On 10 June, the largest lock in the world will be inaugurated in the port of Antwerp. On 11 and 12 June everyone can admire the new Kieldrecht lock and the surrounding area from the tallest ferris wheel in Europe. Besides the largest lock in the world, the port of Antwerp also has enormous docks, large container ships and imposing cranes. Interested to see more of this fascinating side of Antwerp? Then find out in this article how you can take a closer look at the port of Antwerp.<br />
In Antwerp some of the largest ships in the world almost sail into the city centre. Although the port of Antwerp is located 80 kilometres inland, it is a real deepsea port in spite of its unique location. Products such as fruit, steel and coffee can thus be transported to the European hinterland much faster and more sustainably. Far from the sea, yet close to the final destination…. It is easy to see why the port of Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe.
The port of Antwerp is unique because of its location. But thanks to Kieldrecht Lock, the largest lock in the world, the port is also able to accommodate the ever larger ships that call at the port. Kieldrecht Lock is situated at the end of Deurganck Dock on the left bank of the River Scheldt. It is 500 metres long, 68 metres wide and it contains three times the amount of steel it took to build the Eiffel Tower. Art in a lock? Only in Antwerp. The graffiti artist Cazn spent ten weeks working on a 300-metre long mural in the lock. Depending on the tides it will be regularly submerged.
A bike is another excellent way of exploring Antwerp’s port. There are various trails through the gigantic port area, which will take you all the beauty spots in the port. What’s more, the bike paths are excellent. Pick up your free port bike map from the MAS Port Pavilion, the Visit Antwerp visitor centre in Grote Markt or print it out here yourself.
Is the weather forecast less than stellar or do you prefer a more laidback visit of the port? Antwerp Port Tours organises guided port tours by coach. And thanks to the tablet they give you during your visit you can see what is going on behind the scenes of the port. Visiting with a group? Then take Visit Antwerp’s port tour by coach. Listen to some astounding facts and figures while driving along the Scheldt quays, the fruit wharf, the church ship and Berendrecht Lock. You will also find more about the fascinating past of Antwerp’s port during the tour.
Are you only spending a short time in Antwerp but are you interested in the port experience? Then head over to the Eilandje, Antwerp’s old port neighbourhood which has been revamped over the years. You can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the city and port on the rooftop terrace of the MAS | Museum aan de Stroom. If you pop over to the port pavilion near the MAS you can learn everything there is to know about the port thanks to a film, a satellite photo and personal advice. And finally, don’t forget to walk to Londenbrug Bridge for a stunning view of the impressive new port house, which was designed by the world-famous architect Zaha Hadid.
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Shorter days and longer nights… Yes, autumn is here. But don’t worry, because in Antwerp we always make sure that every day and every night is simply unforgettable, with fun parties in unexpected places, concerts in palaces and exhibitions and culinary highlights in the city centre. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, we have another surprise up our sleeve for you. Book the Discover Antwerp package, spend the night in Antwerp and make the most of your stay with the Antwerp City Card that is included.
Antwerp has a solid national and international reputation as a creative fashion city. The well-known Fashion Academy and the amazing Fashion Museum as well as the inspiring shopping streets and the various fashionable events organised in the city all contribute to this. The new Antwerp Fashion Weekend event only helps confirm why so many visitors from neighbouring cities and further afield think of Antwerp as the shopping capital of Belgium.
St Anna’s Tunnel – or Underpass, as the locals like to refer to it – was opened in 1933. Both on the left and on the right bank, you can still access the tunnel using the authentic wooden escalators which were unique at the opening.
The secret Vlaeykensgang alley dates from 1591 and connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt Pelgrimstraat with one another. Walk through the gate at Oude Koornmarkt 16 and you feel as if you have journeyed back in time. In the past this alley was where the shoemakers and the poorest people in the city lived. The shoemakers were also in charge of sounding the alarm bell of the cathedral. These days you can find antiques stores and art galleries here as well as the exclusive restaurant Sir Anthony Van Dyck. The atmosphere is very intimate which is why many people also like to come here to listen to the carillon concerts during the summertime.
Belgian beers are world-famous, and Antwerp is an excellent place to improve your acquaintance with them. The De Koninck Antwerp City Brewery offers an ideal introduction to the world of beer. Het Pakhuis is another brewery where you can taste authentically brewed beer. In addition, there are plenty of typical ‘brown cafés’ which often have dozens and in some cases hundreds of Belgian beers on the menu. Examples include Bier Central, ’t Waagstuk, Paters Vaetje, de Kulminator and Gollem.
You may feel like an intruder in this sacred, quiet space, but don’t worry – you are welcome. The Beguinage reminds us of a secret garden, nestled in the city centre next to the university, it is a surprise for those exploring. The tiny houses and charming St Catherine’s Church offers a haven of silence to busy souls, the beautiful garden, orchard and pond in the inner courtyard replenish and rejuvenate. Walk along the cobbled streets in this sixteenth-century garden of peace and quiet.
"The beautifully renovated Shopping Stadsfeestzaal on the Meir is presently a shopping centre housing over fifty shops. "
The MAS is the most prominent place where the city and the port come together, both literally and figuratively. The 60 metre tall tower – a feat of daring architecture – has already become a new landmark in Antwerp. The MAS is focusing on the city’s diversity and reflecting on the many contacts between cultures, both past and present. The museum collection tells the story of the city, the port and the world. On the roof of the MAS, you can also enjoy panoramic views over Antwerp.
Grote Markt originally was a forum or square just outside the medieval residential quarter. In 1220 Duke Henry I of Brabant (1165-1235) donated this community land to the city.
The name Merckt was used for the first time in 1310.