Antwerp City Guide

Antwerp is a great destination for a weekend of shopping, culture or fun with the whole family.

Antwerp is rich in historic buildings and houses as well as modern structures. For example, the 13th-century fortress and the modern central library made of glass. The city also has several museums, all of which are great for an afternoon of culture.

The city owes its name to a special legend which says that a giant once lived on the river Schelde and asked passing fishermen for toll. If they refused to pay, they lost a hand. Then one day a brave man attacked the giant, cut off his hand and threw it in the Schelde. Antwerp is derived from this practice of 'handwerpen' or 'hand throwing'. The hand is still a symbol of the city today.

Relax at one of the sidewalk cafés at Grote Markt, shop in Antwerp's main shopping street Meir, visit de 123-metre high gothic Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal) and stroll around the historic centre. Get a feel for old and new Antwerp at the Permeke building, an ultramodern library and exhibition centre which is not only beautiful in itself but also puts on evening performances. A must for culture lovers is MAS, a museum dedicated to Antwerp, the river and the city's connections with the rest of the world, and of course the Rubens House.

Explore the city on foot or use the buses, trams or the Antwerp premetro. A great way to explore Antwerp at a leisurely pace is by bicycle. There are a number of places in the city where you can hire one.

Antwerp is easy to reach by both car and public transport. If you're travelling to Belgium on the Eurostar, there’s just a train change to make in Brussels whilst if you’re driving, Antwerp is about 2 hours from the Calais Ferry terminal. A direct train from Brussels airport means that flying direct from the UK would be another option.

Experience everything Antwerp has to offer during a weekend away or a longer stay at one of the accommodations offered by Expedia.


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