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Antwerp

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 Market SquareAntwerp Market Square
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Antwerp Market Square

antwerp Travel Guide :

Antwerp

Understand

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, ...

Antwerp

Get in

Antwerp

By plane

  • Antwerp airport, ANR, 1 (http://www.antwerpairport.be). There are very few airlines serving this airport. There is a regular bus to the centre, and a taxi costs around 10 Euros.
  • Every hour there is a direct bus from and to the national airport Zaventem (Brussels), it costs 8 Euro, and has two stops in Antwerp, at Hotel Crowne Plaza and in the city centre, in front of Central Station. Taking the train from Zaventem is also an option to arrive in Antwerp. (tickets at around 4 euro, change trains in Brussels-North)
Antwerp

By train

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

By bus

Antwerp has a Eurolines office 2 (http://www.eurolines.be) with busses coming from all over Europe (and a bit more sometimes).

Antwerp

By car

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)

Antwerp

Get around

Antwerp

Districts

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

Antwerp

Public transportation

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.

Antwerp

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.

Antwerp

Bicycle

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.

Bicycles can be rented at several places in town like ligfiets (http://www.ligfiets.be), windroos (http://www.touristram.be/windroos.asp) or Fietsdokter (verschransingsstraat).

Antwerp

On foot

Try it. Antwerp is relatively small and offers many small things to see. You can get maps from various information points over town.

Antwerp

See

  • Aquatopia, 3 (http://www.aquatopia.be/).
Antwerp

North of Antwerp

  • Rubenshuis (http://museum.antwerpen.be/rubenshuis/index_eng.html): Rubens' house is now a museum of his life and artwork.
  • Plantin Moretus museum (http://museum.antwerpen.be/plantin_moretus/index_eng.html): the home of 16th century bookbinder and printer Christoffel Plantin
  • One of the oldest zoos (http://www.zooantwerpen.be) in the world, with over 4000 animals and lots of 19th century design and architecture.
Antwerp

South of Antwerp

Since the restoration a couple of years ago, the south of the city is known as the trendy part.

  • MUHKA (http://www.muhka.be/index.php?la=en&date=&id=&subbase=&jaartal=&jaargang=&letter=&person_id=&work_id=) : museum of contemporary art
  • Fotography museum (http://www.fotomuseum.be/) : renovated in 2004
  • Fine Arts Museum (http://http://museum.antwerpen.be/kmska/) : Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten boasts of an excellent collection of paintings from the 15th century right up to the 20th century. The museum's permanant collection has masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Van Brueghels, Van Eyck, Anton Van Dyke, Jacob Jordaens and James Esnor to name a few.
  • Zuiderpershuis (http://www.zuiderpershuis.be/) is located on the "kaaien" and is a center for intercultural art.
  • Het muntplein, a place where grafiti artists can make artworks without being chased by police. There are often very nice things and there are grafiti contests on regular bases.
Antwerp

Do

  • Simple boat trips around the city.
  • Take a tour of the port of Antwerp. One of the largest in the world.
  • Visit the city with the official guides (http://www.visitantwerpen.be).
  • Take a tour of the places where tourists don't often come with Antwerpen Averechts (http://www.antwerpenaverechts.be/).
  • In summer there is the Zomer van Antwerpen (http://www.zva.be/) (summer of Antwerp) an event that takes places during the whole summer in the whole city. Cheap or free activities such as dancing, theather, performances, circ and much more are organised. Reserving is often a must (specially on free activities)
Antwerp

Buy

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

Learn

Antwerp has several highschools (college) and a university. Some of them are

  • UA (http://www.ua.ac.be) University of Antwerp.
  • HA (http://www.ha.be) Hogeschool Antwerpen
  • Lessius Hogeschool
  • Plantijn Hogeschool
  • KdG Karel de Grote Hogeschool
Antwerp

Eat

Antwerp

Any time

  • As most Flemish towns, you can find many fritkotten in the city. These are places where you can buy french fries and other fried food for a reasonable price. They usually have no place to sit so you must eat standing.
  • Pitta/Shoarma: these shops are often open through the day and are the last ones to close.
Antwerp

Lunch

  • People often go eat a "smos", a bread with several layers of garniture in it. The name refers to the mess you make when trying to eat it. You can find them in several stores like Panos (http://www.panos.be) or foodmaker (http://www.foodmaker.be). The most famous "smoskes" acording to students are found at "Jean-Pierre". You can find it opposite of the university (Grote Kauwenberg 41).
Antwerp

