Antwerp
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Antwerp Culture & History

Brussels: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

1. Brussels: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Explore Brussels with a flexible one or two-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour. Enjoy the flexibility and freedom to jump on and off when you desire. See sites such as the Charles Rogier Square, Grote Markt, the Grand Place, and many more.  Choose a 1 or 2-day ticket to suit your schedule and start your sightseeing journey. Use your ticket on the blue and red routes and hop off wherever you like. See the sites you want to and spend as much time as you want there at your leisure. Pick a seat in the open-top for panoramic views or in the covered cabin to stay warm. Listen to the recorded commentary about the highlights, sit back, relax, and enjoy unlimited travel for 24 or 48 hours. Follow the blue bus route to see the Saints-Michel-et-Gudule Cathedral, the Belgian Comic Strip Centre, and Botanical Garden. This route also passes the Charles Rogier Square, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Church of Our Lady of Laeken, the Royal Castle of Laeken, and Royal Greenhouses. Don't forget to stop off and take pictures at the Atomium, the Magritte Museum, Sainte-Catherine Square, the Manneken-Pis, and the market square to see the Grand Place. As well, explore the outstanding City Hall and the Art Nouveau major townhouses, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Jump on the red route to stop at the Place Royale to see the best viewpoint over Brussels, Mont des Arts. Hop off at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Sablons quarter, and the European Parliament, if you like. On this route, you can also see the Coudenberg Palace, the Musical Instruments Museum, the Horta Museum, or the Royal Museums of Art and History.

Antwerp: 2 hour Highlights Walking Tour

2. Antwerp: 2 hour Highlights Walking Tour

See the historical sights of Antwerp on a guided walking tour in English or Dutch, and marvel at the main monuments of the main square of Groenplaats, such as the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal cathedral and statue of the artist Rubens. Venture down small alleys to find charming courtyards and Gothic churches, along with the remains of the ancient stone walls and beautiful city hall on the impressive Grote Markt (Great Market Square). Hear how the Vikings, Napoleon Bonaparte, and medieval guildsmen have all played a part in shaping the city.

From Amsterdam. 12-Hour Guided Day Trip to Bruges

3. From Amsterdam. 12-Hour Guided Day Trip to Bruges

Depart Amsterdam and journey to Bruges to see the UNESCO World Heritage monuments with an English-speaking guide. Get an introduction to the history of Belgium as you visit attractions such as the "Lake of Love" (Minnewater) and 13th-century Begijnhof. Learn more about the beers of Belgium and admire the brick tower of the Church of Our Lady. Explore the charming area around the Dyver canal, and then stroll the cobbled square of Walplein. Wander the narrow lanes of the Stoofstraat and discover the Gruuthuse Palace, Burg Square and Basilica of the Holy Blood. End in the Grote Markt and get 3 hours of free time for lunch or to visit the chocolate and lace shops independently.

Antwerp: Private Historical Highlights Walking Tour

4. Antwerp: Private Historical Highlights Walking Tour

Get the most out of your visit to Antwerp with a private guided walking tour. In a single tour, you’ll explore the main sights of the city while learning history, legends, and local facts. See historic churches, characteristic squares, popular museums, and medieval houses. After meeting your guide in Grote Markt, Antwerp’s town square, you’ll walk through the heart of the city’s old quarter on a route that includes all the must-visit spots. Explore Grote Markt first, marveling at the medieval guild houses, city hall, and Brabo Fountain. Continue to the Hendrik Conscience Statue, named after the Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience. This site hosts an impressive baroque church and the old city library. Visit the world-famous Carolus Borromeus Church with its 17th-century Baroque details before stopping at Handelsbeurs Antwerpen (the Bourse of Antwerp), the world's first Wall Street. Here, you’ll find out how the city came to be an important international trading center in the 16th century. Rubens House is next on the itinerary: the house is the former home and workshop of the famous Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. Learn more about his life story and some secrets behind the artist’s success. See MoMu, one of the world’s leading fashion museums. Get some inspiration for your next fashion shopping trip before heading to the Museum Plantin-Moretus, the first museum to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through Vlaeykensgang, a secret medieval alley that’s not so easy to find on your own. Your guide will take you back in time and show you the best-preserved remnants of medieval times in Antwerp. This spot is said to be the most photographed place in the city. Make sure to be camera-ready as you arrive at the Nello & Patrasche Statue, another popular statue of the city. Round of the tour in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady, where you’ll hear some history and curious facts about its construction.

