Antwerp Travel Information
A glamorous, lively city, Antwerp is world famous for its fashion and
diamonds, as well as some magnificent architecture.
The city's rich history is evident in the cobbled streets and impressive
squares of the Old Town, whilst for vibrant nightlife the city is fast
becoming regarded as a rival to Amsterdam.
Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world is not a cultural city without
life! It is a vibrant city with stylish restaurants, cosy cafes, trendy
clubs and a thriving theatre scene.
Antwerp Travel and Flight
Antwerp is cosmopolitan, dynamic and thriving, it is unpretentious and
very lovable, full of history and cultural life. The main focus is the
Old Town which occupies a semicircle area running for about 1 and a half
miles along the
river front and bounded by a broad road where the city wall once stood.
Within are streets full of character, the monumental Cathedral of Our
Lady (1352) containing Rubens originals, a beautiful and tranquil main
square (the Grote Markt) and an old waterside fortress known as the
Steen. Churches and museums are plentiful; perhaps the best known is
Rubens' House, a palace packed full of furniture owned by the great Antwerp
master. The city is responsible for half the world's diamond
production and cutting has been carried out here for centuries. It is
also the world's third largest port, with many of its 450,000 residents
working in the industry. A local activity is "doing a terrace": just about
any time of the year, cafes have tables and chairs on the street which
in summer turn into a sea of coffee and beer drinkers.
In N-central Belgium, near the Dutch border. 23 mls
N of Brussels. 3 mls NW of the airport.
Antwer is on flat land on the East bank of the River Schelde. Although
it is more than 50 miles
from the North Sea, a sheltered estuary has allowed the city to develop
as an important port and industrial centre.
Its 50 plus hotels can soon get full during holiday periods.
Posh hotels in the Old Town and the upmarket residential areas outside
the centre; cheaper options are around Central Station and there is also a couple of
campsites and handful of youth hostels which are open for all ages.
Things to Do
Daytime: sightseeing and shopping;
various museums, including a fine-art museum and National Maritime
Museum (most close Mon); walking tours (on architecture or in the
footsteps of Rubens, for example); diamond tours; Antwerp Zoo; boat
cruises; exhibitions in the International Cultural Centre.
vibrant by Belgian standards, much of it informal and centred on
taverns; 2 red-light districts (around the port and Central Station);
discos from sleazy to sophisticated; own opera company.
Truly has an international mixture; along with the
and Chinese restaurants you can choose from Mongolian barbecues, Egyptian grills,
Spanish tapas and especially Greek, Moroccan and Turkish which reflect
the city's varied cultural mixture. A particularly high concentration of
places to eat are around Grote Markt, some are geared specifically to tourists,
and in the more sleazy area around Central Station and De Keyserlei
Street. Mussels and chips are popular with the locals, washed down with beer called "bolleke". English menus can be hard to come across
but waiters will usually be able to translate, although service can be slow.
Waffles and Belgian fries are served on the street, and tea salons
The main shopping
streets are mostly pedestrianised De Keyserlei and Meir with European
chains and some smaller boutiques. The Empire shopping centre and
Century centre. Several markets including a Sunday morning bird market;
the delightfully named Exotic market, selling produce on Saturdays; and flea
markets on Wednesdays and Friday mornings in front of Plantin Moretus Museum. Good
buys are Belgian chocolates, as well as Belgian beers and the
local "witteke" gin. The diamond district around Central Station is full
of gem shops.
Half day: Turnhout
(playing-card museum). Full day: historical Lier and Mechelen; St
Niklaas; Brussels; Ghent.
Antwerp is well served by public transport. A small underground Metro
system which stops are few and far between is supplemented by plenty of tram and
bus stops. Taxis. Horse-drawn carriages.
Antwerp is a good walking city and all of the major sights can be
reached on foot. It is also very easy to get around by tram or bus.
Who is it for?
70%+ of visitors are from The Netherlands, Belgium and
Germany in equal numbers; French, British and Americans mostly make up the rest.
Appreciated by culture and art lovers, shoppers (mostly for
diamonds) and those who enjoy having hundreds of beers to pick from.
Direct flights from the UK to Brussels airport are
available at discount rates from your local airport. The flight time to Brussels airport is approx 1 hour. From
Brussels it is just under 1 hour to Antwerp's Central Station.
Start with the impressive Green Square and Cathedral of Our Lady.
Nearby, the Market Square and Town Hall are masterpieces of Italian
Renaissance style, whilst the City Hall and Guild Houses date from the
16th & 17th century. 'Het Steen' is the oldest building in Antwerp,
and is now home to the National Maritime Museum.
Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
Visit the fascinating Rubens' House which holds many of the artist's
treasures. Antwerp's excellent collection of museums also includes the
Diamond Museum, the Royal Museum of Fine Art and the new 'Momu' Fashion
Sample local beers in the jazz bars and lively cafes in the Old Town.
Antwerp's obsession with fashion is evident in its trendy boutiques and
designer stores, whilst on the Meir shopping street you will find well
known stores. Markets include an exotic food market and an antiques
Daily average temperatures (Approx) 'C
JAN 5 FEB 6 MAR 8 APR
11 MAY 17 JUN
20 JUL 22 AUG 21 SEP 18 OCT
12 NOV 7
Antwerp by Hessle Travel
> This undiscovered city offers a marvellous blend of the old and
> It is the world's leading diamond cutting and dealing city
> Antwerp is the 2nd largest city in Belgium and the largest in
> Visit Antwerp's cafes in the Groenplaats, Market Square and
> Cobbled streets and market places abound with medieval churches and
handsome guild houses
Book yourself a flight or city break to Antwerp with Hessle Travel.