Top 29 Things To Do In Antwerp, Belgium - Updated 2021

things to do in antwerp
Ruth Alexis
Ruth Alexis
Updated

Antwerp is a seafront city located by Belgium’s River Scheldt, with a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. This quaint Belgian city is rich in Renaissance culture, with the popular tourist destinations of Grote Market and Antwerp Central Station representing the Flemish Renaissance era’s intricate and gothic architecture. Antwerp also happens to be the center of the beer culture in Belgium, and you can visit Antwerp Brewery to have an authentic taste of Belgium beer for yourself. Whether you are a solo traveler looking for fresh new experiences or a parent looking to bring your family on a vacation for the holidays, there will be something in Antwerp, Belgium, for you to do. This list includes some of the hottest and also most fascinating things to do in Antwerp. If you are planning your next trip to this destination, below are some of the best things to do in Antwerp, Belgium. Be sure to check out this list before departing for your next trip.

1. Visit the magnificent Red Star Line Museum

In 2002 vlucht de vader van Dilan van de folteringen tijdens het totalitaire regime van Saddam Hoessein. Tijdens zijn...

Posted by Red Star Line Museum on Saturday, 13 July 2019

Red Star Line Museum is an affordable museum experience for those interested in European and North American history. It was a model of a ship that transported over two million passengers from Antwerp, Belgium, to North America, in search of a better life. Today, the Red Star Line Museum features the stories of these passengers, from the rich Belgian royalty to the servants and commoners who stole aboard the ship on a journey of a lifetime to the New World. If you are a ship aficionado, this is the perfect place to visit in Antwerp, Belgium.

Red Star Line Museum

Address: Montevideostraat 3, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Red Star Line Museum

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 16.72 USD

2. Shop at Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre

Posted by Shopping Stadsfeestzaal on Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre is the perfect place to stop by on your last day of travel to grab some last-minute gifts for friends and family back home, or simply to sit back and relax with a cup of Belgian tea. Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre is located in the heart of Antwerp city center, making it easy and convenient for you to access this shopping center to fulfill all your shopping needs. This shopping mall features a wide range of domestic and international retailers such as Urban Outfitters and Delifrance.

Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre

Address: Meir 78, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6:30pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free

3. Explore the historic MAS Museum

⚓️ Kinderen van 3 tot 5 jaar kunnen zaterdag mee met Kapitein MASsimo op zoek naar ontbrekende stukken van zijn schip....

Posted by MAS | Museum aan de Stroom on Wednesday, 10 July 2019

MAS Museum is the perfect place to visit for history buffs keen on learning more about the history of Antwerp and Belgium at large. There are permanent displays of over 500,000 museum collection pieces, as well as temporary exhibitions, which offer a unique and refreshing look at the port city of Antwerp and its centuries of contact with the rest of the world. Depending on when you plan to visit, there will be a different temporary exhibition you can take a look at. Simply visit MAS Museum’s Facebook page to find out more details.

MAS Museum

Address: Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: MAS Museum

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 11.14 USD

4. Stroll through the iconic Antwerp Town Square

Grote Markt, Antwerp
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alan Stanton used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Antwerp Town Square, also known as the Antwerp Grote Markt, is a quaint and spacious open space located in the heart of Antwerp’s old city quarter. Antwerp town square acts as the centerpiece around which many key historical buildings and tourist attractions are located, such as Scheldt River, Antwerp Christmas market, The Rubens House and Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp. There are many quaint cafes, international restaurants and tea houses around the town square, which you can stop by for a hearty meal or a light tea before continuing on your sightseeing journey through the bustling and vibrant city. The best thing is that touring around Antwerp Town square is completely free, so you can drop by after visiting one of the other places of interest.

Antwerp Town Square

Address: 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

5. Marvel at the architecture of Antwerp Central Station

Antwerpen Centraal station 12-07-2010 14-04-17
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paul Hermans used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Antwerp Central Station acts as the launching pad for many tourists’ trips around Europe, to places such as Brussels, London or Paris. However, even if you do not plan on taking a train out from Antwerp Central Station, the station is worth a visit on its own right. There are many amazing photo opportunities, be it with the beautiful stained glass ceiling or one of the majestic ancient boulders supporting the building’s grandiose structure.

