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Things to do in Antwerp

The best things to do in Antwerp involve a lot of eating, drinking, and shopping, with breaks to soak up the city's Old World charm. Put these spots on your list as you map out what to do in Antwerp during your visit:

Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady. The spire of this Gothic cathedral, also known as Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal, can be seen from pretty much any vantage point in the city, and took 169 years to build. Inside, you can see many paintings by Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens.

See the Museum Plantin-Mauritus. Once the home of the world's first industrial printing press, this museum features beautiful medieval architecture and a look into the early technology of publishing, especially of bibles. The Museum is also home to a number of Rubens paintings.

Snack like an Emperor at Paleis op de Meir. Napolean slept here when it was the Koninklijk Paleis, in 1811. Today, it's a fabulous palace to tour - and make sure you stop at the in-house chocolate shop, where you can watch the candies being made.

Do some serious shopping. The fashion designers that put Antwerp on the fashion map - collectively known as The Antwerp Six - include Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten. To tap into their aesthetic, browse the boutiques on Nationalestraat and Huidevetterstraat, or at the gallery-style Walter on Antoniusstraat.

Want to buy diamonds, or least ogle them? One of the best things to do in Antwerp is to window-shop along the streets of Diamantwijk, a neighborhood near Central Station. At Diamondland, on Appelmansstraat, you can see watch cutting demonstrations and hear explanations in English. Keep in mind that many of these shops are closed on Saturdays. And if you do end up buying, you'll likely get a deal, as prices are often up to 30 percent lower than what you’d find elsewhere

Plan a kid-friendly stay in Antwerp. Aside from taking a chocolate lovers tour around the city, take your family to the Antwerp Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the world.

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Explore things to do in Belgium for more options.


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