Visiting Belgium's City of Diamonds
Antwerp, is the second largest city in Belgium and has many sights to offer. You’ve probably heard about this pocket-sized city from the movie “Snatch” or maybe you just have good geographical knowledge. Nevertheless, Antwerp is famous for a variety of things like the great painter Rubens, the city’s harbour, fashion and popular design schools, and last but not least, a girl’s best friend – diamonds! Architecture is another aspect that makes this little metropolis so special. Most of the structures were built during the medieval times, but you can also discover impressive Art Nouveau creations or even varied modern complexes.
Antwerp is a small and cozy Belgian city and one day will be enough to explore it’s astonishing treasures if you’re short on time. It’s also typical for travellers who are exploring Belgium to stay in each city just one day, which is doable given the small size of the cities.
Here’s how to see Antwerp, Belgium in 24 hours:
The magnificent Central Station
The best way to start your day trip in Antwerp is to arrive at the Central Station by train. You will arrive at the most terrific Central Station in the world. Its beauty is unique and it’s difficult to label the building with one particular architectural style. The structure was built and then rebuilt in different centuries, so you’ll see influences from both the 19th century and modern times. One fact is certain, it’s not just a train station, but a magnificent work of art.
Shop ’till you drop
Modest Antwerp is an international fashion capital. It may not seem like it until you reach the shopping street Meir, but you’ll realise that Antwerp is a paradise for fashionistas. If you want to keep the money in your wallet safe, you can choose to window shop and visit Ruben’s House, which is located directly on Meir street, instead. You can also stop by MoMu, the museum of fashion.
Tip: Plan your trip to visit Antwerp the last week of the month. On the last Wednesday of each month all museums are gratis, so you can spend this money on other Belgian delicacies, like waffles!
Stroll through the Old Town
Antwerp’s Old Town is a historical pearl in the heart of the city. Start your exploration from the square, Groenplaats, which is lined with restaurants and cafes. Or take a seat on one of the benches and enjoy the view of the majestic gothic Cathedral of Our Lady – the largest church in Belgium. You’ll find yourself admiring the church’s impressive structure, but you’ll also want to make sure you save time for inside. The finest masterpieces are displayed on the walls of the Cathedral where you can observe the remaining works of Rubens.
Be curious and explore the narrow streets of Old Town. You can discover Antwerp’s Grote Markt with its splendid town hall and the imposing statue of Brabo, the symbol of Antwerp. Grote Markt is also an ideal spot to have a cold Belgian beer or to savour a delicious meal.
Antwerp has been the most important European industrial port since the 15th century because of it’s perfect location. It’s also Europe’s third largest sea-port. Immerse yourself into the maritime atmosphere and enjoy a calm moment in one of the cafés. My recommendation is Pelican Rouge, it offers great service and delightful coffee in all kinds of variations, which is ideal to charge your batteries for further sightseeing, like the tremendous modern MAS museum. You will definitely want to venture to the top of the red-brick-architecture and experience the panoramic view of the city.
Let’s meet the sunset in the South!
After a long day it’s time to relax and interact with the locals. The ideal area for this is the young and vivid district in the South near Marnix Square. Aside from its fascinating statue of Neptune, the area is also filled with exhibitions, cool cafés and good restaurants. This is the perfect place to end your day and enjoy some cocktails and conversations until the sun rises.
Would you like to visit Antwerp, Belgium? If you’ve already been, what would you do with 24 hours to explore the city?
This guest post is written by Kate of Elysian Moment. Kate is an adventurous and enthusiastic 28 year old girl who loves to write down thoughts, inspirations and impressions. She was born in Russia, finished high school in Germany, studied in Austria, worked in Australia and currently lives in Belgium. Kate lives the lifestyle of a nomad, and has an affinity for traveling.
Pin It for Later!
If you enjoyed this post, please let me know in the comments section or by sharing it with the social media links. You can also follow Flirting with the Globe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.