one day in Antwerp ‘top things to do’

one day in antwerp

In this guide you find my best tips for what best to do in one day in Antwerp. So, if you don’t know what to do in Antwerp read along and find the best tips for top things to do when it comes to transport, the best hotspots and sightseeing.

This city has all a traveller could wish for and is with good reason one of my favorite cities for a city trip. Think beautiful architecture, art and many more shopping opportunities and food of a high standard. So, as you probably know it is not my first time visiting in Antwerp so creating this guide for one day in Antwerp wasn’t difficult at all.

  1. Central station (Antwerpen Centraal)
  2. Cathedral (Onze lieve Vrouwekathedraal)
  3. Shopping street (De Meir)
  4. Rubens House (Rubenshuis)
  5. Grote Markt
  6. Het steen (medieval fortress)

Central Station

If you ask me one of the nicest stations I have ever seen. Normally a station is something I prefer to leave as quickly as possible but not at this station. This station has been in operation since 1905 and has been named one of the 5 most beautiful in the world. Antwerp Zoo is very close here and as the world’s oldest zoo it is really a must visit. More information can be found here:

Cathedral (Onze lieve Vrouwekathedraal)

This cathedral is hard to miss and you will have a beautiful view from many places in the city when it unexpectedly reappears. The cathedral has recently been renovated for fifty years and the highest tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside you will find four paintings by Rubens and other beautiful paintings.

Shopping Street (De Meir)

Shopaholics and fashion lovers pay attention, because you never want to leave this street. Anyone who likes to shop can find their heart here and all major chains have at least one shop here. Turn left or right on this street to find the smaller boutiques and designer brands. Beautiful buildings such as the Royal Palace and the Stadsfeestzaal can also be found here.

Rubens house (Rubens huis)

As the name suggests, this is the house where Pieter Paul Rubens lived and worked from 1616 to 1640 and is one of the highlights of Antwerp. There are around a dozen Rubens canvases among the most memorable ones ‘the world-famous hatted self-portrait and Eve and Adam’s fig leaf’. Also the garden of the house is very charming and worth a visit during your one day in Antwerp .

Grote Markt

De grote markt, a beautiful square that is characterized by an impressive building in Renaissance style of the city hall. In the middle of the square you can find a beautiful fountain and is within walking distance of the cathedral. On this beautiful square, which is perhaps even more beautiful in the evening, you can also enjoy a delicious meal or drink at one of the many restaurants.

one day in antwerp

Het Steen (medieval fortress)

The Steen, the oldest preserved building in Antwerp, was built between 1200 and 1225 as the gatehouse of Antwerp’s castle at the time. Right now it is closed for renovations, but still very photogenic and very close to the grote markt.

There is of course much more to see in Antwerp and you can easily fill an entire weekend with activities in this city. Other things you don’t want to miss are: MAS Museum, which explains the connection with Antwerp and the rest of the world. Groenplaats, a bustling square full of nice cafes and restaurants close to the cathedral. Known as a fashion city, you will find the MoMu Fashion Museum in the heart of the fashion district. If you visit Antwerp in the summer, the Sint-Anneke Beach is also a must, go relax here with a view of the Scheldt.

Christmas in Antwerp – Christmas markets Antwerp

During Christmas time (when I visited Antwerp), the whole city looks extra special and gorgeous. The entire city is beautifully lit and decorated and you can find nice little stalls with glüwein and chocolate milk in many squares such as the Grote Markt.



Traveling by Thalys is always a good idea and easily from Amsterdam to Antwerp without having to change trains, long queues and last but not least customs control. When you travel from other cities, Antwerp has a very good connection.


If you want to travel by bus you can choose for a Flixbus from any big city nearby you. Travel very cheap to Antwerp and check the prices and dates here.


If you come to Antwerp by car, there are a few things that you have to take into account because you are no longer allowed to go into the center with every car. So check in advance if you can drive your car into the center and avoid that fine. Parking in the center is also difficult and most importantly quite expensive. So look in advance where the public car parks are or go for a free P + R outside the city and take a tram, bus or bicycle from here. I strongly recommend this last option, since you are in the city within 10 minutes without any stress.


If you plan to visit many places of interest, you can choose to purchase an Antwerp City Card. With this card you get free entry at the Rubens House, the Zoo and much more You also get a discount on public transport and many activities. For more information and prices, click here.


Taking a guided tour is one of the best ways to explore a new city. So below I’ve chosen 3 of my favorite ones. So one for the food lovers, one for the beer lovers (also a good Christmas present for your man) and a guided walk tour.

hotspots Antwerp

Breakfast & lunch tip: When I arrived in Antwerp, one of the spots that caught my eye immediately was Wasbar. Wasbar is such a cute concept and they have 3 locations in Antwerp. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch and also dinner. For multitaskers, this place is heaven because you can do your laundry while you meet your friends or just wants to eat and drink something.

Dinner tip: one of the best fish restaurants I have eaten since ages. Fiskebar only works with fresh, sustainable and pure flavors. There is a super cozy and relaxed atmosphere and this is the perfect place for a delicious dinner.

Fiskebar works exclusively with European fish and shellfish and they have an extensive wine list that compliments the dishes. As a starter I enjoyed some delicious oysters, as a main I choose one of the specials and as a desert Le colonel (lemonsorbet with vodka). Fiskebar has also opened a new branch Fiskeskur and I cannot wait to eat here on my next visit to Antwerp.

hotspot fiskebar antwerp


There are plenty places to stay in Antwerp, Belgium. There is a wide range of luxurious hotels, mid-range and also budget hotels. Below you’ll find my recommendations on the ad of

If you decide to travel to Antwerp and book through Airbnb. Book through this link to get a discount of €25,- on your first booking. (If you already have an account, just create a new one)


Ofcourse, when we travel to a new destination we do lots of research first to make sure we can show you the best things to do in one day in Antwerp. Read more of our travel tips here, or follow me along on @dutchbloggeronthemove.

Disclaimer: some of the links contain affiliate links in this article. This means, when you click on them to make a booking or buy a tour for example I earn a small commission. This doesn’t cost you anything extra but will sure help to keep this site running so we can deliver you the best articles. Thank you for supporting me in this way.


1 Comment

  1. Jaleesa
    December 16, 2019 / 3:46 pm

    Wauw lekker artikeltje dame!
    Met dit kan je alle kanten uit. Rond de kerst blijft het toch het speciaal.

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