Summer in Antwerp
Summer in Antwerp! I like traveling very much but sometimes you don’t want to travel too far to experience that lovely holiday feeling. So I did last Saturday, a day trip to Antwerp!
I have been to this bustling city many times. What attracts me to this city is the architecture, the quaintstreets and squares and long avenues. Life here is exuberant and the people are friendly.
Antwerp, that is very well known as “the world’s leading diamand city” and has the second largest port in Europe, is a city that has something to offer for everyone. History, walking, shopping, gastronomy, museums …
The woman are dressed very stylish due to the beautiful boutiques in the narrow cobblestone streets. First thing in the morning is a coffee in the morning sun at the “Groenmarkt”, shop a little bit or visit an exhibition in one of the many museums then it’s time for a lunch. Often I lunch with real Belgian fries (fritten) because they are the most tasteful and I can really enjoy that! Because it is not the most healthy lunch 🙂 I make long city walk afterwards.
Walking makes you thirsty. At a nice café you can enjoy Belgian beer and watch the people go by with a lot of shopping bags.
Sometimes it’s hard to choose from the many restaurants. Italian, Sushi, Spanish, Croatian, Indian…. I chose a restaurant overlooking the Town Hall and the fountain, Cafe du Nord and I enjoyed one of my favorite dishes, steak tartare with potatoe croquettes with crème brulee as dessert.
A tasty end of a very successful day!
What to do and see
A couple of things recommendations for Antwerp are:
Old Town District. Antwerp has a long history and that can be seen by the historical buildings from different periods. It’s very nice to walk through the narrow streets and feel the dynamic of the perfect mix of history and modern life. Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwe kathedraal). Masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
Museums. For example, Rubenshuis (house of Baroque painter Rubens, Wapper 9-11), MAS (this museum tells the story about Antwerp in the world, Hanzestedenplaats 1), Museum Vleeshuis (this building is a former Guild Hall. Meet the world behind 600 years of music and dance in Antwerp, Vleeshouwersstraat 38), Museum Plantin-Moretus (this is a very dynamic and unique museum about the printing family Platin-Moretus. A real paradise for book lovers!, Vrijdagmarkt 22), MoMu (Fashion Museum, Nationalestraat 28). Central Station. Beautiful entree to the city!This station has rated as one of the world’s five most beautiful stations and it is a beautiful entree to the city. Everytime I arrive at this station, I am impressed by the neo-Gothic facade.
Town Hall. The Town Hall is situated on the “Grote Markt”, the historic centre of the city and is an impressive Renaissance style building with a big fountain at the square and many flags from every window. Around this lively square you can find many restaurants and cafe’s. The Zoo. near the Central Station, one of the oldest Zoos of the world. Shopping. The most famous shopping street is Meir, from the Keyserlei to the Groenplaats. For luxury shopping you can find the best boutiques at the Kammenstraat, Nationalestraat and surroundings. Bird market. This market is held every Sunday at the Theaterplein. There is a wide range of animals on sale and this market is one of the top attractions in the centre of Antwerp.
Jewish Quarter. The Jewish Community starts in the Pelkinstraat. The oldest synagogue (built in 1893) can ben found in the Bouwmeesterstraat near the Museum of Fine Arts in the south of the city. Many diamond dealers belong’s to the Orthodox Jewish inhabitants of Antwerp, which has a long history in the city.
My best tip
What I love to do the most, in every city that I visit, is to explore without a fixed route or a specific goal. When you do that you discover the true face of a city and spots that are maybe not interesting to write down in guidebooks but gives a better and nice view of the city and its inhabitants. Try it! It will be very interesting 🙂