Antwerp city, capital of The Province of Antwerp, is Belgium most populous and second largest city. The metropolitan city is located near the river Schelde, which connects to the north-sea. The port of Antwerp is the second largest in Europe and among the top 20 of the world. For centuries Antwerp has been an economically and culturally important city. Today there live about 170 nationalities in Antwerp, making it world’s second most multi-cultural city. The city is also know as “The Diamond capital of the World” due to it’s large diamond district.
Travel to Antwerp City
Antwerp has 3 railway stations and is therefore nationally and internationally well connected with other Belgian and European cities.
- Antwerpen-Centraal Railway Station:The railway station serves national and international trains. The trainstation is located next to the Zoo. Check for combi-tickets to get a discount.
- Antwerpen Zuid (South) Railway Station: Serves local trains
- Antwerpen-Berchem Railway Station: Serves local trains
International trains to Antwerp
National Trains to Antwerp
|Brussels||Antwerp||5 trains / hour||40-50 mins||Yes|
|Ghent||Antwerp||4 trains / hour||1 hour||Yes|
|Brugge||Antwerp||3 trains / hour||1h40 mins||Yes|
|Liège||Antwerp||2 trains / hour||1h35 mins||Switch in Brussels|
For more information check these pages:
Getting around in Antwerp
Most attractions in the Antwerp city centre are within walking or biking distance from each other.
When arriving at Antwerpen Centraal or any of the other Antwerp railway stations, you can use the public transport to reach to your accommodation for less then 3€. Alternatively you can also use a much more expensive taxi (cab) to your destination.
Antwerp public transport
The local Antwerp public transport system is fairly well organised. All busses and trams in Antwerp are operated by “De Lijn”. Tickets cost 3€ and are valid for 60 minutes. Within this period you can change lines as much as you want. After the 60 minutes you can continue your ride to your destination, but you can’t change lines anymore unless you purchase a new ticket. Day passes cost 5€ on pre-sale or 7€ on board. 3 day passes cost 10€ on pre-sale and 12€ on board
Where to stay in Antwerp
Things to see & do in Antwerp
The grand square or in Flemish “Grote Markt” of Antwerpen is the heart of the historical city centre. The main focus is the City Hall with it 28 flags for every nation in the European Union. The traditional houses surrounding the Grote Markt are a beautiful example of Belgian architecture. Centered of the grand square you’ll find the Fountain of Brabo. According to the legend, Brabo was a Roman soldier who defeated the giant “Antigoon” by cutting of his hand and throwing it in the river Schelde. Supposedly this is where the city got it’s name, Antwerpen would be derived from the Flemish “hand werpen” which means “throwing a hand”.
The Cathedral of our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe-Kathedraal)
The beautiful medieval Gothic cathedral contains a significant amount of Baroque paintings by local painter Peter-Paul-Rubens, as well as other artists. Walk around the Cathedral to find the statue of a child sleeping next to his dog and discover the sad story of Nello and Patrasche.
Antwerp Train Station
Even when you’re not traveling by train, the impressive architecture of the main entrance hall is an absolute must-see when visiting Antwerp.
MAS (Museum aan de Stroom)
Short for “Museum aan de Stroom”, this is Belgians largest museum. Besides being free for entry, you can take the escalators up to the viewing platform on the roof which offers a great view over the city.
Pieter-Paul-Rubens was Belgians most important Baroque painter. You can find his works in the Cathedral mentioned above, his statue on the “Groenplaats” and his former house is also a museum worth visiting.
The Zoo of Antwerp is not only the oldest zoo in Belgium, but also one of the oldest zoo’s in the world. It is located right next to the Antwerpen-Centraal railway station and opened every day, all year long from 10h00 untill 18h00.
More info: https://www.zooantwerpen.be/en/
Red Star Line museum
From 1873 to 1935, Antwerp was the port to a better life for over 2 million people. The Red Star Line was a shipping company sailing from Antwerp to New York. The Red Star Line museum tells the story of those people who left for a better life in the United States.
More info: https://redstarline.be/en
Antwerp Tourist Map
The Antwerp Tourist map below contains the best sights in Antwerp along with the best things to do. Don’t forget to save it, so you can use it later on your smartphone as your Antwerp city travel guide.
Antwerp Tours & Excursions:
Instead of ordering a regular beer in a bar, ask for ” a bolleke”. It’s a locally brewed amber ale beer named “De Koninck” beer. Other typical local specialties of Antwerp are:
- Elixer D’anvers
- De Koninck Beer
- And of course Belgian Fries