Antwerp. It’s not very high on most traveller’s lists. But maybe it should be. Would you visit Antwerp?
Antwerp is a city in Belgium. It’s best known as being one of the diamond centres of the world. It also has a pretty famous zoo and was home to Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. But if you’re not in the market for diamonds, don’t enjoy zoos and have never heard of Rubens, should you bother to visit Antwerp?
I think so!
Antwerp is what I would call a Saturday city. It’s the perfect place to spend a weekend. You don’t need a ton of time and there’s not a laundry list of things to see or do. But honestly? Sometimes that’s exactly what you need when you’re travelling.
I first decided to visit Antwerp during my whirlwind tour of Belgium back in 2014. I visited again in October of last year during my Europe trip with my dad. After a busy few days in Amsterdam and Paris, I knew I’d want a chill city where I could relax, catch up on work and still enjoy some European charm. Antwerp was exactly what I was looking for.
Antwerp is charming. Walking around the Old Town is like walking through a fairytale. My favourite thing to do in a new city is walk around and check out locals shops and markets. I’m not really one for museums or art galleries. I much prefer to get to know a city by walking through town.
In addition to being super cute, Antwerp also has some really delicious food. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but we all known Belgium has a reputation for great beer. Their other famous fare? Chocolate! I did not hold back on indulging in some delicious Belgian chocolate in Antwerp. I also had some really great Asian meals, which I didn’t think I would find in Antwerp.
Of course, if you do want to fill your itinerary with a little bit more than walking around town and eating your weight in chocolate, Antwerp does have some cool things to do. There’s the aforementioned Antwerp Zoo and Rubenshuis. There are also some other art galleries and museums, as well as a great shopping street, the Meir.
One of the main reasons I chose to visit Antwerp for the last few days of my Europe trip is because it’s convenient and more affordable than Amsterdam or Paris. I was able to get to Antwerp in just a couple of hours on the train from Paris. And it was a short train ride back to Amsterdam where my flight home was leaving from. I also scored an amazing apartment rental! This place was super cute, with high ceilings and a loft bedroom, right next to the Old Town and less than 50 euro per night!
Okay, let’s move onto the good stuff. I told you to visit Antwerp for the charm, right? Here’s a little taste of the gorgeous buildings and cool streets you’d be seeing in Antwerp.
So what’s your verdict? Would you visit Antwerp? Let me know in the comments below!