I just returned home after an extended weekend in Antwerp (or Antwerpen as they say) with the mrs. I didn’t really know what to expect from the city, but I must say that I was very impressed. Even though it’s a relatively small town (only about 500.000 people living there) there is a redundancy of cool stores, great restaurants, nice coffee shops and happening bars. And because of the size of the city everything is in walking distance. Before going there I tried to find a good guide to Antwerpen, but I couldn’t find one so I decided to write a small Antwerp Guide with a few recommendations to this wonderful city.
Where to stay:
There are a lot of hotels and AirBNB apartments in Antwerpen in almost all price ranges, but I would recommend finding something in either the old town (around the Cathedral), in De Wilde Zee or in Zuid. I would definitely try to avoid the hotels around the central station and the Zoo. If i should recommend one hotel i would say Hotel Julien.
Where to eat:
There are a lot of restaurants and cafe’s to choose from in Antwerpen so no matter what your cravings are there is a good chance you wont go to bed hungry.
Good places for lunch:
- Balls and Glory (Meatballs)
- Falafel Hof (Fallafels)
- Chickpea (all sorts of chickpea)
- Frites Atelier (Fries)
- Camino (Asian inspired – Bahn Mi etc.)
And for dinner:
- Le John (very cool restaurant with great food)
- Brasserie Docks (Steak and seafood – several mentions in the Michelin guide – Pretty funny interior)
- Fiskebar (Seafood – Located on a nice Square with a lot of bars around)
- Bar Italia (Pizza)
You will have ample opportunity to shop in Antwerpen. Besides the fact that almost all the big brands has a Flagship store in the city (Acne, APC, Gucci, Cos, Uniqlo etc.) there are also some really cool independent shops with a great selection of brands. I would recommend that you visited:
- St. Vincents (my favourite shop in Antwerpen – Great selection of both clothes and interior stuff and also amazing Coffee)
- Vier (high end street)
- Avenue (Sneakers)
- Fish & Chips (big store)
- Renaissance (Fashion store and Restaurant in one)
Well I know there are several good coffee bars in Antwerpen, but the best one is without a doubt St. Vincents. I just fell in love with this place. It’s an Interior/fashion store / Cafe and it’s an amazing place. Their coffee is superb and still inexpensive (around 3 euro for a Kalita brew). If you only have time to go to one place while you are in Antwerpen this is the place you should visit!
Things to see:
There a quite a few museums in town, but to be honest we didn’t visit any of them. We just drifted around the town enjoying the ambiance and the weird architectural mix between old gothic style buildings and all new houses. So my recommendation is definitely to just walk around the city and relax and enjoy yourself.
And of course a few photos from our trip….