Antwerp, Belgium: city guide

Antwerp

by Katherine Romero |
Updated on

Brussels may be the capital of Belgium but Antwerp is regularly referred to as the ‘city of cool’ thanks to it array of trendy cocktail bars, medieval charm and infamous Drum and Bass festival Rampage.

As it’s only a two-hour Eurostar train journey away from London, it’s also the perfect spot to enjoy a long weekend. Here’s our guide tp the top things to see, eat, drink and do.

Where to stay

The Ramada Plaza
©RAMADA PLAZA

Antwerp is home to an array of luxury hotels and budget bargains. The Ramada Plaza hotel is a few stops away from the city centre. It offers guests a fitness centre and sauna and a delicious array of eateries

Antwerp penthouse
©AIRBNB

You can also stay in the heart of the city for super cheap. Airbnb offer this penthouse with a huge terrace complete with incredible views for just £53 per night.

Where to eat

Mussels
©GETTY

You can’t venture to Belgium without trying a dish of their famous moules et frites. Maritimerestaurant is located in the historical centre and the dish will set you back around €25 to €27 but it’s a truly authentic taste.

Another traditional must is the delicious Belgian waffle. The streets are lined with food carts serving up this sweet treat so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Plus, it means the whole city smells like dessert!

Antwerp is also a food capital with hoards of incredible restaurants serving up an array of world cuisines. PHO 61 is near Grote Markt and provides delicious bowls of Vietnamese street food at budget prices. The portions will be more than enough to keep you fuelled for a day of sightseeing around this gorgeous city.

BELGIAN WAFFLE
©GETTY

If you’re feeling fancy and want to push the boat out budget wise, The Jane is one of the city’s best restaurants. It’s set in the former chapel of the Military Hospital and dining views are absolutely stunning. Their tasting menu of ten dishes is €160.

For those on a budget, head to Aahaar Delux. Just a short walk from the Centraal Station, it offers an incredible Indian buffet for just €10 per person.

What to drink

COCKTAIL BARS ANTWERP
©GETTY

De Muze is famous throughout Antwerp as this jazz café first opened its doors back in 1964. There’s a music gig at least three times a week so you can enjoy a delicious drink and a fantastic show.

Our personal favourite is Dogmacocktails at Wijngaardstraat - in the heart of the city centre. The décor is stripped back cool with exposed brick walls and steels stools. The cocktails may be on the pricey side but you won’t leave disappointed.

Belgium is also famed for its beer and there’s no better place to enjoy a glass than in Antwerp’s host of ‘brown cafes’ - the name given to watering holes with 16th-century inspired wooden decor and stained walls that have slowly aged from years of cigarette smoke. Basically, Belgium’s answer to the traditional British pub. The city’s best include Bier Central, ’t Waagstuk, Paters Vaetje, de Kulminator and Gollem

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What to see

ANTWERP CENTRAL STATION
©GETTY

The gothic architecture of Antwerp is truly stunning the cathedral is just €6 entry. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the Grote Markkt – home to an array of bars and restaurants.

If you travel by Eurostar, you’ll be treated to one of the city’s best attractions upon arrival as the Central Station is truly stunning.

RAMPAGE
©RAMPAGE FESTIVAL

For music lovers, Antwerp is home to Rampage Festival– an event that attracts 30,000 guests from around the world.

This year’s event saw DJ Hazard, Funtcase, Alix Perez and Tonn Piper perform alongside Brit DJ Mvrda and Adromedik over the energetic weekend. If you’re a fan of the musical genre, this is a must for your calendar in 2020

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