In Antwerp you can do anything and everything, but always slightly differently. That is why we selected five different ways of exploring the city. Float above the historic city centre, gently make your way past the impressive port or walk through the canals under the city. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, the city has another surprise in store for you.
Discover Antwerp from the air
You can enjoy a spectacular view of the city and the port of Antwerp from the panoramic roof of the MAS or the cathedral’s tower. But there is another way of seeing Antwerp from above, one you might not think of immediately. Experience Antwerp from a hot-air balloon and discover its unique location along the Scheldt. The hot air balloons are for people of all ages, for couples and for groups. During your trip your guide will tell you about ballooning and the city. An amazing experience.
Discover the various ballooning options, their points and times of departure at www.skaai.be, www.event-connect.beor www.bertelsballooning.be.
Discover Antwerp underground
Do you not like great heights? Then dive underground into the city’s history during a visit to the Antwerp Ruien. This underground canal system dates from the Middle Ages and supplied water to the city and a harbour inlet. Centuries later the canals were transformed into vaulted sewers and faded into the city’s memory. Now the public can visit them again and you can discover the fascinating and rich underground history of Antwerp. Take a tablet with you, or go on a boat trip or follow a guide. Get to know Antwerp in a very special way thanks to the many interesting facts and mysterious anecdotes of a distant and more recent past.
You can find more information about Antwerp’s ruien at www.ruien.be
Discover Antwerp ‘from the other side’
Antwerp is a city on the river, the River Scheldt winds its way through the city dividing it in two. The Sint-Anna Tunnel or the pedestrian tunnel, as Antwerpers call it, connects the two river banks. Walking or biking through this 572-metre long tunnel is an experience in itself. Your journey starts on the wooden escalators, which were unique in Antwerp when the tunnel was inaugurated in 1933. Once you arrive on Linkeroever you will really understand why you took this walk as you will enjoy a stunning view of Antwerp’s skyline. The beach of Sint-Anneke is also in Linkeroever and has plenty of nice pubs and restaurants. During the summer months it is one of the most popular places for Antwerp locals. In winter, you can enjoy a nice wind-swept walk and a drink and a bite to eat here.
Discover the playing field that is Antwerp
In Antwerp you can shop in buildings that would be museums elsewhere, you can lunch in shoe stores and play golf in the city centre. Discover the hotspots and other hidden spots in Antwerp during a game of City Golf. It is a unique way of exploring the city. Even more fun is a game of City Beer Golf, which includes a sampling of three delicious Antwerp regional beers. Aim at a historic monument, a statue or a bench. The player with the lowest score wins the game.
Antwerp is also a fashion city as you can discover for yourself during the Antwerp Fashion Hunt, a strategic group game with a fun mix of activities, themed assignments and photo assignments. Help Alexander, a graduate student at Antwerp’s Fashion Academy, to complete his collection in time for the graduation show and get to know the fashion city of Antwerp better. The team that gets the most points en route within the agreed time wins the Antwerp Fashion Hunt.
Explore Antwerp from the water
Unlike most sea ports the port of Antwerp (the second largest port in Europe) is located 80 km inland. This allows the port to serve the hinterland more efficiently. This is also an asset for visitors of Antwerp, as this allows you to get a taste of the port’s atmosphere. Jan Plezier boats will take you on a cruise past the gigantic ships and the bustling port terminals. Are you visiting with a group and are you looking for an exclusive way of discovering Antwerp’s old ports? Then rent the Rien Elisabeth, a historic small boat which organises deluxe private cruises around the Eilandje from 1 May until 15 October. Enjoy the view of the docks, the old warehouses and the MAS, over a glass of bubbly.
Extra tip: Explore Antwerp in Virtual Reality
Did your visit to Antwerp fly by and do you want a permanent memory of everything the city has to offer? Or are you planning to visit Antwerp and do you want a sneak preview? Then consider the Virtual Reality glasses of Atypical Antwerp. Download the free Atypical Antwerp app, order the VR glasses for free, fold them yourself following the instructions on the package, and enjoy a 360° view of Antwerp. From your lazy chair, in the park or on the train: explore a piece of Antwerp anywhere you are.
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Visit Mercado covered food market and enjoy culinary surprises and much more.
Het Steen was home to the Maritime Museum for many years. Now that its collection has been moved to the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), HETPALEIS and the city of Antwerp have reopened this legendary building as a ‘question centre’ for visitors (and anyone looking for answers), young or old, aged six years or over.
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.
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.
Antwerp is a vibrant city. And all those residents and visitors who bring so much life to the city also require a lot of parking for their cars. In order to give everyone an equal chance at a parking spot, there is paid parking in many places throughout Antwerp.
Visitors to Antwerp have been flocking to the hip Eilandje district, an old dockside neighbourhood, to visit the MAS, which opened in 2011.
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.
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.
Antwerp is a pocket-sized city. Many of the attractions are within walking or biking distance of each other. Another way of getting around the city is on the trams and buses of De Lijn. Tip: buy your tram or bus ticket in a point of pre-sale (newsagent’s, supermarket, the vending machines at the various stops or in the visitor centres of Visit Antwerp), where tickets are cheaper.