How to spend a Monday in Antwerp?

Most museums and attractions are closed on Monday, but not all of them. Many attractions are also free. The shops on the famous Meir are also open obviously. Make your Monday (or indeed any other day) in Antwerp a stellar day with these top tips.

Historic city centre

Het Steen and The Antwerp Story

Start your Monday at Het Steen visitor centre, the oldest building in Antwerp. The Antwerp Story takes you on a journey through the history of the city, its neighbourhoods and famous residents. After visiting this attraction, you can walk up to the roof terrace of this 800-year old building, from where you can enjoy a view of the Scheldt and the historic city centre.

Edvard Munch & Eugeen Van Mieghem

Cross the street at Het Steen and you will find yourself in Het Redershuis, an imposing building from 1896 that is home to the Museum Eugeen Van Mieghem. Here you can admire approximately 200 works by this Antwerp “artist of the people” (closed on public holidays and in July and August).

Lovers of the graphic arts should pop in next door. Museum De Reede exhibits approximately 150 works from 3 of the greatest engravers of all time: Francisco Goya, Félicien Rops and Edvard Munch.

The cathedral and artistic churches

There are 4 monumental churches within walking distance of each other in the historic city centre, which are home to a lot of art:

But the biggest eye-catcher - literally and figuratively - is of course the Cathedral of Our Lady, the most beautiful Lady in Antwerp! The largest Gothic structure (123 metres high) of the Low Countries is a real treasure trove, with works of art by Rubens among others.

In July and August, the city carillonneurs play a concert from the cathedral tower on several Monday evenings. While you cannot see the concert, you can head to the Town Hall’s “Schoon Verdiep” where you listen in peace to the city’s highest jukebox. Free, but book your seat in advance.

The Town Hall and its “Schoon Verdiep”

The Town Hall in Grote Markt has been the beating heart of Antwerp politics for 500 years now. Take a guided tour of this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Monument. A visit to the “Schoon Verdiep”, the most beautiful floor of the building, is a must.

Meir and surrounding area

Fashion and shopping

Antwerp largely owes its reputation as a shopping paradise to the Meir, the well-known shopping street between the historic city centre and Central Station. The biggest fashion chains in the world have a branch here. In the surrounding streets you will find leading luxury brands, independent boutiques, vintage shops and creative pop-up stores.

Beguinage and Botanical Garden

The Beguinage with its beautiful courtyard and the 200-year-old Botanical Garden are havens of peace in the busy city centre. The somewhat hidden Vlaeykensgang, which makes you feel as if you have travelled back in time to medieval Antwerp, is also ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Another place where you can enjoy some peace and quiet is the Stadspark.

Station neighbourhood

Plopsa Station and Central Station

The train is the most convenient means of transport to reach Antwerp. The arrival in Central Station, one of the most beautiful train stations in the world, is an experience in itself. This railway cathedral is also home to Plopsa Station Antwerp, an indoor park where the most famous Belgian cartoon characters and the Studio 100 heroes welcome you and your children.

Creatures and Belgian chocolate

Would you rather spot creatures with your children? The ZOO, one of the oldest and most famous zoos in Europe, is located right next to Central Station. Also fun to do with your children: Chocolate Nation. The largest Belgian chocolate museum in the world is located diagonally opposite the ZOO.

Cinema and Chinatown

Right next to Chocolate Nation you can also see the Chinese Pagoda Gate, the gateway to Van Wesenbekestraat with its many Chinese and Asian shops. A must for foodies and fans of Asia.

Want to stop for a break? There is no shortage of terraces and restaurants on De Keyserlei. Or enjoy a movie at the UGC Cinemas complex.

Outside the city centre

Fine arts and Scheldt quays

The trendy Het Zuid district is just a 20-minute walk from Meir or the historic city centre. Here you can enjoy a breath of fresh air and aperitifs on the renovated Scheldt quays, in Museumplein, or in the new park on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken. From 24 September 2022, the doors of the beautifully restored Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp will once again swing open to welcome the public.

Suske & Wiske or Rodin & Weiwei

Antwerp is one large comic strip museum. You will run into monumental murals of famous cartoon characters throughout the city, which have been conviently grouped in a 3.4-kilometre walk. 

Would you rather walk among sculptures and artworks by Rodin, Rik Wouters, Roman Signer and Ai Weiwei among others? Head to the Middelheim Museum, one of the largest open-air sculpture parks in the world. Free admission!

Pedestrian tunnel and ferry

You need to head to the other side of the Scheldt for a walk in lush green surroundings or the best view of Antwerp. Cross the river quickly and in a fun way, either underground through the Pedestrian Tunnel (with its authentic wooden escalators) or across the river with the ferry (free of charge, also with a bicycle).

Transport to and from Antwerp

On foot or by bicycle

The nice thing about Antwerp is that almost everything - from monuments and museums to fashion houses and markets - is within walking distance of each other. Want to get around a bit faster? Hop on a bicycle and take one of the many cycling tours. The Touristram or tuktuk is also a fun alternative to enjoy the main sights of the city, especially with small children.

Take the train or tram

You can easily get to Antwerp by train. Are you coming by car? Then park it on a P&R on the city’s outskirts, where you can get on a tram. Check all the transport options.

Chocolate Nation


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