Must see sites in Antwerp

Antwerp rightfully earned the status of the most famous and interesting city in Belgium. The best diamond cutting masters are known worldwide for their professionalism, they sew the best designer clothes here, and the taste of Belgian chocolate is likely to leave you wanting for more. However, the fame of the city is not limited to these facts. Antwerp, whose sights point to the centuries-old, dramatic and fascinating history of Belgium, attract millions of tourists. There are so many unique places and structures that it is impossible to see them all in one day. This article describes the sights that you can and even need to see in one day. And some other interesting and significant places in Antwerp that you can visit if time permits.

Antwerp Town Hall

What to see in Antwerp in one day

If you have been to Belgium, you probably know that it is impossible to see the sights of Antwerp in one day. However, you can visit the most interesting places that will help to make your personal opinion about this amazing city.

Main train station

Antwerp Central Station

Arriving in Antwerp by train, you immediately find yourself in a beautiful place not only in Belgium, but also in the world. Newsweek magazine published a rating according to which Antwerp station entered the top five most beautiful railway stations in the world and took fourth place.

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There is a tourist attraction near Astrid Square, its main feature is a gallery of three dozen jewelry stores.

Interesting fact! Belgians call it the Gothic Railway Cathedral.

Antwerp Station - Main Hall

The building was opened at the beginning of the 19th century; it was built of wood. Stone Station – a modern building, was built over six years. An eclectic style was chosen for the exterior design, and Gothic towers give the station greatness and luxurious restraint. For the interior decoration, two dozen marbles were used. Many travelers compare the Antwerp station in Belgium with luxurious palace chambers.

Plantin-Moretus Museum

Plantin-Moretus Museum

Another attraction of Antwerp in Belgium, which is included in the list of places that can be viewed in one day. The museum is dedicated to local publishers – Christopher Plantin and Jan Moretus, who organized a printing house in the 16th century. The museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Antwerp Museum collection consists of:

  • vintage typographic items;
  • ancient books, manuscripts;
  • tapestries dating from the 16-17th centuries;
  • works of art.
Plantin-Moretus Museum, printing presses

The pride of the museum is two old typewriters. One of the museum’s premises is the living room, where the Plantin family lived. Unique, wooden furniture and a collection of globes have been preserved here.

Plantin arrived in Antwerp from France with the only desire – to get rich. He opened a printing house, where he printed various publications. Over time, famous creative personalities gathered in it. After Plantin’s death, his son-in-law, Jan Moretus, directed the printing house.

Useful information:

  • You can visit the museum every day except Monday from 10-00 to 17-00.
  • A ticket costs 8 euros for adults, for visitors from 12 to 25 years old and pensioners over 65 years old – 5 euros.

You might also want to read about the museums in Brussels.

Grote Markt Square

Great Market Square Grote Markt

What to see in Antwerp in one day? Undoubtedly, the Grote Markt square. It is here that the most significant city events take place. Connoisseurs call the square a pearl of architecture of the 16th century, it has the shape of a triangle, and its name means – Big Market. In walking distance are:

  • Town Hall, built in 1561;
  • Cathedral;
  • luxurious guild houses;
  • Gothic cathedral of the Virgin Mary.

The area is surrounded by cozy cafe terraces open in any weather.

Useful! Once in Antwerp, you will definitely want to come back here again. To do this, throw a coin into the fountain with a statue of Silvius Brabo, which adorns the square.

Fountain with a statue of Silvius Brabo

The legend of a Romanesque warrior says that a local hero defeated a giant who robbed and destroyed ships, demanding a toll. If the giant did not get paid, he mercilessly chopped off the brush to the sailors. From here came the name of the city – hand werpen, which means – an abandoned hand.

Cathedral of Antwerp Virgin Mary

Residents of Antwerp treat this attraction with special respect, since for many centuries they have honored the Mother of God and consider her their patroness.

Cathedral of Antwerp Virgin Mary

The cathedral was founded in 1352 and was built two and a half centuries on the site of a small chapel where the statue of the Virgin Mary was stored. The architect, who created the unique design of the cathedral, unfortunately, did not live up to the moment when the building appeared in all its greatness.

If we are talking about the attractions of Antwerp, which you need to see in one day, the cathedral is undoubtedly included in their list. This is the main symbol not only of the city, but also of Belgium. The temple is the largest in the country, it majestically rises above the city and is perfectly visible from anywhere in Antwerp.

Interesting fact! The height of the tower is 123 meters.

In the Cathedral of Antwerp Virgin Mary

The temple was being repaired, traces of restoration are displayed on the facade in the form of a bizarre combination of different styles. The interior was created on the basis of historical documents. The cathedral contains famous paintings on church subjects.

