The best part of choosing your base in Brussels/Belgium is that it’s conveniently located to some of the most interesting cities and towns in Europe. After Cologne we chose to do a day trip to Antwerp with our friends. There are regular trains from Brussels to Antwerp. The journey is under an hour – making it perfect for day trips.

The first sight to admire in Antwerp, would have to be Gare Centrale d’Anvers or Central Station. Belgian chocolate waffles and bright red strawberries caught my eye, probably because we hadn’t had breakfast yet. We walked up the long flight of stairs and entered the main street. Antwerp offers a visitor a heady mix of old world charm and modernity. Diamond shops and cafes line the streets on either side. After picking a mini sub from EXKI, we set in search for ‘The Our Lady’s Cathedral of Antwerp’.

The Our Lady’s Cathedral is walking distance from the station. But don’t hurry your step or you’ll miss local sights along the way. As you approach the cathedral, the towering spire is the first distinguishable feature you’ll notice. The Our Lady’s Cathedral has a fair share of paintings (Rubens), stained glass windows, statues, lit candles, and the customary organ. Pick up a booklet – if you want to catch up on your reading – when you head back home.

From here, we walked further towards Antwerp’s iconic statue and sculptural representation of the legend – from which the city derives its name. According to folklore, a Roman soldier, Brabo, cut of the hand of the toll collecting giant, Antigoon and threw it in the river. ‘Handwerpen’ (Dutch) literally stands for ‘to throw’ the ‘hand’. The Town Hall and fountain are equally stunning.

It was nearing 2 p.m. and we thought of taking a break in one of the quaint cafes along the tourist lanes. It was sunny outside, but reasonably cool inside the café. After catching up over hot chocolate and coffee, we headed to our next stop.

We walked towards Antwerp’s Port and tried to admire the view. But on a warm sunny day, it would be difficult to enjoy the view of the sea and gulls flying. Steen Castle is a 10 minute walk away from the port. We didn’t have the time to explore it, so we walked towards the inner streets. Further ahead lies an old ship yard.

We continued our walk through cobbled streets with brick buildings. After a brief stop for strawberries, we started walking again. I’m not sure I remember where we reached. It seemed like a park. It was cool and we sat and watched young kids play basketball. Before we knew it, it was 4 p.m. and we had to head back.

Posted by:twobrownfeet

Writer-Photographer Duo. Now in Seoul.

6 replies on “A Walk through the Cobbled Streets of Antwerp

  1. I agree with you Juliann. Antwerp isn’t as enchanting as other European cities/towns. Probably, that’s why we decided to not go looking for anything in particular. We were catching up with old friends and thought of just ‘walking’ around. But we did see many ‘serious’ tourists, with a map in their hand and the ‘I-need-to-find-that-place’ look on their face. So, yes, to each his own. 🙂

  2. I just had a relapse. I love belgium and I do not understand why this is not in many travellers list. Did you visit Bruges? It was love at first sight for me when I arrived in Bruges 🙂

    Antwerp is an amazing mixture of Gothic and modern architecture. Loved this city

    1. Hi Aanchal! Yes, we did visit Bruges. However, I do wish we could have stayed the night, instead of making it a day trip. We loved Bruges. Totally know the, ‘Love at First Sight’ feel! 🙂

    2. hi very interesting post, I live in Belgium cause I’m Belgian born here and to me its the most boring place on earth, but its nice people from other countries feel diferent about it than me and want to come visit. I also understand why people don’t come visiting it

      1. hahah…I can imagine that one would think that of the place they live in. 🙂 Belgium wasn’t on our list really. But, we’ve got some family (& friends) there and also it provides an excellent base to rest of Europe. Thanks for stopping by and look forward to exploring your blog. I saw some amazing places that you’ve visited that are on our list. 🙂

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