Antwerp is the largest city in Flanders. It has more diamonds shining in the shops than any other place in the world. The shops in Antwerp almost look like museums. You—almost literally—find a start-up around every corner.
Antwerp offers everything you need to have a good time and it does that in a slightly different way than other cities. What is the secret? The city and its residents are convinced that there is always something newer and better to be found. They don’t follow but create.
Antwerp annually welcomes more than 60,000 inland-navigation and sea-going vessels. They anchor in a seaport located 80 kilometres inland. A unique trump card because that way the hinterland is easily reached. Thanks to the harbour, much knowledge also flows into the city. International researches and specialised maritime training are no exception in Antwerp.
Antwerp has always been characterised by its urge for innovation, such as the art of printing that was invented here and the international quality marks for diamonds that originated from the city. Inhabitants of Antwerp want to lead and determine the direction. The conservatory, the research centres, the multimedia Technology programme, the famous fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and many are proof of this. Enterprises in Antwerp also illustrate this. Start-ups pop up like mushrooms here and grow into international successes.
Everything is just a little different in Antwerp. You shop in buildings that elsewhere would be museums, for instance, you can go shopping in The (Shopping) Stadsfeestzaal which is completely decorated with gold leaf. And during a museum visit, the collection as well as the setting will knock you off your feet: for example, the MAS| Museum aan de Stroom (museum at the river) is most likely the most beautiful outdoor work of art and you can admire the panorama over Antwerp from 60 metres above ground. Every day is different, every day is spectacular. In the city, you find more diamonds in one square kilometre than anywhere in the world. And the most beautiful library in Belgium, the Nottebohmzaal, is Antwerp’s best kept secret. During a walk through the city, you follow an architectural route that some cities can only dream of.
The inhabitants of Antwerp like to call their city a metropolis. Though they also like to call it a village, where everyone knows each other. That is not self-evident in the biggest city in Flanders with 174 nationalities and more than 510,000 inhabitants. Nevertheless, Antwerp is a metropolis with a small-town sentiment in which you quickly taste all the styles, colours and flavours.
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