City of Antwerp (Antwerpen)
Antwerp (map) is the capital of the eponymous province in the region of Flanders. Antwerp has grown to become a trendy city, attracting many Flemish and foreign artists, writers, intellectuals, and actors. This is reflected in the city’s many trendy bars and shops.
Antwerp is a city with many faces. While it may not be as historically preserved as Bruges or Ghent, it is a very dynamic city, offering a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life.
The friendliness of the people of Antwerp and their innate penchant for good food and good living, combined with their low stress lifestyle, makes it a desirable and relaxing place to visit.
+ More information > Wikipedia • Wikivoyage
Most things to see are near or within the Boulevards, the half-moon of avenues where there were once 16th-century city walls. This old town centre (map), with a diameter of about 1.5 km, can be walked, and there is also excellent public transport. The centre is densely signposted to aid those discovering it on foot.
With the Antwerp City Card you can visit all museums and three monumental churches over a 48-hour period. It also features a 25% discount on attractions, sightseeing and bicycle rentals.
*Zurenborg neighborhood (map). A little off the beaten track. This neighbourhood in the south east of Antwerp (near the railway station Antwerpen-Berchem, look for ‘Cogels-Osylei’ on the map) is known for its eclectic, sometimes rather bizarre 19th century architecture. Consider taking a tram or bicycle to get there.
Antwerp Ruien (map). You can take a guided tour of the underground city of Antwerp.
Weekend Markets take place on the Theaterplein Square (map) in front of the Stadsschouwburg theatre. The markets are very popular with stalls offering everything from food (fruit and veg, meat, fish, nuts, cheese ethnic specialities) to household goods to bicycles to antiques to clothes. Sunday tends to see a lot more stalls compared to Saturday.
Wherever you are in Antwerp, you will always be near a pub or another drinking facility. Not surprising in the city that has the most pubs per capita in the world. The pubs do not have a closing hour. Drinks originating here are De Koninck (commonly called “Bolleke”) beer, and Elixir d’Anvers – a liquor based on plants.
De Lijn | Network plans & platform layout – Весь общественный транспорт города.
+ Transport to and in Antwerp (visitantwerpen.be) • Public Transport | BELGIUM (belgium.be)
Smart Mobility Planner | door-to-door routeplanner for the whole country, covering all forms of public transport (including train, bus, subway and tram).
Belgium Driving Guide – This guide not only tells you what the best itineraries in Belgium are, but it also means you what you need to know about driving in Belgium from the dos and don’ts on Belgian roads.
BUS > STIB/MIVB in Brussels • De Lijn in Flanders • TEC in Wallonia. Most tourists will not need the bus companies, as it is much more user-friendly to take trains between cities and go on foot inside them. There is also the Kusttram, running along almost the whole Flemish seaside from France to the Netherlands—definitely worth a trip in the summer.
RAIL > Belgiantrain.be – Use the official journey planner operated by the National Railway Company of Belgium to find train itineraries and prices. Thalys • SNCF • Eurostar • Deutsche Bahn
AIRPORTS > There is a regular intercity train Amsterdam – Brussels that connects Schiphol Airport directly with Antwerpen Centraal station (map) in approximately 1 hr 50 min. Brussels Airport, also known as Zaventem due to the town in which it is mainly located, is Belgium’s main airport. Brussels South Charleroi Airport, about 50 km (31 mi) south of Brussels, mostly serves low-cost carriers.
WATERWAYS > There are overnight ferries to/from Zeebrugge from Hull in England, but they are not cheap.
Antwerp’s bike-sharing scheme is called Velo. You can get a day pass for these bikes in the Central Station and pick up your bike at more than 80 places in Antwerp.