If you find yourself in the City of Diamonds and don't know exactly where to go, this article will allow you to plan an itinerary around the city's unmissable sights. And if you already know Antwerp like the back of your hand, don't hesitate to contact us for advice on some places not to be missed! The list could get bigger :-) Here are already 7 essential places to discover:
Grote Markt (Antwerp)Grote Markt 2000 Antwerp BE
So this is the central square of Antwerp, the one you see in all the photos (normal, it's gorgeous)! It is in the historical centre and if you walk through it you will see: the city hall (the building with all the flags), the guild houses, the famous Brabo fountain (the green statue you see in all the pictures of Antwerp) and the tourist office.
Antwerpen-Centraal2018 Antwerpen België - Belgique - Belgien
Het Steen2000 Antwerpen België - Belgique - Belgien
Het Steen is a medieval fortress on the right bank of the Scheldt. It is the oldest building you can find in Antwerp since it was built around 1200-1225 and was called "Antwerp Castle" at that time. Why is it called Het Steen (literally translated "the stone")? Because it is the first building to be built in stone, quite simply. Het Steen was used as a fortress, a prison and a museum (National Maritime Museum). Today it is possible to visit it.
Cathedral of Our Lady (Antwerp)Blauwmoezelstraat 2000 Antwerp BE
Built in 1352, it is one of the five major religious monuments of the city of Antwerp. Its bell tower is part of the list of Belgian belfries recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage. This Gothic church is very imposing with its 123 metres high. Several works of Rubens can be found there. It is so well known that more or less 320,000 visitors enter it every year.
MeirMeir 2000 Antwerp BE
Do you feel like shopping? This is where it happens. The Meir is the Rue Neuve in Brussels and, because of its architecture, the Ijzerleen in Mechelen: a shopping street in the heart of the city where you will find rococo style buildings housing several brands. It's a completely pedestrian street that attracts all shopping enthusiasts! You can visit the 'Stadsfeestzaal', a restored former village hall.
Zoo Antwerpen2018 Antwerpen België - Belgique - Belgien
Antwerp Zoo was founded in 1843 and is the oldest zoo in Belgium. With over 5,000 animals and more than 950 species, there is a lot to discover! It is located in the city centre, which is not so common for a zoo of this size, but once you enter it you will be completely out of the ordinary. It has magnificent buildings and a beautiful garden and is a listed building. The zoo promotes the protection of nature and is involved in the preservation of endangered species (such as the okapi or the bonobo). With more than 100,000m², plan at least one day to visit it.
The Rubenshuis ("Rubens House")Wapper 2000 Antwerp BE
This is the former home and studio of the painter Peter Paul Rubens. This is where he settled with his wife, this is where he painted with his colleagues and assistants. This house has been converted into a museum so that visitors can discover all the rooms in which Rubens lived, his furniture, works of art, etc. In addition to all his possessions that can be admired, temporary exhibitions are organised there.
Spoor Noord ParkDamplein 27 2060 Anvers BE
The creators of Spoor Noord Park have combined green, space, light, leisure and culture on the site of the former sorting station. Today's gamble has paid off and even exceeded all expectations. The kindergarten, the skating rink and BMX track, the water garden and the covered hall with a friendly terrace were immediately adopted by the Antwerp people. People come here to play, relax, sunbathe or do sports - a real advantage for the city, its inhabitants and guests!
Chocolate NationKoningin Astridplein 7 2018 Anvers BE
Chocolate Nation in front of the Central Station is the largest Belgian chocolate museum in the world, entirely dedicated to Belgian chocolate. Did you know that the first Belgian chocolate factory was established in Antwerp in 1831? Now there is a chocolate factory on every street corner. All the major Belgian chocolate brands can be found in Antwerp, as well as artisanal chocolates. The port of Antwerp is the largest cocoa storage port in the world and PIVA has trained some exceptional chocolatiers. It is no wonder that there are places dedicated to the chocolate experience.
RivierenhofTurnhoutsebaan 2300 Turnhout BE
The green lung of Antwerp: Rivierenhof covers an area of 130 hectares and is a popular place for walkers, cyclists, joggers, bowlers and fishermen. Tennis, miniature golf and basketball enthusiasts can also find a playground here. In summer, the park resonates with music from outdoor concerts, accompanied by the sound of nature and vibrations.
Want to see more?
Come to Antwerp to discover everything about the city, its magnificent squares, its many museums and its incredible architecture. Do you want to visit the city in an original way? Opt for the Urban Escape Game!
Updated at: 02-03-2023