The Antwerp City Guide by Wander-Lust

If you live in the Netherlands, Antwerp is the perfect place to escape to for a city break, especially during the wintertime! We’ve been there many times and checked out some of the best spots for you to enjoy food, drinks and more. Here’s our Antwerp City Guide!

How to get there
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”

Antwerp City Guide

Where To Eat?
The most important question of course! Well, 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 favorites!
» 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 favorite 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.

food-antwerp
From left till right: Raw, Umamian and Il Famosi

Antwerp City Guide where-to-eat-in-antwerp
Bubble Waffle from Mecado (source) and Divers (photo’s by David Plas)

Where To Drink 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! 

Antwerp City Guide -mirlos
Coffee and brunch at Mirlo’s

texas-coffee-antwerp
Pink latte at Texas Coffee

Antwerp City Guide. The Buchbar
The Buchbar

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 harbor and owns a large rooftop which has free entrance.
» De Volkstraat, go here for boutiques, concept stores, perfume and coffee.

» The Meir, this is Antwerp’s highstreet. Although it’s not our favorite 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!

MAS Antwerp
The MAS Museum at “Het Eilandje”. Source

Where To Sleep?
Somehow we always end up in the same hotels. Never change a winning team! These are our 3 favorite places to stay.

» 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-franq
Hotel Franq

» 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. They have recently changed their reception area and removed their suites rooms which is a shame because I really loved those but this way the hotel is more compact and fits better together. Breakfast is great and the location is great! Book a room here!

Antwerp City Guide. Elke in Hotel Les Nuits
Breakfast in bed at Hotel Les Nuits

» 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.

So are you planning your next tip to Antwerp yet? 😉 

Love,

Wander-Lust

More City Guides? ↓

Hudson’s Bay is open and this is what you can expect!

After the closing of shopping warehouse V&D, a big empty hole was pierced into the shopping street of Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands. People lost their jobs and we, the consumers, were left wondering where we could go next. And there it was, Hudson’s Bay, a new shopping warehouse that originated in Canada, was going to give us a whole new shopping experience. With the first warehouse opening in Amsterdam today, we want to give you the scoop on what you can expect.

Which Brands?
Hudson’s Bay will offer a mix of national and international (premium) brands. Brands like TOPSHOP and TOPMAN, CK Jeans, Nike, HUGO, Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Rika, Love Stories, MAC, Chanel, Aveda, Dyson, Vedder & Vedder, Vitra, HAY and Samsonite are all here to be found. In addition to more than 100 Dutch brands, there are several national and international brands that have exclusively developed Hudson’s Bay limited editions. These products are offered under the name ‘The Limiteds’. 

Hudson's Bay Amsterdam

Hudson Bay, Amsterdam

STUDIOS Concept
At any Hudson’s Bay store there are some STUDIOS to be found. It is the place where you will find exclusive product launches, instore events, unique partnerships and temporary collections. 

Food
In the large flagship store in Amsterdam, renowned restaurant owner and chef Ron Blauw has opened Nacarat back in May. A restaurant with Middle Eastern influences where you can indulge your taste buds. It’s located on the top floor where you can go for lunch and dinner while enjoying the view of Amsterdam. At night, when Hudson’s Bay closes, make sure you walk into the small alley to find the entrance.

Restaurant Nacarat, Hudson Bay

Online
With the Amsterdam store open, Hudson Bay will also be going live online! All the collections will be available on www.hudsonsbay.nl

Hudson’s Bay will basically be more accessible and affordable than the Bijenkorf which is of course a wahalla for those who seek a new Chanel bag but a little frustrating for people that just want to shop on a monthly, even weekly basis. 

Opening dates are:

7th Sept: Den Haag & Rotterdam
12th Sept: Leiden & Breda
14th Sept: Maastricht
20th Sept: Zwolle & Almere
21st Sept: Den Bosch & Tilburg

Love,

Elke

The Best Bits of the Overtoom, Amsterdam

It’s the street where you will find me a lot. Tram 1 runs straight through the middle of it which eventually takes you to Leidseplein and back. It’s the street that’s great for coffee, food, shops, gym’s and get-togethers. I’m talking about the never ending street the Overtoom, Amsterdam. Time to highlight the best bits according to us!

