Posted by: Kristie | September 18, 2009

Antwerp Snapshot

Traveled Sept. 9-11, 2009

Our Observations/Info

  • It was much larger than I expected. All I knew about Antwerp prior to the trip is that it’s a trade center for diamonds. I was picturing a large town, where it was a small city.

  • Antwerp has a really great fashion district. Stores are everywhere from major chains to quaint boutiques to local couture.

  • It was my favorite Belgian city. It’s a great size, small enough to be walkable, but big enough where it offers a lot. It just has a really good vibe.

How We Got Around

  • Train from Brugge to Antwerp – €13/person

  • Taxi to the apartment – €10; walked back to the train station

  • Once in the city, walked everywhere.

Where We Slept

Sleep in the City Apartments
Contact: Bert Verschueren
€120/night
Highly Recommend
Renting an apartment really is the best way to feel like a local. See our post on the apartment for more info and pics.

+/-

  • Great location. Easy walking distance to the majority of the city, but we felt like we were in a neighborhood, not in a touristy area.

  • Still felt like we were experiencing the city even when we were in the apartment. We’d open the windows and hear the traffic, the people walking down the street. It helped to feel connected even when we were relaxing inside.

  • Uber-cool design – all white and gold, unique and authentic space.

  • Small kitchen had all the necessities: stovetop, fridge, coffee, tea, microwave

  • No keys! Everything was coded so we didn’t have to carry keys around.

  • Possible negative: no people to chat with like you would have at a hotel/B&B. This was fine for us, but if you like that, then an apartment may not be for you.

Where We NomNom’d

  • ‘t Oud Arsenaal– Located near the Ruben’s House, this was a quaint pub with a good selection of beers.
  • Kulminator – Since it’s listed in every single travel book we saw, you would think this place would be more busy. Super quaint and run by an adorable couple, the place has a relaxed atmosphere with a mix of locals and tourists. They are known for their cellared beers.

  • Located in the Grote Markt area, we also hit up Pater’s Vaetje.

  • Barto Recommended by the beer book, this place was located by Oude Arsenal. Good selection of food, including salads, which was nice. Also a good spot for people watching.
  • Berlin – We chose this place because it was around the corner from our apartment and it looked inviting. Filled with people getting after-work drinks/apps. The food was decent in both taste and price, but I wouldn’t necessarily go out of your way to find it.

  • Takeaway shops – There seemed to be a lot more small take-away stores/cafes than the other Belgium cities. Selection ranged from min-quiches to salads to sandwiches. This was handy and a lot cheaper than sitting down for a meal.

What We Did

  • We didn’t do a whole lot in Antwerp. We walked around the fashion district, Grote Market and the waterfront. We didn’t make it over to the diamond district, which sounded interesting. We enjoyed just walking around and seeing what the city had to offer, plus we liked hanging out in the apartment and just listening, with the big windows open, to the street sounds.

What We Bought

  • Scarf – €12

  • Mussels pot (from the grocery store, not at a tourist shop) – €4

Check out all of our photos at the Antwerp Gallery.

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