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Awesome Antwerp

Belgium’s second city is a wonderful blend of old and new. Take Antwerp Port,one of the largest docks in Europe,as an example. It has a history as a grungy old dockland, but is now being transformed into a nightlife hot spot. From the old gothic Cathedral of Our Lady to the hyper-modern Law Courts, Antwerp really is a place where past, present and future comes together.

The city also offers you the medieval beauty of Old Town, and the modern beauties strutting their stuff at the high fashion stores. And speaking of spending lots of money… Antwerp is also home to a girl’s best friend – diamonds. If you think your credit card can handle it, pay a visit to Diamondland, the city’s biggest diamond store. Throw postcard settings into the mix and you’ve got a city that’s beautiful both outside and in.

Antwerp’s Top 10

10. Pirate Island Take the kids through this huge converted warehouse (secretly channelling Cap’n Jack Sparrow en route).

5. Antwerp Zoo One of the world’s oldest and biggest. It contains animals. Lots of animals.

9. MoMu Fashion Museum In a city filled with fashion, this is the place to see truly cutting-edge design.

4. Antwerpen Central Station With all the marble, glass and stone, it’s more like a palace.

8. Brouwerij de Koninck Take a tour of this historic local brewery and don’t forget to taste their renowned brown ale.

3. Grote Markt This market is the soul of the old city centre – a beautiful area that has remained largely unchanged.

7. Middelheim Open Air Museum You don’t even have to go inside to enjoy the contemporary art.

2. Steen Castle Looks like it has been ripped from the pages of a fairy tale.

6. Saint Carolus Borromeus Church Decorated by Ruben (a cash-in-hand specialist, they say…)

1. Diamond District See how rough diamonds are transformed.

Antwerp History

  • Palace of Justice - A beautiful 19th-century red brick building on the Britselei.
  • Carolus Borromeus Church – A baroque church with a minimal exterior yet beautiful interior.
  • Bourla Theatre – A 19th-century neoclassicist theatre building, which is charming inside and out.
  • Old Market Square – Antwerp's old market square surrounded by medieval guild houses.
  • Cathedral of Our Lady – Built in 1351, one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals in Europe.

Antwerp Art & Culture

  • Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten – Paintings from the 15th to 20th centuries.
  • Rubenshuis – The former residence of painter Peter Paul Rubens, featuring many works of art.
  • Het Muntplein – Where graffiti artists can freely create artwork, with regular graffiti contests.
  • MUHKA – Antwerp’s enticing museum of contemporary art.
  • Plantin Moretus Museum – Home of 16th-century bookbinder and printer, Christoffel Plantin.

Antwerp Shopping

  • Kloosterstraat – Home to many antique shops, often selling bizarre items.
  • Chinatown – Countless Japanese, Korean and Chinese goods can be found here.
  • Ploegstraat 25 – Featuring a "giveaway shop" in which visitors can bring and take items.
  • Kammenstraat – Famous Antwerp fashion designers sell goods here.
  • Theaterplein Square – In front of the Stadsschouwburg Theatre with food, antiques and clothes.

Gay & Lesbian Antwerp

  • Antwerp Gay Pride – A major June event to showcase the city's diversity and tolerance..
  • Body Boys – A popular bar attracting the young and old.
  • Hessenhuis – A gay and lesbian community bar featuring live DJs.
  • Pannekoek @ Bonaparte – Ideal for those who love the music of ABBA, Lady Gaga and Kylie.
  • Café den Draak @ Het Roze Huis – In Antwerp’s gay and lesbian community house.

Antwerp Outdoor

  • Antwerp Zoo – Featuring more than 4,000 animals and one of the world’s largest zoos.
  • Het Steen – A small, medieval castle located on the banks of the river Schelde.
  • Middelheim Park – Houses a permanent, open-air exhibition of contemporary sculpture.
  • Zurenborg – A neighbourhood in southeast Antwerp known for its bizarre 19th-century architecture.
  • Zomer van Antwerpen – A great summer festival that features inexpensive or free activities.

