensive shopping street in the Benelux!
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  • The Fashion District
    This is for the fashionistas! Located at the Modenatie on the corner of Nationale and Drukkerijstraat, other than having the Flanders Fashion Institute (FFI), the Fashion Museum (MOMU) and the Fashion Academy on its domain, it also holds a lot of fashion boutiques in the surrounding area or streets, especially around the Kammenstraat, Schuttershofstraat, and Lombardenvest. Another distinct fashion area would be:

    • Zuid District – it basically means the ‘South’ district and it has a lot of designer shops, interior showrooms and contemporary galleries in the neighborhood. For notable outlets, go to the Demeulemeester (owned by one of the ‘Antwerp Six’) or Atelier Assemble (for retro clothing).
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  • De Wilde Zee
    Translates to ‘Wild Sea’, it is a laid-back area near Lombardenvest that has shops specializing in delicatessens and pralines (there are fashion boutiques here too).
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  • De Keyserlei
    A long street by Antwerpen-Centraal that leads to the Meir, this avenue consists of a lot of stores: cafés, jewellers, shoes, clothing, etc. What’s more is that it has several shopping centers like the Century Center, the Hylitt Gallery and the Quellin Shopping Center.
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  • Historic City Center
    Around the Grote Markt and Groenplaats, you will find more places to shop souvenirs for. (Around Groenplaats you would land into yet another shopping center, the modern Grand Bazaar Shopping Centre that has 50 shops and has the biggest indoor center).
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#3 – Visit the outdoor or street markets

Groenplaats Kerstmarkt

If outdoor/street markets are more of your preferred places for purchases, don’t worry! Antwerp has a lot of them! As listed below are the weekly markets:

  • (Friday) Vrijdagmarkt
    At the historic center: offers second hand products from bikes, to old furniture and antiques that are up for auction.
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  • (Saturday) Exotic Market
    At Oudevaartplaats and Theaterplein: offers not only local products but also southern specialties like Moroccan, Turkish, etc.
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  • (Saturday) Antique Market
    At Lijnwaadmarkt
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  • (Sunday) Vogelenmarkt / Birds Market
    (Favorite ♥) At Oudevaartplaats and Theaterplein: offers varieties of flowers, clothes, jewelry, antiques, exotic birds or pets, and more.
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  • (Sunday) Antique Market
    At Sint-Jansvliet
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  • (Sunday) Bio Market
    At Falconplein: offers eco-friendly products that have a bio-quality label.
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For the monthly markets:

  • (Every 3rd Sunday except Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb) Boekenplein or Books Square
    At De Coninckplein: other than books, there are stalls that sell food and drinks. (There are musical performances too).
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  • (Every last Sunday May to Sep) Lambermontmartre
    At Lambermontplaats: an art market in the Zuid (south) district where artists would show their work. Sometimes there are even acoustic concerts that are present.
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  • (For dates check here) Market for Tomorow
    At a square between Kloosterstraat and Riemstraat: there are bars and a creative forum where beginning designers would present their works.
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Lastly, the yearly markets:

  • Christmas Market (Kerstmarkt)
    (Favorite ♥) Usually put up from Groenplaats, Grote Markt, Suikerrui to Steenplein, this is the perfect place to enjoy the spirit of the holiday season! Make sure that you drink jenever and glühwein, followed by some warm waffles or smoutebollen.

    »READ: Antwerp’s Christmas Market

  • (August 15) Rubens Market
    At Grote Markt: celebrating Rubens, the great master of baroque, stalls will be set up and they will sell products from Antwerp’s Golden Age while the staff people will be clad in 17th century costumes!
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#4 – Go on a massive food trip!

Belgian Fries Belgian Waffles Mosselen met friet

It’s time to indulge yourself in Belgian food! Ooooh, you’re going to love it!

