A Weekend in Antwerp for Baroque Style

Why have a weekend in Antwerp?  Art, Churches, Diamonds, Books and Fashion is my succinct list.  Mr CW has helpfully pointed out that he really enjoyed the food, the train station and just wandering around, so add those to the list too.  All in all the perfect weekend destination full of Baroque style.

Antwerp from waterfront looking at Cathedral
Antwerp Cathedral

Weekend in Antwerp

A weekend or 48 Hours in Antwerp …. style it how you will.  Antwerp has been an important port city since the Romans but it was in the sixteenth century when she really got into her stride. Her position at the mouth of the River Scheldt put her in a perfect position to dominate European trade in sugar, spice, textiles and diamonds, of course. All that trade and diamonds made the city rich and her inhabitants spent lavishly on art and buildings, just at the time as the craze for Baroque was sweeping Europe.

Antwerp City of Art

Sirs Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck were both born in Antwerp.  You can see their work in many places around the City.  The Fine Arts Museum has Rubens, van Dyck and Breugel by the bucketload as well more modern offerings.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts or KMSKA 

Entrance hall Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp
Museum of Fine Arts

Let’s start with the building which has been lovingly restored and had some brand new galleries inserted into an internal courtyard.  Upstairs the original galleries are in sumptuous 19th century style and hung with with Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jan van Ecyk, Hans Memling, Bruegel and Magritte to name a few.  The hang is themed with old and new side by side but it works.  Though out there are vast modern pieces the same colour as the walls that never fail to amuse.  Downstairs in the new galleries everything is white and polished.  Here you will find James Ensor.  Simply one of the best galleries I have ever visited.  There are two cafés, head for Madonna which is fancier and indeed is a restaurant open in the evenings.  I would be tempted to go to the gallery for a late night Thursday and dinner afterwards.

  • KMSKA Leopold de Waelplaats 1
  • Open: Daily 10am – 5pm until 10pm Thursday, 6pm at weekends
  • Admission: €20, free under 18
  • Included in Antwerp City Pass

Snijders and Rockox  House

Who were Snijders and Rockox?  Why did they share a house?  Well, they didn’t share a house they had adjoining houses and in a lavish restoration the two have been combined into one museum.  Frans Snijders was a contemporary of Rubens, but painted animals and still lives.  Nicolaas Rockox was Burgomaster of Antwerp at the time and collector of art.  The houses are filled with their collections and many examples of Snidjers work. It is easy to imagine yourself as a privileged guest been given the run of the place whilst your host is off on an errand.

  • Snijders and Rockox House, Keizerstraat 10
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: Adults €10, under 18 free
  • Included in Antwerp City Pass, Free on First Tuesday of the month

Museum Mayer van den Bergh

Museum Mayer van den Bergh gallery interior
Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp

The Museum Mayer van den Bergh is not the collection of a man for whom the Baroque was the latest thing but rather a man who rediscovered at the end of the nineteenth century.  Nor is it a home, Fritz Mayer van den Bergh lived next door, he died young and his mother built the museum after his death to house his collection.  That doesn’t stop it from being eye popping.  Rubens is here.  Everywhere there is stunning stained glass.  But most of all there is Bruegel.  At the time that Fritz Mayer van den Bergh was collecting, if Bruegel was thought of at all, which wasn’t often, it was one person.  Fritz was the first person to distinguish between Pieter the Elder and his sons Pieter the Younger and Jan.

  • Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Lange Gasthuisstraat 19
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: €10, under 12 free
  • Included in the Antwerp City Pass

Rubens House

Rubens House Antwerp
Rubens House, Antwerp

Peter Paul Rubens bought this house and land in 1610, he extended it, built a garden and lived here until his death in 1640.  Since then the building has passed through many hands but now the building has been restored and paintings by Rubens and his contemporaries are on show.  Once you have finished wandering through Rubens rooms you can explore his garden.

