What are the highlights of Antwerp?
Located in northern Belgium, Antwerp is a city with the second-largest port in Europe (just after the Dutch city of Rotterdam). In the Middle Ages, it was a thriving European scientific, cultural and economic centre, which changed during the wars with the Spaniards – many residents decided then to move to Amsterdam. Today, Antwerp is popular with tourists from all over the world for its many attractions – its religious buildings, beautiful Market Square, mediaeval castle and excellent museums. Find out what Antwerp has to offer and which places are worth visiting.
Antwerp – what is worth seeing during a trip?
In the very centre of the city lies the Grote Markt, or Antwerp Market Square, with its 16th-century townhouses and Renaissance Town Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the Market Square you will also find the famous Brabo Fountain, which depicts the Roman soldier Silvius Brabo throwing out the hand he chopped off the giant Druon Antigonus. Near the Grote Markt is the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary, built between the 14th and 16th centuries – it is 123 metres high which makes it one of the tallest religious buildings in the world. The Cathedral houses Rubens’ famous works: “Elevation of the Cross”, “Resurrection of Jesus” and “Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. Among Antwerp’s well-known religious buildings, we can also include St Paul’s Church and Charles Borromeo Church.
The oldest building in Antwerp is the mediaeval Het Steen Castle, built between 1200 and 1225, which is where the legendary giant Druon Antigoon, killed by Silvius Brabo, is said to have resided. From the 16th to the 19th century it housed a prison and today Het Steen is the cultural centre of the city. In Antwerp you will also find one of Europe’s most beautiful railway stations. Antwerpen-Centraal is a turn-of-the-century building that is sometimes referred to as the Railway Cathedral because of its appearance. Definitely a place to see!
Antwerp is also a paradise for painting lovers. If you are one of them, be sure to visit the Rubens Museum, located in the famous painter’s house, which he himself designed. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is also worth a visit – its collection includes works by Peter Paul Rubens, Frans Hals, Antoine van Dyck, Jan Brueghel the Elder and many other artists. Another important object in Antwerp is the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, where we can admire, among others, Peter Brueghel the elder’s ‘Dulle Griet’, the ‘Bruges Madonna’ or the ‘Breviary of Mayer van den Bergh’.
Free walking tour – Antwerp with a professional guide
Want to explore one of Belgium’s most popular cities? Take a free walking tour of Antwerp with Walkative! Wondering how much it costs? A free walking tour has no predetermined price – it is you who price the work, passion and commitment of our guide. All you have to do is book through our website and turn up at the meeting place on the date of your choice. Free tour is a great offer for couples, families, small groups of friends and individual tourists who want to explore Antwerp with an experienced local guide. If you value first-hand knowledge, come along on our free walking tour! Antwerp is just one of several Belgian cities that you can explore together with Walkative! Our guides are also active in places like Ghent, Bruges and Brussels.