Antwerp Central Station

Address: Koningin Astridplein 27, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Opening hours: 8am - 11pm (daily)

Price: Free

6. Taste Belgian beer at De Koninck - Antwerp City Brewery


De Koninck - Antwerp City Brewery, is one of the largest Belgian breweries and it is based in Antwerp. A wide range of De Koninck beers is sold at this brewery, from De Koninck Original to Tripel D'Anvers to Wild Blond Jo beer. If you are a beer lover keen on tasting authentic Belgian beers at one of the oldest breweries in Antwerp, this is the place to go. You can also participate in their short tours to gain a deeper understanding of the rich culture and history behind beer making in Antwerp, Belgium.

De Koninck - Antwerp City Brewery

Address: Mechelsesteenweg 291, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: De Koninck - Antwerp City Brewery

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

Price: From 30 USD

7. Check out the jewelry at Diva Antwerp Home of Diamonds

Posted by DIVA, Antwerp Home of Diamonds on Thursday, 18 July 2019

Diva Antwerp Home of Diamonds is the latest museum to hit the streets of Antwerp. This museum does not just showcase an astounding variety of gemstones, diamonds, gold jewelry and silver pieces, but it also carries out some unique workshops throughout the year, where you get to craft your very own bespoke gemstone jewelry pieces. If you are interested in diamond and jewel appreciation or simply want to know more about the history behind diamond mining and crafting in Antwerp, do remember to head down to DIVA Diamonds at Diva Antwerp Home of Diamonds Museum, on your next trip to Belgium.

Diva Antwerp Home of Diamonds

Address: Suikerrui 17/19, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Diva Antwerp Home of Diamonds

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 15.33 USD

8. Learn about the process of printing at Museum Plantin-Moretus

Afschrift van het notaboek van de familiegebeurtenissen van Balthasar II Moretus, [vóór 1672]. (MPM Arch....

Posted by Museum Plantin-Moretus on Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Museum Plantin-Moretus gained the UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2005. This museum is a great place to visit for those interested in literature and the history of the printing press. In particular, the museum focuses on the work and the life of two famous 16th-century printers, Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus, both of whom built an impressive printing business together and helped to bring books and literature to the masses.

Museum Plantin-Moretus

Address: Vrijdagmarkt 22-23, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Museum Plantin-Moretus

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 8.92 USD

9. Visit the animals in Antwerp Zoo

Posted by ZOO Antwerpen on Sunday, 9 June 2019

Antwerp Zoo is located in the heart of the city. It is one of the oldest and most well-known zoos in Europe. It houses an astounding number of over 7000 animals and about 950 other plant species, including the California sea lions, Malayan tapirs, Dalmatian pelicans and Australian koalas. Visiting Antwerp Zoo is a great way to spend an afternoon or even a full day in the sun and around a wide range of interesting animals. This is the perfect place to bring any young children who are keen on learning more about and interacting with a wide range of animals.

Antwerp Zoo

Address: Koningin Astridplein 20-26, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Antwerp Zoo

Opening hours: 10am - 7pm (daily)

Price: 29.54 USD

10. View the exhibits at The Rockox House

1501 "Antwerpen wordt de exclusieve stapelmarkt voor Portugese koloniale waren. De eerste schepen met specerijen komen...

Posted by Converso Jewish Antwerp in the XVI & XVII Centuries on Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Rockox House marries culture, history, art and architecture to create a stunning, 17th-century mansion that’s popular with tourists from all over the world. The house was initially built for Nicolaas II Rockox, Lord Mayor of Antwerpen, but later was sold off to KBC Bank in 1970, for use as a public museum. Today, visitors are able to admire the house’s Renaissance and Baroque style architecture, engravings and paintings, and visit the house’s herb garden to enjoy some unique scents and learn more about various local herbs used in cooking.

