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Antwerp Travel Guide

Antwerp, a busy pocket-sized metropolis, has something for everyone. The city is an inspiring source of culture with impressive architecture and magnificent museums and churches. Thanks to artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens, Antwerp put itself on the art map, as one of Europe’s leading art centers. Europe’s largest harbour, caters to every needs, from upscale fashionistas to foodies and clubbers. It is renounced as the diamond capital of the world.

Pieter Paul Rubens Statue in Antwerp Travel Guide

Peter Paul Rubens Statue

Best Time to visit Antwerp

Best time to visit Antwerp is from May till September, with the high tourist season in July and August. Visiting Antwerp in the summer, can be a magnificent experience, especially during sunny days.

Late spring can be pleasantly warm and is recommended for its long, northern days. September and October are also good times to visit, as tourists have left and the weather is still warm enough to move around comfortably.

Most winter days are relatively grey but there are plenty of indoor activities. The warm breeze coming in off the North Sea keeps Antwerp pretty temperate all year around.

Accommodation in Antwerp

June to September, Antwerp is usually packed, with hotel prices rocketing. If you do not mind rain and wind, then autumn and early Spring can be a good choice, as hotels offer good deals and there is room abundance. Winters are chilly, but with great hotel prices.

If you feel like you don’t want to spend a fortune in hotels, then avoid the city centre and Oude Stad, where visitors go to find the essence of this city. Good budget options are Middelheim, or the neighbourhood of Berchem and many medium-priced and budget places are clustered in the Humdrum area around Centraal Station. Make sure you book your hotel in advance for better deals.

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Things to do in Antwerp

A visit to this city should definitely include the Museum Mayer van der Bergh for a glimpse of Pieter Bruegel’s painting Dulle Griet. Walk around the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady, a miracle of Gothic lightness that hosts some of Ruben’s works.

Visit the Ruben s House. If you love fashion, then Antwerp is the place for you. Known for top-of-the scale designers, you will find more than plenty of shops. Don’t forget to taste some of the finest artisan beers in the world crawling around local pubs.

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Shopping in Antwerp

The main shopping area in Antwerp is the Meir, a street that stretches out from the Keyserlei to the Groenplaats and is one of the most famous shopping streets in Belgium. You’ll find branches of many of the large international chains, and the Shopping Stadsfeestzaal, an exclusive shopping centre in the city’s Festival Hall.

The historic city centre has plenty of trendy shops in Lange Koepoortstraathas, and many antiques, vintage and second-hand shops can be found in Kloosterstraat. If you love shopping don’t miss the Grand Bazar Shopping Centre in Groenplaats, with 50 shops under one roof.

Antwerp’s fashion centre is located in Nationalestraat and the surrounding streets, where you will find shops of many leading designers, including Christian Wijnants, Dries van Noten, A.F. Vandevorst and Stephan Schneider.

Kammenstraat is the hip and trendy street, with plenty of posh boutiques, mostly youth brands, and many tattoo and piercing studios.

The Wilde Zee neighbourhood is formed by five lively pedestrian shopping streets, with hip clothing and shoe shops. In this neighbourhood, you will also find Belgium’s oldest shopping centre, De Nieuwe Gaanderij, a covered shopping gallery with mainly boutiques with shoes, clothing and lingerie.

Het Zuid neighbourhood is all about art and culture, with numerous art galleries, design and interior shops, and several trendy concept stores, that stock design products and unique accessories.

The Station District is home to the ‘Diamond Square Mile”, Antwerp’s diamond district, home to 1,600 diamond companies and four diamond exchanges, making it the world’s diamond capital. Here you will find plenty of diamond traders and jewellers with tempting showrooms, but always make sure to go to shops with the “Antwerp’s Most Brilliant” label, which stands for reliability and quality.

Meir Shopping street in Antwerp Travel Guide

Meir Shopping Street

Where to eat in Antwerp

Antwerp boasts a thriving food scene. The restaurants in the city serve up some of the best cuisine in Western Europe, with traditional Flemish food taking the cake. But do not miss its ethnic restaurants which offer some fantastic varieties in terms of Turkish, Malaysian, Thai and Indian food.

Visit some of the top restaurants in Antwerp from the list below:

Het Gerecht
French, Belgian

Livelli
Italian, European

Morso Restaurant
Steakhouse, Belgian

Senzelle
Belgian, European

Bistrot du Nord
French, European

Ernest Bistro
Belgian, Seafood

Lunsjes
Asian, European

Bolivar Restaurant
Steakhouse, Belgian

Sombat Thai Cuisine
Thai, Asian

Namaste
Indian, Asian

Antwerp Nightlife

Antwerp has numerous clubs and bars and plenty of events all year around. Check some of the most popular Nightclubs in Antwerp below:

Ampère Club Antwerp

Located beneath the central station, with a wide range of electronic music

IKON

Open every weekend, offering the best of electronic music in town

Cargo Club

Regularly hosts techno, house and acid nights and festivals

Roxy Antwerp

Open on Tuesdays & Saturdays, playing mostly House Music

TRIX Club

From small parties and public rehearsals to concerts

The Villa Antwerp

A real Noah’s Ark for lovers of extravagant nightlife, open on weekends

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