Antwerp – For the love of Diamonds, Art and Fashion!

World’s leading Diamond capital, Belgium’s biggest port and an exemplary of opulent guild houses – Antwerp has allured tourists, fashionistas and art lovers alike. Brussels the Belgian capital has good connectivity with neighboring towns with a good frequency of trains makes day trips from Brussels easy and convenient. Antwerp can be reached from Brussels with a travel time of around 40 mins. The Belgian city Antwerp will bewitch you with its charm as soon as you disembark at the train station.

One of the world’s most beautiful train stations the central station of Antwerp has a sumptuously decorated interior as well its neo-Gothic facade with a colossal dome. The station has three levels of tracks and a shopping arcade with a plethora of diamond shops.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Walk further to be amazed by the wonderful architecture of the buildings which house some of the popular brand boutiques. Statue of Flemish Painter David Teniers II stands facing the Antwerp station amidst the bustling square.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Diamond District

Exit to the west of the central station and stroll through the popular Diamond district to be overwhelmed by the abundance of diamond shops. Antwerp being the largest trader of diamonds is the heart of the diamond industry.


Meir is the main shopping street lined with buildings with elaborate architecture most of which were built by wealthy merchants who once ruled the diamond district. Fashion brands and designers’ boutiques are accommodated in the architectural charm of the Rococo-styled historic buildings. The trendy shops and cafes and the grandiose of the buildings punctuated with remarkable sculptures make shopping a splendid experience.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Groenplaats and the Pieter Appelmans Monument

Groenplaats once Antwerp’s main cemetery is today a lively square popular with tourists and locals for the outdoor cafes and is dominated by the statue of famous Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens with magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady in the background. Walk past the square towards the church entrance from Groenplaats, one can find the monument of Pieter Appelmans which is dedicated to the architect and builders who build the imposing Cathedral of Our Lady.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Cathedral of Our Lady Church

Rising through the city’s skyline is the Cathedral of Our Lady. The Roman Catholic cathedral from 16th-century with remarkable exterior houses some of the exceptional artworks and stained glass windows.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Located in the heart of the city is the popular town square Grote Markt (“Great Market Square”) surrounded by many exuberantly decorated guildhalls from 16th-century.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Antwerp City Hall

Build in the Flemish Renaissance style is the Majestic 16th-century City Hall. The facade is bedecked with 87 flags that represent countries that are a member of the European Union and interior with famous paintings.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

The gorgeous statue of Brabo fountain dominates the square. Brabo is believed to be the legend who slayed the hand of the giant who charged excessive tolls to those wanting to enter the city by water. The statue depicts him throwing the giant’s hand into the river Scheldte.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

The quaint cobblestoned alleys around Grote Markt have some of the great Cafe and ice cream shops where a stop is definitely recommended to devour on some local specialties waffles, chocolates, fries and ice creams. We found some more wonderful buildings at the end of the street.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Antwerp is Belgium’s largest and Europe’s second-largest port. Take a walk along the waterfront for wonderful views of the harbor and the Scheldt river. When we visited there was a Food Truck Festival being held along the waterfront.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Het Steen Castle

Het Steen is a medieval fortress that stands on the bank of the Scheldt river and once served as the gateway to the city.

Day Trip Antwerp Brussels Belgium

Have you been to Antwerp? What is your favorite part of this wonderful port city? Do share with us in comments.

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32 Comment

  1. Anne says: Reply

    I lived in Belgium for a year and visited Antwerp several times but don’t even recall half of these sights. I need to go back!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We believe Antwerp is beautiful enough to return 🙂

  2. Megan says: Reply

    Looks like the perfect city to just wander around. Would love to see St.-Carolus Borromeuskerk. Thanks for sharing.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Antwerp is definitely worth a visit!

  3. Beautiful photos! I’m planning on spending the summer in Europe next year. Perfect spot to add to my list of places to visit!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Belgium is definitely gonna keep your itinerary busy 😉

  4. marie says: Reply

    This is such a beautiful city, the historic buildings are stunning. It think you have inspired me to put it on my ‘must visit’ list. Thank you!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      The historic buildings are stunning indeed! Hope you make a visit soon 🙂

  5. Amazing Pics. I was not aware that the Antewerp is so beautiful and the diamond hub. I missed the place last year when I was in Europe this year beginning

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We too had given the city a miss before but now glad that we did decide to make it.

