Travel n Tour



Locals liken Antwerp to a village. But don’t mistake that for humility: Flanders’ de facto capital has been punching above its weight because it changed into a medieval trading hub. Intriguingly, the north Belgian port’s rich beyond is matched with a sharply revolutionary facet – taking in the avant-garde style, maximum famously, and stellar food and design. Visit now, and also you’ll find top exports in the highlight. Opening on 7 May, museum DIVA will probe Antwerp’s world diamond-capital popularity even as, from 1 June, competition Antwerp Baroque will honor nearby mild Peter-Paul Rubens with many performances and exhibitions throughout town.

What to do: Go for a walk.

Scope old town classics – Gothic icon Onze-Lieve-Vrouw cathedral (entry €6) and extravagant square the Grote Markt – and then stroll south to the chi-chi neighborhood ‘t Zuid, with its highly Parisian air. In the north of the metropolis, the once-seedy marina Het Eilandje now hums with dockside cafes and eating places and houses cultural showpieces: MAS (Museum Aan de Stroom, €five-€10), exploring Antwerp’s maritime background, and the emigration-themed Red Star Line Museum (€8).

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The exterior of Rubenshuis, where Rubens lived till his death (Getty Images)

Get a museum fix.

Golden Age icon Rubens’ Palazzo grew to become a museum. The Rubenshuis (€eight) is a have-to for its Renaissance-style garden, monumental entrance, and artwork horde – such as a Tintoretto formerly owned by David Bowie. Also starring in a baroque season is cutting-edge art hub M HKA (€10) and amazing sculpture park the Middelheim Museum (unfastened), which works by way of Calder, Rodin, and co. Embellish tidy lawns and cascade over the water.

Do an arch tour.

The soaring, cathedral-like Antwerpen-Centraal often tops “international’s most lovely teach station” polls – but it’s not even the city’s grandest architectural declaration. That honor falls to Zurenborg axis Cogels-Osylei, a fin de siècle road whose houses offer a schizophrenic sampler of styles from Belle Époque to Art Nouveau. Another overachiever: the KBC Tower, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, opened in 1931.


Antwerpen-Centraal, one of the world’s most beautiful stations (Getty Images/iStock)

Cross the river

As Europe’s 2nd largest port, the river Scheldt is Antwerp’s lifeblood. Connecting left and right banks, the Art Deco Sint-Anna tunnel defines a “hidden gem.” Take the beautiful original wood escalators thirty meters underground. Also, you’ll quickly emerge on Linkeroever (the Left Bank), with its summer season in the United States of America and epic metropolis perspectives.

Tour a brewery

The De Koninck brewery, which has been generating beer in Antwerp since 1833, has a brand new interactive visitor “enjoy” that’s certainly exciting – 10 interactive rooms feature films, taking pix, and a VR ride in a van. The tour winds up in the bar, where site visitors can try a flight of 3 signature beers. Bistroare boutiques are also on the web page, selling everything, from artisanal baked goods to nearby cheeses. Open 10 am-6 pm day by day, closed Mondays; entry €12.

Where to live

Hotels play 2D fiddle to interiors mag-worth B&Bs in Antwerp – now not least the only-off De Witte Nijl, right by using the alfresco watering holes of hip ‘t Zuid square Marnixplaats. Its suites occupy a ground apiece, with freestanding roll-pinnacle tubs and a colonial Africa theme. Breakfasts providing self-made crêpes may be taken within the garden or atmospheric conservatory, adorned with framed butterflies and vintage maps—doubles from €a hundred thirty, B&B.

The first Belgian department of IHG’s millennial-pleasant boutique spin-off, Hotel Indigo’s Charms, consists of a guest document player and neighborhood library. Rooms nail antique sublime with terrariums and hammered-copper lighting fixtures. Skip the house responsibilities. You get a €five bar voucher to redeem in on-website online café QA’s Kitchen, making small plates and a breakfast buffet with DIY waffles. Doubles from €115, room most effective.


Hotel Indigo is Antwerp’s chicest new motel (IHG)

Commanding a trio of 17th-century gabled houses, idiosyncratic four-superstar bolthole De Witte Lelie is Antwerp’s wealthy architectural blend in microcosm. Eleven rooms with its character style encompass understated, high-ceilinged options and eye-popping suites with clashing floral prints. A decadent, monochromatic Bronze Bar and arty lounges with leopard print and beaten-velvet sofas also exist. Doubles from €280, room only. If you may cope with the slightly sad decor, Hotel Postiljon is an unprecedented nearby good buy in the shadow of the cathedral and stumbling distance from several fantastic bars. Doubles from €65, B&B.

