Everyone knows Brussels in Belgium, after all it’s famous for the mussels. 🙂 But have you been to Antwerp? This charming city in the north of Belgium has plenty of historic streets to explore, delicious food to eat and of course tasty Belgian beers to sip. It’s a terrific weekend destination.
Weekend in Antwerp
Antwerp is a fascinating city with lots of places to explore. Here are a few sights you should not miss.
- Museum aan de Stroom: focusing on the history of Antwerp and its link with the world, amazing rooftop views
- Rubenshuis: the house of the painter Peter Paul Rubens
- Grote Markt: beautiful buildings such as city hall and guild halls
- Sint Anna’s Tunnel: take a stroll under the river Schelde through the 1930s tunnel
- Den Botaniek: a small public botanic garden and greenhouse in the center
- Taking a walking or cycling tour is always a good idea, here are some top tours I’ve found
Places to Eat & Drink in Antwerp
Antwerp has plenty of options, from cheap eats to fancy dining. Here our some of our favorite addresses.
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch & Coffee in Antwerp
- Coffeelabs: terrific coffee plus breakfast and lunch
- Cafematic: coffee and a tasty breakfast menu
- Kaffeenini: coffee, bagels and lunch
- Kolonel Koffie: coffee, breakfast and lunch at this modern cafe
- Caffenation: classic Antwerp coffee shop with two locations for excellent espresso drinks
- Maurice Coffee & Knits: coffee and healthy food like salads and smoothies, plus brunch on the weekends
- Felix Pakhuis: a great place to come for their brunch buffet
- Cafe Kamiel: lovely pastries and vegan and gluten-free specialties
- Wasbar: do your laundry and enjoy breakfast or lunch while you wait
Snacks You Should Try in Antwerp
- Waffles: get your Belgian waffles at Wafeltjes van ons Bomma
- Fries: try the frietjes at fancy Frites Atelier or Chips or try a some kroket with your fries at De Smulpaep
- Antwerpse Handjes: crispy cookies in the shape of a hand, the city’s symbol – find yours at Philip’s Biscuits
- Take a food tour and try all these snacks!
Dinner in Antwerp
- The Jane: probably the most famous and exclusive restaurant in Antwerp, Jane serves a tasting menu of 12-14 dishes
- Umami: Asian fusion dishes with a twist
- Elfde Gebod: quirky religious decor and typical Belgian style dishes like mussels in white wine
- De Pottekijker: traditional Belgian dishes
- Backyard: a fun restaurant with great cocktails
- ‘t Zilte: a Michelin starred restaurant in Antwerp on top of the MAS
Drinks in Antwerp
- Cafe Kulminator: funky craft beer bar that has been voted the best in the world
- Caffe Barbossa: cozy wine bar and restaurant
- Dogma: dark and moody with creative cocktails
- Gollem: beer bar with burgers too
- Billie’s Beer Kafetaria: small beer cafe with 11 brews on tap
Getting Around in Antwerp
The city center is easy to get around on foot, but if you’d like to explore further you can also travel by tram, bus or bike.
You can save money on public transport if you plan ahead. It is less expensive to purchase your tram or bus ticket in a point of sale than onboard. You can buy a 1-, 3-, 5-day or 10-trip pass from these point of sales and save money. Visit the website of de Lijn to get all the details.
Places to Stay in Antwerp
When I visit Antwerp I like to stay in an apartment so that I can get to know a neighborhood. There are many places available on sites like Airbnb. Use this link to register and you can save €30 off your first reservation!
Here are some wonderful places to stay in Antwerp:
- The Collectors House: an apartment conveniently located within steps of many sights and rented by a charming and interesting owner
- Smartflats Design: modern apartments of all sizes perfect if you are traveling with a group. Full kitchens, stunning views and even Cocomat beds
- Maison de Trazegnies: a chic hotel with all suite rooms
- Koto Garden Suites: enjoy the creative decor at this suite hotel with a swimming pool and many interesting details
- Raphael Suites: delightful suites and apartments in the center of Antwerp
- Cozy & Bright Apartment: a large apartment located in the heart of the city
- Suite 11: modern rooms and studio apartments with kitchens
- Staark: a fantastic spacious apartment with great views and close to the dock area
- Bed & Breakfast Exterlaer: stay in a quiet area outside the city and enjoy a relaxing garden
- Mañana Mañana: affordable and cozy hotel in the center of Antwerp
- Maison Nationale City Flats & Suites: chic, bright rooms and apartments, helpful, friendly owners
- B&B Au Lit Jerome: amazing decor at this fabulous stylish B&B
- Kabas Hostel: a great option for those on a budget or who like a more social setting. The hostel even serves breakfast made with eggs from their own chickens.
For more info on things to do in the city, be sure to check out Visit Antwerp!
Have a wonderful time on your weekend trip to Antwerp!
You might like to check out this book, The 500 Hidden Secrets of Antwerp: