Experience Antwerp with your children

Antwerp is perfectly suited for a visit with your children. There is no shortage of fun and relaxing activities. Here are ten top things to do with your children and tips for family-friendly accommodation and dining options.

1. Het Steen and The Antwerp Story

Het Steen is Antwerp’s official visitor centre. Your children will feel like noble knights or ladies in this 800-year old castle. 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 from where you can enjoy a view of the Scheldt and the historic city centre.

2. Boat trip

See the activities in the port from up close, enjoy a unique view of docks and locks or discover Antwerp’s skyline from the Scheldt. A boat trip with a Flandria boat is always fun and relaxing. The free ferry connects the historic city centre with the green neighbourhood of Linkeroever, where the Scheldt banks are dotted with playgrounds. While you have to pay for De Waterbus, which stops at the picturesque port village of Lillo, you can take your bicycle on board free of charge.

3. Creatures and enchanting attractions

The ZOO is one of the oldest zoos in the world. Moreover, Belgium's most visited attraction is located right next to Antwerp’s Central Station, one of the most beautiful train stations in the world and home to the Plopsa Station indoor theme park.

4. Chocolate tasting

Also near Central Station: the largest Belgian chocolate museum in the world. Your experience starts in the jungle, after which you arrive in the port of Antwerp, you see how a life-size fantasy machine makes Belgian chocolate, and you discover why Belgian chocolate is so world-famous. Better yet, you get to sample the goods...

5. To the market

From antiques to arts and crafts, from organic to age-old, from vintage to vogue, and from retro to Rubens: Antwerp has a rich market tradition. Want to relax after a visit to the famous Vogelenmarkt in Theaterplein? At bar hetgeluk, baby buggies are just as welcome as balance bikes.

6. Museums for children

Antwerp has lots of museums where children won’t be bored. In the Middelheim Museum (one of the largest open-air sculpture parks in the world) they can walk around freely and play a museum game. Interested in an animal or treasure hunt? The Museum aan de Stroom is the place to be. At the Photo Museum they receive a free activity kit with all kinds of interesting activities.

7. Parks & playgrounds

Antwerp has many green and quiet spaces. The triangular Stadspark, near Meir and Central Station, has a playground, pond and beautiful suspension bridge.

8. From swimming paradise to swimming pool

With a subtropical swimming paradise, an ecological swimming pond, an Olympic swimming pool, an Art Deco pool and an open-air swimming pool, there is no shortage of swimming fun to be had in Antwerp.

9. City tour

Getting driven to the main attractions can be fun, especially if you’re travelling with young children. How about a tourist tram, a hop-on-hop-off bus, an old-timer bus or a tuktuk? Discover them all.

10. To the cinema

From the largest cinema complex in the Low Countries to charming cinemas in the city centre. Check out the range of cinemas in Antwerp.

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Spending the night in Antwerp with children

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Kathleen Michiels

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