Antwerp City of Baroque Churches

Baroque style started off a religious art form.  Antwerp has five stunning Baroque churches, many of them with works by Rubens still hanging in the place that it was painted for.  Well we call them Baroque churches but in the main they are Gothic buildings that were in need of a facelift at the beginning of seventeenth century following the ‘Iconclastic Fury’ during the period of Calvinist rule in Antwerp.  Time to refurbish in a lavish style.

St Carolus Borremeus Church Antwerp exterior
St Carolus Borromeus Church, Antwerp

What is Baroque?

First things first, what is Baroque? Baroque is a swaggering self confident kind of art. Gilding and curlicues everywhere you look. Baroque was at its dizzying height in the seventeenth century and was the in house style of the Catholic Counter Reformation. In Architecture, think of Versailles, think of the churches of Sir Chistropher Wren (not that he was Catholic). For music think of the exquisite twiddly bits of Vivaldi, Bach and Handel. For painting the finest exponents was Sir Peter Paul Rubens and his pupil Sir Anthony van Dyck. Both were local boys.  Walking into Antwerp’s cathedral, churches or exiquisite small museums is like walking into their paintings. Those airy soaring arches, those black and white floor tiles, those fancy wall coverings.  

Cathedral of our Lady

Rubens Descent from the Cross alterpiece Antwerp Cathedral
Rubens altarpiece, Cathedral of our Lady Antwerp

Seven aisles, a mass of flying buttresses, soaring arches, light filled.  Steeping into the Cathedral of Our Lady is like stepping into a church interior painting by a Flemish Master. Nicolaas Rockox was instrumental in getting Rubens the commission to paint altarpieces for the Cathedral.  You’ve visited their homes and now you stand in front of the paintings that they would have seen hanging where they would have seen them hanging.  Walk around and you will see four Rubens altarpieces.

Antwerp Cathedral didn’t stop commissioning art didn’t stop in seventeenth century.  As you walk around you’ll see a bronze man balancing a cross by Jan Farbe.  My favourite modern piece is this Murano glass crown by Javier Pérez. 

  • Antwerp Cathedral, Groenplaats 21
  • Open: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 3pm, Sunday 1pm – 5pm
  • Admission: €12
  • Included in Antwerp City Card

St Charles Borromeus Church

St Carolus Borromeus Church interior Antwerp
Interior St Carolus Borromeus Church

Rubens seeps from every pore of St Charles or St Carolus Borromeus Church.  He is rumoured to have helped design it.  Certainly the square in which it sits is very Italianate and Rubens has just returned from Italy.  He definitely created many paintings for it.  Sadly the ceiling paintings were lost in an eighteenth century fire and two altarpieces were removed by the Habsburgs and taken to Spain.  The tiny Mariakapel or Lady Chapel on the right of the church remains as Rubens would have known it, as does the black and white floor.

  • St Carolus Borromeus Church, Hendrik Conscienceplein
  • Open: Monday–Saturday: 10 am –12.30 pm and 2–5 pm
  • Admission: Free

St James Church 

St Jabobskerk Antwerp alter
St Jacobskerk, Antwerp

St Jacobskerk or St James Church was Rubens parish church for most of the time that he lived in Antwerp.  It has a splendidly Baroque interior, generally thought to be the best preserved Baroque interior.  There are no fewer than 24 altars.  Rubens is buried here and one of his paintings hangs above the grave that and the view that he saw every Sunday.

  • St Jacobskerk, Sint-Jacobstraat 9
  • Open: Daily 2pm – 5pm
  • Admission: free

St Andrew’s Church

St Andrew’s Church or Sint Andries started life as an Augustinian monastery and suffered badly during the iconclasam.  Afterwards it was restored in full Baroque glory.  Take a close look at the statue of Mary, she is dressed in clothes designed by Ann Demeulemeester, one of the Antwerp Six designers.

