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Belgium’s second city, Antwerp is one of the biggest cities in the Flanders region and worth a visit for anybody looking to enjoy a classically-European city break.
Like most of Belgium’s cities, Antwerp has pretty streets and stunning buildings, incorporating both classical and modern architecture. The streets of Antwerp also host a buzzing bar, café and restaurant scene which comes alive at night and transforms into a vibrant nightlife hub.
Antwerp also has a great artistic heritage, with some famous names having lived and worked there in the past including Peter Paul Rubens, whose 16th century baroque work earned the city the nickname “Rubens City”.
If you live in the north of England or Scotland, then our overnight crossings from Newcastle to Amsterdam are ideal. You’ll arrive at our IJmuiden port early in the morning, refreshed and relaxed, with a drive of just over 2 hours to Antwerp.
Grote Markt square is the heart of the old town. From the square, sample some Belgium beer at one of the many terrace bars whilst surrounded by the stunning architecture of the Town Hall, Houses of Guilds and Cathedral of Our Lady. In the middle of the square you’ll also find the Brabo Fountain.
Antwerp is slowly becoming a European capital of fashion, thanks to the success of young Flemish designers. Just off the main shopping strip of Meir, you can find a fantastic fashion district with a range of boutique offerings, and a diamond district with excellent jewellers. Fashion fans should check out the MoMu museum, which exhibits a collection of clothing, lace, embroidery, fabrics and artisan textile processing tools.
Peter Paul Rubens is one of Antwerp’s most famous sons, and the house that he spent the latter part of his life in is a key tourist attraction for the city.