Long ago, Antwerp had a carefully designed network of underground waterways: ruien, vlieten and vesten. Originally dug out as forts to guard the city, they where then used as an inland port and water supply system. Centuries later, the city’s canals were converted into sewers. Covered with archways and vaults, this unique part of Antwerp’s heritage disappeared forever it seemed. Then in 2005, a clever person opened up the ruien for all people to see! Our journey to discover the ruien starts at the Ruihuis under expert supervision of an experienced guide. Very old arched vaults, foundations, bridges and locks are a secret way of knowing what the city looks like above your head. Explore the belly of the city and find out some interesting facts and hear the mysterious tales. In 2008, the ruien were awarded the Flemish Monument Prize.

The Ruien walk with guide takes approximately 3 hours. A distinction is made between groups and individual visitors. Attention: guided walks for individual visitors are possible in dutch only !

Only telephone reservations at  +32 (0)3 232 01 03 from Monday till Friday between 9 and 17.45

Opening hours

Open Thursday till Monday from 10 to 18
Closed on Tuesday, Wednesday, Christmas and New Year’s day


  • Visit at 10 and 14 h
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Maximum 15 visitors per guide
  • Language: choice of Dutch, French or English
  • Only telephone reservation possible at the callcenter of Tourism Antwerp via the general phone number +32 (0)3 232 01 03
  • At least 3 weeks before the date of the visit- under reservation of availability


  • To pay in advance:
    guide ticket: 105 euro per guide (maximum 15 participants )
    administration cost: 5 euro (per reservation)
  • Entrance fee to be paid at the Ruihuis on the day of the visit:
    135 euro for the first 15 persons and 6 euro p.p. from the 16th person onwards

Some important facts beforehand

  • Safety: a RUIen walk is not entirely without risk; despite security measures that vzw Visit took, one should be aware that a walk through the canals is not just a walk but rather an arduous, muddy nature walk. Underground walks may have to be cancelled in case of heavy rainfall. For safety reasons you will be offered a full 3 hours alternative program; in this case no entrance fee will be charged.
  • We will not allow children under age 12 as individual visitors. They will only be accepted as part of a private group of their parents at their responsibility.
  • An administration fee will be charged for each booking made
  • Paid orders cannot be cancelled, modified nor refunded.


Clothing: It is appropriate to wear hiking shoes and pants that may get dirty. vzw Visit  will provide visitors with a RUI equipment that offers  the necessary protection. RUI equipment consists of boots (sizes 35 – 47 are available), protective pants and jacket, a torch and a carry bag for your own shoes.


Ruihuis Suikerrui 21 2000 Antwerpen