The 10 Best Things to Do in Antwerp, Belgium

October 20, 2017 Claudia Navarrete

Lively Antwerp is a hidden gem. Its medieval streets, Renaissance monuments and vibrant nightlife tend to be overshadowed by its reputation as center of the diamond trade and as the world's fifth-largest port. Biking is a popular choice for getting around this stylish Flemish city. See thousands of Old Masters at the Royal Museum and Rubens House. Experience the bustle of life at the Grote Markt. Marvel at the art and architecture of the still unfinished Cathedral of Our Lady, started in 1351.
Restaurants in Antwerp

1. Central Station

Koningin Astridplein 27, Antwerp 2018, Belgium +32 2 528 28 28
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Central Station

Leopold II had this unusual rail station built as a neo-Baroque monument to the railway age in 1905.

Reviewed By Nilesh D - London, United Kingdom

Good place, just be careful of 3 things, 1. People asking for cigarettes and money 2. Some people engage you in a conversation and try to rob your baggage 3. Some cabbies don’t accept cards so better ask upfront before boarding the vehicle

2. Museum Plantin-Moretus

Vrijdagmarkt 22, Antwerp 2000, Belgium +32 3 221 14 50
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
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1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Museum Plantin-Moretus

Walk into the printing press and the Plantin-Moretus family home as though you were a family friend paying a visit 400 years ago. Explore the house, the garden and the press in the only museum in the world on the UNESCO World Heritage list. - the two oldest printing presses in the world and more than 20.000 lead letters - 30.000 old books, illustrated manuscripts and other treasures of European printing - a beautiful baroque garden hidden within the walls of the museum

Reviewed By Adam B

Really fun and interesting museum! I found myself getting lost in the various old tombs scattered throughout the house - especially the atlas' and botanical works. Quite fascinating to see how many different types of fiction/non-fiction were published by Rubens' business.
My only knock was it was at time hard to following the maze of rooms in the order you were suppose to see them. I got lost in the middle and might have missed something interesting! Signage needed to be bigger and more distinct.
Overall would visit again.

3. Rockox House

Keizerstraat 12, Antwerp 2000, Belgium +32 3 201 92 50
Excellent
67%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
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4.5 based on 190 reviews

Rockox House

Reviewed By Susan A - London, United Kingdom

This is a charming museum with a very well displayed collection of mainly paintings and tapestries which belonged to a mayor of Antwerp who was a friend of Rubens. The admission charge includes a very comprehensive guide. Each exhibit is numbered and so easy to find in the guide. There is also a delightful courtyard garden.
There are a couple of rooms which house temporary Exhibitions, and this time it ws landscape paintings.

Middelheimlaan 61, Antwerp 2020, Belgium +32 3 288 33 60
Excellent
66%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 270 reviews

Middelheimpark

Reviewed By AllanJGJ - Wellington, New Zealand

It would be easy to overlook this amazing attraction as a tourist if you focused too much on Antwerp's historic centre. You'd be missing out if you did. In over 30 acres of parkland, including some excellent specimen trees, there are literally hundreds of sculptures including by many from the masters of the craft, as well as some amusing pieces thrown in for good measure. There's also a pleasant little cafe for lunch and if you drive straight to the main gate lots of free parking. Whether you're an art lover or not a half day spent here on a sunny day will probably last long in the memory.

5. Cogels Osylei

Cogels-Osylei | Zurenborg, Antwerp, Belgium
Excellent
66%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
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4.5 based on 494 reviews

Cogels Osylei

Reviewed By AllanJGJ - Wellington, New Zealand

Even though Cogels Osylei is highlighted here there is actually a triangle of streets where this collection of 1890s mansions (and they are mansions) can be found. Indeed I thought Waterloostraat had the best examples. There's practically no interruption of modern dwellings here and there a range of art nouveau features, although many of the grand house have features harking back to early styles of 19th century architecture. A very pleasant walk around the triangle can be concluded with coffee at any one of a number of places (we went into Maurice's at one end of the triangle and thought it was excellent). Don't be frightened to drive if you have a car. There was lots of (cheap) on-street parking when we were there on a weekday.

Antwerp 2600, Belgium
Excellent
63%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
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4.5 based on 172 reviews

Zurenborg

Reviewed By TheOldTiger - London, UK

Only a short tram ride from the historic centre, making sure you have your invaluable 3 Euro guide to the district from the Tourist Office, an incomparable feast of singular Art Nouveau architecture awaits you, compactly arranged in 4-5 streets around the Berchem rail station. Almost every house is a gem: tilework, fenestration, mosaics, ironwork, roofs, doors...there are large and smaller individual houses, rows of houses concealed as one huge house, matching houses each side of a crossroads....the diversity, beauty and imagination goes on. Words cannot do this district justice. Take an hour with the guidebook and then another to repeat the walk without it, just drinking it in.
Incomparable.

7. Saint Paul's Church

Sint-Paulusstraat 22, Antwerp 2000, Belgium +32 3 231 33 21
Excellent
65%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
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4.5 based on 375 reviews

Saint Paul's Church

Reviewed By moch15 - Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

It was little hard to find where the entrance was. The interior design of church was amazing, a beautiful contrast between black and white. Also the vault was decorated with small golden motifs like stars. Anyone could stay and relax as long as they want to.

8. Red Star Line Museum

Montevideostraat 3, Antwerp 2000, Belgium +32 3 298 27 70
Excellent
63%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
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4.5 based on 934 reviews

Red Star Line Museum

Reviewed By pablo44 - Kent, UK

The museum is located in Antwerp's upcoming trendy neighbourhood "Het Eilandje", home to many really nice bars and restaurants and close to the MAS museum, which is also worth a visit.
Very helpful and friendly staff will greet you at the entrance in one of the original Red Star Line buildings.
With fascinating anecdotes about the millions of people who gathered in Antwerp from all over Europe in order to board the Red Star Line ships headed for America, all looking for a better life in the New World, it makes history come to life.
Archive photos, films and documents create a very atmospheric experience of the world at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Plenty of interactive displays too.
Full of moving and inspiring stories of people from all walks of life.

9. Grote Markt van Antwerpen

Centro Historico | Centro Historico, Antwerp 2800, Belgium 215474845
Excellent
56%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Grote Markt van Antwerpen

Antwerp's "Great Market" square is a popular attraction in the heart of the old city.

Reviewed By jaimeelsabio - Maryland

The buildings surrounding the plaza, the old guilds, are very interesting. Overall, it's no prettier than the main squares in Ghent, or Bruges, or any number of other towns.

10. Cathedral of Our Lady

Groenplaats 21, Antwerp 2000, Belgium +32 3 213 99 51
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Cathedral of Our Lady

Reviewed By Ronald_jelle - The Hague, The Netherlands

Not the nicest Cathedral that I’ve ever seen, but still a nice place to visit. We came at 16.00 it was not so crowded, quite empty actually... it costs money, but that’s ok... how can we expect the church to maintain everything there (and insure priceless paintings, such as the ones from Rubens) when the numbers of people attending a service are declining rapidly?!... I am not a Catholic myself, but I believe we should do our best to keep places like these for younger generations.
There are some nice paintings, some nice chapels and more, for me it was the nicest thing we did today and more a must do than the Market Square (which is very close by).

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