A Complete Guide to Antwerp

Travel Itinerary

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Anne Renaux
Itinerary by: Anne Renaux
a month ago
Traveller
Duration: 5 days

If you're planning a trip to Antwerp then in this hip and trendy city, you are spoilt for choice. In this itinerary, I have selected Antwerp's must-do places-to-see so that you can enjoy a wonderful weekend - with a mixture of cultural and relaxing highlights. Photo credits main picture: picture by Katerwursty from Pixabay

Day 1

Day 1: Antwerp's City Centre

Begin your weekend in Antwerp's city centre to gain your first impression's of this bustling city.
10:00 - 11:00
Antwerp's Central Station
Koningin Astridplein 27, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
Antwerp Central Station is one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world. The station's grandiose architecture consists of a steel roof and a stone building. In 1975, the station was designated a protected monument and, from 1986, it was thoroughly renovated. After 2000, the station was doubled in size by building more platforms at the underground level. The railway tunnel that has been built allows trains to pass through the station and avoids them having to go in and out again. Photo credits: first & second picture by Skitterphoto from Pixabay; third picture by Gerritbril from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Getting there

If you travel by train to Antwerp you will automatically arrive at this beautiful station. Otherwise, you can just walk by to visit it.

11:00 - 12:00
Antwerp Diamond District
Hoveniersstraat 53, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
From Antwerp Central Station you can walk to the Diamond Square Mile - the largest diamond center in the world. Here, you'll find the homes of diamond craftsmen, jewelers, and diamond merchants. Traditionally, the district has had a strong Jewish population, including the largest number of Orthodox Jews in Western Europe. In the last 20 years, however, the diamond trade has been increasingly taken over by Indian diamond merchants. If you're not just looking at the shop windows full of beautiful diamonds, you'll see a bustle of different nationalities on the streets, haggling from one transaction to the next. Photocredits: picture by Bru-nO from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Travel time
0 hours 8 minutes
12:00 - 16:00
Antwerp Zoo
Koningin Astridplein 20/26, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Antwerp Zoo is one of the oldest and most famous zoos in Europe, as it was opened in 1843. After the world war the government even used the zoo to lock up prisoners-of-war in lion-cages. You can easily spend half a day here because there are plenty of animals to see. Antwerp Zoo has a good international reputation as it participates in breeding programs for endangered species such as the bonobo and the okapi. The beautiful buildings inside the zoo are protected as monuments. The zoo has recently been renovated, giving the monkeys a new, more modern home. Even in bad weather, the zoo is worth a visit as 80% of the animals are always visible. The Zoo is a very popular attraction for children as there is an interactive tour inside the Zoo and several playgrounds for them to romp around in. Photo credits: picture by mvdsande from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 31.00 EUR
Kids 25.00 EUR Under 11
Seniors 29.00 EUR

Travel time
0 hours 8 minutes
16:00 - 18:00
Chocolate Nation
Koningin Astridplein 7, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
As everyone knows, Belgium is the city of chocolate. When you come out of Central Station, you can cross straight to the Chocolate Nation museum, where you will immediately find yourself in a chocolate paradise. Chocolate Nation is the largest chocolate museum in the world, entirely dedicated to the history of Belgian chocolate. The former aquarium has been transformed into an interactive museum where you can learn everything about the history of the Belgian chocolate makers. You start your journey in the jungle, then you end up in the port of Antwerp, where you see how a machine processes the chocolate and why Belgium is so famous for its chocolate. After the journey, you will reach the best part: tasting! Photo credits: picture by Cfcreative from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 18.90 EUR
Group 17.50 EUR
Students 17.50 EUR
Kids 14.50 EUR Under 11
Seniors 18.90 EUR

Travel time
0 hours 3 minutes

Day 2

Churches & Art

Discover Antwerp's culture and art by visiting the most famous churches in Antwerp and the house of one of the most famous painters ever.
10:00 - 12:00
Rubenshuis
Wapper 9/11, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
In Antwerp's city center, you will find the house of Peter Paul Rubens, a world-famous baroque painter from the 16th and 17th centuries. In this museum, you can see Ruben's famous works - such as Adam and Eve and his famous self-portrait. In this house, Rubens created a lot of his masterpieces, he raised his children here and he received (royal) guests. After Rubens' death, the house was used for a lot of different purposes. The house became a residence for a couple and they opened a popular manege. Afterward, the house was used by the French as a prison. Only later it was bought by the city of Antwerp and furnished as a museum. The city restored the house in its original state during nine years of renovation. The porch and the garden are the only original pieces of the house that are left. Photo credits: picture by Vasyatka1 from Wikimedia Commons
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 12.00 EUR
Students 8.00 EUR
Kids 0.00 EUR Under 18
Seniors 12.00 EUR

