Grote Markt of Antwerp at twilight

Itineraries for Your Trip to Antwerp

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2 Days in Antwerp for First Timers

Curated by Jade HarveyJade is a writer with a passion for travel, drag queens, and baked goods. Her happy place is South America, but when she's not exploring the world, she enjoys cooking and reading Gothic novels in her London flat.

Two days in Antwerp allow you to go beyond the historic center and important museums to explore the neighborhoods responsible for the city’s cosmopolitan reputation, such as trendy Zuid, home of cutting-edge galleries and chic boutiques. Here’s how to get the most out of two days in Belgium’s second-largest city.

Day 1: Morning

Rise early, jump aboard a hop-on hop-off bus, and head straight to the Rubens House (Rubenshuis) to enter the world of Peter Paul Rubens, Antwerp’s most illustrious son. Explore opulently furnished rooms filled with antique furniture and Rubens masterpieces before heading over to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Day 1: Afternoon

Tick off more sights in less time on a bike tour. Options for exploring the cycle-friendly city are plentiful: Visit the De Koninck city brewery for beer tasting or the district of Burie, famous for its Belgian chocolate. Another option is to combine a bike tour of the historic center with a cruise on the River Scheldt.

Day 1: Night

Spend the evening getting acquainted with Belgium’s culinary scene, which is most famous for its beer, waffles, and chocolate. Stray from the beaten path and discover local haunts on a beer-tasting tour, or get the inside scoop on the best Antwerp eateries during a food tour that also focuses on the city’s history.

Day 2: Morning

Dedicate your second day in Antwerp to exploring districts outside of the historic center. Zoom along the banks of the River Scheldt on a Segway tour that reveals both top attractions and hidden gems and includes stops at Green Square (Groenplaats) and the Diamond District, considered the diamond capital of the world.

Day 2: Afternoon

Take a few hours to explore Zuid, a former industrial district that now proves Antwerp is Belgium’s capital of cool. Indulge a love of modern art at FOMU photography museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, where you’ll also find an art-house cinema and rooftop restaurant, before relaxing in a quirky café.

Day 2: Night

Once the sun has set, head to the bustling Grand Market Place (Grote Markt), which comes alive at night. Admire illuminated buildings such as the Cathedral of Our Lady and the ornate Antwerp Town Hall before enjoying Belgian delicacies such as french fries and craft beer at one of the restaurants surrounding the square.

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