  • St Andrew’s Church, Augustijnenstraat 18-20
  • Open: November – March:Monday–Saturday: 9 a.m.–noon 
  • April – October:
  • Daily: 9 a.m.–noon and 2–5 p.m.
  • Admission: Treasury €1 
  • Included in Antwerp City Card

St Paul’s Church

As you walk through an archway toward St Paul’s church or Sint Paulus you are in no doubt that this is an important church.  Step inside the gothic door and you are in a Baroque wonderland.  This is the only place in the world where you can see paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens in the place for which they were painted. 

  • St Paul’s Church, Sint-Paulusstraat,
  • Open April – October Daily 2pm – 5pm
  • November – March weekends 2pm – 5pm
  • Admission: €5

Antwerp City of Books

Ideas have been exchanged in Antwerp every bit as much as diamonds and textiles.  Books were printed here very soon after the invention of the printing press.  Books ancient and modern are celebrated at the Museum Plantin-Moretus and the Hendrik Conscience library.

Museum Plantin-Moretus

Courtyard Museum of Plantin-Moretus Antwerp
Museum of Plantin-Moretus

I confess that I have fallen in love with the Museum Plantin-Moretus.  I visit many many museums and do fall a little bit in love with many of them, but this was headlong head over heels stuff.  Why?  Well for a start it is both a museum and a UNESCO listed site (the only place in the world to combine the two), two of my favourite things in one entity.  Second it is all about books and  I love a book.  Christoper Plantin and Jan Moretus set up a publishing company in the sixteenth century.  The museum houses their printing presses and home.  You see workshops where the books were printed, libraries of books, sitting rooms where clients would have been entertained.  The walls are clad with embossed leather wallpaper or hung with lavish tapestries, the floors are black and white tiles.  When I grow up I want to live in the Museum Plantin-Moretus.

  • Museum Plantin-Moretus, Vrijdagmarkt 22
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: Adults €12
  • included in the Antwerp City Pass

Nottebohmzaal at Hendrik Conscience Library

Back in 1481 41 books were donated to the City the collection was destroyed during the Spanish Fury.  With the return of peace Christopher Plantin promised to donate a copy of every book he printed to the library.  The library still collects every book published in Antwerp.  You can visit the Nottebohmzaal which houses 150,000  books from the collection.  It is like something out of a Harry Potter movie. If you love a library this is the place for you.

  • Nottebohmzaal, Hendrik Conscienceplein 4
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
  • Admission: €8
  • Included in the Antwerp City Pass

Antwerp City of Diamonds

Diamonds have been traded in Antwerp in since the fifteenth century. Today you can browse shops filled sparkling stones and visit a museum dedicated to the trade.

Diva

DIVA tells the story of the diamonds and the diamond trade in Antwerp.  You put on your audioguide and enter the world of Diva guided by her butler Jérome.  He is an urbane host who takes you on a tour of treasures made of diamonds, the history of diamond trading in Antwerp and the world trade in diamonds via six sumptuous room sets.  

  • Diva, Suikerrui 17-19
  • Open: Thursday – Tuesday 10am – 6pm (closed Wednesday)
  • Admission: Adults €12, under 18 free
  • included in the Antwerp City Card

Antwerp Diamond Quarter

Antwerp has been the centre of the world diamond market for 500 years.  Step outside Antwerp Centraal Station and the square mile to the south west is devoted to all things diamonds.  Shops line the streets offering all manner of sparkly temptation.  In rooms you can’t see diamonds are bought and sold. More than 80% of the world’s rough diamonds are traded here, $16 billion each year change hands.  A fascinating area to wander through.  Mr CW wasn’t as convinced as I was that a large canary diamond was essential and so it remains in the shop for when I visit without him.

Antwerp City of Fashion

Lots of people come to Antwerp to shop.  Back in the 80s Dries van Noten (my mother wore Dries van Noten to my wedding), Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee – collectively known as the Antwerp Six graduated from Antwerp Univerisity and all have shops in the city. In early May each year Antwerp Designer Days see’s Antwerp’s designers putting samples, prototypes and clothes from past collections on sale.  Pop up shops, well pop up all over the fashion district.  It had just finished when I visited on May 24 with tantalising pop-ups being dismantled.  No website and no future dates but one to keep an eye out for.