12:00 - 13:00
St. Charles Borromeo Church
Hendrik Conscienceplein, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
St. Charles Borromeo Church is a hidden gem in Antwerp, located on a cozy little square named Hendrik Conscienceplein. At the square, you can find people having lunch or catching up with friends. The Rubens church was built by the Jesuits in Baroque style between 1615 and 1621. The famous Belgian artist Rubens, had an important share in the decoration of the façade and the crowning of the tower. Currently, the main altar still has a functioning mechanism where paintings can be changed. An impressive sight! Photo credits: picture by Ad Meskens from Wikimedia Commons
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Travel time
0 hours 8 minutes
13:00 - 14:00
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal
Groenplaats 21, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal is the largest Gothic building in the Low Countries and was built over 169 years (1352-1521). The Antwerp Cathedral houses a vast collection of Rubens and other artists' works. After twenty years of restoration, the church now shines again in all its architectural splendor. In the shadow of the Cathedral of Our Lady, life is bustling in the cozy brown pubs and restaurants on the Groenplaats. Photo credits: first picture by Kutscheid from Pixabay; second picture by 7messer from Pixabay; third picture by Violetta from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 8.00 EUR
Group 6.00 EUR
Students 6.00 EUR
Kids 0.00 EUR Under 18
Seniors 6.00 EUR

Travel time
0 hours 6 minutes
14:00 - 15:00
Grote Markt
Grote Markt, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Grote Markt, which dates from the Middle Ages, is located in the heart of Antwerp's old city center. The City Hall of Antwerp, the beating center of Antwerp politics and UNESCO heritage, and the Brabo statue are the most prominent sights on the Grote Markt. On the market square, you will also find many restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee or a bite to eat. In winter, there is a large Christmas market on the Markt and an ice rink. Photo credits: first picture by Armennano from Pixabay; second picture by Reginasphotos from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Travel time
0 hours 1 minute
15:00 - 17:00
Plantin Moretus Museum
Plantin Moretus Museum, Vrijdagmarkt 22, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Plantin-Moretus Museum is an authentic home and studio of a famous printing family, Plantijn. After Plantijn's death, the printing business was taken over by his son-in-law Jan Moretus. Here you can discover the history of books and printing. You will find thousands of books, a practical art collection, and one of the oldest printing presses in the world. The beautiful house is full of tapestries, paintings, and sculptures. The museum is the first museum ever to be listed as a World Heritage Site because of its exceptionally well-preserved 16th-century printing works. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers you a unique historical experience, taking you back to the golden 16th century of Antwerp. Photo credits: picture by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas from Wikimedia Commons
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 12.00 EUR
Students 8.00 EUR
Members 8.00 EUR
Kids 0.00 EUR Under 18

Travel time
0 hours 5 minutes

Day 3

Discovering tastes

If you follow today's guide, you will get to know the typical flavours of Antwerp.
10:00 - 12:00
Vogelenmarkt
Graanmarkt, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Vogelenmarkt in Antwerp is situated in the center of Antwerp, on the square named Theaterplein. Every Sunday, thousands of Dutch and Belgian visitors come to the market. On Saturdays, there are mainly food and drink stands, while on Sundays you can find more poultry and rodents. In many cases, people come here to sample the atmosphere, but not to do any serious shopping. The delicious street food of Belgian dishes is highly recommended, as well as the beautiful bouquets of flowers that are traded there. Also around the market on the Theaterplein, there is enough space to eat or drink something nice. Photo credits: picture by BeAligned from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Notes

The food market is only on Saturdays. On Sunday the market is open too, but mostly to sell animals.

