Antwerp Travel | A Complete Guide
Antwerp: ( Antwerpen) is a major destination in Belgium in the region of Flanders. It is renowned for being the “world’s leading diamond city” and more than 70% of all diamonds are traded there. The Diamond Market is the hub of the economic section in Belgium. More than 85% of the world’s rough diamonds, 50% of cut diamonds, and 40% of industrial diamonds are traded in the city.
Antwerp (Antwerpen/Anvers in Dutch/French) is Belgium’s second city, biggest port, and capital of cool. It has long been a powerful magnet for everyone from fashion moguls and club queens to art lovers and diamond dealers. In the mid-16th century, it was one of Europe’s most important cities and home to baroque superstar painter Pieter Paul Rubens – as many a museum will regularly remind you. Despite many historical travails thereafter, and severe WWII bombing, Antwerp retains an intriguing medieval heart with plenty of café-filled cobbled lanes, a riverside fortress, and a truly impressive cathedral. Today, however, Antwerp’s top drawcards are its vibrant fashion and entertainment scene, along with its startling architectural and cultural contrasts.
Antwerp is the second-largest city in Belgium. It has a beautiful historic city center and is world-renowned for its fashion industry. The port of Antwerp is the second largest in Europe, and a major economic player in Belgium.
The name “Antwerp” is most likely derived from “aan de werpe”, which is Dutch for “at the throw”, referring to a place where the bending river throws its sand. Locals might tell you of an ancient urban legend, saying it comes from “Hand werpen”, which translated is “throwing (a) hand(s)”. In the official flag, the castle “het Steen” and the hand of Antwerp are shown.
In the 16th century, Antwerp was one of the most important financial centers of the world, where traders from all over Europe and Asia sold and bought their goods. After the siege of Antwerp in 1585 by the Spanish, this role as a financial center was taken over by Amsterdam. Nevertheless, since the 19th century and especially the 20th century, Antwerp has made a serious economic comeback. At a population of 506,225 (2012), it is the second-largest city in Belgium, after Brussels, and it has a major European port.
Due to its long and culturally rich history, the city of Antwerp houses many interesting historical buildings from different historical periods, as well as a lot of interesting museums. Recently it has become a trendy city, attracting a lot of Flemish and foreign artists, writers, intellectuals, and actors. This is reflected in the city’s many trendy bars and shops. Antwerp is a city with many faces. While it may not be as historically preserved as other Flemish medieval cities, like Bruges or Ghent, it is a very dynamic city, offering a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life.
Antwerp is a favorite destination for luxury travelers who know Europe well. It is a tolerant and progressive city and one where English is widely spoken. Antwerp was one of Europe’s richest and most inventive cities in the 1600s and 1700s, the Golden Age of the Low Countries (Holland and Belgium).
Antwerp is in its second Golden Age. It absolutely sparkles, and not just because it’s the world’s biggest diamond hub. This slideshow will give you 16 reasons (and photos) that show you why Antwerp in Belgium is an incredible place to visit.
Antwerp, in Belgium, is less than a one-hour ride by car or train from the capital, Brussels, the seat of the European Union. Antwerp feels very international, which is no surprise: it has been ruled by monarchs from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy.
Antwerp has a unique personality: artistic and progressive yet heritage-proud and dignified. Its population is diverse. You will see Orthodox Jewish residents who work in Antwerp’s tremendous diamond trade. And you will see locals whose forebears came from the Belgian Congo (today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo). The official language is Flemish, a variation of the Dutch language. Most Antwerpers also speak French and English.
Antwerp grew by leaps and bounds in the Middle Ages partly due to its location on the Scheldt River a few hours south of the English Channel. Rivers were the superhighways of the time, carrying people, goods, and ideas from place to place. Nowadays you can take a leisurely river cruise that features Antwerp as a port.
Where Is Antwerp
Antwerp is situated on the Schelde (Scheldt) River, about 55 miles (88 km) from the North Sea. The Schelde, together with the Meuse and the Rhine, forms the biggest estuary in western Europe, and Antwerp is an essential part of an enormous harbor complex, one of the greatest in the world. The harbor installations of Antwerp grew, especially after World War II. For many years this expansion took place on the right bank of the Schelde only, but beginning in the 1970s there was much development on the left bank as well.
Because Antwerp lies in the Dutch- (Flemish-) speaking part of Belgium, the city plays the role of the unofficial capital of Flanders. Antwerpians generally take this role very seriously, conscious as they are of the great importance of their city in the past and present. The pride and competitive attitude thus exhibited by the residents have led to their being designated by the nickname Sinjoren (from the Spanish señores). Pop. (2010 est.) mun., 483,505.
Numerous airlines fly nonstop from U.S. gateways to Brussels, Belgium’s capital, a one-hour ride from Antwerp. But if you’re the kind of traveler who likes to get into the spirit of the destination by flying on its national airline — on a comfy and well-priced flight to boot — your choice is Brussels Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance mileage group.
Brussels Airlines flies nonstop between New York, Washington D.C., and Toronto. Elsewhere Americans can connect to a Brussels-bound flight through Brussels Airlines‘ partner, United,
Coach seating on Brussels Airlines is relatively quite comfortable. And the business class is a lovely experience. Your pod-style seat feels like a cozy cocoon. And personal attention never ends. You’re welcomed with a glass of Champagne and royally fed and pampered for the rest of your flight. Think Belgian chocolates and Belgian beer. This is a flight you won’t want to sleep through.
What is Antwerp famous for?
The city is also known for its diamond industry and trade. Both economically and culturally, Antwerp is and has long been an important city in the Low Countries, especially before and during the Spanish Fury (1576) and throughout and after the subsequent Dutch Revolt.
Is Antwerp safe?
Safety. Antwerp is a reasonably safe city, but the area around some neighborhoods like De Coninckplein, Borgerhout, Seefhoek, and the Schipperskwartier are considered unsafe and best avoided at night. Yet, they can be visited during the day to enjoy the lively environment.