BUUF, Overtoom 495
Let’s start with my all time favorite and perhaps even my favorite restaurant in Amsterdam, Buuf. I’ve been coming to this place for years now. The concept is great; You order your food at the bar and choose from the menu that changes every day. You can choose between 2 meat, 2 fish and 2 vegetarian dishes or their a la card menu which includes their famous buuf burger. Food is freshly prepared and home made. Because they don’t have table service, the prices are extremely low. You only pay 8,80 for a main and 5,50 for a large plate vegetarian buffet. You will find me here at least once a month. www.buufeten.nl

buuf-amsterdam-overtoom
Source

KOFFIE ACADEMIE, Overtoom 95
This coffee bar has just been open since this year and a huge succes. Drink coffee, ginger/orange tea and try their healthy bars and cakes. You can buy the art on the wall if you like and bring your laptop for a few hours work. It’s not a large shop but it’s certainly cozy! www.koffie-academie.nl

FRIDAY NEXT, Overtoom 31
This concept store is great for meet ups and freelancers! We even listed it as one of our best work spots in Amsterdam! I go here to work and enjoy lunch like their homemade soup. Their interior is to die for and you can shop while you eat! www.fridaynext.com

Friday Next Amsterdam
Friday Next

OLIVITY, Overtoom 239
This cute Greek deli serves home cooked meals by a Greek lady that has moved to Amsterdam many years ago. She also does a killer catering and you can buy Greek products like traditional olive oil. www.olivity.net

Olivity, Overtoom Amsterdam
Source: Olivity

KINKY KAPPERS, Overtoom 245
One of my favorite hairdressers in Amsterdam. Why? They’re edgy, friendly and they always have time to cut my fringe! (which needs a cut about every 3 weeks). It’s a perfect hairdresser if you’re looking for a kinky haircut and good conversation. www.kinki.nl

VONDELGYM, Overtoom 143
The gym owned by one of Amsterdam’s hottest TV presenters and his mates. You will find hip Amsterdam here working their butts off. They have just opened their 2nd location in Amsterdam East because this one was fully booked with members. You’re always welcome to try one of their smoothie bowls though! www.vondelgym.nl


You will find Sarah in the Vondelgym

GOLLEM’S PROEFLOKAALOvertoom 160 – 162
Here it’s all about beers. Belgium and international beers to be exact. This cafe is one of 4 in Amsterdam and is perfect for after work drinks or beer tasting. On Mondays they host a pub quiz and on Saturdays you can enjoy live jazz music. www.cafegollem.nl

MARQT, Overtoom 21
It’s the organic supermarket where all the conscious and healthy people go to. Yes, the groceries taste better and you know where your food comes from but you will pay a fair bit more if you compare it to your usual supermarket. Bring your bankpass because they don’t accept cash. www.marqt.com

Marqt, Overtoom Amsterdam
Source: Marqt Facebook

CONSCIOUS HOTEL, Overtoom 519
A sustainable hotel that I love! Conscious hotels has been around for a few years and was one of the first hotels to set the bar when it comes to sustainability. They use led lights, no cash policy, the tables in your r oom are made from recycled coffee cup holders and the energy they use to power the hotel comes from renewable sources. Everything has pretty much been designed to be kind to the planet. Saying this, it’s also got a hip, contemporary feel to it. Book you room here and find out.

DISH GLOBAL KITCHEN, Overtoom 255
Worlds come together at Global Kitchen. Here you can try different sandwiches, quiches and salads from all different continents. I really should go here more often. Even if it’s just for their cakes, yummie! www.dishglobalkitchen.nl

Dish Global Kitchen, Overtoom Amsterdam
Source: Global Kitchen

BOUNCESPACE, Overtoom 141
You will find an espresso bar (Lot Sixty One), a hairdresser (Bubblekid) and a interior company (MADE). Members have a working space upstairs. We love these creative spaces in Amsterdam! www.bouncespace.eu/amsterdam

COCO-MAT, Overtoom 91
A lovely store where you can find mattresses, pillows, towels and furniture made out of natural products. Their factory has a virtually neutral carbon footprint and recycling reach 96{8b669be72a7f340f9ef2d6d852585cd40ddf0e79ccf763f3ea93c1234c3d888b}. www.coco-mat.com

Coco-mat Overtoom
Coco-Mat

What’s your favorite spot on the Overtoom, Amsterdam? Let us know in the comments below!

Love,

Elke

USA Roadtrip, part 2 » Los Angeles

Walk along the beautiful Venice Beach boardwalk, spot a movie star on Rodeo drive, go for luxury shopping in Beverly Hills, take a hike to see the famous Hollywood sign, have drinks & lunch in this cozy area Abbot Kinney or dance the night away in Hollywood Teddy’s; talking about Los Angeles!

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Top 5 » Wander Spots around the world

I have traveled a lot and one thing I love to do is walking around and find that piece that you keep with you for ever.
From luxury goods in London to quirky finds in Panama, to large shopping in New York,  I can easily wander away for hours or a whole day.

Hereby a few of my wander spots…

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