Welcome in Antwerp.
Antwerp is the real urban deal, a refreshingly down-to-earth yet vivacious cosmopolitan habitat blessed with sublime architecture, fashionable shop fronts, beer-washed old-world pubs, magnificent monuments, jazzed-up clubs, inspired artworks and restaurant tables piled with plates of superb multicultural food.
The biggest city of Flanders is no longer than 30 minutes away by car and by train from Brussels. Its culture, history, vibrant nightlife and world class shopping are now within easy reach, thanks to excellent access by air, train, motorway and even water. Hourly high-speed trains connect the city with other European cities like Cologne, Paris, Amsterdam and London.
Antwerp not only has a wealth of outstanding museums, picturesque galleries, sculpted streets and beautiful architecture, but is also laced with refreshing greenery and urban haunts. The city has been receiving increasing amounts of art loving visitors throughout the years due to its most important inhabitant: Rubens, visionary and master of Flemish Baroque art. Rubens lived and worked in Antwerp during the city's Golden Age (16. Jh.) and left a big legacy from which over 50 works are now permanently on display. A lot of the pieces can be found in several of the landmarks, but the work of the artist isn't confined to them. So if you prefer your art out in the open you can copy the artist's footsteps by taking a walking tour that shows you his masterpieces dotted around the city.
The city has an exuberant shopping scene in which happy consumers are continually tempted by new-season fashions, luxury shops, antique-obsessed galleries and stylish accessories from artful manufacturers. In 2001 the huge fashion event 'Landed-Geland' attracted fashionistas from all over the world and put Antwerp at the top list of fashion capitals. Certainly you'll never be bored when shopping here, you'll find the pick of boutiques, cutting edge contemporary art and sharp design. The shopping streets are mainly found in the cultural and historical interesting neighbourhoods, most of them are pedestrian and within walking distance. Several shops are even located in historical buildings, so there's always something stunning to admire, whether it's fashion or architecture. The classy northern end of Meir, fashion-conscious Nationalestraat or trendy Kammenstraat, the choice is up to you!
Being the World Diamond Centre, Antwerp trades up to 80% of the world's production ... no wonder the quality is brilliant, prices dazzling and customer service stunning. And Antwerp being a fashion and design city, of course you'll also find an impressive range of contemporary jewellery here.
Having the second biggest international port in Europe, Antwerp keeps up a leading position in the world. Crossing from right to left bank by taking the tunnel, your options are to walk or cycle through it, or simply enjoy a relaxing river cruise -a good chance to admire the famous skyline with ancient towers- or have a look at the two ports: the trading harbour with big ships or the marinas with the fanciest boats.
Conclusion: Antwerp is hip, its diamonds are cool, its nightlife is hot, its innovative fashion is ultra-bold and its beer is served ice-cold.
Whatever your tastes, Antwerp won't leave you disappointed!