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The most beautiful places to see in Antwerp in 2022

Best things to do in Antwerp updated for 2018 .jpg

Places to see in Antwerp. There are many interesting places to see in Antwerp , in this post I will tell you the most beautiful places that you cannot miss and I will add some accommodation tips .

Grote Markt, an essential place to see in Antwerp

Antwerp ‘s central square is surrounded by beautiful and elegant buildings from the 16th century. The most representative is the city council, although it is not the only one. I assure you that you will spend time photographing each one of them. It is one of the most atmospheric areas of the city. There are several bars with terraces where you can have a drink. At Christmas, they set up a Christmas market here and even an ice skating rink.

What most attracts the attention of the Antwerp City Hall (apart from the impressive building) are the flags that decorate the facade. There are 87 flags in honor of the city, Flanders, the Netherlands, the countries of the European Union and all those nations that have a consulate in Antwerp.

In the middle of the Grote Markt is the Brabo fountain . Its name is due to the figure that represents Silvius Brabo, a hero for Antwerp according to legend.

“Over 2,000 years ago, when the city was barely a Roman settlement, a giant named Antigoon built a castle on the banks of the Scheldt River to collect a toll from everyone who sailed through it. If anyone refused to pay the tax, the giant cut off his hand and threw it into the river. That was until Brabo refused to pay and also fought against him until he was killed. Once dead, he cut off the giant’s hand and threw it into the river as a sign of victory. From this gesture comes the name of the city, since Antwerpen means “throwing out the hand”.

Antwerp Central Station, a true work of art

If you arrive by train to the city you will be amazed. And is not for less. Its central station is a work of art , with a large dome over the hall. Its construction lasted ten years until it was inaugurated in 1905. Due to the impact of the bombs during the Second World War, it suffered several damages. For this reason it has been reformed several times.

Look at all its details, high ceilings, the marble staircase and the windows.

It has been named one of the most beautiful stations in the world.

Ruben’s House

One of the most famous inhabitants of Antwerp was Pieter Paul Rubens.

After four centuries, the building was restored to become a museum. The original furniture is preserved among many works of art. You can visit the house and the garden. There are also works by other famous artists of the time.

Rubens has been such an important celebrity for the city that you will find his statue on the Groenplaats. It was built as a tribute to the 200th anniversary of his death.

The Cathedral of Our Lady

Antwerp Cathedral is one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in Europe. This cathedral is the largest in Belgium with a capacity for 25,000 faithful.

Construction began in 1352 and ended in 1521. What stands out the most is its tallest tower and you can see it from practically anywhere in the city.

Inside the cathedral you will find baroque decoration along with various works by Rubens and other artists from the area.

Het Steen Castle

The name of the Castle in Dutch means “the rock” and it is a fortress of medieval origin. It was built to control access to the Scheldt River after some attempted Viking attacks.

Currently its interior contains nothing and you can only access the outside and contemplate this wonder. At the entrance there is a curious statue. It is a giant and according to legend he scared the inhabitants at night.

The Antwerp Opera

The Flemish Opera company was created in the late 1980s and has offices in Ghent and Antwerp. This imposing building, inaugurated in 1907, is still open to the public today and it is possible to see performances in it. It is also possible to visit it with a guided tour. If you don’t dare to make this visit, at least come to see it from the outside, it’s worth it.

Find Vlaaikensgang Alley

Very close to the main square there is a beautiful alley. It is a small corner with old houses, several of them from the 16th century. In the past it was home to shoemakers. Today there are residential houses, a small restaurant and an art gallery.

Visit the Plantin-Moretus museum

This printing press created in the 16th century has been a World Heritage Site since 2005 . It is an essential stop to do in Antwerp. Especially for history lovers. Here you can see the two oldest plates in the world, a library from the 17th century and a myriad of objects and ancient typographical materials. The garden is also beautiful.

Red Star Line

If you have time, an interesting museum to visit in Antwerp is the Immigration Museum. Many Belgians left for America in search of the American dream and a better life. The Red Star Line company was in charge of covering the route between Antwerp and New York. In fact, the museum building itself served as a jetty for many passengers.

In the museum you will find all kinds of personal belongings of the passengers, photographs and enjoy the views from the chimney converted into a viewpoint.

Antwerp Chinatown

I don’t know what Chinatowns have that always catches me. Chinatown is very close to the central station of the city. This area is full of oriental restaurants and shops, where red and dragon lanterns predominate.

Cross the Santa Ana tunnel

You cannot leave Antwerp without crossing the Scheldt River through an underground tunnel. You will find some wooden escalators. Once you get to the other side, you will see that the atmosphere is relaxed, calm. Perfect to disconnect a bit from the noise of the city.

The Church of San Carlos

Finally, on the list of the most beautiful and interesting places to see in Antwerp, I recommend you not to miss the church of San Carlos. It is a spectacular church known as the Rubens church, since he was commissioned to design the interior and paint the ceiling. The idea of ​​building it came from a Jesuit doctor and mathematician as part of the Counter-Reformation, who wanted to confront the Protestant Reformation. It was completed in 1621. Over the years it has been restored several times.

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