Not far from the Dutch boarder and just an hour drive from Rotterdam (NL) you’ll find one of my favorite cities: Antwerp, the city of Rubens, fashion & diamonds. This is the place to hunt for the best fashion items, jewels, shoes, design… Besides, Antwerp is also known for its majestic historical buildings, its authentic Flemish alleys, its gorgeous main square (Grote Markt), beautiful churches and other architectural gems. But let’s not forget to mention the famous Belgian chocolates! There are plenty of excellent chocolatiers scattered all over the city. An upcoming area that has become one of my favorite places in Antwerp is the quarter ”t Eilandje’. Here you can visit the impressive Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), a peaceful little harbour with cranes, boats and warehouses (housing restaurants and trendy bars). If you fancy nice events and good food, I can recommend the yearly gastronomic festival”Antwerpen Proeft”, music festivals, fashion shows, sport events and concerts at the Waagnatie, located at the river banks of t’Eilandje. Did I get your attention yet? Find out about my favorite spots in Antwerp below.
ANTWERP – BELGIUM
MY ORANGE SPOTS
THE CHOCOLATE LINE BY DOMINIQUE PERSOONE
Get ready to taste one of the best chocolates in the world! ‘Shock-o-latier’ Dominique Persoone produces the finest chocolate with a fairtrade label and adds the most exotic and unthinkable flavours to his Belgian pralines. Think of chocolates with bacon, wasabi, cauliflower, weed, exotic fruits and much more. Dominique Persoone opened his first store in Bruges and his second in Antwerp. The shop in Antwerp at the Meir street is quite unique: situated in a beautiful building with a stunning decoration. When visiting the shop, don’t forget to walk to the back to take a glance of his chocolate atelier and chocolate art.
Address: The Chocolate Line – Antwerpen, Paleis op de Meir 50
I once visited Antwerp on a rainy Sunday morning. Luckily, I bumped into Normo Coffee, a very cosy coffeeshop with great coffee in a nice setting. The ‘barrista’s’ are very kind and know everything you need to know about coffee. Many local’s come here to chat or read a newspaper.
Address: Minderbroedersrui 30
HENDRIK CONSCIENCE SQUARE
This beautiful square is a hidden gem that is definitely worth a visit. Not only because of its location (tourists barely come here), but also because of the nice terraces where you can enjoy a nice Belgian beer and the view on a charming baroque church (Carolus Borromeus).