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A Weekend in Antwerp

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Antwerp is the beating heart of Flemish Belgium and deserves at least a weekend of exploration. Here is great food, fascinating history, stunning architecture, and a bit of quirky fun.
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Vrijdagmarkt 22-23, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
I'll be the first to admit, a museum of printing didn't sound terribly exciting to me, at first. Antwerp Belgium's Plantin-Moretus Museum certainly changed my mind. This is the only museum on the UNESCO World Heritage list and the recognition is...
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Antwerp, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium
Traveling by train can be a wonderful way to explore Belgium. A few of the country's train stations are destinations in and of themselves. Antwerp's Centraal (or Central) Station is one of the prettiest. Renovations and expansion have restored the...
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Koningin Astridplein 20-26, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
With its super-convenient location, right beside Antwerp's central train station, there's no excuse not to visit the Antwerp Zoo. The zoo is very well maintained despite its age (circa 1853) and city-centre location. The animal habitats are...
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Steenplein 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Although the statue looks like a couple of guys teasing Lange Wapper about his unfortunate nickname, it's actually the giant teasing a couple of drunks! Lange Wapper, who stands in front of Het Steen castle on the Antwerp river, is a part of local...
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Cogels-Osylei, 2600 Antwerpen, Belgium
Just a few minutes walk from Antwerp, Belgium's Berchem train station, is one of the city's most beautiful neighbourhoods, the Zurenbourg. A handful of streets form the 'Golden Triangle' an area famous for its Art Nouveau and rival architecture....
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Doel, 9130 Beveren, Belgium
If you're up for a unique and slightly strange experience, head to the abandoned town of Doel, near Antwerp, to view some incredible street art. The town of Doel has been mostly abandoned, although there are a few stubborn folk who refuse the...
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Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp's St. Anna tunnel takes pedestrians and bicyclists under the Scheldt River. While the view from the other side of the river can be nice at sunset, even more interesting are the 1930s wooden escalators that take pedestrians down to the...
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Kammenstraat 81, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Imagine listening to classical music while surrounded by the art and architecture of a former Augustine monastery. At the AMUZ concert hall in Antwerp, Belgium, you can do just that. AMUZ is home to the Laus Polyphoniea concert series each summer....
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18, Komedieplaats, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
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Even if you aren't hungry, it's worth stopping for a drink at the stunningly beautiful De Foyer cafe in Antwerp. You'll feel like royalty under the magnificent dome of the the 19th century Bourla Theater . The stained-glass, rich velvet curtains...
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Meir, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Antwerp, like the rest of Belgium, is full of friteries or frituurs. One of the best in this Flemish city is Frituur No. 1, located at #1 Hoogstraat, which is just a short walk from the main square.
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Siberiastraat, 2030 Antwerpen, Belgium
As the Flemish name, Het Pomphuis, suggests, this restaurant is in what was once a pumping station in Antwerp's docklands area. These days, the neighbourhood is becoming a trendy place to see and be seen and Het Pomphuis is where locals go to eat....
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Korte Nieuwstraat 24, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Located in a pair of centuries-old Flemish townhouses in the center of town, Hotel Julien epitomizes Antwerp today: traditional on the outside, cutting-edge modern on the inside. Antwerp has the chic feeling of a mini Paris. Korte Nieuwstraat 24,...
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Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Sleeping Around is a new hotel concept combining three popular travel trends: pop-up venues, shipping container architecture and crowdsourcing. Basically, Sleeping Around is a village of four hotel rooms, a dining/lounge container and a sauna...
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Antwerp, Belgium
I was lucky enough to visit Dominique Persoone's shop in Bruges and Antwerpen. I didn't know anything about Mr. Persoone's chocolates if it wasn't for our B&B hosts who kindly informed us that Mr. Persoone is only one of a handful pastry chefs...
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Appelmansstraat 5, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
Rumour has it that there are over 10,000 chocolate shops in Belgium, and that it would take a full 6 months to tour all of them. To this I say: challenge accepted. (Remind me to pack my stretchy pants) Eating chocolate is undoubtedly one of the...
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Keizerstraat 16, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Three 17th-century gabled homes were connected to create Antwerp’s quirkiest hotel, De Witte Lelie. Owners Ann and Bart Busschop stocked 11 rooms with such personal touches as paintings by the hotel’s night receptionist. Grab a drink at the...
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Meir 50, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Dominique Persoone calls himself a “shock-o-latier.” He lives up to the moniker at the Antwerp location of his Chocolate Line store. Persoone buys his cocoa beans on annual expeditions (to Peru and Mexico this year) and creates offbeat flavors—...
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Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
During Contemporary Fashion Days, in April and October, bargain fever takes over the city as designers slash prices on garments from the previous season. Let the event’s app guide you to the studios of such Belgian design pioneers as Dries Van...
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Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
The Museum aan de Stroom showcases the art and history of the city. The ultramodern exterior features glass and red sandstone bricks stacked like Tetris tiles near the Scheldt River. The exhibit “Happy Birthday Dear Academie” honors the 350-year...
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Montevideostraat 3, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
A lowly warehouse in Antwerp may not seem like a life-changing sort of place. However, this was the start of a completely new life for over 2 million emigrants and a lifesaver for many of them. The brand new Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp tells...