Het Modepaleis Antwerp Dries van Noten flagship store
Dries van Noten flagship store

Mode Museum

Mode Museum or MoMu is actually in one of the Academy of Fine Arts buildings.  It has a permanent gallery that tells the story of the Antwerp Six and how by staying close to Antwerp they have encouraged a thriving creative fashion industry in the city.  There are two special exhibition areas, when I visited one was devoted to Man Ray and his influence on the Antwerp Six.  Sounds silly but had thought of Man Ray as an art photographer before but it was photography for Vogue and the like that earned the money to experiment.

  • Mode Museum, Nationalestraat 28
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm
  • Admission: Adult €12, under 18 free
  • included in  the Antwerp City Pass

Wander around Antwerp

Antwerp is beautiful city to wander around in.  On the waterfront you get a real feel for all those goods, people and ideas that have flowed into the city.

Grote Markt

Grote Markt Antwerp
Grote Markt, Antwerp

The Grote Markt has the Renaissance Town Hall on one side and the Cathedral looming on the other.  Every where you look is picture perfect.  The square is lined with bars, they are a bit more expensive than other bars without views but what a view.  I wouldn’t eat here but a beer or a coffee with a view is hard to resist. Once you’ve had a drink pick a direction and wander.  The maze of medieval street is a delight to get lost in.

Vlaeykensgang

As you meander along the bar lined Oude Koornmarkt keep an eye open for the Vlaeykensgang a tiny zig zag alley.  Stepping into the alley is like time travelling.  As you step in the 21st century bustle is left behind and it is easy to imagine you are in the time of Rubens.

Boerentoren

Europe's first skyscraper Boerentoren Antwerp
Europe’s First Skyscraper the Boerentoren

Towering over the edge of the medieval city is the Art Deco Boerentoren designed by Jan Van Hoenacker.  Not just any old tower block but the first skyscraper built in Europe.  When it was completed in 1932 it was the tallest building on the continent and remained so for eight years.  In 2020 it was acquired by the port operator Katoen Natie and is being converted into a cultural centre.

Antwerp Port City

Antwerp might not be on the seaside but its position on the River Scheldt makes it one of Europe’s most important ports.  The second largest port in Europe.  Second only to Rotterdam.  The docks immediately next to the city centre are too small now for modern supertankers.  Head to MAS for views across the docks and a history of the port or to the incredible port building for a glimpse into the busy port life.

MAS

MAS Museum aan de Stroom Antwerp exterior
Museum aan de Stroom or MAS

Museum aan de Stroom or MAS is a rusty red cubist building that rises above the Bonapartdok and Willemdok.  It is home to a museum that covers Antwerp’s history as a port.  Any visit to Antwerp should feature an assent of MAS.  You can climb the up to the tenth floor via a series of escalators that has you circumnavigating the building enabling to take in the views of Antwerp from all sides, entry to top is free and open until midnight, should you want a picnic spot with a view this is place for you.  If Michelin starred dining is more your scene, prime the credit card and book a table at ‘t Zilte on the 9th floor.

  • MAS, Hanzestedenplaats 1
  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
  • In the summer you can access the rooftop view until midnight
  • Admission: €10 
  • Included in Antwerp City Pass

Antwerp Port House

Zaha Hadid Port House Antwerp
Antwerp Port House designed by Zaha Hadid

OK sounds a bit of an odd thing.  Why would you want to see a Port House?  Well Antwerp Port House is truly special.  When Antwerp Port Authority needed a new headquarters building they turned to Zaha Hadid to expand and convert an existing and listed Hanseatic house.  Ever one to think outside the box, Zaha Hadid came up with the idea putting a shimmering diamond like construction on top of the original building.  The result is a building the like of which I have never seen before, stunning.  You can get there easily a short (ten minute) tram or bike ride from the centre.  Once there, there is a cafe in the building or for a more in depth exploration you can book a tour that takes about 90minutes.

