Antwerp Travel | A Complete Guide

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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 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.

Antwerp 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 Ohio

Antwerp Ohio

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.

Suspicious Antwerp

Antwerp’s site on the right bank of the generally south–north-flowing Schelde is a vast flat alluvial plain. Since 1923, however, the city’s territory also has included an area on the left bank of the river. The annexation of villages on the right bank north of Antwerp in 1929 and 1958 extended the city’s territory to the Dutch frontier, and further annexation in 1983 of municipalities surrounding the original city added considerably to Antwerp’s area and population. The total area of contemporary Antwerp measures 79 square miles (204.5 square km), compared with 7 square miles (18 square km) before the beginning of the annexations. Only a part of this territory is completely built up. The extension of the agglomeration is continuing; many outlying villages have already lost their agricultural character and have grown in population as a result of emigration from the city.
 Until 1859 Antwerp lay surrounded by its 16th-century fortified walls, which were transformed in the latter half of the 19th century into broad avenues as a larger half-circle of fortifications was built. This later encircling belt was replaced after World War II by another system of ring roads, which connect with a network of national and international highways. Several tunnels connect the right bank of the city with the left bank, where considerable residential and industrial development has taken place since World War II. The city center, however, remains on the right bank; it stretches westward from the Central (Railway) Station along the lively artery constituted by the Keyserlei and the Meir into the old city and thence to the terraced right bank of the Schelde. The old city, within the arc once formed by the 16th-century fortifications, has many narrow, winding streets and old buildings. This area contains the Cathedral of Our Lady, begun in the 14th century and restored in the 19th and 20th centuries; it is one of the nation’s finest Gothic buildings. The 19th-century city, with broader and substantially right-angled streets, stretches beyond the old city and merges with some of the suburban extensions annexed in 1983. A third right-bank area spreads beyond the 19th-century fortifications and is characterized by numerous modern buildings.

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?

SafetyAntwerp 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.

Is Antwerp worth visiting?

In my opinion, Antwerp is worth at least a quick visit if you’re in the area. It doesn’t boast many knock-out sites of interest to tourists, but Antwerp is a vibrant, slightly gritty modern city. I imagine if Bruges had not gone into hibernation, it would today probably look and feel much like Antwerp.