Hey peeps, so excited to be sharing the next destination of my trip! Antwerp! I am really super duper excited about this city. Besides it being one of the last Belgium city lacking from my list, I am sure that many of you all would have known that Antwerp is my 100th unique city in the world! Furthermore, I will be checking out the city with a fellow Singaporean friend of mine and visiting a friend that I met a couple of years ago in Bruges. Follow me in checking out what I did in Antwerp. I spent a total of 4 nights over here. The weather was a mixed bag but the company was great. I am happy to get shades of blue skies with the sun as well as a great upgrade at my hotel which I have already shared previously.
I have already shared about the Diamond District in my previous post where I visited the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, a diamond polisher as well as a local antique jewellery shop. Do check that out if you would like to read about my thoughts. It is one of an experience. The Diamond District is just next to the main train station. Antwerpen Centraal is one of the must-see as well and you surely can’t miss this imposing station. Furthermore, being the central transportation hub in the city, most of the time this place will already be the first sight you see when arriving. It is really impressive to see that this station which was first opened in 1905 still standing till today. Both the interior and exterior facades are super impressive. The station is also super huge with 3 levels of train platforms.
From Antwerp Central Station the main avenue leading towards the city centre or the old town is known as the main shopping street and this is where you can find all sorts of shops and brands. This consists of De Keyserlei, Leysstraat and Meir. All sorts of shops and eateries are found along this stretch. From the train station to the city centre it is about a 1.5km stroll. Pretty easy when the weather is good, even with bags.
When you are here you also have to check out the Stadsfeestzaal shopping mall. It is absolutely gorgeous and it makes our MBS and Ion pale in comparison. When in Antwerp the most famous attraction definitely has to be the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp and Groenplaats. This famous cathedral is imposing and you surely cannot miss it. The landmark spire that tops this gothic cathedral is visible from all angles and towers among the city. This amazing piece of architecture is built in the 1300s.
The surrounding streets and alleys are especially charming. I love those houses. What a gorgeous sight when the weather is good. Furthermore, I was there in December, leading up to Christmas the entire city is full of festive vibes which makes it even more charming! Here it goes, Antwerp photo dump!
The night scene is very pretty as well with chilly winds, festive lights and of course the best company I could ask for in town! Miss you so much Stephenie and Jacinth.
Another area that I love was by the banks, the Het Steen area. The area around Godin Minerva is especially gorgeous, it is a particularly great spot to catch the sunset. It is a super pretty and chill area. If it is your thing to do there is also a Ferris Wheel here! Using a quote from my friend, there is always a Ferris Wheel in every major city! HAHA!
Sint-Annatunnnel and the park across the banks is also another thing that I enjoyed doing over in Antwerp. This in fact reminds me of the famous Elbe tunnel in Hamburg. The underground tunnel takes you across the banks and this is a nice place to get a good view of the entire old town. It also lets you have a look at the more typical living areas of the locals. Check it out if you have some extra time.
During the weekend one of the best things to do is to have a good breakfast and then head to the weekend market near Theaterplain. It starts in the morning till about midday. They are all sorts of things to be found there from household items to fresh foods.
I visited the Plantin Moretus Museum with my friend and it is one of the rare museums that I enjoyed. While the place focuses on the work of 16th-century printers Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus you will get to learn a lot about printing and its roots of it. The museum is housed in a historical printing press. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I love seeing all the printing press equipment.
Enough about attractions, it’s time for food! I love Belgian food and beers and I am sure many of you would have known my love for mussels as well as Kasteel Rouge beer. My favourite place to dine in Antwerp that I would like to share with you guys is this little store that sells the best seafood in town! Fish A’Gogo! It is located right in the heart of the city and just steps away from the cathedral. The prices are very good as well! Check out all these that we ordered, together with drinks, it is less than 50 Euros. The owners are super cute and friendly.
When I asked what time they close. His reply was when I am tired! HAHA. We got the Shrimp Croquet, Grilled Squid, Mussels in White Wine and Garlic, Bouillabaisse with Rouille and Toast as well as a side of fries.
Everything was so good and fresh but the stand out items goes to the seafood soup, grilled squid and mussels. It is so good that we wanted to head back for dinner again on our very last night. Although we didn’t manage to do so as they are having a baby!!! So happy for them! This would be one reason why I might just head back to Antwerp! You can check out their menu here.
We also visited this really cute yellow cafe when we are sheltering from the cold and rain one day. It is really cosy and you can even play board games here. For those who are interested, you can visit The Yellow Window Coffee House.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Antwerp and it is a nice sweet ending to Seeing The World In Steps adventures in Belgium. I have more or less seen everything that I wanted in Belgium. Proud of you to be my 100th unique city in the world. Next up, Paris!