  • Antwerp Port House, Zaha Hadidplein 1
  • Open: Quite random dates and times for tours, take a look at the website
  • Admission: Tour €10
  • Cafe: Open daily

Where to Eat in Antwerp

Fiera, 14 Lang Niewstraat

Location, location, location.  In my job as a Business and Economics news producer I visited many stock exchanges all over the world.  None of the were as beautiful as Fiera at 14 Lang Niewstraat, which housed the Antwerp Stock Exchange and Shipping Exchange for centuries.  The food is excellent too, modern European fare.  Even it isn’t your dinner location pop in for a pre dinner drink at the bar to see the stunning building. Handelsbeurs, it has always been a place where people and products came together. Welcome to a beautiful piece of Antwerp history.

Sir Anthony Van Dijck

When I was meandering down Vlaeykensgang I saw the Sir Anthony van Dijck restaurant and immediately knew I wanted to eat there.  Sir Anthony grew up just across the Oude Koornmarkt and stepping into the restaurant is like stepping back in time, a very chic form of time travel.  The building twists, turns and lilts.  The food is excellent, seasonal and local. 

Madonna at the Museum of Fine Arts 

Quite the most beautiful museum cafe I have ever seen.  OK so not so much of a cafe (but we did just have a coffee there) more of a full on restaurant.  We didn’t eat at Madonna at the KMSKA as our timing was coffee timing but the menu looked really good.  Definitely worth considering timing your KMSKA visit to finish at the cocktail hour.

Where to stay in Antwerp

If you stay in the centre of Antwerp shopping, restaurants, bars and museums will all be within walking distance.  Mr CW and I stayed in the NH Collection Antwerp Centre which is a short step away from the Centraal Station, perfect as we arrived just after noon by train and were able to drop our bags and start exploring.  Things I really liked about the NH Collection were the iced mint and lemon water dispenser in the lobby and the make you own waffle station at breakfast.  Small things that make the difference between OK and I’d stay here again. For old style charm, my friend Karen from I Don’t Like Peas stayed in the Hotel Flora in the heart of the old city.

Antwerp City Pass

You can buy the Antwerp Card that offers unlimited public transport use and entry into 16 museums and 3 churches.  There is also a stash of vouchers giving discounts for bike hire, boat trips and coffee shops included.  One thing to bear in mind, you can only visit each museum/church once so make sure you have seen all you want before you leave.  You can buy the Antwerp card, valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours, from Visitor Centre on Grote Markt or the main train station.

  • 24-hour Antwerp City Card costs €45
  • 48-hour card costs €55
  • 72-hour card costs €65

Getting Around Antwerp

If you are staying in a central hotel most places are within walking distance.  I wore down quite a bit of shoe leather but did take a tram back from MAS to the centre and would cycle to see the Port Authority Building if I did it again.   Mr CW and I were perplexed about how we would used our online City pass on buses/trams, turns out you just walk on. No barriers.  Everything was very easy.  If you don’t have an Antwerp Pass buy your tickets via the De Lijn app, which also has real time transport information.

Everywhere you go in Antwerp you will see bicycles.  If you whizzing along on two wheels there is city wide bike rental scheme Antwerpen Velo with lots of docking sites dotted around.  You need to register first either online or at the Visitor Centre, access can be bought for one day (€5), one week (€12) or one year (€58), thereafter the first half hour use is included but you pay more after that.  If you are doing lots of short hops and returning the bike to a docking site between each one it is is good option but if you plan a longer jaunt then a private hire bike might be a better option.

How to get to Antwerp

Antwerp Centraal Station
Antwerp Centraal Station

Catching the train from London to Antwerp is easy and takes about three hours.  Hop on the Eurostar to Brussels, change trains at Brussels Midi for the one hour journey to Antwerp.  Tickets cost from £34.50 one way. Arriving at any big railway station is always exciting but arrival at Antwerp’s Centraal Station is jaw dropping.  It is a palace of transport. Moasics crowd around.  Even if you are not catching a train, do make time to visit the station.