  6. We’ve been planning to take the ferry over, and then drive to Antwerp. Thanks for providing great tips on sites to explore!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Glad that our post helped you

  7. Really nice shots, specially some of them. We went for a day-trip to Antwerp while in Brussels and your post reminds me of how beautiful it was. The Old Town was specially lovely, with that traditional architecture and narrow streets filled with interesting detail.

  8. Ashley says: Reply

    We are going to somewhere in Europe next year (depending on air prices). Never considered Antwerp but now I am going to add this to the list of potential stops! The buildings in your pictures are soooo cool!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Belgium has many beautiful towns can be done as a day trip from Brussels. DO plan a visit to them too.

  9. Gareth says: Reply

    Antwerp is easily my favorite city in Belgium but it is unfortunately often overlooked by those backpackers travelling through Europe. Your pictures did a great job of capturing some of the grandeur of the place but really, some of the architecture has to be seen to be believed. Great stuff!

    1. Gareth says: Reply

      And just as an extra point, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh cannot be missed!

    2. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Gareth. We second you Antwerp architecture is something not to be missed on a visit to Belgium and your suggestions noted for the next time we visit, Museum Mayer van den Bergh will not be missed 🙂

  10. Joanna says: Reply

    I have visited Antwerp last year and I liked it much better than Brussels. I remember how impressed I was when I got off the train and seen the beautiful train station. I actually found the best chocolate shops in Antwerp and I wish to go back and buy some more.

  11. Antwerp is the only big city in Belgium that I didn’t have time to visit, and I kinda regret it now after reading your post! Did you get to visit any diamond company? I’ve heard many of them offer very cool guided visits to show how diamonds are manufactured

  12. That architecture looks amazing, kind of reminds me of Budapest or Vienna. I still haven’t made it to Belgium, had to cancel my trip last year when I got a job in Dubai. I’ll definitely go at some point and now I know Antwerp is only 40 mins from Brussels, I’ll have to add it to my itinerary. OH I miss Europe!

  13. Luca says: Reply

    Antwerp seems a very “artsy” city, with all those statues and sculptures. And I liked especially the central station, with the dome inside!
    I often thought about Belgium as the beer country, but probably I should keep an eye (when sober 😀 ) to other aspects as well when I’ll go there!

  14. Antwerp has enchanted me ever since I came to know of it as the Diamond capital.
    But I did not know how beautiful this city really is!
    Thank you for telling its story!

  15. I’ve heard of Antwerp before but I’ve never actually considered to go. How wrong was I? The cathedral is stunning and the streets are so classy. And they have an entire street dedicated to diamonds! What’s not to love? 😉

  16. Ana says: Reply

    Antwerp looks like neo-Gothic architecture’s paradise. You’ve captured it very beautifully! I didn’t know that it’s the diamond capital!

  17. The architectures and structures are just amazing!!! I love seeing these types of buildings and structures. I love history and century old things. The place is lovely and this will be on my list. Bookmarked now.

  18. Sia says: Reply

    Antwerp is on my list! The architecture is gorgeous and I had no idea that there was a diamond district. I am curious to see their art and design scene.

  19. I love grand architecture!!! Thank you for sharing the picture of Belgium and Antwerp specifically. It is a must see.

  20. Wow, I’ve been to Brussels but it looks like I should have visited Antwerp too! Belgian chocolate, waffles and diamonds seem like the perfect combination. All the architecture looks beautiful too!

  21. Antwerp and diamonds oddly remind me of Gujarat…
    I spent my graduation years in Surat, which is the diamond cutting hub… but the polished stuff from there went to the world market iin Antwerp…

  22. Vyjay says: Reply

    Antwerp is lovely and unique in its own way. I always have associated the place with diamonds and Rubens. But the city has the elegance and old world charm of so many European cities. It is this charm that endears the city to people and draws them like a magnet.

  23. Yenor says: Reply

    Ahh yes Antwerp, really enjoyed that place when we visited. Didn’t seem to get around to as many sites seeing as you, though! Seems as though I may need to head back that way! haha

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