Antwerp Sport

  • See the Royal Antwerp Football Club play at the Bosuilstadion.
  • Watch the Antwerp Iron Man Half Triathlon in July.
  • Catch the Koninklijke Beerschot Antwerpen Club kick off at the Olympisch Stadion.
  • Check out Antwerp’s professional basketball team, the Antwerp Giants in the Lotto Arena.
  • Plan to watch the Antwerp Open BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) tournament held every June.

Antwerp Events

Every June, the famous Antwerp Fashion Academy holds a glamorous graduate show. Come and spot the next big thing in fashion.

The annual Openluchttheater Rivierenhof Festival takes place from June to September and includes a varied mix of music and comedy. With free Friday night shows, there is no excuse not to go.

Just try not to overindulge at the annual Taste Antwerp Culinary Festival. Celebrated chefs cook up all manner of culinary delights. Yum and yum!

September’s Laundry Festival pays tribute to the days when people came together and laundry was hung in the streets. Now a huge outdoor music festival, there are still colourful laundry lines hanging overhead.

The Antwerp Christmas Market takes place in December – enjoy the carols while sipping on mulled wine.

When To Go

  • Antwerp is at its best in spring – not too hot, not too cold and not too crowded.
  • Summer (June to August) is popular due to the warmer weather, with temperatures averaging 18°C (64°F).
  • Summer is also the wettest time of the year, but as it rains all year round, it’s unavoidable in Antwerp!

Getting Around

The tram network is extensive and a good way to get around. It even goes under a river at one point!

There is also an extensive, reliable bus network.

Walk through the old city centre and enjoy the medieval architecture and al fresco dining.

General Information

Historical Antwerp, the paramount diamond deposit, guild and university city is one of the most attractive towns in Europe, let alone Belgium. As the former nexus of the international economy and foremost capital of the Age of Exploration, Antwerp is a paradise for tourism.

While the city may not be the hub of commerce and trade it was half a millennium ago, fabulous relics of Antwerp's exceptional “Golden Age” endure for modern explorers to enjoy. Despite the damage of fire and war over the years, the city is awash with key monuments and remains one of the most important seaports in the world.

Attractions & Events

Attractions

The Zuid is a cosmopolitan, commercial art gallery area of Antwerp, replete with cafés, restaurants, posh retail shops and museums. With superb Art Nouveau architecture, the Zuid also features the Museum of Modern Art and Fotomuseum.

The dramatic Royal Museum of Fine Arts may be the best attraction in the Zuid however. The Neoclassical museum has a Hall of Fame permanent collection, with works by van Eyck, Brueghel, Rubens and more.

A pioneer in research and conservation, Antwerp Zoo dates back to 1843 and is one of the best wildlife preserves in the world.

Construction on the incomplete Cathedral of Our Lady began in 1351. The World Heritage Gothic church is a vital landmark in Antwerp, with interior works by Rubens, Otto van Veen and Marten de Vos.

The old Antwerp stock exchange, or Bourse, was the first in the world. A tour of the historic mercantile facility is well worth it.

In a similar vein, a tour of the famous diamond district provides a special look into one of the main engines of the Antwerp economy.

With heavy participation in the diamond industry, the city's Hasidic community plays a vital role. Specific tours of Antwerp's Jewish quarter offer visitors a momentary peek into the insular community of 20,000 strong.

Events

Antwerp has always been a literary city and a hub for the dissemination of knowledge. That tradition endures every November with the Antwerp Book Fair.

The Grote Markt hosts the Rubens Market in August, the foremost city tribute to the illustrious painter.

Also held in August, Laus Polyphoniae is a celebration of baroque and polyphonic music. The festival takes place in various concert halls around Antwerp.

The International Antiques Fair in May features pre-eminent objets d'art from around the world and draws over 20,000 collectors and curious onlookers to the Bouwcentrum.

The outdoor Laundry Day music festival, held every September, draws DJs from around Belgium and Europe before capacity crowds that number up to 50,000 people.

Climate

The climate of Antwerp is moderate maritime, with four seasons. Rainfall remains steady at about 5 cm on average per month.

