A weekend in Antwerp

A few weekends ago, in need of a change of scenery, my boyfriend and I took the train south to Belgium. Antwerp is just over a two-hour train ride from Amsterdam making it the ideal place for a little getaway. We stayed in a quirky Airbnb place right in the centre with a rooftop overlooking the clock tower of the famous Cathedral of Our Lady which was rather spectacular! We couldn’t have asked for a better location or a more friendly host who sent us out into Antwerp with plenty of local knowledge and excellent tips. We spent Saturday and Sunday exploring and, of course, sampling plenty of Belgium beer. Here’s a few places I recommend checking out if you’re visiting the city for a couple of days.

Antique Shops — Kloosterstraat, Antwerp
We managed to find antique shoppers paradise on Kloosterstraat and spent a hour or two dipping in and out of stores bursting with goodies from times gone by. They weren’t particularly cheap for a bargain hunter like myself but there was some really cool and interesting stuff.

Antique shop on Kloosterstraat in Antwerp

Dansing Chocola — Kloosterstraat 159, 2000 Antwerp
As soon as I saw the pretty exterior of this bar I fell in love and promptly hopped over the road and inside for a beer. The interior did not disappoint boasting mismatched vintage furniture, bare-brick walls and an adorable mezzanine level. There was a warm and cosy atmosphere along with a excellent choice of beers and a recommendations board, perfect if you’re a beer novice like myself!

Dansing Chocola Antwerp

Billie’s Beer Kafétaria — Kammenstraat 12 (at Bergstraat), 2000 Antwerp
We spent our Saturday night in this friendly little beer bar and left suitably tipsy after sampling a few of the stronger beers from the extensive menu. The guy (who I assumed was the owner) was super knowledgable and happy to advise us on beers we might like and even tell us how and where they were made. There was even a french bulldog wondering around, an adorable bar mascot, who was a delightful addition to the evening.

Billie's Antwerp

Museum aan de Stroom — Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerp
We didn’t actually look round the museum but a top tip we got from our Airbnb host was to go to the free terrace at the top and enjoy the views of the city. I always like to try and get to the higher points in a city to get a different perspective and from here you can see the whole of Antwerp with the cathedral dominating the skyline and the river winding through.

One word of warning if visiting Antwerp for the weekend, lots of the city’s cafes, bars and shops are closed on a Sunday so use this day to visit a museum or gallery. Have you visited Antwerp and if so what were your highlights?

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