Hotels in Antwerp | Best places to stay in Antwerp, Belgium by IHG
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Antwerp Hotels

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Featured Antwerp Hotels

Visiting Antwerp – A City Guide
Belgium’s second city is stylish and confident. The country’s largest port, Antwerp became wealthy through trade, and it remains a cutting-edge fashion hub. It effortlessly blends stunning medieval architecture with vibrant 21st-century nightlife. It’s also a major diamond centre – over half the world’s rough and cut stones are traded here.

Antwerp: city layout
Central Antwerp radiates in a semicircle from the east bank of the Schelde River, with the Cathedral of our Lady and majestic Grote Markt square its unmissable focal points. The Meir shopping boulevard heads east from there to the spectacular Antwerp Central station, worth visiting in its own right. The northern part of the city remains a working port, but the docklands just north of the city centre have been transformed into an up-and-coming area packed with museums and restaurants. South of the centre are prosperous residential neighbourhoods and relaxing parks such as Middelheim, which doubles as an open-air sculpture museum.

What to see in Antwerp
Start your tour by admiring the magnificent Renaissance architecture of the Grote Markt. Ringed by sumptuous guild houses, and with the 16th-century city hall as its centrepiece, it’s one of Europe’s grandest city squares.

You can’t fail to miss the soaring 123-metre tower of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of our Lady). This ornate Gothic structure is technically incomplete – there was supposed to be a second tower. You’ll want to make time to explore the interior, as the treasures inside, which include paintings by Rubens, are the equal of the building itself.

The concierge recommends…

  • Touring Rubenshuis, the extravagant 17th-century home of Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens, who clearly made a good living as a court painter.
  • Touring the De Koninck brewery and learning how the city’s iconic bolleke beer is made. You get a chance to sample, of course.
  • Exploring the Rockoxhuis, the Baroque home of art collector and former Antwerp mayor Nicolaas Rockox. The works on show include pieces by Rubens as well as Van Dyck and Jordaens.
  • Checking out the world’s oldest surviving printing presses at the Plantin-Moretus Museum, in the restored offices of a former printing company.

Hotels in Antwerp
Antwerp has a huge range of accommodation to suit every pocket and taste, from luxury retreats in elegant townhouses to ultra-modern and business-friendly hotels. The highest concentration is in the city centre, but an excellent network of buses and trams will keep you in touch no matter where you stay.

Staying in the city centre puts you within easy reach of the main sights and close to hundreds of shops, bars and restaurants.

Staying north of the centre places you near the rejuvenated former docklands area, a trendy district with an increasing number of nightlife options. This location’s also handy for the Museum aan de Stroom and Red Star Line Museum.

The more residential southern suburbs have plenty of dining options. You’ll have quick access to this district from outside the city, and there are fast public transport links connecting you to the centre.

Eating Out in Antwerp
Antwerp enjoys an excellent culinary reputation, from street snacks to fine dining. The former include Belgian frietjes (incorrectly called ‘French’ fries in English), usually smothered in mayonnaise and served from popular stalls. Also popular are wafelen (Belgian waffles), and chocolate praline, a silky smooth treat that melts on your tongue.

The city centre is packed with restaurants to suit every taste, from refined French to simple café fare. Come with an empty stomach, because café portions can be very large.

You’ll find loads of cafés and restaurants of all classes in the streets around Grote Markt, particularly to the south. There’s also a dense cluster of more budget-minded places west of Antwerp Central station.

Tuck into some Asian cuisine north of the station, in the city’s Chinatown district. New cafés and restaurants are popping up all the time in the former docklands area.

The chef recommends...

  • Gentse Waterzooi: a creamy stew of chicken and vegetables.
  • Filet Américain: finely ground beef, spiced and served raw.
  • Mosselen frietjes: a large bowl of steaming mussels, cooked in a variety of sauces. White wine, garlic, cream, curry and ‘natural’ are the most common. Always served with fries and best washed down with beer.
  • Witlof uit de oven: chicory, cooked whole and wrapped in ham, then baked in a cheesy béchamel sauce. Be careful: it comes sizzling straight from the oven, and the serving dish is usually red hot.

Shopping in Antwerp
Antwerp gained a reputation as a fashion capital in the 1980s when the ‘Antwerp Six’ designers emerged, and several of them – including Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten – still have flagship stores here. If their price tags are a little daunting, you’ll also find everything from department stores to markets.

Antwerp’s main shopping street is Meir, the boulevard linking Antwerp Central station with the river. You’ll find familiar brands here and along the adjacent streets.

For high-end fashion, pottery and jewellery under one roof, try Graanmarkt 13. For everyday items try the Grand Bazar shopping centre.

Even if you’re not shopping, you should still check out the Stadsfeestzaal. This former exhibition hall was rebuilt following a devastating fire and is now an elegant warren of around 40 designer stores.

If diamonds are your best friend, you’ll want to visit the Diamond Quarter, beside the station.