Antwerp: Walking Tour from Steen to Central Station

5. Antwerp: Walking Tour from Steen to Central Station

During the walk, you will explore the Market Square with the Town Hall and the beautiful Golden Age Guild Houses, the Cathedral of Our Lady with The Elevation of the Cross and The Descent from the Cross by Rubens, Saint-Paul's Church, the harbor and the Jewish district. You can visit Rubens' former house during the lunch break. In the former home and studio of the master, you will embark on a fascinating journey back in time and into the world of this great baroque artist. There is a lot of modern architecture in Antwerp, for example, the new Palace of Justice by Richard Rogers, the Museum aan de Stroom by Neutelings & Riedijk and the new Port House by Zaha Hadid. Downtown you can reflect on all you have seen and learnt with a nice Belgian beer.

Antwerp: Private 3-Hour Historical Sightseeing Walking Tour

6. Antwerp: Private 3-Hour Historical Sightseeing Walking Tour

Meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel then embark on a historical exploration of the city center. Visit the bustling Market Square, also known as Grote Markt, nestled in the heart of the city’s old quarter. Admire the square's beautiful and iconic Brabo Fountain and learn about the history of the fountain, which was inaugurated in 1887. Continue the tour onto the stunning Renaissance City Hall and surrounding 16th and 17th century guild houses. Marvel at the intricate architecture of the buildings, which dominate the Antwerp skyline, and listen to your guide share insightful information about them. Walk to the magnificent Our Lady Cathedral next, which houses a collection of art pieces by famous Flemish masters. Wander through the medieval part of the city, Vlaeykensgang, characterized by narrow streets and crooked alleyways, then through Groenplaats Square until you reach the Meir, the most popular shopping street of Antwerp. Pass by The Rubens House, the home and atelier of the baroque painter Pieter Paul Rubens. Finally, the tour ends with a guided visit to the Central Station of Antwerp, a beautiful building constructed at the end of the 19th century.

Antwerp Day Trip from Brussels

7. Antwerp Day Trip from Brussels

A day trip to Antwerp, Belgium’s diamond and fashion capital, city of Peter Paul Rubens, and the current second biggest port of Europe. Departure from Brussels. Itinerary: Start your visit in the Central Train Station, known as the ‘iron cathedral’ and considered one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world. Visit the diamond district and go to a diamond workshop, where you will learn about the history and cutting process of diamonds, and admire unique jewelry pieces. Next, go to “The Meir”, Antwerp’s main shopping street and where you can admire fashion stores in a beautiful architectonical setting. See “Meir Palace”, a Rococo mansion that was Napoleon’s palace. Taste artisanal coffee and handmade chocolate in what is now one of the most famous chocolate shops in Belgium. Visit Rubens’ house and learn a quick history of his work and contribution to Flemish art. Go to the Cathedral of Our Lady, which is the largest Gothic church in the Low Countries, and admire its north tower. Inside, contemplate an art collection that includes four masterpieces of Paul Peter Rubens. Visit the Baroque pulpit with a wooden sculpture of Pocahontas, and beautiful stained glasses. See Saint Charles Borromeo church, a jewel of Baroque architecture in the city which houses one of the most beautiful Baroque confessionals in the world. Walk to“Het Steen”, a medieval castle located in the city’s ancient port, where you can admire the Scheldt River and view a sunset next to the water. Enjoy some Leisure time to visit museums, eating a meal, and shopping. Return to Brussels at 7:30 pm. 

