Antwerp, the port with the largest lock in the world

Besides the largest lock in the world, 'the Kieldrecht lock',  the port of Antwerp also has enormous docks, large container ships and imposing cranes. Interested to see more of this fascinating side of Antwerp? Then find out in this article how you can take a closer look at the port of Antwerp.

A sea port that is 80 kilometres inland

In Antwerp some of the largest ships in the world almost sail into the city centre. Although the port of Antwerp is located 80 kilometres inland, it is a real deepsea port in spite of its unique location. Products such as fruit, steel and coffee can thus be transported to the European hinterland much faster and more sustainably. Far from the sea, yet close to the final destination…. It is easy to see why the port of Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe.

The largest lock in the world

The port of Antwerp is unique because of its location. But thanks to Kieldrecht Lock, the largest lock in the world, the port is also able to accommodate the ever larger ships that call at the port. Kieldrecht Lock is situated at the end of Deurganck Dock on the left bank of the River Scheldt. It is 500 metres long, 68 metres wide and it contains three times the amount of steel it took to build the Eiffel Tower. Art in a lock? Only in Antwerp. The graffiti artist Cazn spent ten weeks working on a 300-metre long mural in the lock. Depending on the tides it will be regularly submerged.

Explore Antwerp’s port by boat

You can sail through Antwerp’s port on board the ships of Jan Plezier, Flandria or Antwerp Port Tours. A port tour by boat is the perfect way to enjoy the activities in Antwerp’s port.

Biking through the port

A bike is another excellent way of exploring Antwerp’s port. There are various trails through the gigantic port area, which will take you all the beauty spots in the port. What’s more, the bike paths are excellent. Pick up your free port bike map from the MAS Port Pavilion or at the Visit Antwerp visitor centre in Grote Markt.

Port tour

Is the weather forecast less than stellar or do you prefer a more laidback visit of the port? Antwerp Port Tours organises guided port tours by coach. And thanks to the tablet they give you during your visit you can see what is going on behind the scenes of the port. Visiting with a group? Then take Visit Antwerp’s port tour by coach. Listen to some astounding facts and figures while driving along the Scheldt quays, the fruit wharf, the church ship and Berendrecht Lock. You will also find more about the fascinating past of Antwerp’s port during the tour.

Port House by Zaha Hadid

Are you only spending a short time in Antwerp but are you interested in the port experience? Then head over to the Eilandje, Antwerp’s old port neighbourhood which has been revamped over the years. You can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the city and port on the rooftop terrace of the MAS | Museum aan de Stroom. If you pop over to the port pavilion near the MAS you can learn everything there is to know about the port thanks to a film, a satellite photo and personal advice. And finally, don’t forget to walk to Londenbrug Bridge for a stunning view of the impressive new port house, which was designed by the world-famous architect Zaha Hadid.


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