13:00 - 15:00
St Anna's Tunnel
Sint-Annatunnel, Antwerpen, Belgium
St Anna's Tunnel is a pedestrian and bicycle tunnel connecting the left and right banks of Antwerp under the Schelde. The tunnel was built in 1933 and still has its authentic wooden stairs. The tunnel is some 500 meters long and has escalators and lifts at the end. At first, there were plans to build a bridge over the Schelde, but since this would have caused hindrance for the shipping traffic, a tunnel was built instead. To this day, most parts of the tunnel are still original. The tunnel is still used by hundreds of people every day. If you walk through the tunnel, you end up at Linkeroever, a nice place where you can enjoy the Antwerp skyline. Photo credits: Picture by user 2427990 from Pixabay.
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Getting there

You can walk, which will take about 40 minutes. You can also rent a city bike to make this tour at Velo Antwerpen for only €5 per day. Going by Metro is also an option.

Travel time
0 hours 40 minutes
16:00 - 20:00
De Koninck Antwerp City Brewery
Mechelsesteenweg 291, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
There are two typical Antwerp beers: De Koninck (Bolleke) and Tripel d'Anvers. Both of the beers are produced in the brewery De Koninck in the center of Antwerp. A Bolleke is a less strong (5.2%), amber-colored beer while Tripel d'Anvers is for those who like it a bit stronger (8%). Tripel d'Anvers is a golden blond tripel beer. Start your visit by learning about the brewing process of these Antwerp beers and finish at the bar with a tasting. Besides the brewery, you can also find some delicious, local restaurants where you can enjoy a culinary meal after the tasting. Photo credits: picture by Steven Lek from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 12.00 EUR
Group 10.00 EUR
Students 10.00 EUR
Kids 0.00 EUR Under 3
Seniors 12.00 EUR

Notes

It's nice to end the day here because there are a lot of nice restaurants in the neighborhood.

Getting there

The best way to get here is with the city bike or the metro.

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes

Day 4

Around Antwerp's River Schelde

Spend the day discovering places around the Schelde.
10:00 - 12:00
The Ruien
Suikerrui 21, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Ruien is a special encounter where you walk through former canals and sewers of Antwerp. Amid this incredible walk underground, you'll be able to find the interesting and wealthy history of the city. Ever since the Middle Ages, the network of waterways has provided Antwerp with potable water and an inner harbor. Later, the canals served as sewers. This is a fun walk to discover the history and facts of Antwerp. Photo credits: picture by Lomita from Wikimedia Commons
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 18.00 EUR
Group 0.00 EUR
Kids 0.00 EUR Under 10

12:00 - 13:00
het Steen
Steenplein 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Throughout the centuries, the Steen has had many functions, from fortress to prison and from house to museum. After a thorough renovation, the building will soon be transformed into a tourist visitors' center, making it a unique location. You can ask for information about the city of Antwerp on the ground floor, and on the 1st floor, you can discover more about the fascinating story of Antwerp room by room. If you would you like to enjoy an incredible view over Antwerp, then climb the tower to the roof terrace of the Steen, where you can look out over the river, the city, and the port. Photo credits: picture by Suicasmo from Wikimedia Commons.
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 7.00 EUR
Kids 5.00 EUR Under 17

Travel time
0 hours 5 minutes
13:00 - 15:00
MAS - Museum Aan de Stroom
Mont Verdieping, Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The MAS is located in Antwerp's trendy neighborhood of Het Eilandje, where the old port used to be. The MAS has a gigantic collection of art, and there are regular exhibitions that are worthwhile. The MAS is a symbol of Antwerp's connection to the world, and many of its exhibitions deal with the port, its history and its culture, and its international relations. Even for those less culturally inclined, the building is worth a visit. Take the escalators to the top floor and enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city, which is free to visit. When you get to the top, look for the hidden artwork 'Dead Skull' by Luc Tuymans, which is visible if you look down at the square. Photo credits: picture by JATBLAD from Pixabay
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 10.00 EUR
Students 8.00 EUR
Kids 0.00 EUR Under 12
Seniors 8.00 EUR

Travel time
0 hours 16 minutes
15:00 - 17:00
Red Star Line Museum
Montevideostraat 3, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Antwerp is sometimes referred to as "New York on the Schelde," and for good reason. The Red Star Line Museum, which transported fortune seekers from Europe to America and Canada, used to be a literal link. Antwerp was the gateway to a better life for over two million people between 1873 and 1935. Inside the museum you can learn about the stories of millions of people in this museum who had an American dream to live a better life. The Red Star Line Museum does not have a standard museum collection; instead, it focuses on collecting tales. You can listen to or read stories written during this time period here. Nevertheless, it is not just a museum. It consists of an observation tower that rises above the shed in the shape of a ship's chimney and offers a beautiful panoramic view. After your visit to the museum, you can enjoy refreshments in the museum's café. Photo credits: picture by Fred Romero from Wikimedia Commons
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard 10.00 EUR
Group 6.00 EUR
Students 6.00 EUR
Members 6.00 EUR
Kids 0.00 EUR Under 18

