<p>Antwerp has more summer activities than it has summer days. The chances are you’ll soon get overheated in the city during these events, especially if the summer sun is really beating down on you. Want to escape from the heat of the city? Then this article has a whole host of cool options for you to try out.</p>
One of the easiest ways to cool down is to take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. But in Antwerp we’re not talking about your average swimming pool. The Boekenberg swimming pond is Europe’s biggest ecological swimming pond. The presence of special plants means you can swim here in naturally filtered water. Or why not visit the city’s oldest swimming pool, the art-deco gem in Veldstraat, where you can swim in a 33 metre pool, enjoy a hammam or relax in the hot tub complex. And did you know that Antwerp has its very own natural beach? You’re not allowed to swim in the Scheldewater but head to St. Anneke beach and see for yourself - the fresh breezes from the river and a chilled pint in one of the numerous cafes are the perfect antidote to the heatwave.
Even when temperatures rise to 30 degrees and more, it’s always nice and cool underground. Why not go on a tour through the Antwerp Canals, the city’s former canals and sewers, and feel the difference. It is always nice and cool in the pedestrian tunnel which you can walk or cycle through to Linkeroever for the best views of Antwerp’s skyline. Don’t forget to take a photo of the authentic wooden escalators!
Seek out the shade in the City Park, a triangular area not far from the pedestrianised shopping street, Meir. Take something to sit on and enjoy a picnic under the trees. Or go in search of the somewhat hidden away Botanical Garden in Leopoldstraat. Alongside great visual art the Middelheim Open Air Museum also has plenty of shady spots. Antwerp’s biggest park, the Rivierenhof, can be found in Deurne, which is also home to the open air theatre, one of the country’s best concert venues.
In Antwerp you can’t miss the Cathedral of Our Lady. Its 123 metre-high belfry dominates the city. Step inside and cool down whilst admiring some of the breath-taking art it contains. The other Antwerp churches are also worth a visit: St. Charles Borromeo is the Rubens church par excellence, St. Andrew’s Church has an amazingly beautiful pulpit and St. Paul’s Church is home to more than 50 paintings by famous Antwerp masters.
Many young people go to the pontoon bridge at the Steen when they want to cool down. There’s always a lovely breeze on this floating berth for pleasure boats. What better way to spend your evening than admiring the sunset to the relaxing ripple of the River Scheldt? Another unique spot is Conscienceplein. It is quite possibly Antwerp’s most beautiful square and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in Italy. The bench under the big tree is a great spot to read a book or indulge in a spot of people-watching.
In Antwerp you can find trendy summer bars in the most unexpected places. And every year new ones pop up. Don’t know where to go? Then let this article be your guide.
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Antwerp has more summer bars than any other Belgian city. So why not try a different one every week: high up on a rooftop or in the middle of a park. Enjoy that instant holiday feeling in one of these ten summer bars.
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.
The Antwerp ZOO is one of the oldest and best-known zoos in Europe. It will take you and your parents at least half a day to see and do it all! The penguins live in Vriesland with their own arctic enclosure, elephants and giraffes are as tall as the Egyptian temple they stay in and hippopotamuses goof around in a pink villa. 950 different species and 5000 animals live at the zoo, that’s more than all the sweets you’ll ever eat all in one place!
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.
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.
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.
Nothing is more fun than a market.You get a taste of the city and its local offerings.Antwerp has several weekly and monthly markets spread all over the city.They’re highly recommended for those who want to experience the real Antwerp.
Step into the shoes of the leading Baroque artist of his era. Rubens and his family lived in this palatial setting for well over 25 years and it is here that the artist created the lion’s share of his work. Here he entertained Europe’s nobility and Royalty and stored his impressive art collection in a beautiful art room. The garden, the creators’ workshop and the fabulous collection draws 150 000 visitors from all over the world, year after year.
Get all you can out of Antwerp! Are you interested in exploring all of Antwerp? Then use the Antwerp City Card as your guide. The card will open the nicest, tastiest and most surprising doors of the city for you, for free or at a discount. What’s more, you can choose how long you want to use it. The best of Antwerp Antwerp has so much to offer that it would take a lifetime to discover everything. But you only have a weekend or a midweek. That is why we selected the best the city has to offer: the Cathedral of Our Lady, the Rubens House, the MAS museum... and what’s more, your Antwerp City Card entitles you to free admission to all these attractions. You can also use public transportation free of charge as long as your Antwerp City Card is valid. Besides this, you can also cheaply rent a bike, receive a discount in the chip shop and use your free ticket for the hopNstop shuttle (do take it at least once!).
It took 169 years (1352-1521) of labour to raise the 123m heavenward-reaching steeple of the Cathedral, the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries. The Cathedral is an iconic treasury, with an impressive collection of major art works, including a series of paintings by Rubens. Now, after twenty years, the seven-naved church has been restored to its former architectural glory. Fascinating features include Rubens’ ‘Elevation of the Cross’ and his ‘Descent from the Cross’. Any visit to Antwerp starts with a visit of the Cathedral of Our Lady.