A weekend in Antwerp (+ mini city guide)

Last weekend I was in Antwerp, for the second time in my life. Both times I’ve been surprised about the beauty of the historical center and the shrill contrast with the neighborhoods outside. In the city center you can enjoy the cozy terraces and the pretty facades. Outside you see a guy getting arrested hard-handed by the police and are the buildings a lot less charming. Last weekend I met up with three Erasmus friends halfway between the north of the Netherlands and Luxembourg, also know as Antwerp. I didn’t bring my camera for the weekend, so the pictures are from my first visit during a sunnier season. Keep reading for my favorite Antwerp pictures and ultimate tips.  

The last picture is from this weekend, look at us being happy at the top of the city with the flickering lights in the background. On Friday we were so lucky with the weather, it was such a sunny day. Saturday we were less fortunate, so we spent most of our time shopping and eating. After having been to Antwerp, I’ve got my list with favorite places and this post wouldn’t be complete without. Here we go:

  • Museum aan de Stroom: not for the museum, but for the view from the rooftop terrace. You can go there for free and by escalator; ideal for the panorama-lovers who hate spiral staircases. Thanks to the ample opening hours you can enjoy the view during the day as well as in the evening.

  • Désiré de Lille: they seem to have the best waffles of Antwerp and I have to say I was very happy eating them.

  • Ellis Gourmet Burger: I just love the burgers at Ellis, a burger restaurant at multiple places in Antwerp as well as in the Netherlands. It’s right next to Museum aan de Stroom, so you can combine the burgers with the great view. Both the normal and the vegetarian burgers are yum, as well as the fries and Vedett.

  • FOMU: the photo museum is great for all photography lovers. The museum has alternating expositions, so it depends on the expositions whether you’ll like it, but I really enjoyed the museum when I was there.

  • Le Pain Quotidien: for this place I’d recommend the breakfast with the same name. It consists of all sorts of small breads, sweet spreads, fresh pressed orange juice and a cappuccino. Seriously, I was so full afterwards that I still couldn’t eat much around dinner time. I’m pretty sure there are multiple of this breakfast place in Antwerp, at least there’s one near the train station.

  • Ringz & Thingz: although half of the store consists of weird clothes for dressing up, the heart of every simple jewelry lover starts beating faster in this store. So many simple silver earrings for a good price!

  • Vlaeykensgang: this “secret” passage is accessible through a small hidden gate at the Oude Koornmarkt 16. The idyllic passage has so many plants and pretty walls. Especially in summer this place is beautiful!

All of these are some less obvious recommendations for visiting Antwerp. Of course the city is great for shopping as well, De Meir is the biggest shopping street and has a lot of the well-known stores. In the side streets are a lot of smaller clothing and book stores. The historical city center and the cathedral are worth paying a visit as well.

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  1. Toevallig ben ik me net aan het oriënteren voor een weekendje Antwerpen. Ik twijfelde nog een beetje of ik niet voor Maastricht zou gaan maar ik denk dat de keuze wel gemaakt is haha. Heb je misschien nog goede hotel tips?

    • Ik heb een keer in het Antwerp Student Hostel geslapen. Ze hebben wel tweepersoonskamers, maar het blijft natuurlijk wel een hostel.. Dit keer sliepen we in City Apartments Antwerp. Was heel geschikt voor vier personen, maar ik weet niet hoe dat met andere aantallen zit. Veel plezier alvast!

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