Antwerp is known for its harbor (even though it is quite far away from the sea) and for its diamonds. So if you are in love with diamonds and like to sing about how “diamonds are a girls best friend”, then you might want to sing about how “Antwerp is a girls best friend.” As you arrive with train you will find quite a lot of diamond shops just across the street, and as you pass by them and walk on you will within a short time get to the shopping area of Antwerp.

Antwerp has a population a bit under 500,000 people making it the largest city in all of Belgium (Brussels is though larger if you include the entire Brussels region).

The History of Antwerp

Antwerp is a city in Belgium with a rich and vibrant history that dates back centuries. It began as a small settlement along the banks of the River Scheldt and grew into one of Europe’s most important port cities. Throughout its history, Antwerp has been shaped by trade, art, and culture. In the 16th century, it was a thriving center of commerce and a hub for artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, who left a lasting legacy on the city’s architecture and art scene. Despite facing challenges such as wars and economic downturns, Antwerp has always managed to bounce back, evolving into the dynamic and diverse city it is today.

What to Do and See in Antwerp

Antwerp offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Cathedral of Our Lady, a stunning Gothic masterpiece adorned with exquisite artworks, including several paintings by Rubens. Art enthusiasts will also appreciate the Rubenshuis, the former home and studio of the renowned artist, which now serves as a museum showcasing his works and personal belongings.

For those interested in history, Antwerp’s Grote Markt (Grand Place) is a must-visit, with its picturesque guild houses and imposing City Hall. Nearby, the Plantin-Moretus Museum provides insight into the city’s printing and publishing heritage, housing one of the world’s oldest printing presses.

Shopping enthusiasts will delight in exploring the bustling streets of the Meir, Antwerp’s main shopping thoroughfare, lined with designer boutiques, department stores, and charming cafes. Food lovers can indulge in Belgium’s culinary delights at the city’s many restaurants, sampling mouthwatering dishes such as waffles, chocolate, and mussels.

How to Travel from Brussels to Antwerp

Getting from Brussels to Antwerp is easy and convenient, thanks to Belgium’s efficient public transportation network. The most popular way to travel between the two cities is by train, with frequent services departing from Brussels Central Station and arriving at Antwerp Central Station in around 30 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at the station or online in advance.

For those who prefer to drive, the journey from Brussels to Antwerp takes approximately 45 minutes via the E19 motorway. Alternatively, buses also operate between the two cities, offering a more budget-friendly option for travelers.

No matter how you choose to travel, a visit to Antwerp promises a captivating blend of history, culture, and culinary delights, making it a must-see destination in Belgium.

Pictures from Antwerpen

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