Antwerp is the most populous city of Belgium. It is standing on the Scheldt river, and its port is in the number of the biggest ports in the world, the third one in Europe and belongs to the top 20 globally. Because of its long history and importance in the life of the country and the region, it had always been developed culturally and economically, so nowadays it has a lot of historic places, monuments, museums and old buildings that had been preserved. But at the same time this is a modern city with lots of opportunities, intense cultural and social life. If you are planning to visit it, read this article and save it for your future trip - we've created for you the list of top 5 things to do in Antwerp!
1. Visit the Rubenshuis
Rubenshuis is translated as "Rubens' House" - this is the former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens, a Flemish Baroque painter and one of the greatest artists in the history of art. Most of his life Rubens spent here. Nowadays the palace is open for visitors. It houses the original furniture from the 17th century the the artist owned, his paintings, including the ones from the early period of his work. This is definitely a place to visit for everyone who loves art and history!
2. Visit Antwerp City Hall
This is one of the most important landmarks of Antwerp. The City Hall is located on the Great Market Square (Grote Markt). This stunning Renaissance represents influences of both, Italian and Flemish traditions, which make her visual appearance even more outstanding. And the entire square itself, with its beautiful architecture is a place you can't miss in Antwerp! Along with the belfries of Belgium and France, the City Hall is inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
3. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady
Cathedral of Our Lady is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Antwerp. This is an amazing example of the Gothic architecture. Moreover, the Cathedral has a number of paintings of such great artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Otto van Veen, Jacob de Backer and Marten de Vos, which make his value even higher. Also it belongs to the list of World Heritage Sites. So no wonder why it is considered to be one of the greatest architectural masterpieces in the world!
4. Visit the Antwerp Zoo
This is the oldest animal park in the country and one of the oldest in the world! It was established on the 21st f July, 1843 and is still welcoming its visitors, locals and travelers from all over the world. Just imagine, the Antwerp Zoo houses over 7,000 animals of about 950 species, from penguins to elephants! It also famous for its beautiful environment, gardens and temples. So doesn't matter which age you are, this zoo is something that you will like and enjoy for sure! Put it on your travel list, if you are planning a trip to Antwerp!
5. Visit The Het Steen
Het Steen (The Stone) is a castle that stands on the banks of the river Schelde. centuries ago, it has used to be an important fortification building, which is also the oldest one in the city! Each of its walls, all the statues, paintings, figures, etc. represent one or another period of its history, and some of them even come from the 2nd century! Till recent times, it used to be the site of the naval museum, but part of the exhibition has moved to the new MAS museum. However, this is still the number one destination you have to visit in Antwerp! Because this is something that existed as long as the city itself, and probably, it will stay for hundreds or thousands years in the future as well!
Being one of the most important cities in Belgium, Antwerp has a lot of things to offer for any kind of traveler, so of course, this list shows just a little part of it. Travel, discover and enjoy this beautiful place, it can always surprise you in the best way you can expect!