Living in Utrecht, it is not even an hour and a half drive to Antwerp, so it was about time that I would visit Belgium’s second important city! As I have just come back from a weekend in Antwerp, one of the most beautiful places in Belgium, it is also just about time that I create a little blog post about it. Since it was only a weekend and I obviously didn’t manage to do everything in a single weekend, I thought this time I will do it a little differently and also include all the nice places I ate at and where I stayed, rather than just list things to do in Antwerp!
8 Things to do in Antwerp, Belgium
Of course, there is more to see than just the activities listed below, but here are some of the best 8 things to do in Antwerp, Belgium.
1. Free 360° view of Antwerp
For a free view of the city, head to the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), just a 15-minute walk away from the main square (Grote Markt). Even after the museum is closed, you can still make your way to the top floor and enjoy some beautiful views of the city of Antwerp. And the best thing, it’s free!
2. Chocolate Nation
If you love chocolate (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), then I would highly recommend a visit to the chocolate museum: the world’s largest Belgian chocolate museum.
Learn all about the production and history of Belgium chocolate in this interactive museum, and end the experience with a chocolate tasting. Audio guides are included in the ticket. This place was much more fun than I had imagined, so definitely worth a visit.
The museum is open every day from 10:15 to 18:00 and costs €18.90 per adult.
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3. Grote Markt
The grote markt, is the heart of Antwerp: a big square in the old town of the city. If there is one place that you should see when travelling to Antwerp, it would have to be this square. Here you can find beautiful houses, the city hall, restaurants and bars.
4. Antwerp Zoo
The Antwerp zoo can be found right next to the train station, it is one of the oldest animal parks in the world. Antwerp zoo is open every day, in the summer months, from 10.00 to 18:00. It is rather pricy though, the entry fee is €31 per person.
5. Central Station
Probably the most beautiful train station I have ever seen! Trains still had delays, but at least you get to spend time looking at this impressive building while waiting for your train.
6. Het Steen
Het Steen (in English: The rock) is a fortress near the port and right by the water in Antwerp. It is also only a short walk away from the old town and the main square. The castle is Antwerp’s oldest building, and while there isn’t much to see inside, it is still worth it, paying a visit to the fortress.
7. Den Botaniek
Since most places in Antwerp are located very close to each other and everything is walkable, you might as well also have a quick look at the botanic garden. You can spot a variety of different plants and entry to the gardens is free!
8. Port of Antwerp (Portopolis)
The Port of Antwerp is located right next to the museum aan de Stroom, which is where you can visit the free viewing platform, that I talked about earlier. Here you can find a free interactive visitor centre. You can get a 360° tour of the harbour with the help of VR glasses, and you can pick up a tablet at the entrance to receive more information about the harbour.
Where to stay in Antwerp?
I can obviously only talk about the place I had actually stayed in, which is the Hyllit Hotel. It is located almost right next to the train station and the zoo. The location was perfect, right in the diamond district and in walking distance to all of Antwerp’s main attractions.
All the facilities were lovely and there even was a swimming pool, sauna and gym. I would definitely stay here again if I would come back to Antwerp.
Where to eat in Antwerp?
Here are just all the places that I happened to eat at, and since I liked them all, I might as well mention them. Might give you an idea of where to eat in Antwerp.
Bubble waffle café
This place (unsurprisingly) sells bubble waffles, but if you are feeling like something less sweet, then they also serve brunch food such as avocado toasts, bowls or bagels. The cool thing about this place was that you could just order and pay directly on your phone, and then they would bring out the food. Never seen that before!
Adress: Wijngaardbrug 2, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Another cute lunch place, basically just around the corner from the place I had mentioned before. The ice coffee was good, and they also serve toasts and cakes. They also do high tea, however, for that you need to reserve beforehand.
Adress: Hendrik Conscienceplein 14, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
This Lebanese restaurant was great! They had an option on the menu where you get like 16 small dishes to share, which we tried! It was a lot of food, but very fun to try lots of different dishes.
Adress: Kribbestraat 18, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Since I love Lebanese food, we also decided to eat Lebanese food on our second day in Belgium, but this time at a place that was a little less pricey. This restaurant is located close to the main square and the food was amazing! It was even better than the restaurant we went to the night before!
Adress: Hoogstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
And here were some things to do in Antwerp and some of my Antwerp restaurant recommendations. Are you planning a trip to Antwerp yourself?
Talk to you later
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