24 Hours In… Antwerp

By 5th February 2019June 19th, 2020Insights

Our Marine team provides bunker services to some of the world’s largest ship-owners and operators through our operations in the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam (ARA) region. We share our ultimate must-do list for a perfect visit if you only have 24 hours in the exciting and vibrant city of Antwerp…

antwerp Port Authority building

Places To See:

The old city of Antwerp really is must-see if you come here, and the Cathedral of Our Lady should definitely feature on your list, not least because you won’t be able to miss it – its 123m steeple dominates the skyline! Work first started on the cathedral in 1352, but it wasn’t actually finished until 1521. That having been said, the 169 years of labour was certainly worth it, and the cathedral now ranks as the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries, with a series of paintings by Rubens to boot.

Just outside the cathedral is Groen Plaats square, with its statue of Rubens, which really comes alive at night, but particularly at Christmas with the market.  Don’t worry if you’re not in Antwerp at Christmas, however, as there are events held here all year round.

Of course, you can’t come to Antwerp and not visit The Rubens House.  Rubens, of course, is the famous Flemish artist and his former home is now a museum dedicated to his life and work.

The Zoo in the centre of Antwerp is absolutely worth visiting.  One of the oldest zoos in the world, it’s also one of the most impressive in both size and species. Aside from the 4000 animals, there are some really striking buildings within the grounds too, such as the Egyptian temple and the thatched-roof building housing the koalas.

De Vogeltjes Markt is also well worth visiting. Originally, the market sold poultry but today, you’re more likely to find exotic birds, such as parrots and canaries.

Things To Discover:

A great place to discover is Het Havenhuis, which is the new office space of the Antwerp Port Authority. Built in the shape of a ship, it sits on top of an old building beneath (a former fire station, in fact), and the whole structure is symbolic of the past and the future coming together.

Where To Eat:

You would be better off asking where not to eat! Belgium is very well known for its nice restaurants and Bourgondisch lifestyle, but our personal favourites are Het Fornuis, Het Pomphuis, Het Dockscafe, Het Zilte, Huis de Colvenier, and de Vogelezang.  We could go on and on, but there are too many to mention!  You also can’t leave Belgium without trying “Stoofvless met Friet” (stew with fries), which is one of the country’s most famous dishes, and a very good choice if you’re stuck with what to pick!

Where To Stay:

The Hilton – Situated in the heart of the city’s history, but with modern décor within.

Hotel De Witte Lelie – One of the most luxurious hotels in the whole of Antwerp.

Hotel Antigoon – Cosy, romantic, and perfect for a weekend getaway.

Night Life:

You should start with a few beers in Café de Engel, which is right next to the City Hall. Afterwards, we would recommend The Villa – a magnet for those who love a good night out, this is the place in Antwerp to see and be seen!

Antwerp Fast Facts:

Population – 520, 504

Currency – Euros

Time Zone – GMT +1

Languages – Dutch, German, French, English