Antwerp Sights and Landmarks Guide, Belgium
Antwerp Sights – Past and Present
Looking for a quality urban experience spiced with history, fashion, unique shopping and a great nightlife? The city of Antwerp is the place for you! It truly has something to offer to everyone and its very hype atmosphere is something that you’ll find quite unique among any other destination. Although similar somehow to the capital city, Brussels, it has its distinctive wonders that you'll love to discover. You can cruise the City Hall area and check out some of the art museums for a feel of the old city with its impressive collection of Flemish paintings, among which Rubens has quite a privileged place, or visit the Diamond Centre for some contemporary delights. Here you can find out how diamonds are extracted and manufactured into the most colorful and fascinating gems and, if your budget allows it, you can even take home a lovely diamond souvenir from Antwerp.
Antwerp Sights – Focal Points
When in Antwerp, there are a few objectives you can’t allow yourself to miss. The Onze Lieve Vrouwe Cathedral is open for visits throughout the week, and it is an impressive gothic construction that houses many of Rubens’ most significant art works. The Groenplaats is a large square located right in the middle of the city and dominated by Rubens’ large statue. Here you can find lots of pubs, bars and restaurants and the area has a round the clock activity. The KBC Tower is Europe’s first skyscraper and it was built in 1930. It is now a bank headquarters. For the best example of Flemish and Italian Renaissance architecture you should visit Grote Markt, with the Town Hall and the statue of the mythical local hero, Brabo.
Cogels Osylei is the street with typical art nouveau buildings which is located right near the station where you can take train to Amsterdam or Brussels. The Antwerp Zoo is one of the oldest zoos (it was founded in 1943) and it hosts more than 6000 animals. On the museum list you should definitely not miss the MUKHA (Museum of Contemporary Art), the Rubenshuis (where you can not only see some of his works but also get to relive the atmosphere he lived in) and the National Maritime Museum, where you’ll have the chance to understand what a crucial role a port plays in the development of a city, through the Port of Antwerp and the Port of Rotterdam.
Antwerp Sights – Things to Do
While in Antwerp, you’ll find that just taking a walk across the Scheldt or through some of the city squares are very rewarding activities, and a drink at one of the many town’s terraces is sure not to disappoint you either. However, if you’re looking for something more exciting, you can always take the Ghostwalk Tour, which takes place at nighttime and where you will hear thrilling stories about the city’s dark history. Shopping in Antwerp is something you’ll surely be interested in, as you’ll find an abundance of designer boutiques and state of the art shop windows combined with huge antique stores and famous brand areas. The city is also famous for its round the year cultural and musical events, from the 15th August Rubens Market to a large variety of festivals, street art and theatre events.
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