Interesting fact! About 300 thousand tourists visit the temple annually. Tickets cost 6 euros.

Cogels Street – Osylei

Cogels Street - Osylei

If you are looking for the answer to the question, what to see in Antwerp in 1 day? Just take a walk along Cogels – Osylei Street. This is the central street located in the Zurenborg area. Local residents strongly recommend taking time and taking a walk in this part of the city. It is better to choose a day with good, sunny weather.

It is here that you can feel the real atmosphere and mood of Antwerp. On maps of Antwerp with attractions in Russian, the area is indicated as a tourist area. However, this is a residential part of the city – quiet, calm, there are almost no passers-by. There is a feeling that this is a small town in a big city.

Advice! Be sure to bring a camera with you, at Cogels – Osylei you are sure to take a photo of this Antwerp and real Belgium.

Cogels - Osylei Street in Zurenborg

The houses of the district are decorated in a wide variety of styles – from the Middle Ages to Art Nouveau. This creates a fabulous atmosphere and a desire to immediately settle here.

The famous “golden triangle” of Antwerp, formed by the streets of Cogels Osylei, Waterloostraat and Transvaalstraat, is located right behind Berche train station.

Museum “An de Strom”

Museum "An de Strom"

The MAS Museum in Antwerp is built on the banks of the Scheldt River. The construction is not only remarkable for its unusual architecture, but also for its original materials. For the construction of the museum used red sandstone, imported from India, and glass. Museum exhibits – a rich collection of ethnographic and archaeological objects.

Interesting! The name of the museum in Antwerp means – a museum on the river.

Hall at the Museum an de Strom

The building was originally intended for the exhibition of exhibits, the interior is surrounded by a staircase leading to the observation deck. It is noteworthy that the halls of the museum are not illuminated by sunlight – it does not penetrate here.

The main theme of the museum collection is shipping. Among the exhibits there are unique works of art donated to the museum by private collectors. Museum staff are especially proud to present original items that were created by the Native Indians living in Antwerp when Columbus had not yet made his discovery.

Congo Liberators Fleet

Useful information:

  • You can visit the museum every day except Monday from 10-00 to 17-00.
  • On weekends, the museum is open until 18-00.
  • Tickets cost 5 euros, for tourists aged 12 to 25 years and senior citizens – 3 euros.
  • You can buy a single ticket to visit the exhibition and thematic exhibitions.

Rubens Museum

Museum at Rubens House

Rubens Museum in Antwerp was opened in the middle of the last century and is included in the list of the most popular sights of Belgium. The museum is located in a house that belonged to the great artist Peter Powell Rubens. Local artists often came here, the Queen of Medici and the Duke of Buckingham loved to visit his house.

Rubens was a well-known collector and was able to collect unique paintings by Raphael, Titian and other famous painters. Today the Rubens collection is exhibited in the museum – these are canvases, books, manuscripts, figurines and jewelry.

Interesting! In 1939, the house was bought by the authorities of Antwerp and opened as a museum. Original furniture dating back to the 17th century has been preserved here. The most original exhibit is the artist’s personal chair with an inscription made in gold. Paintings by Rubens and his teachers are hung on the walls.

Pavilion at the Rubens House Museum

Useful information:

  • You can visit the museum every day except Monday from 10-00 to 17-00.
  • Ticket price is 8 euros, visitors aged 12 to 25 years and pensioners pay 6 euros for visiting the museum.

If you decide to stay longer than 1 day in Antwerp

In one day we managed to see the most interesting and unusual places in Antwerp. However, one day is too little. If you decide to stay here for a few more days, we offer a list of other attractions that must be visited.

Middelheim Park

In the Middelheim Park

If you prefer to relax in nature and do not know what to see in Antwerp, go to the park, which is located a few kilometers from the historic center. Local authorities turned the attraction into a sculpture park.

The first mention of the park as a private property dates from the middle of the 14th century. At the beginning of the last century, it was bought by local authorities and opened for local residents and tourists. The park is a huge territory, decorated in the English style – lawns, alleys, groves.

Sculptures in the Middelheim Park

In the war years, almost nothing remained of the attraction, but by 1950 the park was restored and the first exhibition of sculptural works was held on its territory. Since then, the attraction has officially become the open-air museum of Antwerp. The mayor was personally engaged in the search for sculptures.

Today the park’s collection is represented by sculptures of realistic form, abstract figures, the total number of exhibits is about 480.

De Koninck Brewery

Hand Brewery or De Koninck

The list of places to visit in Antwerp includes the legendary Hand Brewery, founded in 1827. The De Könick family acquired an inn and after a while it turned into a prosperous brewery.

