Antwerp is Belgium’s second-largest city and with the biggest port. It has long been a powerful magnet for tourism. Not only that, but it also attracts people in the fashion business and diamond dealers as well. In the mid-16th century, it was one of the continent’s most treasured cities. It doubled up as a home to baroque superstar painter Peter Paul Rubens. The museum is a regular reminder of creativity and God-given talent. Antwerp has many historical artifacts, cultural contrasts, and amazing architectural designs you will have fun touring and viewing. Antwerp has many activities that you can do with your family, your kids, your partner or even alone. Here are 15 things to do in Antwerp.
1. Enjoy a bike tour in Antwerp
Explore this fine city in old school fashion. Take a bike tour and go riding around. During your bike tour, be sure to see fine attractions like the diamond district.
Cycling in Antwerp is safe and therefore your safety is guaranteed. The place is relaxed and the activity eco-friendly. There is no need to be worried if you have kids that would wish to cycle. There is a bike lane on the road. This bike tour allows you to get to your destination fast without traffic delays.
Biking is also an easy way to stay fit even when on a vacation. As you turn the pedals, be sure to be losing calories. It is little secret to balancing between having fun and a healthy lifestyle while on holiday.
2. Lose yourself without getting lost
Take a walk around Antwerp city to be able to see the historical facts that are reflected in the orientation walk. Walking around gives you a clear vision of what the Antwerp city holds. There is a map designed just for you as a guide to aid in your tour.
The map gives the right directions to where you will easily see the historical facts in Antwerp city. Some of the sights that get featured in this tour map include;
- Saint Paul’s church
- Silvius Brabo statue
- Vlaamse opera
- Het Steen and many more.
There are so many eye appealing features in Antwerp and you will see them well while taking your walk. After all, there is a map guide to give you directions. So, why not take a walk and enjoy your tour around the city of diamonds.
3. Give yourself a unique experience in De Koninck Antwerp brewery
This is a chance to explore ten interactive rooms and discover the history of De Koninck. Their unique connection with the city and the origin of the iconic De Koninck’ Bolleke’ is a must view.
Be part of the entertainment that will stimulate all your senses. Besides, ensure you have a taste of the delicious beer that is brewed here. Fill your glass and go around the factory as you sip your beer. There are amusing and quirky exhibits to see and enjoy.
4. Have a drink at PASTA VINO
Some doctors believe wine is good for digestion. Well, I believe it is good for entertainment. Antwerp has much wine joins, and PASTA VINO is one of the fine destinations for you.
The winery is well set with seats both inside and outside the building. Seating outside, you will be hugged by a cool breeze and fresh air. Choosing to sip your wine from the inside is also not a bad idea. The place is well conditioned with the right temperatures maintained.
The wine you’ll be served is so sweet you won’t help but keep drinking. The staff is also courteous and approachable. The whole PASTA VINO experience is executive.
Having your mates accompany you for this activity will spice things up. It will be more exciting.
5. Visit the Photo Museum
Photography has for years been a joy to many. The art of storing actual things in pictures still dazzles many. This Photo museum is storage to great pictures you have to look at.
There are great exhibitions for visitors. If you are lucky, you may get yourself free tea. The price is affordable.
A café exists around this museum. Go downstairs and you will find it. Enjoy your drinks as you go on with your tour.
6. Take a tour to Ruben’s house
This is one of the most interesting museums in Antwerp. The Rubens House is the former residence and workshop of Flemish artist Peter P. Rubens.
Get to know the history behind Ruben’s house, how he purchased and renovated it to become a great museum in Antwerp later.
Your tour at Ruben’s house will begin at ground level in the courtyard where you will get a feel of the artist’s palazzo, influenced by the many years he spent in Italy.
Proceed to the ground residence and watch the stunning decorations with periodic furnishings and impressive collections of paintings and artifacts. Ensure you walk through the whole house and have a glance at the paintings in each of the rooms. This includes the portrait of Ruben and the son, Albert.
Here, Ruben reveals his idealization. Step into Ruben’s world through the main portico that gives out onto the elegant courtyard. The portico connects the house and studio. Besides, it serves as a gateway to the garden.
7. Take a tour to the Antwerp port
Get to know how activities at the port are carried out and the clearance procedure at the port. Ever been in a capsize ship before? Whether yes or not, this is your chance to do so. You will also learn more about how a ship looks; both inside and outside. Besides, you will get to know all that goes on into the working of a ship.
Additionally, you will have a view of the London Bridge with the Kattendijk dock behind the port. The grain silo at the American dock in the background is good for photography.