  • Winter (November to February) 2-10°C
  • Spring (March to May) 4-18°C
  • Summer (June to August) 12-23°C
  • Fall (September to October) 8-19°C

Antwerp On Wikipedia


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Hotels in Antwerp

Recommended hotels

From US$54

1 TRYP by Wyndham Antwerp

3 stars
4.0 / 5 3 reviews

Plantin and Moretuslei 136 - 140 Map

Stay 2 nights and get 10% off

Assuring comfortable accommodation and quality amenities, TRYP by Wyndham Antwerp welcomes travellers for an unforgettable holiday in Belgium. Located in the immediate surrounding is the Antwerp... More

Fantastic affordable & comfortable
This hotel was a wonderful & affordable place to stay. The staff were lovely and extremely helpful with the use of their luggage room being an added bonus. Room was spacious and very comfortable in...
30 Jun 2015
From US$76

2 Antwerp City Center Hotel

3 stars
4.8 / 5 6 reviews

Appelmansstraat 31 Map

Assuring comfortable accommodations blended with quality service set right in the heart of Antwerps diamond district, Antwerp City Center Hotel makes travellers enjoy all the privileges for an... More

A very pleasant stay
This hotel is near the train station and close to everything. The room was huge, a great price for what we got at this hotel. It was a pleasant 2 days stay in the city.
21 Jun 2015
From US$91

3 Lindner Hotel and City Lounge Antwerpen

4 stars
4.0 / 5

Lange Kievitstraat 125 Map

Super Saver Rate - Save Up To 50%

Providing contemporary accommodations near the city centre, Lindner Hotel and City Lounge Antwerpen makes for an ideal base for business and leisure travellers visiting Antwerp. Visitors at this... More

From US$89

4 Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp

4 stars
5.0 / 5 6 reviews

Koningin Astridplein 7 Map

Stay at the historic architectural gem, the Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel Antwerp, which blends harmoniously with its surroundings and mirrors the facade of the historic station across the street... More

From US$108

5 TOP CityLine Hyllit Hotel Antwerp

4 stars
4.3 / 5

De Keyserlei 28 Map

Free Wi-Fi In Room

Business and leisure travellers looking for luxurious accommodations, professional services and top-of-the-line facilities book a stay in Top CityLine Hyllit Hotel Antwerp. While in the area,... More

From US$108

6 Hilton Antwerp Old Town

4 stars
4.5 / 5 2 reviews

Groenplaats 32 Map

Summer Sale!

Offering contemporary service and traditional hospitality, this modern style property makes you to enjoy all the privileges, for an unforgettable stay. GeneralThis property boasts 14 meeting rooms... More

From US$74

7 Park Inn By Radisson Antwerpen

3 stars
4.4 / 5 5 reviews

Koningin Astridplein Map

The Park Inn Antwerp is located in the heart of the diamond district and next to the Zoo of Antwerp. The Antwerp's Diamond District, Antwerp Zoo, and Rubens & Van Dijck Museum are ten minutes from... More

Business Trip
Needed a convenient city centre hotel and Park Inn was spot on for that. The facilities and room were excellent and the value therefore will mean I will chose this hotel again.
8 Jan 2015
From US$87

8 De Keyser Hotel Antwerp

4 stars
3.7 / 5 3 reviews

De Keyserlei 66-70 Map

Special offer - book and save!

Experience the comfortable accommodation blended with a warm hospitality and unsurpassed service at the De Keyser Hotel Antwerp. GeneralThis property offers 3 meeting rooms with a capacity of 120... More

very good for business trip
in the middle of Antwerp, in front of the central station, & good to stay
15 Aug 2014
From US$58

9 Scandic Antwerpen

4 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

Lt. Lippenslaan 66 Map

Save 20% on your stay

Blending cosy accommodation with contemporary luxury, the Scandic Hotel welcomes all types of travellers for a memorable stay at Antwerp. GeneralOverlooking the skyline of Antwerp and offering... More

From US$75

10 Holiday Inn Express ANTWERP CITY - NORTH

3 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

Italielei 2a,Het Eilandje Map

Stay 3 Get 1 Night Free

Ideal for both business and leisure travellers, this modern hotel is close to all that the city has to offer. GeneralThe hotel has a meeting room up to 50 people is available on the ground floor.... More

Up to Standards
If you already know H.I. Express then this one is up to standards. Parking is a bit expensive at 17 Euro a night and there is some construction going on, but nothing to bother the guests.
14 Jul 2013
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