Antwerp, a captivating city in Belgium, is a vibrant hub of culture, history, and commerce. Nestled along the Scheldt River, this port city has a rich maritime heritage that dates back to the Middle Ages. As one of Europe’s most important ports, Antwerp is a bustling metropolis that exudes an air of cosmopolitan elegance while retaining its old-world charm. The city is renowned for its stunning architecture, with a juxtaposition of medieval facades and modern skyscrapers.
Walking through its cobbled streets, visitors are enchanted by majestic cathedrals, picturesque squares, and lively markets. Antwerp is also celebrated as the global diamond capital, boasting a thriving diamond district that attracts traders and connoisseurs from around the world. Beyond its economic significance, the city offers a thriving arts scene, with world-class museums and galleries showcasing the works of Flemish masters like Rubens and van Dyck. This captivating blend of history, art, commerce, and architectural marvels makes Antwerp an alluring destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable European experience.
The best time to visit Antwerp is during the late spring (April to June) or early autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild and pleasant, and there are fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months. However, Antwerp has something to offer year-round, so it ultimately depends on your preferences and what activities or events you’d like to experience during your visit.
The currency used in Antwerp, Belgium, is the Euro (€).
One of the standout dishes is “moules-frites,” a beloved Belgian classic featuring mussels cooked in a flavorful broth and served with crispy golden fries. Another iconic dish is “stoofvlees,” a tender beef stew slowly cooked in beer, resulting in a hearty and comforting meal. Belgian waffles, both the Brussels and Liege varieties, are a must-try, topped with a variety of delicious toppings like chocolate, fruit, or whipped cream.
Chocolate is a quintessential part of Belgian cuisine, and you’ll find an array of mouthwatering pralines and artisanal chocolates to indulge in. “Speculoos,” spiced biscuits typically served with coffee, and “Belgian fries” served with various sauces are other favorites.
Antwerp’s culinary scene also embraces a diverse range of international cuisines due to its cosmopolitan nature. You can find excellent Italian pasta, French-inspired brasseries, sushi bars, and more, catering to various tastes and preferences.
In Belgium, including Antwerp, tipping is not obligatory but is generally appreciated as a gesture of good service. Unlike some other countries, tipping is not automatically added to the bill, and it’s entirely at the customer’s discretion.
If you receive good service at a restaurant, it’s common to leave a tip of around 5% to 10% of the total bill. You can also simply round up the bill to the nearest euro as a token of appreciation. In bars and cafes, it’s common to leave some small change as a tip.
Antwerp offers an efficient public transportation system with trams and buses connecting major attractions and neighborhoods. The city’s Central Station serves as a railway hub for easy travel. Bicycles are popular for eco-friendly exploration, while taxis and ride-sharing services provide convenience. Boat tours offer a unique perspective. The walkable city center allows for easy discovery of hidden gems.