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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in antwerp
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Antwerp (Antwerpen), is a major destination of Belgium in the region of Flanders. Antwerp claims to be the "world's leading diamond city". It has every right to claim this, as more than 70% of all diamonds are traded in Antwerp. More than 85% of the world?s rough diamonds, 50% of cut diamonds and 40% of industrial diamonds are traded in the city.
Antwerp is a very old city. There have been excavations from the Gallo-Roman times. It's name probably comes from "aan de werpe", which is Dutch for "at the throw" referring to where the river throws its sand. The name also has a funny anecdote saying it comes from "Hand werpen", which translated is "throwing hand". In the official flag, the castle "het Steen" and the hand of Antwerp are shown.
Antwerp has a very active music scene with several bands that have had at least some international fame. Examples are De Mens, dEus, Zita Swoon, Camden, Daan, El Tattoo Del Tigre, ...
There are good train connections from and to the national airport Zaventem (Brussels). International trains from France and The Netherlands (Thalys) stop in Antwerp- central (during the re-make of the station many international trains stop in Antwerpen-Berchem). To plan your trip you can consult the website of the NMBS (http://www.nmbs.be) for national and international travels.
Antwerp has a Eurolines office 2 (http://www.eurolines.be) with busses coming from all over Europe (and a bit more sometimes).
In 2004-2005 and probably a big part of 2006 many streets are interrupted. Works on the ring around Antwerp have caused many problems, but those works are at their end. Inside Antwerp, the main road ("de Leien") are still undergoing a rebuilding. It may be suitable to leave your car on the outside of Antwerp and enter the city on your own (by public transport for example)
Amandus Atheneum, Brederode, Dam Eilandje, Diamant Stadspark, Haringrode Zurenborg, Justitie Harmonie, Kiel, Linkeroever, Schoonbroek Luchtbal, Stadhuis St. Jacob Hessenhuis, St. Andries Bourla, Stuivenberg, Tentoonstelling Den Brandt, Zuid Museum
The public transportation company De Lijn (http://www.delijn.be) has a dense network of bus, tram and pre-metro connections in the city and wide area around it. You can buy cards of 10 euros at fixed points in town, or buy them inside buses. If you don't have a card you pay more inside the bus. The prices vary around one euro for one and a half hour transportation only limited in distance. The central public transportation point is the Franklin Roosevelt plaats near the central trainstation. Most busses leave from there or from the trainstation.
The trams and pre-metro (underground tram) also cross through the whole town.
Taxi and cars
Taxis are available too, but quite expensive. They await customers at specific locations around town (waving your hand will seldom work) like the Groenplaats or the railway station. You can recognize these places by an orange TAXI sign The prices are fixed in the taximeter. If you go out to party, you can buy a TOV ticket: Taxi en Openbaar Vervoer. It costs 50 cent more, but you get a two euro reduction on the taxi price.
Driving in Antwerp is not as difficult as many big cities in the world but crossroads can seem very chaotic for foreigners. There are few free parking spaces but many spaces where you have to pay (on the street or on underground parkings). Underground parkings are well-indicated. The prices vary around 2 euros per hour.
There are many one-way roads, that can make it difficult to get to a specific place. Try parking your car as close as possible and go on foot.
The city has many special areas for cyclers and most 1-way roads can be accessed in both ways for cycles. It's very easy and comfortable. Make sure to lock your bike to a fixed object or the bike will be stolen! Around town there are a few places that are specialy prepared for hosting bicycles for free like at the Groenplaats.
Try it. Antwerp is relatively small and offers many small things to see. You can get maps from various information points over town.
North of Antwerp
South of Antwerp
Since the restoration a couple of years ago, the south of the city is known as the trendy part.
At Ploegstraat 25 you can find a give-away shop, where you can bring and take stuff as you please, without any monetary interaction. Open Mondays to Fridays from 14:00 to 18:00.
The main shopping area is the Meir a street that stretches out from the Keyserlei (close to the central station) to the Groenplaats. It is one of the most famous shopping streets in Belgium.
If you're wealthy enough, you can buy a diamond in one of the many shops around the Central station.
Antwerp has several highschools (college) and a university. Some of them are
There are many places in Antwerp with unprotected WAP access. If you have a portable computer with wireless internet, you can always take a ride on those networks. Some cafés have wireless internet too with prices around 5 euro for an hour. A grab in the possibilities: Café Zurich (Verlatstraat 2), Bozart (Leopold De Waelplaats) and Ultimatum (Grote Markt 8).
Since Flanders (and Belgium) is not big, it's very easy to take the train and go visit another city. It's very well possible to make a daytrip to every city. Try to organise yourself beforehand because finding good information can sometimes be difficult.
Getting to Wallonia is also very easy from Flanders.
The dutch name is Rijsel and the town is not to be confused with another flemish town called Lille in Dutch!
Most parts of Antwerp are pretty safe. Some neighbourhoods are to be avoided in the evening. All touristic areas are safe at night. The warnings that are used in every city have to be observed here too of course.