AntwerpBelgium

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The diamond capital of the world is both historically rich and refreshingly modern, with 16th-century architecture and a thriving avant-garde arts scene.

Antwerp is known for diamonds, avant-garde fashion and gothic architecture. The city of half a million people sits on the east bank of the River Schelde, and its compact center gives Antwerp a bustling vibe. The locals, with a reputation for being relaxed and friendly, are more than happy to switch from their native-tongue Flemish to English.

The city’s position as a key trading point saw it explode into riches during the 16th century; many relics from this golden age still exist. Buildings like the City Hall in the Grote Markt and the palatial Central Station give the town an architectural beauty to rival any in Europe. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal), a huge and ornately decorated Gothic cathedral that houses artworks by Antwerpen artist Peter Paul Rubens.

Art enthusiasts can find out more about Rubens by visiting his old home and studio, the Rubenshuis. The sculpture garden at Middelheim Park south of the center is also a popular spot for art lovers, with its mix of modern and traditional pieces dotted among shrubs and winding paths.

Antwerp is known as the diamond capital of the world. Nearly 60 percent of the world’s diamonds are traded here. Browse the sparkling displays of jewelers’ windows in the Diamond District, east of the city center.

The city’s fashion school is one of the best in Europe. Many well-known designers have made Antwerp their home. Shop for one-off designer clothes and accessories in the Kammenstraat area.

It’s easy to get around Antwerp on foot or by bicycle. Rent a bike using the city’s public Velo system, which sees bike stations dotted around town. There’s also a good network of buses, trams and a pre-metro system (underground trams). Buy a fixed price transport card.

The climate is maritime, with mild and often wet weather throughout the year. Winters rarely see snow, and June and July—the hottest months—are also the rainiest. The city makes the most of its climate with no shortage of cozy cafes and bars. Pull up a stool at a bar and drink Belgian beer with the locals.

Top hotels in Antwerp

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
A-STAY Antwerpen
A-STAY Antwerpen
3.5 out of 5
86 Pelikaanstraat, Antwerp, Vlaanderen
NZ$118
per night
Feb 24 - Feb 25

Located in the heart of Antwerp, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of De Keyserlei and Antwerp Zoo. Cathedral of Our Lady and Antwerp Market Square are also ...

4.4/5Excellent! (45 reviews)

"Excellent in all respects. Well worth staying here."…"

Reviewed on 10 Feb. 2020

A-STAY Antwerpen
Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp
Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp
4 out of 5
Koningin Astridplein 7, Antwerp
NZ$183
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

Located in Statiekwartier, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from Queen Elizabeth Hall, Queen Astrid Square and De Keyserlei. Antwerp Zoo and Flemish Opera ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,641 reviews)

"Great location. Room is big cosy and comfortable. Only small thing is the sink was already a bit clogged when we checked in."…"

Reviewed on 29 Dec. 2019

Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp
Hilton Antwerp Old Town
Hilton Antwerp Old Town
4 out of 5
Groenplaats 32, Antwerp
NZ$216
per night
Mar 1 - Mar 2

Located in Historisch centrum, this hotel is steps away from Green Square, Farmers' Tower and Cathedral of Our Lady. Antwerp Market Square and Plantin-Moretus ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,396 reviews)

"Location is excellent in the middle of the old town in Antwerp. Building is palatial and rooms are rustic and comfortable, except for the very small shower. Restaurant is very good. Service is very good. The hotel has an overall majestic Old Europe feeling. Parking situation is problematic. Parking ..."…"

Reviewed on 10 Dec. 2019

Hilton Antwerp Old Town

Popular activities in Antwerp

Antwerp Market Square
Image for Antwerp Market Square

Antwerp Market Square

4/5(17 reviews)

Spend an hour or two people watching beneath 16th-century buildings in Antwerp’s cultural heart.

Cathedral of Our Lady
Image for Cathedral of Our Lady

Cathedral of Our Lady

4.5/5(15 reviews)

The tallest church in Belgium is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and houses a number of European masterpieces.

Museum Aan de Stroom
Image for Museum Aan de Stroom

Museum Aan de Stroom

4/5(2 reviews)

Learn about Antwerp’s history and culture at this stunningly designed museum, perched next to the seafront and offering 360-degree views of the city.

Top activities in Antwerp

Hard Rock Cafe Dining with Priority Seating
Image for Hard Rock Cafe Dining with Priority Seating

Hard Rock Cafe Dining with Priority Seating

100% of travellers recommend
NZ$38
Per adult
Antwerp, half day tour departure from Brussels
Image for Antwerp, half day tour departure from Brussels

Antwerp, half day tour departure from Brussels

NZ$66
Per adult
Vacation Photographer in Antwerp
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Vacation Photographer in Antwerp

NZ$67
Per adult
Antwerp by Night Private Tour
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Antwerp by Night Private Tour

NZ$32
Per adult
Christmas Beer Tour - The magic of Christmas in a glass
Image for Christmas Beer Tour - The magic of Christmas in a glass

Christmas Beer Tour - The magic of Christmas in a glass

NZ$48
Per adult
De Koninck Antwerp City Brewery Admission Ticket
Image for De Koninck Antwerp City Brewery Admission Ticket

De Koninck Antwerp City Brewery Admission Ticket

NZ$24
Per adult

Reviews of Antwerp

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5
5 - Excellent 41.666666666666664%
4 - Good
4
4 - Good 33.333333333333336%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 25%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Aug 16, 2019

There are many areas of the city under repair and buildings being renovated. As well as this, the city itself is not very clean. Local council needs to employ cleaners/sweepers to maintain footpaths in general.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jul 7, 2019

Peaceful and quiet place, safe to walk around. Locals like to drink beer even during the early afternoon.

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