Belgium
Antwerpen

Here you’ll find travel reports about Antwerpen. Discover travel destinations in Belgium of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

45 travelers at this place:

  • Day499

    Antwerp

    November 7, 2017 in Belgium

    Antwerp is Belgium's 2nd largest city, its industrial sea port being the catalyst for development. From Doel, we'd seen huge barges making their way to and from the hub, but nowadays the city centre focus is on the diamond trade and fashion industry.

    We'd found out via a motorhome travel business on Facebook that we needed to register the van for Antwerp's low emission zone. It was free and easy enough to fill in the online form and send a photo of the vehicle registration document. About 5 days after doing this we recieved and email confirming we were allowed to enter the city. With more and more urban areas in Europe implementing these zones, we are going to need to keep organised so we don't get caught out. It would be most efficient for each country and ideal for us if we could register with a pan european emissions board, but this isn't the way things are going despite Germany's efforts.

    As usual Will had put a car park in the sat nav and we set off towards it. However, the central road systems were in the process of modernisation, meaning they were currently a building site that required diversions, U turns and quite a lot of stress on our behalf! We were entering the same junction for the second time and had just about decided to give up and get out of the city when we found an accessible space to pull up on a wide road next to a park. Looking on the map, we decided it was close enough to the centre to walk, so bought a ticket and began making our way in.

    Passing by modern high rise flats, and the grey university complex, we arrived at the harbour where expensive looking leisure cruisers and a few tall ships were moored. Having spent so much time trying to park, it was getting on lunch time. Many businesses were closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but there were a number of cafés with people sitting outside. Although we were hungry, these eateries looked like the sort of places people visited in order to be seen visiting and therefore not the sort of place we like to visit. Curling round the side of the dock, we found the Omeletshop; a well presented caravan run by 'Red Sonija', serving a whole variety of omelettes in ciabatta. Sitting on the harbourside at the kitsch ironing board frame that acted as a table, with our made to order Spanish potato and Veggie Xtreme omlette burgers bursting with ingredients, we were happy with our choice! It was a chilly and bright winter day and as we ventured further into the city centre, the tall townhouses and narrow streets meant that one minute we were flooded with blinding light, then plunged into a block of shadow at the next turn. Emerging at the edge of a cathedral, we stood back and craned our necks to try and take in the stonework. We backed up against the side of a pub that turned out to be even more ecclesiastically intersting! Inside Elfde Gebod (the Eleventh Commandment) the walls and windowsills were packed full with hundreds of painted religious statues from cheeky cherubs to proud representations of Joan of Arc. Other than this it was a regular pub serving Belgian beer to a background of light rock music. It was an utterly bizarre experience to sit with our beers at a large round oak table beneath a wooden chandelier supporting wax candles, crowded in by these effigies!

    After our refreshments we wandered into a couple of cobbled squares, one of which was being dug up (as it seems much of Belgium is!). Beyond these we reached the wide river and looked down on it from a raised walkway. Alongside it was a long covered boatyard, where vessels, little and large, antique and modern were up on chocks for maintenance. Beginning to head back to Poppy and the van, we passed the relatively small, well maintained riverside castle, then left the water and cut accross town. We'd read that Antwerp had a red light district so we were saddened but not surprised when the street signs changed from advertising frites to anal sex. The all too familiar windows displaying women in various states of undress lined the pedestrian thoroughfare. Perhaps it was the age range (from early 20s to mid 50s), the mainly indigenous looking ethnicities, the city suburb pedestrian zone or the fact that we had mentally prepared ourselves, but this red light district didn't disturb us as deeply as the one we drove through soon after entering Belgium. It could also have been the fact that this was the second time we had seen this setup in this country and our brains had already begun to be inured.

    Nearing the van there was still time on the parking ticket so we detoured via a set of interesting bridge arches covered with graffiti. A police van was parked underneath, the two officers sitting looking out of windscreen, while behind them an artist added the final touches to his work. The area, which included a skate park, had obviously been designated for graffiti and it ranged from talentless tags to amazing portraits of famous scientists. As we wended our way in and out of the arches we passed a homeless woman on a makeshift bed, wrapped up in layers of clothing, her belongings bundled in plastic bags around her. Antwerp was no different to Belgium's other major cities, we'd seen beggars in every one of them, outlining the inequality Europe has yet to overcome.
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  • Day36

    We set off cycling from Ghent to Amsterdam at 8:30 this morning. Stopped for a bite at a canalside café and made it to Antwerp by 3:00pm. 76km is currently our record for a fully loaded ride. We were a bit sore, but could have kept going for awhile. The cycle pedestrian tunnel under the river Scheldt was a highlight. Check out the video footage here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/QbcDsHKzqKyH2izq8

    Right now we're on the train to Amsterdam and in a couple of hours we'll be set up in our home for the summer. Had a bit of a setback an hour ago. The train we'd loaded ourselves on was cancelled and we had to rush to catch the next train. Turned out they suggested track 24 which took us the wrong way toward Brussels. We sorted it at the next station, but it was quite a chore loading and unloading both bikes and all the gear. All sorted now in any case.
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  • Day168

    Day 169: Exploring Antwerp

    August 2, 2017 in Belgium

    Busy day of sight-seeing and UNESCO sites today! First up we headed into the centre of town to visit an unusual WHS - a museum! It was the Plantin-Moretus museum; essentially it was the home, workshop and factory of one of the world's most influential printers. Company founder Christophe Plantin and his descendants printed loads and loads of stuff - not just religious texts, but also maps, scientific papers, textbooks, laws, government pamphlets, illustrations and collector's books.