Aside from the famous Belgian fries, waffles, beer, and chocolates, there’s more to the country than these famous snacks and drinks! To know more…

»READ: 25 Things That Everyone Needs to Eat & Drink in Belgium

TIPS & TRIVIA:

  • There’s NO such thing as a ‘Belgian Waffle’ in Belgium since that is rather a type of waffle that’s coined in North America. So naturally, you won’t ever find a ‘Belgian Waffle’ type here in Belgium since they have a LOT of varieties. Three of the most common ones are: Liège Waffles, Brussels Waffle and Galettes campinoises
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  • Belgium is famous for its great-tasting beers! Other than the famous Trappist beers, try De Koninck, the beer of Antwerp. Sample them at Paters Vaetje or at Kulminator respectively. If not, you can step into any restaurant, pub, or café in the city center since they are bound to have these drinks on them.
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  • For a fancy night out, I prefer to grab dinner first at De Peerdestal or Het Pomphuis (make sure you try the Belgian beef stew mixed with beer: Stoofvlees), followed by drinks at Pelgrom — a unique ‘underground’ cellar restaurant that gives off a sense of exclusivity especially with its quaint and authentic medieval setting.
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  • Barnini is my favorite place to grab breakfast or brunch, and a frituur is the perfect spot for late-night eats which can be found almost anywhere! Belgian fries are always superb and do try the other fried meat like the special curryworst! Any frituur should be fine, though if you want one of the favorites of the locals, go to Frituur Number One at Hoogstraat.
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  • For Asians like me, other than the Asian restaurants spread out across the city, you can always go to the ‘China Town’ located at Van Wesenbeke Street.
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#5 – Witness the city’s iconic cathedral

Antwerp Cathedral of our Lady Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal

A well-known symbol in Antwerp (as it is the city’s tallest building, towering at 123 meters), the Cathedral of our Lady or Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal is the largest Gothic structure in the Benelux or Low Countries.  It took 169 years (1352-1521) of labor to finish and it is listed as one of the World’s Heritage Sites!

Inside, you will see paintings of Antwerp’s beloved painter, Rubens, and they are ‘The Raising of the Cross’, ‘Assumption of the Virgin Mary’ and ‘The Descent from the Cross’ .

(NOTE: To get into the cathedral, you would have to pay a fee. For adults it’s €5 EUR and for students/60+/groups of at least 20 people, it would be €3 EUR only. Children below 12 years old are given free admittance)

Other than this majestic cathedral, there are a lot of smaller churches that you can admire in Antwerp:

  • St. Charles Borromeo Church
    A unique feature is the original functioning mechanism at the main altar that is used to switch paintings shown in the church.
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  • St. James’s Church
    This is where the tomb of Ruben can be found.
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  • St. Andres Church
    In Baroque style, one of its highlights is the 17th century monumental high altar.
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  • St. Paul’s Church
    It has a striking interior with over 50 paintings of Ruben, 200 sculptures and a 17th century organ.
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#6 – Walk through the historical heart of the city

Antwerp Grote Markt

Whenever someone says ‘Historic City Center‘ or ‘Old City‘, that would be the area around the Grote Markt (Great Market Square) and the Stadhuis (City Hall).

The Grote Markt is what you would call the center ‘town square’ and in its surroundings, you will find an impressive array of former (medieval) guild houses or guild halls. MUST-DO: Look at the top of these houses and you will see how decorative the roofs are; they would even have statues upon them so watch out for those quirky things!

As previously mentioned, events are often held in Grote Markt like the Christmas Market and Rubens Market; but other than those, you will also find a wide array of surrounding cafés here, so if you ever want to take a break, I suggest that you grab a cup of coffee in one of the establishments and do people or crowd watching! It’s a good way to observe the locals, though you might even meet a friendly Belgian to strike up a conversation with.

