Known for its diamond industry (a majority of the world's diamonds pass through Antwerp's Diamond Quarter) as well as a city of art, Antwerp is home to many tourist attractions, including Peter Paul Rubens' house and garden, numerous art museums, one of Europe's finest railway stations (called the "railway cathedral") and much more to keep the tourist occupied, including some fine Belgian Waffles, as you can see from our Antwerp picture gallery below.
Antwerp Travel Essentials
The train is king in Antwerp; the high speed Thalys gets you from the Gare du Nord in Paris to Antwerp's central station in under two hours. From London the Eurostar connects St. Pancras station to Brussels South, where you can connect to a train direct to Antwerp Central station. Antwerp also has a small airport close to the city center.
Book Thalys Tickets (buy direct)
Eurostar Booking Center (buy direct)
What to See
Oddly, the most popular attraction in Antwerp is its central station, called the "Railway Cathedral" by train aficionados (pictured below). Building started in 1895.
You'll also find interesting the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady, built between 1352 and 1521, as well as a small castle called 't Steen, the oldest building in Antwerp.
Foodies will take to the Grote Markt, lined with historic guild houses. And you know what the tallest secular building in Antwerp is? The Old Butcher's Hall, The Vleeshuis. a 500 year old building built during Antwerp's Golden age, when Antwerp became Europe's third largest city and most important trade center.
Those of you who lament the loss of fine printing will want to visit the first museum to be placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, the Plantin-Moretus Museum.
Where to Stay
Venere lists around 50 user-rated hotels in Antwerp (book direct). A highly rated three star hotel is the Sir Plantin Antwerp Hotel in the city center, a reasonably priced hotel with bar and restaurant. If you need more room, or are looking for a comfortable apartment in the city, HomeAway offers user-rated Antwerp Vacation Rentals.
So take a gander at our Antwerp pictures below and see if Antwerp is the place for you on your next European vacation.
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