Antwerp Tour From Brussels

8. Antwerp Tour From Brussels

Take a day trip from Brussels to Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium and home to Europe’s second-largest harbor. On a 5.5-hour excursion you’ll have the opportunity to explore Antwerp’s rich past. This is the city that was home to P. P. Rubens, the world-famous painter of the 17th century. You’ll be taken to the city center and depart the tour bus to visit Marquet Square, which is lined by ancient houses. This is also the site of Our Lady's Cathedral. The entrance fee for touring the cathedral is included in the price of the tour. Our Lady’s Cathedral houses, among other treasures, 2 of Rubens' masterpieces. You’ll see The Elevation of the Cross and The Descent from the Cross on display here. You’ll also have a chance to see the oldest part of Antwerp’s harbor, during a drive-through on the tour bus. Choose between a private and a shared option.

Brussels: Full-Day Antwerp and Ghent Guided Tour

9. Brussels: Full-Day Antwerp and Ghent Guided Tour

At 8:30AM you will be picked up from a meeting point in the center of Brussels to head towards the city of Antwerp. On your way to Antwerp you will make a stop for a few minutes at the emblematic Atomium, where you will take a picture and continue your trip. Once there you will explore the Meat Market, Steen Castle, Town Hall Square, the Gothic-style Church of Our Lady, the Church of San Carlos de Borromeo, the Walk of the Cakes, and the beautiful Meir Street. Following this guided tour, you will receive an hour of free time to explore the city at your own leisure. The next destination will be the beautiful and powerful city of Ghent. Throughout this visit you will see the Cathedral of San Bavón (which contains the famous painting of the Van Eyck brothers), the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, the Belfort Bell Tower, the peculiar Gothic and Renaissance Town Hall, the Church of San Nicolás, the Guild House of the Masons, the Wharf of the Herbs and the Grain, the Meat Market, and the majestic Castle of the Counts of Flanders. Following this magical trip you will re-board your bus, upon which you will return back to Brussels.

Antwerp Beer Tasting Tour

10. Antwerp Beer Tasting Tour

It’s no coincidence that new beers frequently crop up for tasting here as Antwerp is, after all, the best beer destination – and beer is also gaining popularity worldwide. Beers like Bosbier, Korsakov, Gageleer, Kamil, ’t Lekske, IQ, Cabardouche, De Hopjutters, and Seefbier – to name a few – were recently launched in Antwerp. Yes, beer is trendy – and trending. In addition to all the new beers, attention is once again being paid to beers that have been undeservedly ignored. For example, Saison Dupont. Today everyone knows it, but 5 years ago it was unknown, even though the brewery has existed for four generations. The beer trend ensures that niche beers with a very distinct flavor are able to capture a place on the beer menu. More and more ultra-hoppy beers and heavy stouts are emerging. Until recently, stout was as good as dead. Now it’s back and in different variants, with alcohol percentages ranging from a mild four to a sturdy twelve percent. Your expert beer guide will further unravel the secrets of beer with you, by taking you on a beer and Genever gin tasting experience, paired with local snacks like Belgian cheeses, frites with mayonnaise, and other taste delights.

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What people are saying about Antwerp

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 70 reviews

Op een koud maar heerlijk zonnige zaterdag zijn we om 10:30 uur gestart aan onze stadswandeling door Antwerpen. Onze gids Ari heeft ons met veel humor en kennis door de bezienswaardigheden van de stad geleid. Wij waren met een groepje van 4 en er waren 6 andere mensen aanwezig, een mooi overzichtelijk groepje. Een echte aanrader!

Our city guide "Willi" knew how to shine with a lot of knowledge and showed us many interesting and historical "corners" of Antwerp during the city tour, which a "normal tourist" would have overlooked. Overall a very worthwhile guide

This pack is perfect and all guides are extremely friendly, they speak many languages and they know a lot about the places visited. The tours are very organized. It was a great experience for me and my cousin. Thanks a lot.

To see everything in 1 day in a relatively quick and reasonably affordable way, hop-on hop-off is a very good option. The children can hear the history of the city in their own mother tongue. Super!!!

Good opportunity to see the sights that are a bit off the beaten path. Unfortunately, it takes a while until the next bus leaves.