In this article, we will introduce you to the 9 most beautiful places in Antwerp Belgium. Everything there is very special and it’s very difficult to choose the most beautiful places in Antwerp. This historic city is the archetype of the bourgeois-merchant city of the Low Middle Ages.
The port of Antwerp is even the second largest commercial port in Europe after Rotterdam in the Netherlands! But above all, visiting Antwerp will be an opportunity to discover an exceptional architectural, historical and cultural heritage. Located in Flanders, Antwerp or Antwerpen in Flemish Region is the second most populated agglomeration in Belgium, after Brussels. It was thus the center of international trade and high finance throughout the 16th century. Let’s discover together the most beautiful places in Antwerp Belgium.
1. Museum on the river Antwerp
If you are planning to visit Antwerp, then know that the Museum de Stroom , also known as the MAS Museum, is undoubtedly one of the most interesting museums in the city. Because the MAS brings together superb maritime, folkloric and ethnographic collections as well as applied art and antiques from the city of Antwerp.
2. Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp
Not only did this masterpiece of architecture become the largest Gothic construction in the ancient Netherlands, but veritable treasures of artistic works adorned its interior, including works by Rubens The Raising of the Cross and the triptych Descent from the Cross.
In 1521, after 169 years of work, the cathedral finally culminated 123 meters above Antwerp. It is the largest Gothic building in the ancient Netherlands. One day in the year 1521, at the end of a construction period of 169 years, the cathedral of Antwerp finally dominated the city from its 123 meter bell tower.
3. Antwerp Zoo
Behind the central station, you will find the historic zoo of Antwerp, one of the most important in Belgium. Founded in 1843, the zoo is now home to more than 950 species from all over the world, such as penguins, felines and sea lions! It’s a great area to visit in Antwerp, whether at the start of your trip or at the end when you’ve tired of museums.
4. The Rubens House
The Rubens House , in Dutch the Rubenshuis, is the former home and studio of the painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Designed by the artist himself, it is inspired by Italian Renaissance palaces. Today, his house houses a museum, which brings together 17th century furniture, works by Rubens as well as his students and friends.
5. The Meir and the Meir Palace Antwerp
From the Central Station, passing by the Rubens House, stretches the wide avenue De Keyserlei, which will lead you to Le Meir, the largest shopping street in the city. You will find many small brands, large clothing stores and various shops, all housed in sublime historic buildings – which is the charm of these avenues.
6. The Plantin-Moretus Museum
This former printing press became a museum in 1877 and is even today listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Visiting it will allow you to discover old maps, some of the oldest presses in the world, an important library which even has a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, as well as some paintings by Rubens.
7. Grand Place (Selected as one of the most unique things to do in Antwerp)
Dating back to the 16th century, the Antwerp Market Square (Grote Markt in Dutch) is a must-see place to visit in Antwerp. It houses the second most emblematic monument of the city: the Town Hall, in Renaissance and Gothic style.
You can also admire the Brabo fountain on the square, with its statue of the legendary Roman soldier who killed a giant.
8. Het Steen Antwerp
It is the oldest building in Antwerp, built around the years 1200 – 1225. Its nickname “ Het Steen ” means “the rock”, because it was the first stone construction in the city! Amateur photographers can only appreciate this gigantic stone giant, and the astonishing statue that sits at its feet.
9. Antwerp Port House (by Zaha Hadid Architects)
Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects this building combines the existing historic fire station with a modern superstructure. It’s the headquarters of the Port Authority of Port of Antwerp-Bruges.
The interior is also well worth a visit. And the views are something else! If you like to visit the Port House, during office hours, you can take a no-obligation look around the ground floor. For more travel articles about Belgium check this category and for all articles about Europe check this list.
Most beautiful places in Antwerp Belgium
- Museum on the river Antwerp
- Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp
- Antwerp Zoo
- The Rubens House
- The Meir and the Meir Palace Antwerp
- The Plantin-Moretus Museum
- Grand Place
- Het Steen Antwerp
- Antwerp Port House (by Zaha Hadid Architects)