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.
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.
You can sail through Antwerp’s port on board the ships of Jan Plezier. A port tour by boat is the perfect way to enjoy the activities in Antwerp’s port.
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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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.