The Stadhuis, on the other hand, is a beautiful 15th century Renaissance and Baroque building that is listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Displayed in front of it is the Brabo fountain, a statue created by Jef Lambeaux that depicts the city’s legend:

There used to be a cruel mythical giant named Druon Antigoon who guards the bridge on the Scheldt river (he asks for a toll for anyone who wants to cross the river; whoever refuses will have their hand cut and thrown into the river). One day, a young Roman soldier named Brabo, did not only kill Antigoon but he also cut off the giant’s hand and threw it to the river. This folklore is where the name of ‘Antwerp’ or ‘Antwerpen’ had originated from which means ‘hand werpen’ in Dutch with the word ‘werpen’ being similar to the Old English ‘wearpan’ which means ‘to throw’.

Nearby this area, you would additionally see great hangout places like:

  • Hendrik Conscienceplein
    A small square named after Hendrik Conscience, a famous 19th century Flemish writer and poet. This is near the St. Charles Borromeo Church and the Municipal Library which both have glorious Baroque-style façades.
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  • Vlaeykensgang
    (Favorite ♥) Almost a hidden secret spot, this is a picturesque alleyway which is like a throwback to the Middle Ages — a time wherein streets were small and cramped. This actually used to be an area where the Antwerp’s poorest lived, but today, it’s transformed into a heavenly refuge which makes for a really great spot when you want to escape the bustle of the city. Besides, the tenants who live here have set up restaurants that are Antwerp’s finest so feel tree to indulge yourself! (An entrance can be found at Oude Koornmarkt #16 which is only a meter-wide, otherwise another entrance can be found at Pelgrimstraat).
    Vlaeykensgang Antwerp
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#7 – Discover art and culture

Museum Aan de Stroom Antwerp KMSKA

In my opinion, Antwerp really knows how to celebrate art and culture because of the abundance of museums, music halls, and theaters. There are even numerous fairs, festivals, concerts, exhibitions and events that happen throughout the year, with most of the grandest ones being held at the Sportpaleis (Sport Palace) — however, it’s important to note that there’s actually little sports done here (except for the Diamond Games tennis tournaments) as it is mostly where Dutch-speaking and international artists perform. In fact, it is the second most visited event hall in the world according to Billboard!

If you’re rather looking for museums to visit, below are the popular ones that you should consider seeing:

  • Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (KMSKA)
    (Favorite ♥) Translated: Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp. It is the city’s best museum because it houses a huge collection of world-class paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 14th to the 20th centuries. Other than exhibiting works from abroad, it predominantly represents artists in Antwerp, Belgium and the Northern and Southern Netherlands since the 15th century. Unfortunately, KMSKA is currently under renovation until the end of 2018, so for the meantime you can check out the next best choice which is…
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  • Museum aan de Stroom (MAS)
    (Favorite ♥) Translated: Museum at The River. This is an amazing museum that tells the story of Antwerp and the world: its past, present and future. It is also a striking red monument at the area of Eilandje which you can see from the photos above of this section (it is designed as inspired by a 16th century storehouse). I have been here before and I absolutely loved the experience! Their permanent collections would be found in 3 floors, there would also be a cafe and a restaurant, reception rooms, and even a rooftop access to see a panoramic view of the city!
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  • Rubenshuis
    Translated: Rubens House. The former home and studio turned museum of Antwerp’s greatest and most famous Baroque painter, Peter Paul Rubens. You will see here a courtyard garden, Ruben’s workshops, collections, and more!
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  • Museum Plantin-Moretus
    [Website] A museum that honors the printing influence of Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus; this is actually their former residence and printing company: Plantin Press. It features an exceptional collection of typographical materials as well as archives that are enlisted in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme given their historical significance. TRIVIA: This museum contains two of the oldest surviving printing presses in the whole world!
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  • Museum Mayer van den Bergh
    [Website] This is the 1st museum in the world to house a single collection focusing on the painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder (its original owner was the art collector, Fritz Mayer van den Bergh). Today, it also contains works from the Gothic and Renaissance periods not only from Belgium but also from the Netherlands.
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  • Red Star Line Museum
    [Website] Located in the old port district called Eilandje (near MAS), these warehouses showcase the historical period when millions of Europeans between 1873 and 1934 chose to sail across seas in order to get to the promised lands: New York and Canada.
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  • Rockox House
    [Website] The 17th century house of Antwerp’s former mayor, Nicolaas Rockox (1560-1640), it holds different art pieces of several Antwerpian artists, and it also has a dreamy courtyard garden.
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  • Middelheim Open Air Museum
    [Website] This isn’t really in the city center, but it’s just 4 kms south in the municipality of Wilrijk. It’s an interesting museum to see if you’re into peculiar sculptures in an open air setting (besides, entrance is FREE-of-charge, so why not?)
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  • Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA)
    Translated: Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp. If you’re into modern, conceptual, and alternative art, this is the museum for you!
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  • FotoMuseum (FoMu)
    [Website] Are you into photography? If your answer is ‘yes‘, do consider visiting FoMu. Their exhibitions are constantly changing every year and it ranges from historical to contemporary collections.
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  • ModeMuseum (MoMu)
    [Website] Antwerp’s Fashion Museum is located in the fashion district of the city and it primarily focuses on Belgian contemporary fashion designers due to the rise of the group Antwerp Six in the 80s and 90s.
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  • Diamond Museum
    [Website] At this moment, it is unfortunately closed, however you can still see their exhibit in the Diamond Pavilion of MAS in preparation for its upcoming reopening near the Grand Palace. With this in mind, the Diamond Museum is something to look forward to!
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  • Steen Castle (Het Steen)
    This is Antwerp’s oldest building and its first stone fortress. There used to be a maritime exhibition inside the castle but it was moved to MAS; today, it mainly holds activities for children. Therefore, technically, it really isn’t a museum anymore; however, it is still a fascinating place to drop by especially because of its façade and historical value. (I also personally like the benched area by the castle where you can sit and watch the Scheldt river peacefully.)
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#8 – See a panoramic view from high up for free

Antwerp BelgiumPort of Antwerp

Yes, FREE! Apart from being a grand museum, MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) offers free access to its rooftop, and from there, you will have the perfect spot for a 360° panoramic view of Antwerp!

Access to MAS’ art pieces are paid of course, and attendants will typically ask for your ticket before every entry to an exhibition room; but the rooftop is another matter. Other than giving the public the chance to freely enter in order to inspect MAS’ majestic architecture, you can also simply go up to the top floor as you wish.

Once you are at the top floor, (as you can see in the photo above) you would be witnessing the charm of a city that has an uncrowded view. It’s quite a refreshing thing to have a lovely cathedral (the ‘Cathedral of Our Lady’) as a metropolis’ highest ‘skyscraper’, don’t you think so?

TIP: During summer, MAS is open until midnight so you can definitely head up to the rooftop to see an evening view of Antwerp that is lit up with city lights..

#9 – Explore the green areas

Park Spoor Noord Antwerp

There are several areas in the city center of Antwerp where you can escape the crowds and enjoy the green outdoors. Come and go for a picnic at the following places:

  • Park Spoor Noord
    (Favorite ♥) The newest green park in Antwerp, it’s 24-hectares big! It used to be a railway marshaling yard in 2008 to 2009; but onward, it was renovated to become this large panoramic green park for leisure, sports, and events — it’s perfect for picnics and strolls! It even has a BMX spot and a skate bowl area! (If you’re into graffiti, there are certain sections in the park where you can see these kinds of street art).
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  • Stadspark
    More in the center, Stadspark or City Park is a 14-hectare park that is in a shape of a triangle with a picturesque pond in the middle.
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  • Botanische Tuin Antwerpen (Botanical Garden)
    Located in the Leopoldstraat and the Huidevetterstraat, this was built 200 years ago and has exceptional trees, shrubs, plants, and herbs. Certainly, it will be the perfect spot during spring!
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#10 – Cross the river to explore the ‘left bank’

