24 Hours in Antwerp

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Another day, another city. As part of our weekend away to Amsterdam, Sam and I decided that whilst we were "in the area" as it were, we may as well take the train to spend a day in another European city that we hadn't been to before. And so we decided on Antwerp!

The train only cost us €35 each and took a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes with one train leaving every hour. There are faster trains for double the price, but for the sake of 45 minutes we decided we needed the money more than the time. It was a pretty pleasant journey as well; the seats were comfortable and it wasn't particularly busy so we got window seats with extra seats next to us for bags. There was also a very cheery man selling snacks. I would definitely recommend this mode of travel for anyone interested!

Central Station

Antwerp is not the biggest city in the world by any means; but that's why we knew a day would be enough. The main centre is limited to a couple of squares and some side streets linking them but I did really enjoy pottering around taking in all the architecture. I quite like a bit of architecture me. It's also not massively busy during the day so you're not having to wrestle your way through tonnes of other tourists which is always a plus. Although Antwerp is quiet during the day it definitely livens up at night. All bars and restaurants are packed with punters and you feel a bit of buzz. We never once used public transport whilst in the city as we found everything was within walking distance; you see much more of a city when you walk!

Cathedral of Our Lady
Cathedral of Our Lady
Cathedral of Our Lady

There are many museums to visit in the city; however with our money running low we decided we'd rather have a look at the Cathedral of Our Lady and I wasn't disappointed. There's something about Cathedrals which I just love. The architecture (architecture again!) is stunning and they're always so quiet it feels very serene. I'm also a bit obsessed with stain glass windows. A must see in my opinion. There is also a high street full of shops for anyone wanting to do a bit of retail therapy.

Belgian Waffle
Belgian Beer

Of course we can't talk about Belgium without mentioning beer and waffles! Waffles are one of my favourite desserts (I'd already indulged in two whilst in Amsterdam); they are just so frickin' delicious. My only complaint is they always only give you a fork to eat it with which is incredibly difficult as waffles are quite tough and you end up being covered in whipped cream! As for beer, there is a plethora of Belgian beer on offer and most bars and restaurants we came across offered a wide range. Can't say it was a hardship sitting at bars with a view of different landmarks having a Belgian beer tasting session. "When in Rome" as they say.

Rubens Huis

Although it was a very short stay it was very sweet. I think a day is the perfect amount of time to spend in Antwerp; it doesn't offer as much as other bigger cities so I think any more time and you would run out of things to do. That being said, we did have a lovely time there and can now tick another European city off my list!

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