In winter, Antwerp belongs on everyone’s bucket list. Here are 7 good reasons why you should head to Antwerp and enjoy all the delights of this picture-perfect winter destination.
1. A culinary capital
Antwerp is home to 174 different nationalities and the proof is in the pudding, or in any event in the food on your plate. Streetfood and Michelin-star restaurants, fun pubs and trendy coffee bars, world-renowned chocolate makers and award-winning cocktail shakers, Moroccan couscous bars and Jewish restaurants: you can find all this and more in Antwerp!
2. Winter in Antwerp
From 8 December 2018 until 6 January 2019, Antwerp welcomes you to a magical winter wonderland. Take a stroll through the lovely Christmas market, or a ride in the giant ferris wheel. How about a spin on the covered ice-skating rink or why not hop on a tube and cruise down the tubing hill? Follow the Christmas lights and enjoy a piping hot drink in one of the many winter bars after your fun-filled day of adventures. New Year’s Eve in our city? Head to the river quays on 31 December for the amazing fireworks display.
3. Visit the masters in their own homes
Winter is the perfect time to visit a museum. Why not choose a classic, like the Rubens House? Or explore something new, like the Heritage Library with its imposing Nottebohm Room? Don’t forget to visit the impressive Christmas manger and see the magnificent garlands in Museum Plantin-Moretus.
4. Diamond capital
For over 500 years, Antwerp has been the diamond capital of the world. 84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all polished diamonds pass through the city. The new DIVA diamond experience centre is situated in the historic city centre and is the perfect place to discover the dazzling world of diamonds, jewellery and silversmithing.
5. Shopping 7 days a week
Shopping in Antwerp is always a fun experience thanks to the many leading fashion houses, trendy shops, small and independent shops and innovative concept stores. A bonus: they’re all within walking distance of each other. Need to warm up indoors? Then walk over to the city’s Festival Hall, with its glass and gilded cupola. The shops are open seven days a week in December. Yes, this means also on Sunday.
6. City on the river
Explore the city and the river that runs through it from the panoramic roof terrace of the MAS Museum. Or take the free ferry to Linkeroever for a winter walk and a dish of steaming mussels. The stunning view of Antwerp’s skyline is thrown in for free.
7. Joie de vivre
The people of Antwerp love life. So why not follow their example and sample all the goodness our city has to offer? Head to a traditional pub and sip a beer at the bar like the locals. Order a Bolleke and then visit the De Koninck brewery where you can see how this beer is produced. A hankering for some sweet treats? Then taste the heavenly chocolates of our famous chocolate makers or have an Antwerps Handje biscuit with your coffee. Get all the energy and appetite you need to discover even more of Antwerp.