Diner

  • De Keyserlei is a street with a varied choice of restaurants.
  • Da Giovani (http://www.dagiovanni.be) is a very cheap italian restaurant. It is very popular among students because of their 20% discount. It is not high cuisine, but decent. It is located between the Groenplaats and the Cathedral.
  • The Hilton hotel has a restaurant where you can eat. It is located on the Groenplaats.
  • De wok en het tafeldier is a show-restaurant serving wok-food. It is prepared in front of you by cooks in a spectacular ways. It's an all you can eat buffet with very reasonable prices (22 euros per person at the end of 2004) It is located in the south of Antwerp
  • Govinda's garden (Amerikalei 184) is the restaurant of the Krishnas. They serve healthy macrobiotic food for a small price. Only open in the evenings.
Antwerp

Drink

  • 't Waagstuk. A famous Belgian Beer Cafe
  • Berlin trendy place to be in the centre of town
  • De Muze, a jazz café located in Melkmarkt. Relaxed atmosphere, and live (jazz) music played in a regular basis. Beyond typical Belgian beers, coffee lovers can enjoy a true Italian Expresso or, if willing to drink something bigger, a "Koffie Vertreek".
  • In the Paeters Vaetje, in the Cathedral Square, you can order more than one hundred different kinds of beer. In summertime you can also sit outside.
  • De Pelgrom a cafe that is located in an old underground storage place. They have a medieval touch as decoration. (Pelgrimsstraat)
Antwerp

Clubs

  • De Cinema, 4 (http://www.decinema.be/). Very popular among students
  • Boozoo.
  • Café D'Anvers, 5 (http://www.cafe-d-anvers.com).
  • Petrol, 6 (http://www.5voor12.com/petrol).
Antwerp

Specialities

  • De Koninck (commonly called "Bolleke"), beer brewed in Antwerp.
  • Antwerpse handjes: Little biscuits or chocolates in the shape of a hand. Invented by a jewish backer in 1932.
  • Elixir d'Anvers: a liquor based on plants.
  • Clothes designed by the Antwerp Six (Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dries Van Noten (http://www.driesvannoten.be/), Marina Yee en Dirk Van Saene)


Antwerp

Sleep

  • Scoutel, 7 (http://www.scoutel.be). A scouting youth hostel that is open to everyone and offers affordable accommodations in the center of the city, just around the corner of the central train station.
  • Camping Vogelzang, (Vogelzanglaan 7-9). Located at 10 minutes by tram from the hart of the city and perfect for low-budget travelers.
  • Boomerang, 8 (http://www.boomeranghostel.be). A hostel close to the city center.
  • Heksenketel, 9 (http://www.heksenketel.com). A hostel close to the city center.


Antwerp

Contact

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).

  • 2Zones 10 (http://www.2zones.be) has a very good service. they ask 4,5 euro an hour but you can do everything you might need to do (printing, scanning, cd-burning, reading camera's, ...)
  • Poolplanet 11 (http://www.poolplanet.com) 6 computers, 1 euro for half an hour. Printing is possible.
  • In the library you can have internet for pretty cheap. Many options are disabled and printing is not possible.
Antwerp

Get out

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.

Antwerp

Belgium

  • Bruges: Very nice old town. Often called "Venice of the North" because of the many rivers that flow through and under it.
  • Brussels: The capital of Belgium.
  • Ghent: a medieval town.

Getting to Wallonia is also very easy from Flanders.

Antwerp

The Netherlands

  • Amsterdam: You can take a direct train to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. There is about one train an hour and it will take you about one and a half hour to get there.Amsterdam is well-known for it's grachten, many bicycles and cofeeshops.
  • Zeeland: where the Schelde reaches the ocean. It's about one hour by train and you will have to change in the Netherlands.
Antwerp

France

  • Lille: is very famous among others for having a the largest bookstore in Europe ("Le furet du Nord"). Lille is in the French part of Flanders. The trainride is pretty long (over 2 hours) making it less easy for a daytrip.

The dutch name is Rijsel and the town is not to be confused with another flemish town called Lille in Dutch!

  • Paris: With the Thalys you can be there in about two hours.
Antwerp

Stay safe

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.

Antwerp

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