Where to consume Breakfast

Breakfast isn’t Antwerp’s distinctiveness, but there’s a primary exception: foodie-pleasant hotel U Eat & Sleep, which opened closing yr. Its 3-tiered breakfasts (served 7.30-10.30 am daily) include artisanal charcuterie, salted inexperienced tomatoes, and farm-clean eggs – plus beautiful decor and serene views of the jetty’s bobbing yachts.


An informal metropolis-center gem, Fish gogos daily converting seize (around €5-€7 a dish, get four or five to percentage) is irreproachably fresh. Wash it with a crisp, cheap Chardonnay while propping up a barrel outside. Open 12-10 pm, Thursday to Monday.

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U Eat & Sleep is considered Antwerp’s few extraordinary breakfast spots (U Eat and Sleep Antwerp) Dinner. Bourla is a crowd-fascinating brasserie with a fantastic terrace and theatrical interiors – a nod to its location just around the corner from the Bourla Theatre. The menu sticks to Flemish staples like stoolies (beer and pork stew). Open 11 am-11.30 pm day by day except for Sundays.


A trip to a fries joint is vital: Frituur No. 1, as in step with its name, is the pinnacle dog at the Grote Markt. There are inner cubicles, but it’s better to get rid of the raised riverside promenade nearby. Open 11 am-4 am each day.


Where to drink

Moody brown bar Café De Kat is out of time – its mahogany fixtures, chequered tiles, and neon De Koninck signal a symptom of Belgium’s chain-resistant ethos. Tucked away on atmospheric Wolstraat, it attracts neighborhood artists and inveterate boozers and has a refreshingly minimum liquids list (specify which you want the “right red”). Open Monday to Saturday, 12 pm-2 am (available from 5 pm on Sundays).

On Sint-Paulusplaats, hugging the metropolis’s Red Light District (a striptease pole pierces the communal desk), multitasking novice Table Dance is administered via a young couple in the neighborhood underground scene. Besides Filipino lunches and small plates, it offers natural beer, wine, and live songs on Saturdays. It will host several activities for May’s Antwerp Art Weekend. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 12 pm-12 am.


Normal is part of Antwerp’s vibrant third-wave coffee scene (Normal). Mixologists abound in Flanders, and the top spot is the rock ‘n’ roll Dogma Cocktails, where even the water is laced with absinthe. Order a deconstructed old school and crumble onto a Chesterfield. Open Tuesday to Sunday, five pm to midnight (Friday and Saturday until 1 am). Third-wave espresso bars that roast on-site aren’t tough to discover: top spots are pioneering Caffènation (open Monday to Friday, 8 am-6 pm, Saturday, 9 am-6 pm, Sunday, 11 am-6 pm) and the hip Normal (available 8.30 am-6 pm each day besides Sundays) for drip coffee or a cooling affogato.

Where to keep

The city’s best fashion buying is to be had inside the Sint-Andries quarter, particularly the streets radiating off Nationalestraat. Here,e you’ll locate the state-of-the-art, desirable prints of Dries Van Noten, the most enduring of the “Antwerp Six” designers who placed the town on the map within the 1980s, and boutiques using later abilities like Christian Wijnants. For the Belgian look minus the feed tag, the 2nd-hand label haunts Rosier 41, no longer a long way away, and has racks full of bargain Raf, Margiela, and extra.


The metropolis is famed for its hand biscuits (Getty Images/iStockphoto). Elegant concept store Granmaarkt 13 juggles a gallery, edgy style and layout (a good deal of its neighborhood), and a vegetable-led restaurant. On Saturday, subsequent-door rectangular Theaterplein hosts a vibrant food market – be part of the locals for prosecco and oysters. Cobbled quarter De Wilde Zee is the city’s larder: a must-try is the neighborhood biscuits, Antwerpse Hands, from Philip’s Biscuits, and chic fusion goodies at Pierre Marcolini. Old-school bakery Goossens (+32 three 226 07 91) always draws crowds for nut bread and bokkenpootje (an almond cookie and cream sandwich dipped in darkish chocolate).

Architectural highlight

A converted fire station with a faceted-glass “diamond” floating above it, a yr-antique icon, the Port House is as stunning as you’d expect from Zaha Hadid’s office.

Carol P. Middleton
Student. Alcohol ninja. Entrepreneur. Professional travel enthusiast. Zombie fan. Practiced in the art of donating rocking horses for the underprivileged. Crossed the country researching hula hoops in Deltona, FL. Won several awards for supervising the production of etch-a-sketches in Nigeria. Uniquely-equipped for investing in bathtub gin in the financial sector. Spent a year building g.i. joes worldwide. Earned praise for deploying childrens books in Africa.