Antwerp may sit in the shadow of Brussels, but this city in Belgium has every right not to care: Beyond being Europe's second largest port, Antwerp can boast of being one of the world's main diamond centers - a status that goes back centuries - as well as a magnet for fashionistas, ever since the Antwerp Six designers burst on the scene in the 1980s. If you didn't travel to Antwerp to shop, the city also features medieval architecture, a thumping nightlife and an excellent fusion dining scene. Its penchant for good taste runs deep: This was the home of Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, whose Baroque-era work is accessible all over town. Antwerp is also a great place to sample quality Belgian beers.
Things Not to Miss in Antwerp
Consult our Antwerp travel guide to make the most of this Old World city. Popular sights and activities include:
• Walking along the Scheldt Riverbank
• Exploring the Museum Plantin-Mauritus
• Seeing the Cathedral of Our Lady, or Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal
• Feasting on chocolate at Paleis op de Meir
• Window shopping in the Diamantwijk
• Visiting the Antwerp Zoo
When to Go to Antwerp
Antwerp's maritime climate is fairly mild throughout the year - grey and rainy days are common, however, and the weather gets pretty chilly in January. The Antwerp travel season peaks during the summer, and you can count on the warm weather holding up from late spring until early autumn. If you're looking for the sweet spot of good weather and fewer tourist crowds, make the most of the post-summer lull and visit Antwerp in September.