Things to do in
Antwerp

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Insider tips: Planning a trip to Antwerp

Jurga Rubinovaite is an avid traveler, photographer, and chief adventure planner behind the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase. She lives in Belgium, and on her blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Antwerp.

What should I do on my first trip to Antwerp?

One of the nicest things to do in Antwerp is exploring different facets of the city - architecture, museums, the riverside, world-class fashion boutiques, and fantastic restaurants. In the old town, don't miss the impressive main town square Grote Markt, the Cathedral, Plantin – Moretus Museum, and countless little streets packed with cozy cafes and charming little shops. Antwerp is also the Diamond capital of the world and it's a great place to buy jewelery.

What are some hidden gems to see in Antwerp?

Some of our favorite hidden gems in Antwerp include the restored Handelsbeurs building, Vlaeykensgang, St. Anna Tunnel under the Scheldt River, Beguinage of Antwerp, and De Ruien, the underground waterways under the city. If you're willing to venture just a bit further from the city center, check out the Park Bridge as well.

How much time should I spend in Antwerp?

One day is enough to see the main highlights of Antwerp. However, if you also want to visit one or two museums, check out one of the oldest zoos in Europe, try some local delicacies and do some shopping, it's best to plan 2-3 days for the city. Antwerp is a great destination for a weekend city break in Europe.

What food is Antwerp known for?

In addition to all the typical Belgian specialties that you'll find all over the country, Antwerp is also known for its hand-shaped cookies called "Antwerpse handjes". No visit to Antwerp would be complete without tasting "Bolleke", the most famous beer of Antwerp, and also Elixir d’Anvers, a liqueur made out of 32 different types of plants and herbs.

What is the best way to get around Antwerp?

The best way to explore Antwerp is on foot, by step, or by bike. The city center is quite compact and walkable, and the distances between the main landmarks aren't very big. In addition, Antwerp has good public transport connections, including some hop-on hop-off boat routes that take you to the more local areas of the city and its surroundings.

What are the best months to visit Antwerp?

Antwerp is a year-round destination that offers plenty to see and do in all seasons. In the warmer months, there are lots of outdoor events, cozy summer bars, and fun activities. And in winter, you can enjoy theaters, concerts, museums, as well as visit the Antwerp Christmas market. The city is always lively, although the majority of international tourists seem to visit between April and September.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Antwerp is a true paradise for shopping. Meir is the main shopping street and that's where you'll find all the largest global clothing retailers. For luxury brands and designer boutiques, check out Schuttershofstraat, Huidevettersstraat, and the surrounding area. The area next to the Central Station is the place for be for diamonds and jewelery.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Antwerp?

One of the best things to do in Antwerp with kids is visiting the zoo, one of the oldest animal parks in Europe. It's located right in the city center, next to the Central Station, and is fun for young and old.

Planning Your Visit

  • How long do I need?

    Three days should be enough to cover the key sights. Visitors who like to take their time strolling through a city may prefer four to five days.

  • Where should I stay?

    Grote Markt, in the old town, is a popular and lively spot, with shopping and sights on its doorstep.

  • Is it easy to get around?

    The city has an extensive bus and tram network, which runs from around 6:00AM to 11:00PM. The number 15 bus, which costs 1.50€, links the airport to the Centrale station, covering all arrivals and departures.

  • Can I take a day trip?

    It’s easy to get to Bruges or Ghent by train from Centrale Station, making Antwerp a great base for exploring all the sights of Belgium.

Good to know

  • Language
    Dutch, German and French
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +32
  • Best time to visit
    It's the busiest time of year for a reason: The summer months offer sunshine and lots of outdoor festivals, so there's always something to grab your attention!

Other Sightseeing Options in Antwerp

Want to discover all there is to do in Antwerp? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Antwerp

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 938 reviews

The trip was wonderful! The city of Bruges is a amazing city, a city like in a fairy tale !!! I was delighted to visit him! The guides were kind, friendly, I felt like family! Thousands of thanks to Alvaro, who was very nice to us, told us many funny stories about the city, showed us all the picturesque places, was warm as a dear relative. Thanks also to the driver who drove us safely, we quickly arrived in comfort and peace. I highly recommend making this trip!

We thought it was an excellent tour, passing through the best points of the city. Seba is an incredible person, always very attentive and kind to everyone on the tour. He was the only guide we have had who cared to introduce everyone in the group at the beginning of the tour. Details make the difference! Super recommended!

We are thrilled great experience, great guide to the sights! Would book again in a heartbeat in any other city to help explore on your own.

Great tour to plan with friends or family, keeps you interested to see more and more sightseeings.

The description of the history of the city was really good