Located on the banks of the Scheldt River, Antwerp is the largest city and capital of the Antwerp province in Flanders region. Once a major port town, today this tiny metropolis is a source of fashion and artistic inspiration. The city's fabulous fashion scene, magnificent museums and holy churches are sure to capture the heart of tourists. Visitors who wish to discover this Belgian city will find it easily accessible by bike, car, and train and by plane. Most of Antwerp's historic city centre is a pedestrian zone but for others, the city has laid out an extensive network of motorways, railways, and tram and bus lines.
By Plane ( Visit Site )
Antwerp airport, located 4 km southeast of the city centre in the suburb of Deurne is easily accessible by car, bus and national and international train connections. It operates very limited number of flights to London City, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Belgium's biggest and most important airport is at Brussels, a 40 min drive from Antwerp. There are regular trains from Brussels North Station to the airport itself and this is probably the cheapest way to travel. Airport Express, a direct coach connecting the airport and Antwerpen Centraal station, also connects the airport with the city.
By Train ( Visit Site )
Belgium was the first country in Europe to build a railway system and today the country boasts of a widespread rail network. InterCity (IC), Eurostar (EST), Fyra Benelux (FY), InterCity Benelux (IC B), InterRegio (IR), THALYS (THY) and EuroCity (EC) trains connect key cities in Europe with Antwerp via rail line. These comfortable, high speed trains stop at Antwerp's Centraal Station which is 1.5 km from the city centre and Berchem, a station 2 km southeast of Centraal station.
Velo is a bike sharing system designed for intensive urban use. It is the perfect vehicle to explore Antwerp on a budget and at your own convenience. Plus, it's healthy too! Sporadic users and tourists could buy a day ticket or week ticket, but first they need to register on the Velo website or at the service station. Velo website also updates the user on empty, full or operational stations/spots. Cyclists can rent a Velo bike for a maximum of 4 hours at a stretch.
Taxi ( Visit Site )
Taxis in Antwerp are fast and affordable with each vehicle identified by its red recognition sign. The rate is standardized but preferably the taxi should be booked beforehand. You can hail a taxi in the street by looking out for orange taxi signs. Some well known taxi companies in Antwerp are: Antwerp Taxi, DTM Taxi, Metropole Taxi and Taxi Sinjoor.
Public Transport ( Visit Site )
One-fifth of Antwerp's historic city centre is a pedestrian zone. This small metropolis can be easily explored on foot but if you need to pick up pace, then jump on a tram or bus operated by Flemish public transport company - De Lijn. Their trams in tandem with the night buses run late in the night, until 3:30 am.
Tipping in Belgium is not obligatory as the amount is included in the service charge. The service staff in the country is well paid and therefore do not expect tips to support their wages. However, if the service has been exceedingly good, then an additional tip as a token of appreciation is gratefully accepted. Tipping is done by paying slightly higher than the value of the meal and then telling the staff to keep the change.
Antwerp is a reasonably safe city, but the area around some neighbourhoods like De Coninckplein, Borgerhout, Seefhoek and the Schipperskwartier are considered unsafe and best avoided at night. Yet, they can be visited during the day to enjoy the lively environment.
Remain alert while travelling by public transport especially at Antwerp's Central Station and Berchem station where a gang of pickpockets divert the attention of tourists with the help of children whilst others get away with valuables like cash, laptops and handbags. Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid hoarding all documents in one place. Keep photocopies of essential travel documents and save important phone numbers if the originals are lost or stolen.
If you are using a bicycle, lock it up safely if left outside on the street, as thefts are common in the city. Call 101 if you are in need of police aid or dial 0800/12312 for nearby police station in case of regular inquiries.
When to go
The best time to visit Antwerp is during the springs when the weather is nice and pleasant and sun is shining all day long. It doesn't rain like in the summers and falls nor is it too cold. But remember to carry something warm as early mornings and evenings can still be a little cold.
Antwerp City Card
If you are in Antwerp only for a couple of days, then Antwerp City Card is the best solution to discovering the city's assets over a 48-hour period. At a considerable price discount, the card lets you explore the myriad attractions, museums, wonderful shopping streets and the Belgian fashion centres. Experience the vibrancy of the world's diamond capital, its churches & museums with the card at your disposal. What the card proposes:
|Good Evening||Bonsoir||Goeden avond|
|Bye Bye||Au revoir||tot ziens|
|Thank You||Merci||Dank u wel|
|Please||S'il vous plait||alstublieft|
|Where is||Ou se trouve?||Waar is?|
|How much||Combien coute?||Hoeveel kost?|
|My name is||Je m'appelle||Mijn naam is / Ik heet|
|I am from||Je viens de||Ik ben van|