The Rockox House

Address: Keizerstraat 12, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: The Rockox House

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 8.92 USD

11. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady


Cathedral of Our Lady is a Roman Catholic church in central Antwerp. On weekend mornings and weekday evenings, this cathedral is filled to the brim with worshippers celebrating mass. During the rest of the time, tourists are free to explore the Cathedral of Our Lady and take snapshots of the church’s beautiful Gothic architecture, designed by architects Jan and Pieter Appelmans in the 1500s. Do note, however, that the Cathedral of Our Lady is closed to the public on the weekends, so if you plan on visiting the church, do make your way down during working hours on a weekday.

Cathedral of Our Lady

Address: Groenplaats 21, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Cathedral of Our Lady

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: Free

12. Relax with some soothing jazz at De Muze


De Muze is a great spot to enjoy some delicious beers and spirits while sitting back and relaxing to some jazz music. The bar invites a wide range of local and international jazz bands to play every night. De Muze also sells a wide range of great spirits and beers for a refreshing and fun night out. If you want to take a look at the bands coming to play at the venue during your trip to Antwerp, you can check out their Facebook page.

De Muze

Address: Melkmarkt 15, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: De Muze

Opening hours: 11:30am - 1am (daily)

Price: From 20 USD

13. Tour the stunning Ruben’s House


The Ruben’s House, or The Rubenshuis, is the former home and workshop of renowned artist Peter Paul Rubens. Purchased in 1610, it contains many of Ruben’s artworks such as the Portrait of Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, Portrait of Isabella Clara Eugenia and Portrait of Adam and Eve. Today, other beautiful artworks by other Belgian artists such as the The preaching of St John the Baptist by Adam van Noort, Philip IV sending off his brother Prince Cardinal Infant Ferdinand by Gerard Seghers and The battle at the Blokkersdijk of 1605 by Bonaventura Peeters are on display, making the Ruben’s House a perfect one-stop tourist attraction for those keen on learning more about Belgian art.

Ruben’s House

Address: Wapper 9-11, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Ruben’s House

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 6.69 USD

14. Buy authentic diamonds in Antwerp's diamond district

To pear or not to pear, is the real question 🤔 #fridayfeels #diamonds #itsinourdna 😉💎🧬

Posted by Diamonds and Antwerp on Friday, 19 July 2019

Antwerp’s diamond district, also known as the Diamond Quarter, is a small area of land in Antwerp’s main square that is filled with diamond dealer shops, offering not just the sale of a wide range of diamonds but also gem cutting and polishing services. Many people looking for the best diamonds for bespoke jewelry and engagement rings head down to the Diamond Quarter in Antwerp especially to have their jewelry made. It has been estimated that around a whopping 84% of the world’s diamonds have passed through the district at some point in time, making Antwerp’s diamond district the largest diamond district in the world.

Diamond Quarter

Address: Hoveniersstraat 53, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 7pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free

15. Take some photos at Het Steen

Antwerpen, Het Steen - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Arwin Meijer used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Het Steen is a fairytale-like medieval fortress located in the old city center of Antwerp, built by the Vikings in the early Middle Ages to serve as a stone fortress. Today, many visitors are enchanted by the castle’s ancient mystique. If you are looking for a great photo that is infused with Belgium’s history, Het Steen is the place to go. The best part is, a photo or an entry opportunity to this majestic fortress is completely free, making this trip an interesting and affordable one.

Het Steen

Address: Steenplein 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 12pm - 6pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: Free

16. Enjoy French fries at Frites Atelier

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Frites Atelier elevates the simple and commonplace snack of french fries by pairing it with a wide range of toppings, herbs and sauces. Some of their unique concoctions include Tomato Basil Parmigiano fries with basil mayo, basil cress and topped off with grated Parmesan cheese, and their Shashouka Surprise, fries with a Middle Eastern twist topped with Feta cheese and Harissa mayonnaise.

Frites Atelier

Address: Korte Gasthuisstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Frites Atelier

Opening hours: 11am - 9pm (daily)

Price: From 20 USD

17. Check out the contemporary art at Extra City Kunsthal

Neda Saeedi, ‘Seven Hills’, (2019), in ‘Deadly Affairs’ (23.03-30.06.2019), Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp, photo by Tomas Uyttendaele

Posted by Extra City on Thursday, 23 May 2019

Extra City Kunsthal is an art center focused on contemporary art created by local Belgians. The art gallery puts up a fascinating range of exhibitions, such as the ‘Objects vs Things’ and the 'Deadly Affairs’ exhibitions, both of which put a local twist on modern art. You can find out more about each individual exhibition on their Facebook page and indicate your interest there.

