Looking for a new area to explore in Antwerp? Or are you looking for a guide to explore the city and make the most out of it? Where are those cool stores and hip lunchrooms to spend the afternoon while you watch the people passing by?
Antwerp is an energetic city and a perfect destination to do some shopping and wandering around. The city has several antique markets and many awesome boutiques to look for the perfect bargain to top of your day.
The ‘Meir’ is the main shopping area and the place where all the big stores and established popular brands are located. This is where you would go, to do your big shopping for the next season. As fun as this would be; It is not the most interesting area to stroll around and shop for that unique piece.
This also goes for a great place to go out for lunch or to enjoy a drink on one of the many terraces. Antwerp has many cool and hip areas to discover and see a new aspect of this always-changing city.
We will give you an idea which neighbourhoods are the best places to visit when staying in Antwerp for a day (or more).
One of the most vibrant places in Antwerp is the former docks of the city. This neighboorhood is behind the ‘Schipperkwartier’ which used to have a slightly shady reputation because of its red-light district (a small area is still located here). Now you will find multiple hip restaurants and bars to enjoy the view over the river the Schelde.
Pop-up initiatives of all kinds are located in containers located on the docks. Always a fun thing to check out. Be sure to go up on the Museum Mas for a panoramic view over the city. You can enter this part of the museum for free and it is a perfect place to watch the sun go down together with your loved ones.
Our food tips are all tested and approved upon by ourselves. We suggest eating at the Burgerij for some fresh and very delicious burgers of your taste. Also for a vegetarian, you will get a juice and tasty burger.
Or go to Otomat. They make pizzas from the yeast of the Belgium beer Duvel as a base for their pizza dough. The pizza toppings are not the traditional ones, but they are very tasty and healthy. They have a beer suggestion for every pizza on the menu to make your meal complete.
Felixpackhuis is a restaurant located in an old warehouse. They serve quality food made with local ingredients. Especially the lunch sitting on the terrace in front of the building, looking over the harbour, is a real pleasure.
The Quartier Latin
The theatre Quartier Latin in Antwerp owns its name from the Theatre which is located here. It has many stately mansions and finely decorated buildings. In this part, you can find the serval theatres to check out a comedy or an international theatre productions.
Here you will find the best antique shops and boutiques if you go in the streets behind the main shopping area the ‘Meir’. The most expensive brands have their stores here and it breaths a kinda chicness into it. A great place to go out for a coffee in one of the trendy coffee bars and do some window shopping (at least that is the best for our wallet).
On Sunday the ‘Vogeltjes’ market is located near. Until noon you can look for your best secondhand bargain.
Balls and Glory is a food concept restaurant where they will serve mashed potatoes, vegetables with a signature meatball. This is a classic traditional dish served in a new way. Very tasty and full of honest ingredients. Well worth a try if you are up for a local dish.
This part is the fashion part of the city as the museum of fashion is located here. It has many interesting galleries and antique stores to nose around for a bargain or two to take home. Several cartoon artpieces are painted on the walls of some of the buildings. It is a great place to look for some awesome murals.
You will also find the pedestrian tunnel called ‘Voetgangers’ tunnel in Sint Andries. It is a fun way to walk under the river the Scheldt to the other side, called ‘Linkeroever’, of Antwerp.
A typical working-class district and the place to look for vintage items.
Poule & Poulette is the place to go to if you are craving some delicious and juicy chicken. They serve the best grilled chicken in Antwerp. A classic working-class meal in a new guise.
Loa is serving the best streetfood from all different kind of continents. Everything they serve is freshly made and served with love. The Pad Tai is our favourite for some years now and it is always comforting.
Our last tip for a cool and trendy neighbourhood is the district ‘t Zuid. Trendy restaurants and hip bars are a typical thing in this area. It is the artistic area of Antwerp. If you are looking for the next cool coffee bar or a place to lunch, this is your area!
Coffee & Vinyl bar is a cool coffee bar where you can snoop into secondhand Vinyl. For us a perfect way to drink coffee and look for some new music.
We hope to have inspired you to visit Antwerp and look for a new view of the city in one of these neighbourhoods. Antwerp has so much more to offer than the main shopping streets. It is a diamond in the rough. You have to see the potential and beauty underneath.
Lots of love from Angelique and Carlo
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