• 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.

At a Glance

▲▲ Rubens House The richly decorated home, studio, and garden of Peter Paul Rubens, with a few of his paintings to boot.

▲▲ Cathedral of Our Lady Cavernous church packed with fine artwork, including paintings by Rubens.

▲▲ Museum Plantin-Moretus Early printing presses, workshops, and memorabilia from Antwerp’s Golden Age.

▲▲ Red Star Line Museum Illustrates the “other end” of the Ellis Island experience, where emigrants were processed on their way to the New World.

▲ Rockox House Museum Aristocratic 17th-century home with impressive art, furniture, and delightful garden courtyard.

▲ ModeMuseum (MoMu) Rotating exhibits showcasing contemporary Belgian fashion and designers, and home of the Antwerp Fashion Academy.

▲ Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) Displays focusing on Antwerp’s and Belgium’s history of trade and cultural exchange — plus a rooftop viewpoint.

Musical Instruments Museum Well-presented exhibits of instruments and old music manuscripts.

Plan

Photos

  • Central Train Station Interior, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Cathedral of Our Lady Exterior at Night, Antwerp, Belgium

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