Bank and embankment recreated

Along the banks of the Scheldt, across the Eilandje and straight through the Schipperskwartier (sailor’s quarter)… your guide walks you through the earliest history of the port of Antwerp - from the bank of the Scheldt to lively city on the river.

This is the city-by-the-river walk par excellence! Your guide will tell you a fascinating tale about the origin and growth of the historic city centre by the Scheldt as you follow a quirky and unusual route along the river bank, across ‘Eilandje’ and through the Red-Light District.
 
Step by step you will learn how the river bank, the dunes and canals were transformed throughout
the centuries. Hidden parts of the city walls, strange place names, vaulted canals - known as ‘ruien’ - and historic facades reveal the fascinating past of these old port districts. Dive into the history of the Antwerp as a canal city, Gilbert van Schoonbeke’s Nieuwstad, the picturesque Napoleonic docks, the sieges of 1814 and 1830 and the straightening of the Scheldt quays in the nineteenth century during which part of the city even disappeared into the river ...
 
Fortunately the beautiful St. Paul’s Church survived a major fire in 1968 and this restored monument is now an eye-catching feature along our route. Nostalgic sailor’s bars, high brick warehouses and imposing port buildings as well as the tolerance zone for prostitution showcase the proud maritime past and vibrant present of this renewed part of the city by the river. The future plans for these port neighbourhoods are also addressed. Along the way you stop on a terrace with stunning views of MAS for refreshments or get a taste of the atmosphere of a real sailor’s pub.
 
Because of the longer distance, some stairs and bumpy cobblestones this walk is less suited to people who are not that mobile.
 
Wear good walking shoes.
The trail also takes you through the Red-Light District. This may not be an ideal family outing.
Refreshments during the stop are not included in the price.
 
The trail takes you along: STEEN - PILOTAGE BUILDING – MAS (‘Eiland je’) - FALCONPLEIN - ST. PAUL’S CHURCH. It includes a short visit - if open to: the reception area of MAS and St. Paul’s Church.
 
Start and finish: Visit Antwerpen, Grote Markt 13.


Information, prices and bookings

Contact





Book now

Opening Days

Special opening days

Special closing days

Individual visitors

Price per person:

Reduction rates

Card holders

City Card: .

Groups

Prices

Schools

Prices

Others also viewed

Touring around (and in) the MAS

Touring around (and in) the MAS

Old Docks, Cadix and Montevideo… the once so faded docklands are rejuvenating. Today we call them ‘het Eilandje’ – because the neighbourhood was formerly enclosed by water when the locks of the Bonapartedok and the Verbindingsdok were open. A fascinating walk along Antwerp’s first docks. 

The Eilandje's Past

The Eilandje's Past

Weather-beaten statues, rusty wharf cranes, old bridges and locks, historic warehouses… in and around the hip Eilandje neighbourhood one finds references to an eventful maritime past and traces of the legendary Red Star Line shipping company. 

Related content

Winter in Antwerp

Winter in Antwerp

Winter in Antwerp is the ultimate winter holiday and so much more! Between 10 December and 8 January, the entire city centre is enveloped in a cosy atmosphere on squares and shopping streets, with the christmas market, an outdoor ice rink, a winter bar, original and fun shops, additional retail Sundays and lots of surprises. Book your stay now!

Discover Antwerp

Discover Antwerp

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.

Guided tours - information, prices and bookings

Guided tours - information, prices and bookings

Information, prices and how to book. 

Antwerp in 24 and 48 hours

Antwerp in 24 and 48 hours

Whether you’re coming to Antwerp for a hefty helping of culture, to soak up some history, to shop or to enjoy Antwerp’s culinary delights, you’ll find them all within reach. Antwerp may be compact, but it has a great deal to offer. Get all you can out of it by using the Antwerp City Card as your guide. The card (valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours) will open the nicest, tastiest and most surprising doors of the city for you, for free or at a discount. Discovering is now up to you. Have fun!

Museum Plantin-Moretus

Museum Plantin-Moretus

This museum is the continuation of the Of the Officina Plantiniana, founded by Christoffel Plantijn in 1555, as the first industrial printing works in history. Granted by Unesco in 2005, the museum demonstrates the entire book production process from the 15th to the 18th century. 

Following emigrants

Following emigrants

Follow the emigrants of yore. Experience their precarious journey to a new life - from the arrival in the Central Station to the Red Star Line buildings on the Eilandje. This is where ocean steamers moored, with promises of a beautiful future overseas. 

Fun tips for a rainy day

Fun tips for a rainy day

What do you do if it’s raining outside but you don’t want to stay indoors? The Antwerp residents don’t let a shower or thunderstorm stop them from doing what they want to do. If you’re prepared to brave the bad weather, you will see that there’s plenty to keep you occupied, with an umbrella in hand, if necessary. We are happy to inspire you with sheltered and less sheltered tips.

Historical City Walk

Historical City Walk

Accompanied by experienced city guides you’ll walk to the unique Market place, surrounded by the mighty Renaissance Town hall and numerous guild halls. You’ll be astonished when seeing the famous Cathedral of Our Lady, coronated with a unique Gothic steeple, the symbol of the City of Antwerp. You’ll then pass through a charming sixteenth century inner yard, the ‘Vlaeykensgang’, and will continue your stroll alongside many sites and places which you have never imagined before.

The Port House

The Port House

Antwerp’s latest architectural jewel is the Port House. This funky and innovative building, with roots in the past, is the new headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority that accommodates over 500 employees. You can also plan a guided tour of the building and enjoy the panoramic view over the port and the city.

Cogels-Osylei

Cogels-Osylei

Want to immerse yourself in the elegance of art nouveau without walking too long? Choose the shorter Zurenborg walking tour. It only passes through the Cogels-Osylei and a few side streets. Imagine how Antwerp’s bourgeoisie once strolled along these stately mansions and urban palaces.