The Antwerp City Guide 2021 by Wander-Lust
If you live in the Netherlands, Antwerp is the perfect place to escape to for a city break. We’ve been there many times and checked out some of the best spots for you to enjoy food, drinks and more.
It must be remembered, that due to Covid, you must wear a face mask in all shops, hotel lobby’s, busy streets and restaurants. We advise you check your local travel advise before planning your trip. On the positive side, Antwerp has never been better to explore without the crowds! Here’s our Antwerp City Guide for 2021!
HOW TO GET TO ANTWERP
Well, you have 2 options and they are both as easy. You can take the train or you can go by car. Both options take around the same time (2 hours) but we prefer the train because you can chill, look out of the window and you will arrive at one of the most beautiful and impressive trains stations in Europe. A return train ticket from Amsterdam to Antwerp will cost around 30 -40 euro. If you go by car, you might arrive earlier but if you are unlucky, you will get caught in slow traffic and your trip might take up to 3 hours plus you will have to pay for parking.
“This Antwerp City Guide is for wanderers who love food, shops and exploring”
CITY BEACHES IN ANTWERP!
It may come as a surprise, but Antwerp has many beach bars! Find out which ones not to miss.
» Bar Paniek
WHERE TO EAT IN ANTWERP?
Our Antwerp City Guide wouldn’t be complete without a list of food places. To emphasize, in Antwerp you won’t be short of food choices. Especially lunch! There are so many hotspots around that we can’t mention them all, but these are our favourites!
» Graanmarkt13, offers a different menu each month and has a large terrace plus a cute patio downstairs.
» Tinsel, some say that you can get the best breakfast in town here. Tinsel is located near the water where you will find tons of other restaurants. www.tinsel.be
» Native Bio Bistro, This hidden pearl is by far our favourite lunch spot in Antwerp. This bistro serves fresh, original, and good quality food. It’s organic, locally produced with sustainable ingredients, this is Native! Vegan and organic food lovers will love this place! During the summer they open a very nice terrace. www.native.bio
» Bubble Waffle, located in the Mercado foodcourt, this tasty waffle stand awesome! Go here if you feel like something sweet. www.bubblewaffle.be
» Divers, a smoothie-bowl bar for your healthy cravings. Great for some Instagram worthy pics, if that’s what your after. They are located in the Volkstraat 9.
»De Broers van Julienne, when we need to grab a quick and healthy bite, we go here. In a side street of the Kammenstraat – with lots of boutiques – you will find this small cute little restaurant. You can take away the best quiches, soups, salads and other warm healthy dishes. Besides that, they sell oil, wine, coffee, juices and other delicatessen. They also offer catering and cook workshops.
» Raw Salad Company, unfortunately they’ve closed their doors in Antwerp but they promised to be back soon with a new location. The name gives it away. Raw salads galore. The salads are extremely tasty and fill you up enough to get on with your day. They also sell juices, wraps, cakes and other healthy snacks. We will keep you updated if they open a shop.
» Umami, fine dining Japanese style. They restyled not long ago and you can eat amazing Dim Sum here. www.umami-antwerp.be
» Il Famosi, this is by far the best Italian restaurant in Antwerp. Go here for a romantic dinner and if you want more than just pizza.
BUT FIRST… COFFEE!
» Mirlo’s, the coffee is great and the location is cute. They also serve breakfast and lunch and it’s all homemade. www.mirlos.be
» Buchbar, surrounded by literature and stories, this coffee bar is different than others. Owned by actress Kim Hertogs, you can feel the passion for books, women empowerment and people. Find more info about this special spot on their website.
» Butchers Coffee, located in a former butcher, this trendy coffee bar takes the coffee business serious and are planning to create their own coffee blend. If the sun is out, you can sit outside on the benches. You can find it on the Kasteelstraat 57.
» Caffenation, self blended coffee and probably the oldest one in Belgium as they started more than 13 years ago. Besides the coffee it’s also a shop and a great place to hang out. www.caffenation.be
» Texas Coffee, for pink latte’s and coffee served in an ice-cream cone!
Where to Shop & Stroll?
You have many options in Antwerp when it comes to shopping. No matter what type of person you are, there will be a shopping district that will suit your needs. We have selected 3 area’s that we love.
» Kammenstraat & Kloosterstraat, these 2 streets in South Antwerp offer vintage, exclusive boutiques, living and alternative shops. While most shops are closed on Sunday, the kloosterstraat is one of the only streets open from around 12pm.
» Het Eilandje, this is especially great during summer because you can find a lot of outside patio’s here. Worth mentioning is the MAS Museum where they have many exhibitions on display. The museum is set next to the little harbour and owns a large rooftop which has free entrance.
The MAS Museum at “Het Eilandje”. Source
» De Volkstraat, go here for boutiques, concept stores, perfume and coffee.
» The Meir, this is Antwerp’s highstreet. Although it’s not our favourite place to shop, we need to mention it because here you will find all the shops you need. From Zara, Mango, Levi’s, it’s all here. The street is beautiful but always busy. Watch your purse and don’t stay too long!
» De Handelsbeurs, has been completely renovated and dates back from the 1800’s. Now, you can drink coffee underneath the impressive gallery.
WHERE TO SLEEP?
Another key point in this Antwerp City Guide is where should you rest your head? These are our 5 favourite places to stay.
» Lindner WTC Hotel & City Lounge Antwerp, is located right next to Antwerps Central Station so perfect for a few nights. The lobby is very trendy with a bar and colourful seating area. The rooms we booked was basic but comfortable, and there are better suites available. Big plus; there is a gym and sauna that every guest can use. www.lindnerhotels.be
» Hotel Franq, is a new kid on the block and super cool! Just recently opened in October, the building used to be a bank and you can still find the big safe intact which is now being converted into a gym. When you enter the impressive foyer, you almost forget you set foot in a hotel. The rooms are stylish and have a large bathroom with rain showers. When it’s nice weather, you can sit outside in the garden overlooking an old victorian house. www.hotelfranq.com
» Hotel Les Nuits, we love boutique hotels and this hotel is one of the cutest ones out there! All 21 rooms are designed a bit different but have the same style and feature impressive en-suites. Not to mention the breakfast that is great and the location is even better! Book a room here!
Breakfast in bed at Hotel Les Nuits
» Studio Penelope, this brand new apartment has opened in September of 2020 and is ready for its first guests! Just look at the interior, what a dream! Book your stay here!
» Banks, another great hotel at a very central location. It’s modern and a great place to meet people downstairs. Oh, and they also have a rooftop terrace so this is a great option during the summer. Then again, you will be out exploring Antwerp..;-) Book your stay here.
In either case, a full Antwerp City Guide for 2020. This leaves us with one final question, are you planning your next tip to Antwerp yet? 😉
Find more on visitantwerpen.be