Antwerp is a city in Belgium and is the capital of the Antwerp Province in the Flemish Region. The city can be found along the river Scheldt, which goes directly into the North Sea. Antwerp is a very important city for industry and business, with the city’s port ranking the second busiest port in Europe, and one of the top ones in the world.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112 (fire and ambulance) 100 (police)
- Language: Dutch, French and German
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: BE
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 1,047,613
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Antwerp has a great nightlife - many bars stay open only until the last customer leaves, around 2-3am. If you go, we recommend trying a De Koninck beer - an ale with velvety soft aroma.
- Look after valuables, if you are visiting by car be sure to park in a secure car park and don't leave anything on show.
For the Emergency services just dial 112 for fire and ambulance services, and 100 for police.
Are there any areas that I should avoid?
Avoid the areas around train stations, particularly at night. They can be unsafe as opportunists will wait for tourists getting on and off trains.
Conincksplein area has a bad reputation for having a lot of drug users around so it is best avoided.
Falconplein also has a reputation for being a bit of a ‘dodgy’ area.
Unfortunately, areas around the central station are not the nicest parts of the city so take caution as you are arriving or leaving whilst it is dark, particularly around the station exit via the site of the zoo. If possible, try to go in a group.
What are some city safety tips?
Pickpockets operate in the major shopping areas particularly in the spring and summer.
Be careful of beggars who can sometimes be a bit pushy.
Be careful when taking money out of cash machines, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder at your pin or tries to take your card, also make sure the machine has not been tampered with.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
The festival is usually held on the fourth weekend of June, with over 150 beers to taste and enjoy. The festival encourages people to enjoy an educational and cultural approach to beer and not just to drink it! The event takes place at Groenplaats, next to the cathedral and entry is free although you may have to pay for some of the beers.
The Laundry Day has a reputation as one of Europe’s most awesome electronic music festivals, over 150 artists gather and play across several stages during a one day extravaganza, It is held normally held on the first Saturday in September and takes place on a festival site called Nieuw Zuid in the south of city.
Usually held in August of each year around Grote Markt. The Rubens Market is a colourful time warp back to the time of the painter. You will see upbeat market traders in colourful and traditional costume, hear music and the battles of competing traders selling their goods. It is generally held on Assumption Day which is a Belgian national holiday.
What other places make for some good days out?
Antwerp Diamond District is located in the heart of the city and covers several blocks which cover about one square mile. A large amount of the worlds rough diamonds pass through this area before been cut and making their way to expensive shops and jewelers.
The Mode Museum is a place that showcases fashion designs and innovative clothing with exhibitions from top world class artists and designers. They have a many changing exhibitions so its worth having a look what is on before you visit.
The Rubens House boasts amazing collections of world class art from some of the greatest artists that ever lived and worked. It is also the house of one of the greatest painters of all time. Here you can learn about the man behind the art, as well as see some of his works including Rubens’ collection of Roman Statues. For art lovers on the circuit it is a must see, the building itself is also pretty impressive and can be considered a work of art.
Are there any highlights worth checking out?
The Cathedral of our Lady is one of the biggest Gothic churches and was built between 1352 and 1521, it dominates over the city skyline. A fantastic collection of art is on display inside, including some impressive paintings by Rubens. You wont be able to miss it when you visit the city.
The city hall is a main feature of the beautiful but small city square. It is now pedestrianised so you can stroll across the square admiring the stunning Guild Houses and statue of the mythical hero Brabo. Many markets are held here and it is always full of life and people.