My passion for Rubens was ignited in the Banqueting House in London where I reclined on beanbags whilst gazing up at Rubens Baroque Masterpiece. Meanwhile still in Belgium Bruges offers medieval art and architecture in abundance and the Belgian Coast has fine sculpture dotted all over.


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54 Comments

  1. August 10, 2018 / 10:43 am

    This is a place everyone says is amazing. I feel I must go too! Wonderful buildings, fantastic blog. (But who allowed those hideous modern buildings? – I know I’m a dinosaur 🙂 )

    • August 10, 2018 / 2:41 pm

      I loved the buildings old and new

  2. kirstenhesketh1
    August 10, 2018 / 10:44 am

    I really enjoyed this post and have now put Antwerp top to my ‘to visit’ list! It looks stunning

    • August 10, 2018 / 2:41 pm

      Only a short train hop away!

  3. Susanna Bavin
    August 10, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    Loved this blog, Catherine. It sounds like you had a great time. How wonderful to be able to go into Baroque homes rather than just the palaces and grand establishments. Wonderful photos as always.

    • August 10, 2018 / 2:42 pm

      Thank you, I need to go back as there were lots more tempting places to se3 that I didn’t get time to see

  4. August 11, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    Antwerp is such a cool place! I went in March and although it was very cold and the main square was being redone, I had a wonderful time. I feel like I need to go again to explore more.

  5. pigeonpairandme
    August 13, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    I never knew the first skyscaper in Europe was here. It looks very beautiful – so different to a lot of the more recent ones!

    • August 13, 2018 / 8:52 pm

      I know not what I had in mind when I set off in search of the first European skyscraper!

  6. August 13, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Such beautiful art work and architecture. I would so love to see the first European skyscraper. Lovely post.

  7. August 23, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    Antwerp looks AMAZING! A feast for the eyes.

  8. August 30, 2018 / 9:08 am

    We had a rather rainy day in Antwerp and didn’t see nearly as much! You’ve made me realize just how much we missed and how much there is still to see! #FarawayFiles

    • August 31, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      Weather makes such a difference to place, but lots of cosy museums to shelter from the rain in Antwerp!

  9. August 30, 2018 / 9:30 am

    What a breathtaking array of buildings, art and things to do. Of course you could spend the whole time shopping for diamonds… 😉 #farawayfiles

    • August 31, 2018 / 1:33 pm

      Now that’s my kind of shopping!

  10. August 30, 2018 / 12:01 pm

    I grew up near Antwerp and was just there a few weeks ago, it’s like my second home. I absolutely love your article, great photos!
    #FarawayFiles

    • August 30, 2018 / 12:10 pm

      Thank you! A new discovery for me and one that I hope to revisit soon.

  11. Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    August 30, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    You’ve certainly whetted my appetite for Antwerp. I do love smaller European cities, dare I say it, more than the capitals. Hence Salzburg stole my heart more than Vienna (don’t tell them I said so!). Maybe it’s just you can get the feel of a small city so much quicker than a large one, which requires a longer stay.
    #farawayfiles

    • August 30, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      So true, I would certainly choose Antwerp over Brussels

  12. August 30, 2018 / 6:57 pm

    I visited Antwerp a few years ago, and absolutely loved it! Unfortunately I, too, was only there for a very short time – about 1.5 days. We were able to see a lot in that time, but I would’ve loved to spend more time exploring the streets and seeing more of the sights. I fell in love with the architecture! Thanks for sharing the great information and lovely photos 🙂 Helped me relive my trip! Not it’s about time I go back…

    • August 30, 2018 / 7:10 pm

      Definitely a place to revisit!

  13. August 30, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    I didn’t really like Brussels that much but I loved Bruges. I think I’d like Antwerp too:) #farawayfiles

    • August 30, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      All the culture with fewer crowds and no canals!

  14. September 1, 2018 / 2:07 am

    I have to admit I was a bit disappointed that there wasnt a gallery of photos with you in Baroque costume! Antwerp looks fabulous. I love the way they are blending old and new. The Zaha Hadid conversion of the Hanseatic Centre is increible!

