I arrived in Antwerp by train. I didn’t have much time to read about the main attractions, interesting places and landmarks to be visited that is why I didn’t expect to see such a great view on leaving the train. The building of the Central Train Station is simply gorgeous. Astounding architecture, rich decorations and general splendor make you feel more like in a palace rather than the train station.
Predictably enough, I started the city discovery in the old part of the city. What was interesting about it was the fact that in the past, when Antwerp was one of the main shipping ports in Europe, it was surrounded by walls and the Old Town is exactly the part that used to form the city. You cans still see the remains of those walls wherever you walk in the city centre. Thanks to this, the main tourist attractions are located more less in one part of the city. The centre is very baroque in style, I liked it a lot. Very rich architecture, sculptures, decorations, ornaments on the buildings. All the things add a lot to the city landscape.
And of course, as you all probably now, Antwerp is the city of Rubens. Despite not having been born there since his parents had to leave the city due to religious persecutions, Rubens considered Antwerp his city. You can admire a big monument just in the central square, and right behind it there’s The Cathedral of Our Lady (De Kathedraal) where you can find his original paintings. As well, his house is located within the walking distance from there. Totally recommend, the cathedral – breathtaking gothic architecture – is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen in my life.
If you happen to be there just remember to have the eyes wide open. Every corner hides some treasures, be it an old building, remains of the city wall or some religious symbols like the Madonnas located somewhere between or on the buildings.
I also went on a quest to find the best Belgian fries and waffles in the city. Luckily, I stayed at my friend’s place and spent all the time with locals who showed me the oldest fries place as well as the smallest waffle stand serving Liege waffles – check my post about Hasselt to see what they are. They both are considered to be the best places to taste traditional Belgian snacks. Continuous lines in front of those two places most certainly prove it to be true.
The waffle stand is located just at the beginning of the main shopping street in Antwerp whereas the Belgian fries can be found on the main square opposite the City Hall.
I didn’t have a lot of time left for Antwerp, I stayed there only 2 days but I managed to find my favorite spot, the port.
More about it in my next post.
Stay tuned! ❤