Linkeroever Sint Annatunnel

If you want to escape the crowd even further (and to have a better view of the city’s skyline) head to the west and go to the left bank of Antwerp that’s called as Linkeroever. To get there, just go through the enchanting Sint-Annatunnel that goes through the Scheldt River…

  • The Scheldt River: an important waterway in Europe which is 350km long from the southwestern part of Netherlands, to this western part of Belgium, and up until the northern part of France.
  • Sint-Annatunnel (St. Anna Tunnel): a 572 meters long pedestrian and bicycle tunnel under the Scheldt river which was built in 1931 and finished in 1933. It is an old yet appealing tunnel; for instance, you can still see how the escalators have not been changed. Rest assured, it is well-maintained by the city.

Once you are there on the left bank, do explore some of the notable green areas:

  • Galgenweel
    A quiet and popular getaway for locals especially for sailing enthusiasts. It’s basically a semi-natural brackish water lake that is about 40 hectares with a depth of 2 to 15 meters.
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  • Boeienweide
    A green field full of buoy decorations. It has a quaint playground too that looks like a shipwreck and it’s one of the good spots where you can enjoy a view of Antwerp’s city skyline.
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#11 – Have some good ol’ fun in the city’s attractions

Aquatopia Antwerp

If you are with kids (or are simply like me, a kid-at-heart), you wouldn’t want to miss the Antwerp Zoo (Zoo van Antwerpen) which is the oldest animal park in the country and one of the oldest in the world! However, don’t let the word ‘old‘ fool you because this place is full of beautiful buildings and gardens that are even listed as monuments. It is also vast with over 7,000+ animals — in a way, it would take you at least half a day to see it all!

If you rather prefer an underwater adventure, head over to Aquatopia — it has a huge collection of exotic fishes, animals, sharks, piranhas, rays and octopuses live in 35 aquariums. It even has a concept of ‘7 worlds’: a rainforest, swamp, mangrove, coral reefs, ocean, lab, and submarine.
UPDATE: Apparently, as of 2017, Aquatopia has closed.
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#12 – Experience the city’s nightlife and shows

Bourla Theatre Toneelhuis Antwerp

Where my party people at!? For those who are in the mood for dance, clubbing, and partying, check out Café Local. Other clubs to consider are Petrol, Noxx, Red&Blue (take note that Saturday in Red&Blue are for men only) and Café d’Anvers.

If you’re rather looking for a place to see live music, head to Jazzcafé De Muze! Though if you prefer something bigger like music halls, other than checking if Sportpaleis has interesting concerts coming up, you can also check:

  • deSingel
    Built in 1968, it is a performing arts center that hosts internationally renowned symphony orchestras, musicians, theater troupes, and dance companies. Simply check their website for any upcoming shows.
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  • Trix
    [Website] A youth center and concert hall where rock concerts are popularly held. It has rehearsal rooms and a private recording studio for creative young people; what’s more is that it also provides workshops, etc.
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  • Amuz
    [Website] An international music center which hosts cultural, educational and scientific activities. Go and check their website for schedules of concerts and shows.
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  • Opera Vlaanderen / Vlaamse Opera
    Translated: Flemish Opera. An opera company in Belgium directed by Aviel Cahn that operates in 2 different houses: Antwerp and Ghent. However, the company shares one orchestra, choir, technical team, etc.
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  • Bourla Theatre / Toneelhuis
    [Website] Seats at around 900, it is a wonderfully designed building in a neoclassical style that is protected since 1938, thereby regarded as one of the most important historical buildings in Belgium. Today, the Bourla houses the theatre company Het Toneelhuis.