Extra City Kunsthal

Address: Eikelstraat 31, 2600 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Extra City Kunsthal

Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 1pm - 6pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

Price: 6.69 USD

18. Appreciate nature at Antwerp City Park


Antwerp City Park is a large and family-friendly park known for its unique triangular shape. It is popular with locals after work and on the weekends, as there is a wide range of amenities available for use, including a jogging track, a skating rink, a picnic grove, a pond, and a kids’ play area. If you are bringing your family along with you on this vacation, this is a great place to bring them to relax, unwind and have some fun, because there is something here for people of all ages.

Antwerp City Park

Address: Rubenslei, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Antwerp City Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

19. Visit the beautiful Saint Carolus Borromeus Church


Saint Carolus Borromeus Church is a gothic church located in the heart of Antwerp. If you are keen on knowing more about the Jesuit faith and its history in Antwerp, this is the place to go. Otherwise, if you are interested in the church’s unique old-world architecture and you want to get a beautiful shot of the church for the ‘gram, Saint Carolus Borromeus Church is likewise still an amazing place worth visiting.

Saint Carolus Borromeus Church

Address: Hendrik Conscienceplein 11, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Opening hours: 10am - 12:30pm, 2pm - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

20. Go boating from Antwerp Harbour


Antwerp Harbour is Europe’s second-largest seaport after Rotterdam. Due to Antwerp’s favorable location at the heart of Europe, and Antwerp Harbour’s deep waters, the Port of Antwerp rose to become one of the busiest ports around the world in the previous century and it still remains so today. If you are keen on soaking up some sun and basking in the sea breeze, Antwerp Harbour is the best place to take a slow mid-morning walk with your loved ones during your trip there.

Antwerp Harbour

Address: Zaha Hadidplein 1, 2030 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Antwerp Harbour

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

21. Delve into the world of chocolate at Chocolate Nation

Kijk hem daar eens shinen: de Magnum! Wat een stuk is het he? Vind je hem ook zo aantrekkelijk? ;) 🍫 Deze reus – een op...

Posted by Chocolate Nation on Friday, 26 July 2019

Are you craving for some rich dark chocolate or some delicious hot chocolate on a cool Belgian evening? Well, look no further than the Chocolate Nation at Antwerp. An experienced tour guide will bring you through the museum in 60 to 90 minutes, detailing the typical chocolate-making process and the history of chocolate making in Belgium. This is the largest Belgian Chocolate Museum in the world, with a free flow of chocolate samples throughout the museum.

Chocolate Nation

Address: Koningin Astridplein 7, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Chocolate Nation

Opening hours: 10:30am - 7:30pm (daily)

Price: 7.54 USD

22. Check out the old-fashioned escalators at St. Anna's Pedestrian Tunnel


St. Anna’s Pedestrian Tunnel is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in Antwerp’s rich history in an authentic and affordable way. The tunnel’s key feature is its original wooden escalators, which are very popular with tourists and locals alike looking to get a unique snapshot.

St. Anna's Pedestrian Tunnel

Address: Sint-Annatunnel, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

23. Watch a movie at Cinema Cartoon's

🎖WIN🎖Wij mogen drie leuke tote bags van 'The Biggest little Farm Be' weggeven! Wat moet je daarvoor doen? In 'The...

Posted by Cinema Cartoon's on Thursday, 27 June 2019

In some ways, Cinema Cartoon’s is just like any other movie theatre around the world: it features a wide range of the latest blockbusters from Hollywood and around the world, from The Lion King to Toy Story 4. However, it is also unique in that it showcases many Belgian creators’ feature films, such as the indie film De Leeuwenkoning and Der goldene Handschuh. If you are keen on getting an authentic taste of Belgian film, head down to Cinema Cartoon’s during your next trip to Antwerp.

