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Previous issues for Antwerp
 
   
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Belgium : Antwerp - July 2010

Country Code: Dial ++32 for Belgium

Cool Antwerp hots up in July when the city hosts the famous Zomer Van Antwerpen festival (zva.be). And don’t miss Closing Time at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts – a meander through old and modern masters curated by Jan Vanriet – plus the Tall Ships Races (tallships race2010.be) from 10 July. Andy Round sets sail

Getting around

Antwerp Airport

Bus: Buses run every hour on the hour from Brussels International Airport and take about 45 minutes. One-way costs €10.
Train: There are trains every 15 minutes from the airport; change at Brussels North for trains to Antwerp. One-way from the airport costs €9,40.
Taxi: The 45km taxi trip from Brussels airport to the centre of Antwerp costs €95 if booked in advance with a taxi firm.
Tourist information: The main office is at 13 Grote Markt (tel. (0)3 232 0103, antwerpen.be).

GROTE MARKT

OK, Antwerp’s locals don’t come here unless there’s a decent public demonstration, but that shouldn’t stop you enjoying a chilled De Koninck beer while surrounded by guild house splendour and the photogenic fountain of the giant-killing Roman, Brabo.

Sleep soundly – Look through the skylights of boutique hotel Linnen (9 Lijnwaadmarkt, tel. (0)475 763074, cocktailsatnine.be, rooms from €140) and you’ll see the elegant spire of the cathedral above. Based in a converted 18th-century house, there are just three bespoke rooms.

Culture vultures – The Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal, or Cathedral of Our Lady (21 Groenplaats) is just off the square and is a celebration of soaring gothic splendour, packed to its restored rafters with works by Rubens. The tower is open every Wednesday for panoramic views.

Must eat – Dodge the tourist traps and try authentic cuisine at De Zeven Schaken (24 Braderijstraat, tel. (0)3 232 5244), where old-school favourites include mussels, beery stews and snails.

Must drink – Den Engel (3 Grote Markt, tel. (0)3 233 1252) is the legendary brownstone institution on the corner of the square. It’s popular with town hall workers and elderly smokers. Paters Vaetje (1 Blauwmoezelstraat) serves more than 100 types of beer and is open until 5am at weekends.

ZUID

Just a 10-minute stroll from the city centre is the cultural heart of Antwerp’s ‘Little Paris’. There’s not much French spoken but it’s packed with galleries, museums, clubs and al fresco bars.

Culture vultures – In July the FoMu photographic museum (47 Waalsekaai) is staging an exhibition of iconic American photographers, from pioneering Robert Adams to eccentric Diane Arbus.

Must eat – It’s all about comfort food at Farine (40 Vlaamsekaai, tel. (03) 238 3048), while nearby Hippodroom (10 Leopold De Waelplaats, tel. (0)3 248 5252) is chic, cheerful and offers bistro favourites such as steak, fish and frites.

Dance the night away – There are regular jazz jams at Den Hopper (2 Leopold De Waelstraat), where people nod appreciatively rather than dance. For late-night club music, dress smartly at grown-up Velvet Lounge (6 Luikstraat).

NATIONALESTRAAT

Fashionista favourites step off the catwalk and into the boutiques of this brilliant boulevard. Now we know what the ‘Antwerp Six’ fuss was about…

Sleep soundly – Nationalestraat forks off south to fashionable Marnixplaats, home of the recently opened Soul Suites (14 Marnixplaats, tel. (0)471 285716, soulsuites.com, rooms from €150), which is both super spacious and super stylish.

Culture vultures – This street is home to MoMu (28 Nationalestraat), Antwerp’s altar to high fashion. This month the museum focuses on how designers through the centuries have been inspired by the colour black.

Shop til you drop – Walter Van Beirendonck has dressed both U2 and Antwerp’s rubbish collectors. His Walter store (12 St Antoniusstraat) is in a converted garage off Nationalestraat. Nearby, Dries Van Noten has an elegant flagship store in a restored five-storey former department store once known as Het Modepaleis (16 Nationalestraat).



Compiled by Andy Round

Previous issues for Antwerp
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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