Travel time
0 hours 7 minutes
18:00 - 19:00
Havenhuis
Mexicostraat 37, 2030 Antwerpen, Belgium
If you continue the Schelde north, you'll come upon Antwerp's newest architectural jewel, the Havenhuis. The remarkable diamond-shaped superstructure was developed by Zaha Hadid, a renowned architectural studio. The trendy building is now the new headquarters of the Port of Antwerp. In the Havenhuis, the past and future of the port of Antwerp meet. This building used to be a fire station, but after renovation, this beautiful barracks has been preserved and it marks the beginning of the port area. The building is a symbol of the growth of the Port of Antwerp. The building is open for visitors but you can only visit the building with a guide and in a group. Photo credits: picture by user 2427999 from Pixabay.
Article By: Anne Renaux

Notes

Ideal to end your day here and to enjoy a nice evening walk next to the water.

Travel time
0 hours 18 minutes

Day 5

Shopping in Antwerp

What else to do in the city of fashion? Stroll around in the shopping streets full of chain stores as well as in the cozy streets full of small boutiques. You will definitely find what you are looking for here!
10:00 - 12:00
Meir
Meir, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Meir is one of the most important shopping streets in Antwerp. Together with the Keyserlei, the Meir forms the connection between the Central Station and the historical center of Antwerp. In the main shopping street, you will find mainly the big chain shops. Photo credits: picture by Vasyatka1 from Wikimedia Commons.
Article By: Anne Renaux

Notes

Please note that the shops are closed on Sundays, only the first Sunday of the month is exceptional.

12:00 - 14:00
Theaterbuurt
Theaterbuurt, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Theaterbuurt is also called Quartier Latin. It is a lively neighbourhood, full of cafés and restaurants. If you start at Hopland, you can discover the city's most chic shops, full of national and international shops, via Schutterhofstraat. You should also visit Lange Gasthuisstraat, where you will find the most famous local shops of Antwerp. Photo credits: picture by Webandi from Pixabay.
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Travel time
0 hours 6 minutes
14:00 - 15:30
Kloosterstraat
Kloosterstraat, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Kloosterstraat is one of the most pleasant streets in Antwerp. The Kloosterstraat is known as the street for antique shops, but more and more regular retailers and other catering establishments are finding their way here. Unlike the other shopping streets, these shops are open every Sunday. Between the shops you will find a fascinating mix of modern and old, and both young and old can enjoy themselves here. Photo credits: picture by Skitterphoto from Pixabay.
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Travel time
0 hours 5 minutes
14:00 - 15:00
Wilde Zee
De Wilde Zee, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Wilde Zee is a little square formed by five traffic-free streets. Here you will find chain shops, trendy brands and Antwerp delicacies such as chocolate. De Wilde Zee (Wild Sea) owes its name to the bend in the canal, which in the 15th century could be quite high, making it seem like a wild sea. There are all kinds of good things to eat here too. On every street corner, you will find a line full of people queuing up outside for all sorts of goodies. Photo credits: picture by Pexels from Pixabay.
Article By: Anne Renaux

Travel time
0 hours 4 minutes
15:30 - 17:30
Zuid
Zuid, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
There are three museums in Antwerp's vibrant quarter of Zuid: The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Photo Museum. You will also find modern galleries full of exclusive design and interior design shops in this neighborhood. Even if you have no intention of buying anything, it is great to get some inspiration here. Be sure to visit Volkstraat, which is teeming with concept stores. You won't be short of something to eat or drink here either. The Zuid is a lively district, especially in the evening. Enjoy the hip bars and restaurants together with famous writers, actors, and artists. Photo credits: picture by Jean Housen from Wikimedia Commons.
Article By: Anne Renaux
Standard Free

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
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About the author

Hi everyone! I'm 22 years old and I define myself as a real travel junkie. I like to explore new destinations and I still have a lot of destinations on my bucket list. I like to discover new cultures and routines, since I'm fascinated by history and cultural differences. I like to discover this along with new cuisines and flavors, together with a glass of wine!

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