During my previous visits, I remembered Antwerp as a city of oysters. You can buy them at a stand at the Saturday market and consume right there and accompany by cold white wine or champagne. This time I will remember Antwerpen as the city of fragrant linden and a city that was built on the river and has no bridges.
- Visit and see what they are going to open in Het Steen (remainders of the medieval castle). Maybe by the time of your visit, the city will finish the renovation and you will see the beautiful quay and tourist information point in the castle. This place was originally a castle, then a prison, museum, children cultural center and now it will be something new.
- Get under the ground in the museum De Ruien. The walk in the underground city in rubber boots and in 15 C no matter what is the season will be unforgettable. Rats and darkness will be there as well.
- Find the medieval courtyard in the center of Antwerp (Vlaeykensgang street, entrance new Popoff restaurant). You will get to know the story of architect and entrepreneur Alex Vervoordt. He was walking in Antwerpen in 1969 and saw forgotten old houses, bought them, renovated them and this way preserved the memory of 15-16 centuries, right in the centre of the city.
- Visit St Paul’s Church that is only open 3 hours a day. The church belonged to Dominicans. It worth a visit because of four paintings of Rubens and Calvary that are outside the church (see the photo below).
- Walk the tunnel under the River Scheldt. The city has no bridge but has walking and cycling tunnel under the river. You can get down there using escalators that are partially made of wood.
- Go to a museum. Almost in every city, there is at least one museum worth visiting. In Antwerpen, you can visit Butcher’s Hall which is, in reality, musical instruments museum and looks like a church actually, a new museum on the river MaS (Museum aan de Stroom), Plantin-Moretus of book printers, chocolate museum (Chocolat Nation) or the Rubens House.
- Have a dinner or a special beer in Elfde gebod. This restaurant has everything: sacred icons, sculptures from churches, history, funny name (“the eleventh commandment”) and it’s own beer called the same way.
It is important that you try Antwerpen beer de Koninck and red chocolate that came on the surface just a couple of years ago (called ‘ruby’ chocolate).