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ADDITIONAL TIPS & TRIVIA

  • Skip taking a taxi or a car. A taxi will be too expensive, and there are not so many parking spaces in the city. Therefore, I recommend that you go around Antwerp using a bike or a tram; better yet, just walk! It’s not too big of a city anyway. (If you ever need to rent bikes, simply check this page.)
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  • Summer is the best time to visit Antwerp since rain is less likely to happen and it’s also the time when the festival Zomer van Antwerpen (Summer of Antwerp) takes place. Lasting for two months, several festivities, parties, and performances would continually happen on the streets, so it will be quite a season!
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  • To find out what events are going on at Antwerp, read ‘This is Antwerp‘ or Weekup. But then again, you can just walk around the city and you will quickly see posters of any upcoming event. If not, feel free to strike a conversation with a local and they will be more than happy to let you in on any happenings.
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  • Take advantage of the Antwerp City Card. It’s helpful especially if you’re a tourist because it gives you free entrances to the popular attractions, free use of public transportation, and discount vouchers on shops or bike rentals.
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  • Don’t forget Tommorrowland! Though it’s technically not inside the city center of Antwerp, this world-famous electronic music festival is held on the outskirts, in a town aptly called Boom. It spans for 3 days and always ends up as a quick sellout in just hours!
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  • If you’re looking for good sights outside Antwerp but still within the province, visit these small yet picturesque municipalities: the castles of Schoten, the long high street of Brasschaat, the green park of Rivierenhof at Deurne, and the Trappist abbey of Malle.
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  • Are you looking for a magical palace? Complete your city tour and go to Palace op de Meir [website]. It’s an 18th century building that used to be the place of rulers such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Willem I of the Netherlands and the Belgian Royal House. Other than the tour, you can also enjoy a luxurious meal and snack in this palace.

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HELPFUL INFO

» How to Get to Antwerp?

By Plane. You can choose from the following: Antwerp Airport, Brussels Airport, Charleroi Airport, or Schiphol Airport.

By Train. It’s easy to get into Antwerp given Belgium’s amazing train system. The main station of the city would be Antwerp Central.
TIP: Pick the “IC” marked trains since they travel faster as compared to “IR”. The “L” trains are the slowest since they travel ‘locally’, meaning that it stops at more stations.

» If you want a more detailed transportation planner, try using Rome2Rio! I am in love with this platform since it gives you all the possible routes.

» Where to Stay in Antwerp?

» If you happen to have a tighter budget, you can always check by Booking.com for the best deals on other hotels, inns, and hostels in Ghent!

Cheap Hotels in Antwerp
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Overall

Things To Do in Antwerp

I dearly hope that this has given you a clear idea of what you can do in Antwerp city — a hidden gem of Belgium which clearly has something for everyone, if not everything!

Ultimately, I just hope that it captures your heart, the way that it had captured mine… ♥

» Topmost photo by Thomas Heylen / CC

How about you?

  • Would you like to see Antwerp? What place in this list would you want to go to first?
  • Or have you been to Antwerp before? How was your trip?
  • If you’re a local reading this article, do you have other suggestions to add? Feel free to leave a comment!

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43 comments

  1. Hi I appreciate all this great info on Antwerp. I'm going in later September to photograph a music festival over 2 days but I also want to stay in Amsterdam since I've never been & it has a rich history I want to explore. Do know if it's possible to take an early morning train & return late night on a Friday or Saturday - that is between Antwerp & Amsterdam? Also, since you are a pro- traveller can you recommend a place to stay in Amsterdam (I'm just assuming you've been there). Thanks for writing so eloquently on travel - Ben

    Reply
    1. Sure thing! It's easy to travel by train from Antwerp to Amsterdam. You can also take a flight which could be cheaper (but it will mostly be from Brussels or Charleroi). Feel free to check rome2rio.com for your options.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. Hi Aileen,
    You wrote here an amazing post regarding Antwerp! I wrote about it too after discovering it only 3 months ago even though I grew up in the North of France and that's not so far. I loved it for the day. There are many beautiful things to do in see! I loved the best the Grand Place, the city Park and walking along the river!
    See you,
    Sophie

    Reply
    1. I'm so happy to hear that you've loved Antwerp, Sophie! It's sort of my 2nd home so it's close to my heart <3

      Reply

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