Get to Lillo port center, where the port of Antwerp has built a new visitor center. There is a lot more to learn here. All you need to do is drop by and be ready to learn.
8. Pieter Appelmans Monument is worth passing by
Take a picture at the Pieter Appelmans monument. Get to view the eye-catching monument at the Cathedral church. This monument was crafted by Pieter Appelmans, Jan Appelmans’ son. Other than taking beautiful pictures, this is a great opportunity to learn some Antwerp history.
At the monument, there are sculptures of hardworking young men who were heavily involved in making happen this project. Visiting here is a show of appreciation for the effort they put in and the sweat they shed to make this a success.
9. Enjoy a food tour in Antwerp
Have a taste of Antwerp local food that is prepared the local way. With your tour guide, you will visit the old town to the new part of Antwerp and walk along the streets. This is an opportunity to feel like an Antwerp local.
Also, find out all there is to be known about Antwerp’s food, culture, art and history as you enjoy the best bites made in Antwerp. You will enjoy remarkable stories and historical food facts about Antwerp. This is a wonderful opportunity to familiarize yourself with the Antwerp culture.
10. Visit the Middleheim museum
This park serves you modern art. The sculptures date back to the 19th century. You should expect the park to be full but you’ll still have your space. There is a castle present with a shop and café too in the vicinity just in case you need to buy something.
After viewing the nice sculptures, you may have a nice walk. The park is spacious enough. Entry to this park is free. This means no financial setbacks for you.
Biking is also an activity you can engage in here. There are shared bikes you may feel free to ask for.
This is a family-friendly destination. A great place to bond, through walking, biking, and sightseeing.
11. Visit the Belgium’s oldest animal park – The Zoo Antwerpen
Shows take place here daily. The most common ones include:
- Penguin feeding
These, among other shows, are what you and your family need for a vacation. After the show, enjoy the serenity of this well-preserved park as you take a walk. Be ready to pay quite an amount at the entrance.
There are different species of animals kept here. It would be joyful to see them with your family. The kids will most definitely enjoy the tour. This is an activity that may take your whole day, therefore, come prepared.
12. Marvel at the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp architecture
You are not coming here for a church service but to enjoy the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp building design. The awesome structure rises high towards the sky with sharp pointing roofs.
The skyscraper is a wonderful man creation used for praise and worship by the Antwerp locals. Visit this park and you’ll be surprised what man can build.
13. Visit the Boerentoren
This 96-meter high building was erected in the 19th century by some of the most popular Antwerp architects. The design is unique, and that is why this skyscraper is on my list of 15 things to do in Antwerp.
You need nothing else other than your eyes. The activity will be sightseeing.
You don’t want just to see this building and leave. You have to learn a thing or two about the building, its history and some details about the architects. Trust me it will be a busy day.
Why is this building important? Do a list of the tallest building in Antwerp and it will fall second. That is why it is an important part of Antwerp’s history.
Located in Schoenmarkt 35, Boerentoren hosts commercial offices and so you expect to find a hive of activities during your visit. That will make it easier for you since you will need people to educate you on the building’s history.
14. Brabo Fountain
Iconic! The Brabo Fountain is one of those tourist features that make Antwerp a dream destination. Apart from the resting spot next to the water body, Brabo has monuments, a fountain and hosts thrilling events. You do not want a dormant destination and Brabo doesn’t disappoint. It is always busy.
Once in awhile, performing artists frequent here. The place is also well lit during the night, creating more beautiful scenery for views. The architectural designs guiding the building structures are also amazing.
15. Borromeo Church
The vintage design of this church is inviting. Built-in the 16th century, Borromeo has so much history in store for you. Get dressed and visit this church. Enjoy viewing the structure and walk around.
You will probably find other believers here to worship. You may join them or decide to view the site and just leave. Online reviews insist on the church’s interior design and the amazing paintings are a must view.
There is one fantastic thing about this church. The peace inside there. You go there and everything changes. There’s calmness and you just feel relaxed.
It gives you ample time to appreciate what the creator has done for you this far. That is the Borromeo church for you.
Antwerp is a fine tourist destination for you. Most of the features and places to visit are friendly to kids and family. This makes it easy to plan and organize your tour. The affordability in prices is also a significant factor contributing to the many tourists settling for Antwerp as their vacation spot. You, too, need to be here. Antwerp is rich in culture, history, beautiful sites, and museums. Your stay here will be emotional, educational, inspirational, fun and memorable. Isn’t that what you want? Board that plane and stop at Antwerp!