Antwerp: tips for a trip to the diverse city

Antwerp is located in the Belgian region of Flanders and is the capital of the province of Antwerp.

Antwerp: tips for a trip to the diverse city

Antwerp is located in the Belgian region of Flanders and is the capital of the province of Antwerp. The port city with around 500,000 inhabitants today was considered the most important trading metropolis in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries and is listed as the most important diamond trading center in the world. The city with its very own charm invites you to a trip around architecture, art and fashion.

If the journey to Antwerp begins by train, a first highlight awaits upon arrival. Antwerp Central Station, which was designed by architect Louis Delacenserie and is one of the most beautiful in the world, has a historic 19th-century entrance building. The imposing hall in Wilhelminian style, but also the platform hall with its iron and glass roof are eye-catchers. The train station, which was listed as a historic monument in 1975 and was thoroughly renovated from 1986, is therefore also often called the "railway cathedral" and is also worth a visit when not on a train journey. Not far from the train station, an important part of Antwerp's history can be experienced up close: the diamond district with its winding streets is where the majority of the global diamond trade takes place and many diamond and jewelery shops have settled there.

The architectural beauty of Antwerp can also be seen on the Grote Markt, the central square in the old town. Many wealthy merchants once built magnificent buildings there, which are now home to restaurants, bars and fashion shops. The town hall with its approximately 80 meter long façade is also located on the square. A detour to the alley Vlaeykensgang is also worthwhile. Away from the hustle and bustle of the old town you will find a place of tranquility between the winding buildings from 1591. In addition, small galleries, antique shops and a restaurant invite you to linger.

A special experience awaits under the city: the listed Sint-Anna tunnel from 1933 connects the city with the other bank of the Scheldt. The cyclist and pedestrian tunnel features two old wooden escalators that take users 31 meters below the surface. There is the tunnel with a length of around 500 meters. Arriving on the left bank of the Scheldt, St. Anne's Beach can be reached, preferably by bike. In addition to a view of the city, there are also numerous restaurants in the hustle and bustle on and around the beach. On the city side, near the tunnel, Steen Castle, the city's oldest building, and its visitor center can also be explored.

Travelers to Antwerp will find an oasis of calm from the 16th century in the Beguinage (Begijnhof). For a long time, beguines lived in these residential complexes, i.e. single women who led a religious life away from monasteries and religious rules. The last Antwerp Begine died in 1986, today there are normal apartments in the buildings. In addition to a visit to St. Catherine's Church, the garden with its fruit trees and a pond invites you to take a walk and take a short break.

A detour to the port district should not be missed on any trip to Antwerp. There you can not only marvel at the ships in the harbor basin, but also visit the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS). The imposing warehouse was opened in 2011 and its diverse collection ranges from the history of Antwerp, international trade and shipping to art and culture in Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Oceania. On top of the panoramic roof (tenth floor) the view over the city, the harbor and the Scheldt can be enjoyed.