Antwerp’s red light district is the ideal base between the bustling city centre and the trendy Eilandje neighbourhood. While this part of Antwerp traditionally has been the realm of the ladies of the night, nowadays it has much more to offer to visitors to the city. Here’s a list with some facts about the red light district.
Falconplein borders the red light district and Eilandje. Nowadays you can find plenty of fun bars, pubs and Wah Kel, Antwerp’s oldest Chinese restaurant, in this once infamous square. Every Sunday you always buy healthy food at the weekly organic market, which runs from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Over the years, several night clubs opened in the red light district, including Cafe d’Anvers. This former church, which became one of the most influential clubs in house music, has been a popular weekend hangout in Antwerp for several years now. The place to go if you are a house or techno fan.
Formerly known as Red & Blue, Cargo Club is one of the largest gay clubs in Europe. Men only on Saturdays.
We highly recommend visiting Saint Paul’s, if you find yourself in the red light district. The magnificent interior will definitely take your breath away. The church is the repository of over fifty paintings by famous Antwerp masters such as Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens. During a fire in 1968, the church’s neighbours, including a sizeable population of ladies of pleasure, managed to save a large part of the artworks in the church. You can find further information about the opening hours of Saint Paul’s Church
Antwerp’s Ruien run under the red light district. In the past, the ruien were used as the city’s sewers and canals but nowadays you can explore them during a walk through underground Antwerp. Further information about Antwerp’s Ruien and booking a walk.
Antwerp’s red light district was known around the world. In recent years, however, the number of premises used for prostitution was drastically reduced as a result of the concentration of all activities to a zone of just three streets where prostitution is condoned. But the number of red lights remained the same, among others thanks to Villa Tinto, with 51 new windows in just one building.
The red light district now also has its own comic strip wall. The recently added artwork in Brouwersvliet was created by the Dutch illustrator, comic strip artist and graphic designer Joost Swarte. The drawing, which covers a surface area of over 300 sq.m. is called “Seven virtues/Seven vices”.
Antwerp’s red light district, which is situated between the historic city centre and Eilandje, is an excellent location to spend the night. Bed & breakfasts Yellow Submarine and Lucy in the Sky are the perfect place to unwind after a fun-filled day in Antwerp.
Are you curious to learn more about the red light district? Then why don’t you invite your family and friends for a guided group tour of Schipperskapelstraat, Sint-Paulusplaats, Veemarkt, Klapdorp, Falconplein and your final destination, the MAS. Find out for yourself why this neighbourhood is so worthwhile.
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