Top souvenirs from Antwerp

  • Chocolate: Pralines are synonymous with Belgian chocolate. Specialist chocolatiers such as the Chocolate Line use hundreds of flavourings, transforming this sweet treat into tiny works of art.
  • Beer: With over 1,500 beers to choose from in dozens of styles, you’ll be hard pressed not to find something you like.
  • Diamonds: They may not be within everyone’s budget range, but if you’re looking to buy, you could do worse than browsing through Europe’s largest diamond trading centre. If you simply want to admire their sparkle, you can watch them being cut and polished at Diamondland.

Culture & Nightlife in Antwerp
Antwerp has a thriving cultural scene, with a wide range of museums and art galleries to keep you entertained by day. In the evening, activity centres around the city’s hundreds of bars and cafés, some of which play loud music into the early hours, effectively becoming free-to-enter clubs.

Most museums and cultural distractions are in the city centre. There’s another concentration of galleries south of the centre, near the Schelde River, and more museums in the docklands district north of the centre. You’ll also find an increasing number of bars and clubs in this fast-developing area.

Between the docks and the centre is a more-established clubbing area. Here you’ll find Café d’Anvers, centre of the dance scene for three decades and still host to local and international DJs. Many of Antwerp’s finest beer bars and pubs are found around the Grote Markt.

Top museums in Antwerp

  • Museum Mayer van den Bergh: This collection of paintings and sculptures will remind you that Flemish art did not begin and end with Rubens.
  • ModeMuseum, or MoMu: The Fashion Museum boasts a collection of clothing, textiles and accessories from the 18th century to the present day.
  • Museum aan de Stroom, or MAS: This modern museum in the renovated docklands area houses several of Antwerp’s historical collections under one roof, with a strong emphasis on the city’s proud maritime links.
  • Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, or MUHKA: The Museum of Contemporary Art hosts changing exhibitions by local and international modern artists.

Visiting Antwerp with a Family
From zoos and aquariums to educational museums and leafy parks, Antwerp has a wide range of attractions to keep younger visitors amused. Like all cities in Belgium, children are welcome in most bars and cafés as well as restaurants, and many have games available to keep everyone entertained.

Your kids can’t fail to be awed by the sheer scale of Antwerp’s elegant cathedral, and you’ll find plenty of other historical sights in this area. In the Vleeshuis museum you can hear a unique collection of instruments created when a medieval law forbade anyone but soldiers from playing drums or trumpets.

Burn some energy in Middelheim park, south of the centre. If you fancy an adventure with a difference, walk through St. Anna Tunnel, a cyclist and pedestrian passageway beneath the River Schelde. The views from the western exit make the journey worthwhile.

Best family attractions in Antwerp

  • Come and meet the penguins at Antwerp Zoo. One of Europe’s oldest zoos is still home to 5,000 animals.
  • Little ones can gaze at sharks or try finding Nemo at Aquatopia, a modern aquarium and conservation centre with seven different habitats for fish and reptiles.
  • Help your kids learn about the past at the Museum aan de Stroom, or MAS, which offers plenty of hands-on interactive exhibits to keep even wandering minds focussed.
  • Listen to the moving personal stories of emigrants who passed through Antwerp on their way to the New World at the Red Star Line Museum.

Latest Antwerp Hotel Reviews

Fantastic hotel in the heart of Mechelen
By Bellas mum
Fantastic hotel in e the heart of Mechelen with its own secure parking. A couple of minutes walk from central square where you can see all the old buildings. Really good shopping street offering [More] loads of choice. Many bars and restaurants in the area. Hotel very quiet. Underground parking is a bit tight for space but we managed it with a bit if reversing back and forward. Breakfast amazing with make your own waffles aswell as egg and bacon and many different cold meats, muffins, cereals, boiled eggs and toast. Would definitely make a return visit if nearby. [Less]
Great service
By RonC5
Warm welcome. Location is convenient. Underneat building parking is perfect. [Less]
Amazing place to stay in this underrated city
By Jeyre
Great location in this excellent city. I would choose to stay in this local before any other place in belgium. [Less]
Great stay in Antwerp
By AndyC
Great hotel with all the facilities we needed, especially off street parking. The staff were extremely helpful with location information and local transport options [Less]
Antwerp City North
By Sidney
A clean, comfortable city hotel, with very friendly staff. [Less]
Great hotel for a short stay
By HarryH611
I stayed at this hotel for 2 nights. The staff are welcoming and the hotel and rooms were clean and comfortable. The breakfast was continental and was as expected for a Holiday Inn. Our stay [More] was comfortable and enjoyable. The only criticism was that the staff covering the reception are also responsible for the bar and as such if guests require something at the desk, then you can wait a very long time for service at the bar. However, I would be happy to stay here again on my next visit to Antwerp. [Less]
Great Service
By Cdaleb
Your staff went above the call. Their response when need was quick and direct. Valeria was one the the best, and so was Phoon who was one of the Trainee there too. All of the staff were great was [More] well. [Less]
Great service great location
Stayed for business - mistakenly booked city center location - staff sorted it out quickly and there were no charges! [Less]
A good nights sleep
By cuff56
Use this hotel frequently for short stays on business and it is convenient and comfortable. Not a place I would stay on a leisure trip. Breakfast food is excellent. Evening meals are a bit limited. [Less]

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