    • September 1, 2018 / 7:54 am

      A costumed tour now there’s an idea! Have I told you that I was once a costumed Guide in a living history museum?

  15. September 1, 2018 / 3:29 am

    Ah, I was bummed that we didn’t have time to visit Antwerp. Looks like I missed out. #farawayfiles

    • September 1, 2018 / 7:55 am

      Yep, you’ll just have to come back!

  16. Beth
    September 3, 2018 / 10:47 am

    You filled in some holes I had regarding Antwerp. It was a place that sounded familiar, and that was about it! Now I want to visit! So many great tips and I am glad to know to brush up on Rubens biography…. sounds like he is everywhere there. P.S. I am ashamed to say I still have not visited the Banqueting House, so thanks for that little nudge, too. 😉 #FarawayFiles

    • September 3, 2018 / 10:48 am

      Both so easy to get to as well!

  17. September 4, 2018 / 10:26 am

    Brilliant blend of classic architecture and unique modern buildings! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles

  18. September 6, 2018 / 7:25 am

    Who would have known?!!

    • September 7, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      Quite, a gem hop on a train now!

  19. Clare Thomson
    September 17, 2018 / 2:52 pm

    This really sounds like the ultimate cultural break, Catherine. I do like a bit of baroque – especially the music. I can imagine listening to Bach on my headphones while wandering around these beautiful places. Thanks for sharing this gem on #FarawayFiles

  20. September 18, 2018 / 11:34 am

    So much culture in one weekend! Great history and info, another city to add to the ever growing list! #citytripping

  21. September 18, 2018 / 11:50 am

    What a thorough guide! I never imagined that there was so much to see in Antwerp. Just added to my growing list.
    #citytripping

  22. pigeonpairandme
    September 18, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    Plantin-Moretus sounds as though it would be my favourite, too. You have good taste! I spent a weekend in Antwerp once too, many many years ago. I have to admit, we were visiting friends and spent most of the time in bars and just roaming the pretty streets. I need to go back to see all these gems. It’s a town that has an awful lot going for it. #FarawayFiles

  23. September 19, 2018 / 11:31 am

    What a dream city break for art lovers! I’ve never been to Antwerp but what an easy trip from London! It takes less time to get there than Devon 🙂 #citytripping

    • September 19, 2018 / 11:46 am

      It never ceases to amaze me that I can catch a train ‘abroad’ quicker than going to Norwich

    • September 20, 2018 / 4:05 pm

      Thank you, I need to go back and explore a bit more.

  24. September 19, 2018 / 2:34 pm

    Loving the look of Antwerp especially the architecture, not a city we know, but now definately on our ‘must visit’ list!

    • September 20, 2018 / 4:05 pm

      So easy to get to from London too!

  25. September 20, 2018 / 4:40 pm

    So much culture, so much to see and do! I loved Bruges and left wanting to see more of the country – Antwerp is on the list! #citytripping

    • September 20, 2018 / 9:59 pm

      Every time I spent time in Belgium I marvel that it isn’t better known

  26. myfabfiftieslife
    October 27, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    I was just in Belgium but we didn’t go to Antwerp. I’m gonna need to go back. Its a lovely country!

    • October 28, 2018 / 1:09 pm

      Belgium has so many beautiful places, well worth multiple visits!

  27. November 7, 2018 / 9:54 pm

    Beautiful art and museums. It looks like a great way to spend a weekend!

    • November 13, 2018 / 1:13 pm

      Antwerp is brilliant weekend destination, so much to see and do

  28. June 8, 2019 / 5:28 pm

    Great post, Catherine. Ms B really likes shiny things, so we had talked about visiting this city a few times, but never knew there is so much else to see. I guess now we really have to go.. I just hope Ms B keeps our budget in mind..

    • June 8, 2019 / 5:54 pm

      Shiny things, great art, fashion and food …. I think you have to go!

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