Cinema Cartoon's

Address: Kaasstraat 4, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Cinema Cartoon’s

Opening hours: 11am - 11pm (daily)

Price: Free

24. Sample the delicacies at The Jane

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


The Jane is a recently opened bar and restaurant serving up authentic European fare and a wide range of great cocktails. It is famous amongst the upper echelons of Belgian society for its 14-course dinner featuring ingredients of the finest quality, with items on the menu such as the John Dory with artichoke and scallop and seaweed soup. However, even if you are just looking for a quick and refreshing drink after a long and fun day of sightseeing, The Jane serves up many great wines, beers and spirits for you to enjoy at their bar on the second level of the restaurant.

The Jane

Address: Paradeplein 1, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: The Jane

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 12pm - 10pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

25. Dine at Falafel Tof

Fun@Falafel Tof

Posted by Falafel Tof on Thursday, 10 April 2014

Falafel Tof is a restaurant with a cozy and laid-back atmosphere serving up delicious Mediterranean and vegetarian food. Its chefs prepare the restaurant’s Sabih, Falafel and Hummus fresh every day for Falafel Tof’s signature all-you-can-eat salad buffet. If you are feeling health conscious or simply want a delicious yet healthy meal during your trip, this is the perfect place to go.

Falafel Tof

Address: Hoogstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Falafel Tof

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 12pm - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 10pm

26. Pray at St. Paul’s Church


St. Paul’s Church is a beautiful gothic church with a rich Baroque-style interior decoration. Whether you are a practicing Roman Catholic looking to attend mass during your trip to Antwerp, or a tourist interested in immersing yourself in the Catholic church’s rich history in Antwerp, St. Paul’s Church is a great place to drop by. A key feature of the church is its clear blue-stained glass windows, quite unlike many of the typical colored stained glass windows found in most other churches all around the world.

St. Paul’s Church

Address: Sint-Paulusstraat 22, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

27. Explore musical instruments at Museum Vleeshuis

Posted by Museum Vleeshuis Klank van de Stad on Monday, 22 July 2019

Museum Vleeshuis is a museum showcasing many of the unique instruments popular in Belgium throughout history, many of which were handcrafted by talented local instrument makers. For example, a collection of glass harps made by Joseph Mattau of Brussels during the 1850s is on display in the museum. Music lovers and curious travelers alike should definitely make a trip down to Museum Vleeshuis on their next trip to Antwerp, Belgium.

Museum Vleeshuis

Address: Vleeshouwersstraat 38, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Museum Vleeshuis

Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

Price: Free

28. Go on a shopping spree at Meir Shopping Street

Posted by Meir - Antwerpen on Sunday, 29 April 2018

Meir Shopping Street is a street within Antwerp’s city center, popular among both tourists and locals alike for its wide range of local and international retailers. If you are looking for a great place to purchase souvenirs for friends and family back home, or simply want to treat yourself to a fun shopping spree, this is the place to go. It is also located within a stone’s throw away from other key tourist attractions, including Rubens House and Antwerp Central Station.

Meir Shopping Street

Address: Meir 78, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6:30pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free

29. Party at Ampere


Ampere nightclub is a great place to head to over the weekend to let loose and experience Antwerp’s vibrant nightlife scene. Ampere invites a wide range of local and international DJs to play their sets at the nightclub. If you are into the nightlife scene and want to experience it in Antwerp, Ampere is a great place to go. It is located in the heart of Antwerp’s city center, near many art centers and other night clubs, making it a convenient place to visit after a hearty dinner.

Ampere

Address: Simonsstraat 21, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Website: Ampere nightclub

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 11pm - 7am (closed from Sun - Thu)

Price: From 30 USD

Many great things to do in Antwerp

0 Het Steen - Antwerpen (1)
Source: Photo by user Jean-Pol GRANDMONT used under CC BY-SA 3.0

There are so many great things to do in Antwerp, Belgium, for both thrill-seekers and nature lovers, children and adults alike. Whether you are looking for a rave party at Ampere nightclub or a shopping spree at Meir Shopping Street, there will be something fun and exciting for you to do in Antwerp. So, as you plan your vacation, be sure to check out the above things to do in Antwerp, Belgium before your next trip. There are certainly more than what we’ve listed here but this article is a great place to start. Enjoy your Antwerp experience.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Ruth is a freelance writer and novelist who loves snuggling, skating, and all things matcha.

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