Architectural jewels

Medieval churches, impressive art nouveau buildings, maritime warehouses and modern residential complexes, one thing is certain: there is a lot of varied architecture to discover in Antwerp. The city is in constant development: dilapidated buildings are being restored to their former glory and there are plenty of new buildings. Get your camera ready! 

Corona news

Visit Antwerp is following the measures imposed by the higher authorities to limit the further spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, shops, cafés and restaurants are currently closed, museums and culture houses are keeping their doors shut and organised tours are on pause. Please note that some of the activities in the articles below may not take place for a while, but be inspired in advance and look forward to a visit to Antwerp.

Old and new

Where better to start than with the classics? During your walk from the beautiful Central Station to the Scheldt, you can admire countless beautiful buildings. The Palace on the Meir, the Boerentoren, the renovated Stock Exchange, the Cathedral of Our Lady, the Town Hall, Steen Castle, etc. In its own way, each steals the show in the street scene. Walk south along the quays of the Scheldt and discover countless architectural jewels, such as the van Roosmalen House, the museum of modern art M HKA, which was once a grain silo, the goods station that was transformed into a Van Breda bank building ... and countless lofts and apartments that overlook a renovated area of the Scheldt Quays, which are wonderful for getting a breath of fresh air. 

The Eilandje is in constant motion

The Scheldt Quays are an excellent signpost to beautiful architecture. Head in a northerly direction from Steen Castle to the Eilandje and the MAS will soon dominate your view. Then walk through the FelixArchive. Cheese, coffee and cereals used to be stored here; today, you can find the city's archives here. The Eilandje has changed enormously in recent years. The residential towers on the Kattendijkdok, the marina, the Red Star Line Museum, the Montevideo warehouses, the new Cadix district, etc. If you haven't been here for a while, you'll go from one surprise to another. 

Art nouveau in Zurenborg

Zurenborg is perhaps the most beautiful district in Antwerp. Stroll around and admire incredible Art Nouveau façades, elegant streets and atmospheric squares. The showpiece is the sublime architecture of the 19th-century Cogels-Osylei. You won't believe your eyes. The nearby Dageraadplaats is an ideal place to have a drink and look at the colourful mix of people for a while, instead of the buildings. Or go to Plaza Real, the café of Klaas Janzoons, keyboardist and violinist with the Antwerp musical gem dEUS, known for their big hit 'The Architect'. With a bit of luck, you'll meet the rest of the group here as well, because their studio is located in the adjoining building and this summer they're said to be working on a new record...

Discover more by bike

Further away from the city, there are plenty more architectural jewels to discover. Get on your bike and follow the signposted Architecture Route. You'll cycle past hidden gems and surprising new urban developments: from the new Port House to modernist buildings in Deurne and the Noorderpershuis where the Seefbier brewery is based. Pick up the map at one of Visit Antwerp's visitors' centres and be sure to read the tips from photographer Noortje Palmers. She will show you how to take beautiful Instagram photos of all the beauty you encounter along the way. Do you want to immerse yourself in architecture? Then follow a guided cycling route and listen to the fascinating stories of your expert guide. 

Tom Cornille


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