The cultural capital of Flanders ranks high as a fashion hub, an art history hotspot and a bastion of Belgian beer.
Best of all, this inspiring city is friendly, picturesque and easy to tackle by bike or on foot.
Antwerp Flanders International Airport is less than 4 miles (6km) from the centre. Taxis get to the centre in 15 minutes – or take a bus to nearby Antwerpen-Berchem train station for trams into town.
Dutch (Flemish), French and German
1 hr ahead of GMT
Neighbourhoods To See
Historic city centre: for sightseeing
A treat of cobbled streets, graceful squares and the iconic Cathedral of Our Lady. Highlights include the UNESCO-recognised Museum Plantin-Moretus, Grote Markt square and Rubenshuis, home to works by Antwerp’s best-known painter, Reubens.
Het Eilandje: for cool culture
Flemish for the ‘Little Island’, the city’s oldest port has world-class museums and architecture all along its shores. Don’t miss MAS art and maritime museum and the stunning Port House designed by Zaha Hadid.
Het Zuid: for gallery-hopping
Home to wide boulevards, beautiful mansions and dozens of galleries. Visit the M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art, the acclaimed Fotomuseum’s collection then Volkstraat for small galleries and design stores.
Peter Paul Rubens is the most famous artist of the Flemish Baroque style. His former home and studio dates to 1611, was restored in 1937 and features many of his works – plus a lovely late-Renaissance style garden.
Cathedral of Our Lady
This elegant Gothic beauty is the symbol of the city, completed in 1521 after 169 years of construction. Admire its famous spire from Antwerp’s streets or step inside to see the four Rubens works on display.
The first museum awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, it’s housed in the former studio of the Plantin-Moretus printing family. See the oldest printing press in the world and a library dating back to 1640.
See an impressive collection of 950 species amid elegant 19th-century architecture at one of Europe’s oldest zoos.
MAS – Museum aan de Stroom
This striking 10-storey collection on the banks of the Scheldt River offers maritime artefacts and a free 360-degree view of the city.
Food and Drink
Antwerp takes eating and drinking seriously. Beyond delicious Belgian beer and fries, there’s something for all palettes, from food truck delicacies to Michelin-starred restaurants. Remember to take home some Belgian chocolate!
JUNE | Bierpassie Weekend
Indulge your passion for beer as Antwerp’s Groenplaats square buzzes with tents selling 200+ Belgian beers, live music and a real sense of fun.
JULY | Tomorrowland
One of the world’s biggest, most famous electronic dance music festivals happens every summer in the nearby (and aptly named) town of Boom.
AUGUST | Jazz Middelheim
This celebration of jazz music is packed with concerts drawing top talent and international jazz lovers.
DEC | Antwerp Christmas Market & Winterfoor Funfair
Grote Markt transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland with 100+ stalls selling gifts, treats and decorations. The indoor funfair delights all ages with vintage carnival rides and circus acts.