Antwerp, Belgium: A Complete Travel Guide
Updated: Aug 31, 2023
Antwerp is a port city located in the north of Belgium and it’s the second-largest city in the country after Brussels. Known as the Diamond Capital of the world, Antwerp holds a long history with its role as a leading trade center. Today, it’s also known for its vibrant atmosphere, remarkable art scene, and fashion-forward character. It’s this incredible diversity that makes this city a unique destination to visit. In this travel guide, we share 10 of the best things to do in Antwerp as well as great places to stay, eat, and drink.
Check out our video about Antwerp to see the best things to do through our camera!
Best Things To Do In Antwerp
Admire The Central Train Station
Shop At The Meir (Check out the Stadsfeestzaal), Nationalestraat, Kammenstraat, Schuttershofstraat, Hopland, and Korte Gasthuisstraat
Explore the Grote Markt & Cathedral Of Our Lady (Go on a Free Walking Tour)
Explore The Green Spaces Of Antwerp (Stadspark, Park Spoor Noord, Zuidpark, en Plantentuin)
Take In The atmosphere At Het Zuid
Visit The Plantin-Moretus Museum (Alternatively: Red Star Line Museum, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MuHKA), the Photo Museum of Antwerp, Choco Nation, the MAS, or the Rubenshuis)
Catch Views From The MAS (Museum Aan De Stroom)
Visit Fortress ‘t Steen
Eat, Drink & Shop At PAKT
Places To Stay In Antwerp
YUST Antwerp ($): This hostel is located in near the train Station of Antwerp-Berchem, within walking distance of the historic city center. It has modern, functional rooms with private bathrooms, as well as a shared kitchen, a bar, and a roof terrace. This is our favorite place to stay in Antwerp, although the location could be better.
Astoria Hotel ($). This hotel is located in a quiet street in the historic center of Antwerp near the Stadspark. It has simple rooms with private bathrooms, some of which have terraces. This one has the best location of the 3 hotels in this list...
B&B Hotel Antwerpen Zuid ($): This hotel is located in het Zuid of Antwerp. It's a great location, within walking distance of the historic center. The breakfast is absolutely delicious here! The rooms are clean but a little small overall.
Places To Eat And Drink In Antwerp
Café Local: is a cozy cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have a focus on using sustainable and local ingredients
Mjams by Mr. Higgins: is a hip tapas bar that serves small plates of Belgian and international cuisine
De Pottekijker: is a traditional Belgian restaurant that serves classic dishes such as steak, frites, and moules-frites
De Bomma: is a traditional Flemish restaurant with local Belgian dishes. Try vol-au-vent, stoofvlees, or mosselen here!
Cafématic: is a popular local coffee bar with great breakfast and lunch
Pasta Hippo Vino: is an Italian restaurant with amazing pastas
Pura Vida vegan tacos: is a vegan restaurant serving tacos, quesadillas, and burrito's
CAMION Antwerpen: is another vegan restaurant with high-quality biological ingredients
Standard Pizza: is located in PAKT and offers sourdough pizzas with delicious local ingredients
Spéciale Belge Taproom: is a Belgian beer café with a variety of local beers in PAKT
Camionette: is a vegan restaurant that is located in PAKT
Plein Publiek: is a great nightclub a bit outside the city center, it attracts mainly locals
Café au lait: is a coffee bar located in the heart of the city center
Bar Chapel: is a cozy cocktail bar to enjoy with friends or family. They also have a different food catering partner each week.
Bistro Chicane: is a restaurant with delicious local food, it's located near De Koninck Brewery
Extra Fika: is a vegetarian bistro with a few delicious dishes
Simone's kitchen: is a restaurant that is more like a living room than anything else, with a friendly reception and great, vegan, regional and seasonal food options.
BÚN Bar & Restaurant: is a Vietnamese restaurant with delicious noodle soups
Nuoc Mam: another good Vietnamese restaurant that serves pho and rice noodles
Umamido Antwerp: is a Japanese restaurant serving ramen, sushi, sashimi, etc.
Yamato Belgium: another good Japanese restaurant
Boker Tov Zuid: is a Jewish restaurant that serves Middle-Eastern dishes, like falafel, hummus and baba ganoush
Wijnbistro Patine: is a great wine bar that also has an assortment of meats and cheeses to go with the wines
Chatleroi: is a bistro with Belgian dishes, such as stoofvlees and steak-frites
Fiskebar: is a fish restaurant, serving lobster, shrimps, etc.
Cremerie Germaine: is an ice cream shop that also serves Belgian waffles
Batavier: is a local beer café with a variety of Belgian beers
Ijssalon 't Bieke: is another ice cream shop that serves delicious Brussels waffles
Panos: is a Belgian sandwich shop that is popular with locals. Try a "worstenbroodje" or "broodje martino" here.
Vitrin: is specialized in cheeses, meats, and charcuterie
Local Store: serves dishes with seasonal and local ingredients
Frites Atelier: is a fancier "fries" shop
Baron: is a local bar that comes especially alive in the evening
Den Engel: is a local bar at the Grote Markt. You should try the local beer "Bolleke" here.
Revista: is a great tapas and pinchos bar
LIMA Nikkei Izakaya: is a fairly new restaurant that offers a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine
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Need more travel inspiration? Check out our other destinations and articles about Belgium: