Top things to do in Antwerp

Top things to do in Antwerp

Top things to do in Antwerp

A powerful magnet for everyone from fashionistas and night-crawlers to art aficionados and diamond dealers, Antwerp is Belgium’s 2nd biggest city as well as the biggest port. Antwerp has long been an important city, both economically and culturally and renowned as being the diamond capital of the world. Along with a beautiful historic city center, it is very famous for its fashion industry. Antwerp is a dynamic city that offers a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life. A famous weekend destination among people from all across the world, you’ll find yourself lost in Antwerp’s fascinating ancient heart jam-packed with numerous café-filled cobbled lanes, a riverside fortress, and a striking cathedral. The attention-seeker part here is its utterly vivid fashion and entertainment scene, along with alluring architecture and cultural mix. If you are planning a visit to Belgium, Antwerp should definitely be on your list.

Zoo Antwerpen:

Open since 1843, the Antwerp Zoo is one of the world’s oldest animal parks and is visited by nearly 2 million people every year. Along with its sister park, Planckendael, Antwerp Zoo is an abode to almost 7,000 animals belonging to 950 species. Spot the penguins living in the Vriesland that is their own Arctic enclosure, tall elephants and giraffes in their abode and hippopotamuses goofing around in pink villas. The zoo also hosts a cultural function where symphonic concerts are organized and attended by a large number of people.

The Rubens House:

Presently a museum, Rubens' House is an erstwhile residence and studio of Peter Paul Rubens, a legendary Flemish artist. Situated right in the heart of the city, a substantial refurbishment was carried out on the purchased house and was made open to the public as Rubenshuis. The museum exhibits a large and unique collection of his outstanding artwork which also comprises of antique furniture.

Cathedral of Our Lady:

Standing as one of the tallest buildings in the whole of Europe, Cathedral of Our Lady exemplifies the grandeur of stunning Gothic architecture. Gaze at the jaw-dropping interiors depicting a blend of Baroque and Neoclassical styles. No wonder, the majestic cathedral tower is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is thronged by a large number of visitors annually.

Mas Musem:

Situated in the hip Eilandje district, an old dockside neighborhood, MAS Museum gained a lot of love very quickly. The museum's astounding structure and numerous items on display that speak about the industrial spirit and history of Antwerp make it a popular tourist site. Browse through more than 500,000 items that comprise of artwork as well as utensils and also visit the viewing gallery at the top of the building that gives breathtaking views of the city.

Antwerp Central Station:

Renowned as the 'Railway Cathedral', the Central Station is the main railway station of Antwerp and considered to be one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. Scattered over 4 floors, it is equipped with various shops, cafés, and modern amenities. Marvel at the beautiful architecture while visiting this station.

St. Carolus Borromeuskerk:

Earlier known as the Ignatius Church, St. Carolus Borromeuskerk is a church for Jesuits. There isn’t much to speak about its beauty since its stellar Baroque architecture says it all. It is said that the interiors were decorated by Rubens and his disciples. Marvel at the functioning mechanism above the main altar that is used to switch paintings.

The Middelheim Sculpture Museum:

Housing sculptures from the time of Rodin until today, Middelheim Sculpture Museum is a world-renowned outdoor sculpture expo. With an inventory that spans across 50 years, the park now has an amazing collection of modern sculptures. As unique as its display, the museum is an abode to over 200 pieces and is known to have been born out of an open-air exhibition in the 1950s.

St. Paul’s Church:

With a highly sophisticated architecture, St. Paul's Church is one of the finest churches in Antwerp and is located in the old city center near the Scheldt River. Originally a Dominican monastery from the 16th century, gaze at imposing interior adorned with 50 paintings, over 200 sculptures, alluring baroque altars, and sculpted church furniture. The facade shows Renaissance features with a major highlight being the 18th-century Calvary with 60 life-sized figures.

Antwerp City Hall:

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Town Hall is an example of the new Renaissance architectural style. Primarily built in 1565, the hall was burnt to ashes in the Spanish Fury in 1576 and was reinstated in the late 19th century. Do not miss out on the City Hall while in Antwerp for it is a fantastic spot to visit displaying beautiful architecture, especially during Christmas.

Bourla Theatre:

Constructed in 1819, this elegant theater has encountered countless renovations and is famous for its works of art like that of Apollo and the 9 Muses looking down at the patrons. Bourla is the last enduring theater across Europe that is still intact with initial stage machinery stacked 5 levels below and above the stage with a seating capacity of around 900.

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