Antwerp is the center of the diamond trade and fashion. Antwerp is known above all for its diamonds and fashion. Art lovers are also pampered.
The diamond trade is in full swing
Located in the Flemish-speaking north of Belgium, Antwerp is one of the world’s diamond trading centers and there are plenty of jewelery shops. Multicultural Antwerpen is a modern and lively city of half a million inhabitants. Much of the city center is closed to cars, making the city like one large living room.
As a shopping city, Antwerp is certainly the best in Belgium, and there are plenty of shopping opportunities for those who like inventive and bold style as well as lovers of more classic style. Major fashion brands have gathered on Meir Street, which crosses the city center.
Belgian delicacies in the medieval old town
Antwerp is a city of a suitable size and easy to see, with a surprising amount to see. The Grote Markt is the heart of the city and must-see attractions include Antwerp Cathedral, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal, whose tower rises to over 120 meters.
The old town with its narrow alleys and attractive restaurants invites you to spend the evening. Hundreds of Belgian beers can be sampled in its pubs and bars. Also, the delicacies of Belgian cuisine, mussels and Belgian potatoes or delicious waffles, may be impossible to resist.
Culture and museums
There are plenty of cultural events as well as interesting museums and architecture in Antwerp. Art lovers will surely be interested in Rubens ’former home, which now serves as the Rubenshuis Museum. More art can be found in the Royal Museum of Art, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. The city also has museums focusing on fashion and photography, among other things.
Children are sure to enjoy the famous Antwerp Zoo, which dates back to the 19th century. The architecture of the zoo and the park plantations are also worth checking out.
A year-round travel destination
Antwerp is a great destination for a long weekend, but there is something to do for a longer period of time. And even if time goes long for some reason, many other Belgian cities are just a short car or train ride away.
The weather in Antwerp is often windy and the maritime climate allows rains to come all year round. In summer the temperature is pleasantly warm but rarely hot. Winters are cool. Antwerp is a year-round destination, but those looking to sit on terraces and parks should head to the city in the summer.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN ANTWERPEN
By plane to Brussels
There are no flights from Finland to Antwerp, so the most convenient way to travel to the city is to fly to Brussels and continue the journey by train. Flights to Brussels can be obtained very cheaply. It is only about 45 kilometers from Brussels to Antwerp and there are regular trains between the cities.
Antwerp is easily accessible by train from other parts of Europe. Upon arrival by train, you can also visit the architecturally handsome railway station of Antwerp. If you want to tour Belgium more widely, you should rent a car
Multi-level accommodation within walking distance
Accommodation options in Antwerp can be found in many price ranges. It offers traditional hotels as well as hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation. The price level is largely the same as in Finland. Especially in summer, reservations should be made in advance.
Getting around Antwerp is easiest on foot, as much of the city has pedestrian streets and distances are short. Renting a bicycle is also a very good way to get around the city. Antwerp also has a well-functioning tram and bus network.
ATTRACTIONS OF ANTWERPEN
Grote Markt and Gothic Cathedral as landmarks
The Grote Markt is the heart of Antwerp and is surrounded by several historically valuable and beautiful buildings. The Grote Markt is also a waterway to the old city of Antwerp, with the 123-meter-high Gothic cathedral Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal as its sovereign ruler. There is also a lot of valuable art in the cathedral, such as paintings by Rubens.
In the alleys of the old town you will find many of the best restaurants and terraces in Antwerp, it is nice to watch the hustle and bustle of people as well as street artists. There are also lots of interesting small shops in the old town, where you are sure to find a variety of souvenirs.
Rubenshuis and other art objects
The famous artist Rubens lived and worked in Antwerp and today his former apartment and studio serve as a museum. Rubenshuis is one of Antwerp’s most popular attractions and the palace-like building is definitely worth a visit. The Rubenshuis is located just off Meir Street in central Antwerp.
A lover of the arts should also visit the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, which, in addition to Rubens, features works by several other Flemish artists as well as some foreign greats such as Titian, Rodino and Modiglian.
Those interested in fashion will find interesting things to see in the fashion-focused museum MoMu, and the jewelery museum also fits well into the same theme.
Elephants and penguins in stunning backdrops
Antwerp Zoo is one of the oldest in Europe, founded in the 19th century, and is also one of the most famous in Europe. The zoo is especially popular with children, who can marvel at elephants, giraffes and penguins, among others. There are 950 different animal species and 5,000 animals. The zoo also advertises its focus on the protection of endangered animal species in particular.
The only subject of wonder at the zoo is not the animals, but the architecture of the park is also worth seeing. The zoo is located right next to the main train station.