In historical records there is information that next to the institution was a stone on which a palm was depicted, reminding the townspeople of the need to pay taxes. That is why for many years the institution was called Brewery Hands, however, now it is known all over the world as the De Koninck Brewery.

At the De Koninck Brewery

After the end of World War I, production began to develop rapidly. At the end of the last century, the owners presented an updated brand – a modern brewery equipped with unique equipment. Beer is brewed in small batches, in such a way, visitors always try a fresh drink.

80% of establishments in Antwerp buy beer De Koninck.

Each variety of the drink is presented under the original name – Magnum, Nebuchadnezzar. Today, tourists can visit the large center, combining a beer museum, a cheese factory, grocery stores – meat, chocolate, bakery.

Antwerp authorities invested 11 million euros in the project.

Temple of St Paul

Temple of st paul

The attraction is located on the outskirts of Antwerp, in the Animal Farm, which is considered the busiest. The temple is called the pearl of the Baroque, stored in the Gothic casket. It was built for more than half a century on the site where the Dominican monastery was previously located. Inside is a collection of paintings on the life and death of Christ. The pride of the collection is the paintings of “Flagellation” by the local, renowned painter Rubens and “Madonna with the Rosary” by Caravaggio.

The decoration of the temple is its altar, supplemented by 15 Mysteries of Rosenkraz, which were performed by students of the Rubens school.

Another amazing detail of the temple is an organ built in the 17th century. There is a garden near the church, and a sculpture of Golgotha, uniting 63 separate statues, is installed at the facade.

Be sure to visit the concert and listen to how an old musical instrument sounds in a room with the best acoustics.

Antwerp Zoo

Antwerp Zoo

What to see in Antwerp with children? Of course, a zoo where you can see funny and rare animals. The attraction is included in the list of the oldest and most beautiful zoos in the world. His age is 170 years, it is home to 770 different animals.

The zoo is known for scientific research, the noble mission of employees is to preserve and increase the genetic fund of rare animals:

Penguin at the Antwerp Zoo

Each pavilion has an original name. Elephants, tapirs, spectacled bears, buffalos, zebras, pelicans, penguins are also represented here.

Some pavilions are ancient buildings dating from the last century.

  • You can visit the zoo every day from 10-00 to 16-45 in the winter and until 19-00 in the summer.
  • The price of a full ticket is 24 euros, for a child – 19 euros.
  • The attraction is located at: Koningin Astridplein 26.

Meir Street

Famous shopping street where you can enjoy shopping and visit modern boutiques and old shops. The peculiarity of the street is the lack of transport, it is completely pedestrian, decorated with buildings in the Rococo style.

Meir Street

What is remarkable about the street:

  • The royal residence where Napoleon lived;
  • Torengebouw skyscraper – the first in the world;
  • Burla Theater;
  • trading exchange.

If your goal is shopping and shopping, head to Schuttershofstraat and Hopland. The streets are parallel to Meir, a large number of boutiques are concentrated here and branded items can be purchased.

Meir street starts at the central station and extends to the Grote Markt square. There are many cafes and restaurants on the street.

Chocolate workshop Dominica Persona

Chocolate workshop Dominica Persona

This place is dedicated to all who cannot imagine their life without chocolate. The founder of the workshop, Dominic Person, combined the creation of sweets and art. The result is The Chocolate Line, a chocolate workshop located in the Royal Residence on Meir Street. The Chocolate Line is a fabulous place where chocolate masterpieces are prepared in front of visitors in the kitchen of Napoleon.

Here is an amazing collection of chocolate fondant, chocolate pills and chocolate sculptures. There is never much sweetness. Lovers of the classics can try chocolate with nuts, marzipans, and real gourmets will like the sweetness with olives or wasabi sauce.

Dominic Persona Chocolate is delivered to the royal family in Belgium.

Church of St. George

Church of St. George

In the photo of the attractions of Antwerp with a description you can not always meet this church, decorated in a neo-Gothic style. The temple was built first outside the central part of the settlement. Inside the church is decorated with frescoes, paintings by Rubens and amazing paintings of the 17-18 centuries.

  • A pleasant bonus for tourists – the entrance to the temple is free.
  • There is a landmark near the fashion district. The atmosphere of the church is conducive to reflection and prayer.
  • You can find the temple at: Mechelseplein 22.

This is only a small part of the attractions of Antwerp. The list of must-see places includes the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, but it is closed for renovation until 2019.

Photos of Antwerp’s attractions are fascinating, but the atmosphere of the city cannot be conveyed in a colorful picture. The only way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Belgium is to buy a ticket to Antwerp.

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