• Antwerp's train station

Antwerp

Antwerp (Antwerpen in Dutch, Anvers in French) is one of Europe's great once-drab, now-reborn port cities. It's the biggest city and de facto capital of Flanders, with an illustrious history, a collection of top-tier museums, and a unique urban grittiness (some might say seediness) mingling with avant-garde fashion and a youthful trendiness. Its big-city bustle is the yang to Bruges' cutesy-village yin. Once Europe's most important trading city, later the hometown of Peter Paul Rubens, destroyed by World War II and then reborn, and recently emerging as a European fashion capital, Antwerp is more than the sum of its parts.