Experience the Summer Festival
As soom as I emerged from Antwerp’s beautiful Central Station I saw the Diamond Wheel which will be in place throughout Summer 2012.
The Diamond Wheel Antwerp
The Zomer Van Antwerpen Festival runs from the end of June until the beginning of September. I went to Cirkus Cirkor’s ‘Wear It Like a Crown‘ performance when I was in Antwerp. I thought that the acrobats and mouth-to-mouth pingball jugglers were really good, but I didn’t think that the clown was in the least funny. The soundtrack was really haunting; you can listen to the Wear It Like a Crown track by Rebekka Karisjord on Youtube. Unforunately photography was prohibited during the Cirkus Cirkor’s performance.
Cirkus Cirkor Tent in Antwerp
Visit the Cathedral
Construction of the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp began in the 14th century. For many years it was the highest building in the low countries. Inside there are paintings by Rubens. There are lots of cafes and restaurants in this area.
Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp
Visit Rubens House
Judging by the interior of Rubens House, the painter wasn’t your stereotypical starving artist living in a garret; it’s a very grand and opulent residence.
I enjoyed spending some time in the garden which was home to a clutch of ducklings. The staff had thoughtfully built a wooden walkway for these flightless babies to get in and out of the pond.
Duckling stairway in pond at Rubens House
Visit the Fashion Museum
The Living Fashion Women’s Daily Wear 1750-1950 exhibition was on display during my visit to the Antwerp Fashion Museum in early August 2012. I’m not much of a fashion expert but there seemed to be a lot of Victorian style outfits
Antwerp Fashion Museum
Feel the Sand Between Your Toes at Zomerbar
The circus show I went to see in Antwerp was adjacent to the Zomerbar, near the Bank van Breda in Antwerp Zuid. It looked like a great place to chill out with sand, terraces constructed in trees, several bars and a kids’ play park.
Admire the Baron Lambermont Memorial
From Montingy tram stop, if you walk along Kastellstraat you’ll find the Baron Lambermont memorial built in the early 20th century. It was looking wonderful at dusk. The Baron worked toward the abolition of tolls made by the Dutch on ships sailing the River Scheldt (which flows through Antwerp), thus improving profitability for local vessels. That’s why the base of the memorial is shaped like a ship.
Baron Lamermont Memorial
Do Some Designer Shopping
There are plenty of swanky shops in Antwerp. You’ll find some of them in StadsFestzaal. It was formerly an events hall but burnt down in 2000. However it’s been beautifully restorted and is now a shopping centre.
Entrance to StadsFestzaal
Sip an Absinthe at Appelmans
There’s an Absinthe Bar at Appelmans in Pappenstraatje, close to the Cathedral. I ate at the Brasserie Appelmans, but as a teetoller I didn’t try any of this strong stuff; however, the bar looked very colourful.
Visit the Middelheim Open Air Sculpture Museum
I’m sorry that I didn’t have time to get to the Open Air Sculpture Museum when I was in Antwerp. I’m a big fan of sculptures, as you can see from my European sculpture board on Pinterest.
Get Confused by the Road Signs Sculpture
There is a plethora of road signs in a bed of sunflowers where Leystraat intersects with Frankrijklei, close to the massive tower block.
Road signs sculpture in Antwerp
Click here to see all my Antwerp photos on Flickr.
More Antwerp Tips
The Antwerp for Free website is really useful.
If you have any tips on what to do in Antwerp, please leave them as a comment.
Where to Stay in Antwerp
I stayed at the Park Inn Antwerp, which is very close to Central Station and I’d recommend it as the rooms are very well equipped for a three star hotel.