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10 things to see and do in Antwerp

To visit Antwerp is to experience the coolest city in Belgium, where design and art meet history and culture – it’s got it all. But if a minibreak means you don’t have all the time in the world, hit our sightseeing hotspots to make the most of your trip.

Photo: Daniel Lobo@flickr (CC BY 2.0)


This former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens was rescued and restored in 1937 and is now an attraction dedicated to the Flemish Baroque painter. Save time for the gardens.

Cathedral of Our Lady

Cathedral of Our Lady

Daily tours take place in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish from mid-July to August; the rest of the year, take your own stroll through the splendour of the Cathedral.

Plantin-Moretus Museum

Plantin-Moretus Museum

Design nerds will appreciate this UNESCO Word Heritage Site, honoring printers Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus. It's the place to be if you’re interested in classic typography.

Museum aan de Stroom
Photo: Eddy Van 3000@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Museum aan de Stroom

One of the coolest buildings in Antwerp, it's also the city's biggest museum, so leave plenty of time to explore the collections, including maritime history and ethnography.

Antwerp Zoo

Antwerp Zoo

Right next to Antwerpen-Centrale station is this historic zoo, one of the oldest in the world. There’s enough to please both animal and architecture fans, so take your camera!

Museum Mayer van den Bergh

Fritz Mayer van den Bergh was the Charles Saatchi of his time, collecting more than 3,000 works of art, regularly curated here. Entrance is included with admission to Rubenshuis.

Museum of Fine Arts
Photo: Martin Beek@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Museum of Fine Arts

Closed for refurnishment until 2018, this historic museum will be buzzing when it reopens. Until then, see the website for touring collections at nearby locations.

Photo: jgBeachcomber@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


It may be less famous than its Bruges or Ghent counterparts, but this understated site is like a secret garden in the heart of Antwerp. Ideal for a quiet hour between museums.

Museum of Modern Art Antwerp
Photo: tup wanders@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Museum of Modern Art Antwerp

This cool space can be recognised instantly by the huge ‘HK’ painted on the corner. It boasts a permanent collection of contemporary pieces from Belgian and international artists.

Photo: Kalliop3@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


This aquarium is a bit cheaper than the zoo and a great way to entertain kids, especially if you visit in colder months. Allow half a day to explore the themed rooms and play area.

Planning Your Antwerp Visit

How long do I need?

Three days should be enough to cover the key sights. Visitors who like to take their time strolling through a city may prefer four to five days.

Where should I stay?

Grote Markt, in the old town, is a popular and lively spot, with shopping and sights on its doorstep.

Is it easy to get around?

The city has an extensive bus and tram network, which runs from around 6:00AM to 11:00PM. The number 15 bus, which costs 1.50€, links the airport to the Centrale station, covering all arrivals and departures.

Can I take a day trip?

It’s easy to get to Bruges or Ghent by train from Centrale Station, making Antwerp a great base for exploring all the sights of Belgium.

Good to know

  • Language
    Dutch, German and French
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
  • Best time to visit
    It's the busiest time of year for a reason: The summer months offer sunshine and lots of outdoor festivals, so there's always something to grab your attention!

Things to Do in Antwerp

Top Attractions in Antwerp

Cities in Belgium

Other Sightseeing Options in Antwerp

Want to discover all there is to do in Antwerp? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Antwerp

Saw lots of different things...really good sense of the city

Our guide was enjoyable ....knowledgable ...up to snuff on modern day Antwerp as well as the history...he showed us the University...the river walk...the escalators....explained how to get around easily...we saw an amazing amount of things in 3 hours...the time went very quickly...and we did not notice how much walking we had done...Highly recommend this tour...esp to people who want an overall picture of Antwerp...not just the monuments and museums...Also gave us insights into Belgian culture and attitudes...was a most excellent intro to Antwerp and Belgium... I should also add that Antwerp is a great city to visit...easy to get around...and full of diversity...very much alive

Antwerp: Private Walking Tour with a Local Reviewed by Richard, 09/26/2018

Insightful, super interesting, and invaluable for orientation.

Just landing into Antwerpen, I wanted to bypass the maps and slogging it out myself so, Ludo as my personal guide, was my perfect solution. He showed me around his town, I got my bearings, gained a good understanding of the legends and history of the old town and felt super comfortable to orientate myself and plan with confidence for my next few days here. Really interesting and informative.

Antwerp: Private Walking Tour with a Local Reviewed by Susanna, 08/05/2018

very lively tour with many interesting things

our guide was excellent and also it was raining we had a great tour - it was never boring, I could have continued this trip for another 2 1/2 hour without getting tired, it was much inspiring and made me also visit another Museum. I really enjoyed it!

Historic Antwerp 2.5 Hour Walking Tour Reviewed by Elisa, 07/28/2019

Great tour, very informative on town history

Guide Poll was very knowledgeable providing great history of building and city. Cycling is easy to get from one place to another. Did about 9 stops.

Antwerp Highlights: 2-Hour Bike Tour Reviewed by Monique, 05/27/2019

Yes, we enjoyed our walking tour very much.

We had no problems finding him at the Starbucks at the Antwerp train station after we arrived in Antwerp.

Antwerp: Private Walking Tour with a Local Reviewed by Yvonne, 05/10/2018