I was recently in Brussels for the weekend, but tired of the bleak prospect of spending the weekend there we decided to go on a day trip to Antwerp. What a great idea that was! We were extremely lucky with the weather which turned out to be beautiful and so were able to stroll through the streets of Antwerp and enjoy the views.
Before leaving I had received the following recommendations from my colleague.
Rent a bike: you get anywhere in the city in 15mins and will make it easier to get around and to reach the train station on the way back. For bike rentals check this link.
- Quick and easy wraps and healthy burgers at Lunchbox (Theaterplein). Good atmosphere and international attitude.
- Te Quiero: super nice salads with latin american influences
- Escobar (they have funny opening hours – so check beforehand)
- Fiskebar is an amazing fish place.
- De Broers van Julienne offers great vegan food.
- Felixpakhuis great belgian cuisine, good service and cool setting (it’s an old warehouse close to MAS museum)
- Chez Fred (make a reservation!)
- De Burgerij
- Pazzo (best lady chef in belgium) – upper price range
If that isn’t enough suggestions to keep your stomach full and you want to have a nice afternoon tea, go to Theehuis / Tearoom chez Claude.
You may have heard that Antwerp is well know for its fashion and are looking forward to roaming its streets in search of the ultimate cool or hip item. You can visit: Nationalestraat, Drukkerijstraat, Kammenstraat, Lombardenvest and St Antoniusstraat. You can also visit De Kloosterstraat and het Zuid for antiques and strolling around.
Our day trip:
Any visit to Antwerp starts with its magnificent train station! You wouldn’t necessarily think of as your number one destination, but if you’re coming from Brussels then this will be your landing point and a nice way to start your time in Antwerp. Beautiful architecture and an impressive front hall, worth stopping and taking a selfie!
Antwerp is also known for its diamonds industry, so in case you’re planning on getting engaged, just want to have a look or are feeling particularly generous, you will definitely find something for your tastes.
We definitely didn’t have time to do everything on the above list however we did visit the MAS museum and headed it to its top floor for some amazing views over Antwerp, as you can see from the picture accompanying this blog post. Sadly it’s top floor bar wasn’t open but we had a drink downstairs instead.
We then went for dinner in Lux, a nice restaurant right across from the museum. Location was good, setting was gorgeous, but service was sooooooo slow! Let’s say we had ordered and were ready by 7PM. We ended up leaving at 11.30 PM and not because we had been chatting all night… At some point we must have waited at least one hour between two courses.
The food was good and definitely worth the wait, but as one friend said “When I have 8 people over for dinner, I plan ahead and organize myself”. One would hope that a restaurant would be able to do the same…
Finally we ended our evening in a new bar called Cielo. Good location, large space and a DJ pumping out good tunes kept us dancing until 3am!
So definitely worth a day trip to Antwerp, if you go let me know what you think and whether you tried any of the above.
Only weird thing to note about Belgium: they do not serve you tap water. Enjoy!