Find out why when you check in at your ideal Antwerp hotel and set about exploring this gem of a city...
With a cool café culture, diverse shopping and food scenes, some of Europe's most exquisite buildings, laid-back nightlife, and a dazzling reputation as a hotspot for arts and creativity, diminutive Antwerp has a big character that delights and fascinates visitors.
And, of course, no Belgian city would be complete without the ability to tantalise the taste buds of tourists with chocolate tastings, chocolate shops, education about chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate bars and plenty more chocolate besides.
Antwerp is a relaxed and charming destination, and, given its location on the River Scheldt, plus a yacht harbour and its port heritage, there's an upmarket and elegant seaside-town feel to the place. You'll wonder why you've never visited Antwerp before!
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Charming hotels in Antwerp can be found in the historic centre, the medieval old town, which is a great location if you would rather give public transport a miss, and car hire is also available. Using the excellent transport system in Antwerp should not be dismissed though, as it is fast, efficient and frequent. Good budget Antwerp hotels can mostly be found on the outskirts of the city, and around Central Station.
It's a small city, so the supply of accommodation is naturally not as extensive as bigger destinations, but there are still are a number of luxury hotels and four- and five-star hotels in Antwerp. These are mostly located in the city centre. Brands such as Tulip Inn, Scandic, Ramada, Radisson Blu, Crowne Plaza and Best Western can be found in the city as well as more budget conscious offerings from Top CityLine, Holiday Inn Express and City Inn.
In keeping with the city's fashionable status, some hotels have also been established in some of Antwerp's gorgeous old buildings, with clever and luxurious conversions offering a dose of traditional charm in the heart of the city.
Amble between these top attractions and enjoy the simple pleasures of Antwerp, such as nibbling on chocolate and sampling a local beer...
Top five attractions
The historic market place is stuffed with stunning architecture. Grab some Flemish frites and a beer or two and watch the world go by.
MoMu Fashion Museum
The “Antwerp Six” fashion designers put the city on the map of trendy threads in the 1980s. Find out more about fashionable Antwerp at this interesting museum.
Rubens is Antwerp's most famous son; the museum houses a huge collection of the Baroque painter's celebrated works. It sits in the Zuid district, with other galleries and museums.
St Anna Tunnel
A tunnel might not sound exciting, but this retro pedestrian walkway runs under the river and rewards visitors with a glorious cityscape from the other side of the Scheldt.
Our Lady's Cathedral (Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal)
A Gothic church of gargantuan proportions – simply stand in Handschoenmarkt and stare in awe, or pay the reasonable entrance fee and slip inside to see the stunning interior and more from Rubens.
Antwerp is a city for all seasons. Create extra special memories of your trip when you attend one of these top annual events…
Beer Passion Festival; June: The region of Flanders is celebrated for its traditional beers. There are more than 150 types to try in the events held in Groenplaats.
Antwerp Summer Festival; June-August: The locals love summer – it's a chance to eat, drink and relax in those lovely cafés. The River Scheldt is a backdrop for many of the musical, theatrical and dance performances on the summer schedule.
Christmas markets; November/December/January: Combine a spot of Christmas shopping with other wintery delights in Antwerp. Try ice skating in the great outdoors or visit the Winterfoor Funfair.