Antwerp (Antwerpen in Flemish, Anvers in French), situated in Flanders, is the second largest city of Belgium, rich in culture and bustling economy. Located on the banks of the River Scheldt, Antwerp is home to one of the biggest seaports in the world and is synonymous with diamonds, culture, art, Rubens and fashion. And lets not forget the chocolate, pastries and beer!
Indeed, Antwerp has an impressive offer of culinary delights. Cobbled lanes and back streets are filled with enticing restaurants, fresh bakeries, coffee houses, chocolate and praline stores. And there are plenty of pubs! With its famous breweries and ample selection of beers, drinking has become an art of life in Antwerp. This immediately likeable city is a pleasure to discover on foot. Explore the historic centre, as charming as it was centuries ago, built around the majestic beauty of the Cathedral of Our Lady; take the time for a photograph at the Grote Markt, the heart of Antwerp; and enjoy a stroll along the Scheldt on the Zuiderterrace.
As you soak up the city's unique history and architecture, be warned that you will most likely be distracted by glittering jewellery shops, trendy boutiques and … the smell of warm waffles! Shopping in Antwerp is at its best - from the world's largest diamond centre (it covers one square kilometre!), to the lively shopping street, the Meir, to designer boutiques and antique shops you will surely find what you are looking for. With numerous young Flemish fashion designers ( eg: Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann De Meulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, and others) Antwerp has become one of the fashion cities of the world.
Antwerp was home to Peter Paul Rubens, Belgium's most influential artist in early 17th century. Museums and churches around the city display some of his most famous paintings such as ‘The Descent from the Cross' (1612). One of Antwerp's most prized possessions is the artist's home, which also served as a studio where Rubens taught and worked.