From 18 to 21 August 2016, Antwerp will be celebrating the tenth edition of the Bollekes Festival. What began in 2007 as a culinary festival has grown into a fully-fledged town festival that showcases all of Antwerp’s assets, past and present. Enjoy four days of the best the city has to offer: regional products such as beer and chocolate, combined with music by Antwerp artists and a pleasant summer atmosphere. Below, we have listed ten highlights from the programme for you:
Enjoy the local treats from the local produce market. Taste an Antwerp beer, local top-class wine or a cooled drink. Or try one of our typical Antwerp dishes! You can come every day to enjoy all those goodies on the large, green terrace on the Groenplaats and Suikerrui.
Every day, several local artists add extra cheer to the Bollekes Festival with famous – and sometimes infamous – sing-alongs. Come along to the Market Square on Thursdays from 7 p.m., on Friday from 4 p.m., on Saturday from 6:15 p.m. and on Sunday from 2 p.m. On Saturday, the whole family is invited to the Market Square for the children's disco from 2.30 p.m.
On Steenplein, you can smell the sea and that is not just down to the nearby Scheldt. While you tuck into your purchases from the fish and shellfish market, children have fun on the Steenplein beach. On Friday and Saturday, you can come and share in the fun from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ten years of Bollekes Festival cannot go unnoticed. Come and celebrate with family and friends. The Bollekes are on ice on Friday evening between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the Market Square.
Traditions are there to be upheld. That is how the Antwerp Bakery Federation is sharing out no fewer than 15,000 chocolate hands. Catch as many as you can (eat)! So hurry on down to the Market Square at 7.30 p.m. on Friday evening.
At the Antwerp flea market ‘BrocAntwerpen’, you are bound to discover unusual objects that have sentimental value, ranging from furniture, dolls, movie posters, clothing, handbags, matchboxes, stamps and much more. For this, we use the Vrijdagmarkt on the Saturday from 12.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
Ten years of Bollekes Festival, that deserves a proper bang. At 10.30 p.m. on Saturday evening, when dusk falls, Steenplein is the backdrop to a magical fireworks.
The Antwerp bakers are burning the midnight oil on Saturday night to prepare the ideal Antwerp breakfast. All you have to do is turn up on Sunday morning and enjoy. The breakfast takes place at the Suikerrui from 10 a.m. until stocks last.
A piñata is a brightly coloured figure of paper in which surprises are hidden. Especially in Latin American countries, it is a tradition at festivals. What is hidden in the Bollekes piñata? Come and find out at the Market Square at 12 a.m. on Sunday.
Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Ernest Van Dijck quay turns into Boulevard 175. Here, several Antwerp communities entice you with the strangest, most colourful and delicious dishes from all over the world.
Special opening days
Special closing days
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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.