A journey through Antwerp in the heart of Flanders
Antwerp is a port city located in the northern part of Belgium and sits on the banks of the Scheldt River, approximately 40 miles/65 km north of Brussels, Belgium. Antwerp is the capital of the province of Antwerp. It is the second largest city in Belgium.
It boasts a UNESCO World Heritage site, where many European and US films have been made. A diamond district is the largest on that continent, and from its past to the present, the city has alway been both economically and culturally, a powerhouse.
Here are some things to do and see:
- Visit the Antwerp Cathedral (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal): See this cathedral’s grand Gothic architecture and the famous Baroque altarpiece by Peter Paul Rubens.
- Explore the historic city center: Visit the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, and saunter around viewing the bevy of beautiful medieval and Renaissance buildings.
- Take a stroll along the picturesque Scheldt River: Visitors can get a picture-perfect photo of the view of the city from its riverbank.
- Visit the MAS Museum (Museum aan de Stroom): Learn more about the history and culture of Antwerp, Belgium and the surrounding region.
- Shop at the Diamond District: Antwerp is the place of where diamonds come into Europe. Travellers can find a wide variety of diamond jewelry and other precious gems.
- Check out the Rubenshuis: The former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens, see some of his famous paintings and learn more about his life and work.
- Take a day trip to the nearby town: Head to Mechelen to see the stunning St. Rumbold’s Cathedral. It also boasts a medieval town center.
- Visit the Fashion Museum: Also known as “MoMu”– see a wide variety of fashion and fabric artifacts, including clothing, accessories, and textiles from the 18th century to the present day.
What is their currency?
The official currency used in Antwerp and the rest of Belgium is the Euro (EUR). Euro is used in 18 other countries of the European Union.
What is the local language ?
The official language spoken in Antwerp, while the rest of Belgium is Dutch. Other languages spoken are French, English, German and other languages as Belgium is a country of immigration plus a hub of international trade.
How far is it from the USA?
A direct flight from New York City to Antwerp will take around 6-8 hours. Other cities in the US such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami will be farther away and will require a connecting flight.
Did you know?
Antwerp is widely regarded as the “Diamond Capital of the World” and is a significant hub for diamond cutting, polishing, and trading. Approximately 84% of the world’s rough diamonds are estimated to pass through Antwerp.
The city is home to many diamond dealers, cutters, and polishers, as well as several diamond exchanges and specialized museums.
The Antwerp diamond industry has a long and rich history, dating back to the 15th century, and is known for producing some of the world’s finest and most valuable diamonds.
A little history:
This historical city in northern Belgium has played a significant role in European trade and culture for centuries, with its strategic location on the River Scheldt. It became an important port city in the Middle Ages and quickly became a hub for international commerce.
In the 16th century, Antwerp was one of the wealthiest and most influential European cities, known for its thriving art scene, innovative printing industry, and booming diamond trade.
The city also played a vital role in the Protestant Reformation, as it was a center of Calvinist thought and the site of the signing of the Union of Utrecht, which led to the formation of the Dutch Republic.
Antwerp is a vibrant and multicultural city with a rich history and many beautiful historic buildings, including the famous Cathedral of Our Lady and the Renaissance-style City Hall.