    Consequently, they were very rich as Antwerp was one of the world's wealthiest cities at the time (15th and 16th centuries). Their house and workshop was enormous and preserved much as it was when they lived there, which was really interesting to see. Highlight was the beautiful courtyard garden, and the oldest printing machine still in existence (though it's still more than 100 years younger than Gutenberg's original press).

    After a good couple of hours exploring the museum and filming, we headed back outside away from the darkness. Had a lovely lunch at a cafe on the square in front of the museum, away from the tourist district so it was fairly cheap and authentic. Toast with avocado!

    After lunch we grabbed a couple of buses and a tram out to the outskirts of the city to see another WHS - a townhouse designed by the Swiss architect, Le Corbusier. This is going to be an extremely difficult site to fully see, as it's a combined listing for many of Le Corbusier's buildings. It covers about 15 buildings, mostly in France, though there are also entries in Japan, India and Argentina! Might take a while!

    The house was interesting enough, but as with many of these houses you can only see them from outside. We did a quick bit of filming, then hopped on the tram and headed home. Stayed in for the rest of the afternoon and did work. Only ducked out in the evening for a cheap meal at a nearby Thai restaurant.
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  • Day169

    Antwerp, Belgium

    October 22, 2017 in Belgium

    I’ve spent the past week in Antwerp with Oli and Anouk which has been great! They’ve got a beautiful apartment and put me up in my own room. After too many hostels and shared bathrooms, this luxury is amazing and perfect timing for someone who’s starting to really miss home comforts. Oli had foot surgery a few weeks before I arrived so unfortunately we weren’t able to do much together but it was cool to see him nonetheless. I hadn’t realised it’d been 18 months since he left NZ but everything felt so Normal and comfortable, as if he was still in NZ. I didn’t see much of Antwerp as the weather was miserable but I was really content just chilling at home each day and working on my travel movie and images. Highlights definitely include learning how to make oats with egg, milk and honey - delicious!! Plus receiving the most beautiful bunch of white roses from Nickolas - for someone who hates buying flowers, he really couldn’t of chosen anything more special! I also took a day trip to Ghent which is really pretty with lots of old buildings, castles and rivers.Read more

  • Day3

    Angekommen in Antwerpen

    August 17 in Belgium

    Unser nächstes Ziel Antwerpen. Auf dem Weg hierher sitzen wir erst einmal 2 Stunden im Stau. Der Ring um Antwerpen war komplett zu und unser etwas älteres Navi hat uns direkt von Westen durch den Hafen in die Stadt geführt. Hier mussten wir nun 1 1/2 Stunden stehen, bis wir es im schneckentempo bis zur letzten Kreuzung vor den Tunnel geschafft haben. Bei jeder der 2 1/2 minütigen Ampelphase kamen nur 1-2 Autos rüber.. dann noch 30 Minuten durch den 2 km Tunnel gebraucht, aber dann endlich angekommen. Das Hotel ist okisch.. aber wir sind ja auch immer nur über Nacht hier. Wir entscheiden uns den Tag zu beenden und holen uns noch Getränke aus dem Supermarkt und etwas zu essen..Read more

  • Day4

    Museum aan de Stroom

    August 18 in Belgium

    Wir waren nicht in einer Ausstellung, sondern sind rauf in den 10. Stock auf das kostenlose Panoramadeck. Von hier aus hat man einen super Blick auf Antwerpen. Vor allem auf den Jachthafen und die moderneren Wohnhäuser im Hafen.

  • Day4

    Mittagessen in Antwerpen

    August 18 in Belgium

    Nachdem wir ziellose durch die Stadt streiften, entschieden wir uns dazu, nach etwas zu essen zu suchen. Wir versuchen prinzipiell Läden zu vermeiden, vor denen Leute stehen, die einen ansprechen und erstmal auf ihren Laden hinweisen müssen. Hier gibt es 100 Italiener und europäische Mix-Restaurants, in denen man alles von griechisch, über italienisch, englisch und was nich alles sonst noch so bekommt. Wir entschieden uns für ein kleines Bistro und würden nicht enttäuscht, nur waren die Augen mal wieder größer als der Magen.Read more

  • Day4

    Antwerpen Innenstadt

    August 18 in Belgium

    Leider sind zur Zeit viele bedeutende Gebäude in Gerüste gekleidet. So zum Beispiel das Rathaus und die Liebfrauenkathedrale. Für letztere hätten wir such 6€ Eintritt zahlen müssen, die wir uns jedoch gespart haben. Insgesamt sind wir bisher von Antwerpen eher enttäuscht. Es ist hier sehr viel dreckiger als überall wo wir z.B. in Brüssel waren und gefühlt werden hier die öffentlichen Plätze noch intensiver touristisch beackert. Aber die Stadt scheint auch in einem grossen Umbruch zu sein, denn nicht nur sind viele Gebäude gerüstet, auch finden überall große Strassenbauarbeiten statt.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Antwerpen, Provinz Antwerpen, Provincia dAnvers, أنتفيرب, Правінцыя Антверпен, Антверпен, Província dAnvers, Provincie Antwerpen, Antverpy, Αμβέρσα, Antverpeno, Provincia de Amberes, Antwerpeni provints, Anberesko probintzia, استان آنتورپ, Antwerpenin provinssi, Province dAnvers, Provincia de Antuerpen, Անտվերպեն, Antwerpen-hérað, Provincia di Anversa, アントウェルペン州, ანტვერპენის პროვინცია, 안트베르펜 주, Antvärrpe, Antverpia, Provënz Antwerpen, Antwerpe, Antverpeno provincija, Antverpenes province, अँटवर्प, Wilayah Antwerpen, Antwerp Séng, Província dAnvèrs, Prowincja Antwerpia, صوبہ انٹیورپ, Antuérpia, Провинција Антверпен, มณฑลแอนต์เวิร์ป, اینٹورپ, Antwerpn, 安特衛普省

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