Antwerp is overflowing with outstanding sights and attractions. You could be forgiven for becoming enchanted by the never ending streets of architectural splendour, buildings displaying styles including gothic, baroque, rocco and renaissance. A great place to view an array of styles together is in and around Antwerp’s Cogels-Osylei where more than 70 buildings provide a staggering effect.
The rich cultural landscape however is just the tip of this key international destination. Antwerp has a huge number of museums and galleries that should be enjoyed at a relaxing pace. There are the obvious large, popular locations, such as the Royal Museum of Fine Art, but there are also a number of smaller establishments that you may choose to visit, such as the museum of anaesthesia or the city of sounds museum. The MAS museum has only recently opened and has yet to stamp its mark but has been eagerly awaited and is sure to impress.
The Town Square and churches are impressive features to be included in your tour of the city and you should try to see the Antwerp in Miniature galleries that recreate the city in miniature during different periods in time and feature sound and light shows.
Must see attractions in Antwerp
Royal Museum of Fine Art
Built in 1875 this impressive building is an architectural feature in itself. The museum houses over 7000 pieces of artwork dating back to the 14th century including works by Flemish masters such as Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dijck.
Rubens House (Rubenshuis)
Wander the halls of Rubens former palazzo and you will feel that you have stepped into his world, able to understand the man himself and the life he lived as painter, architect, diplomat and scientist. Some of Rubens most famous works are on display here including Adam and Eve, Annunciation and the unfinished, Battle of Ivry, along with pieces from his own collections including his Flemish predecessors and German masters such as Holbein and Elsheimer.
Cathedral of our Lady (Onze-Lieve-VrouweKathedraal)
This is the largest cathedral in the low countries combining gothic, baroque, rocco and renaissance styles of architecture within the one building, and although construction began as long ago as 1351 it was never officially completed. The cathedral is also home to a number of fine works of art, including masterpieces by Rubens and a marble statue of the Madonna dating back to the 14th century.
Town Square (Grote Markt)
It was customary for the guilds to build their headquarters on the square, each trying to demonstrate their power through the grandeur of their architecture and this square is a fabulously impressive example, with the Brabo Fountain, from 1887, its main centrepiece.
Municipal Print Gallery
With an impressive collection of drawings, engravings, copperplates, woodcuts, sketch books, posters, plates and portfolios of art, all dating back from the 16th century to the present day, including rare drawings by Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck.
Carolus Borromeus Church (Kerk)
Commonly referred to as the most beautiful building in Antwerp and situated in an area renowned for its charm, this is must see for visitors to the city. Rubens produced paintings for it, designed the façade and the alter has a mechanism that enables 3 paintings to change.
Middelheim Sculpture Museum (Openluchtmuseum Middelheim)
This is a park that doubles as an open air museum with over 300 sculptures, traditional and contemporary, displayed along the pathways. With a proud international reputation, Middelheim contains work from renowned artists such as Auguste, Rodin and Wouters.
This concept combines the Flanders Fashion Institute, the Fashion Museum, Fashion Academy, a café and a bookstore all in the centre of the trendy Antwerp fashion district. In a city renowned for the emergence of many new designers, this is the place to be seen.
There are over 250 different species to be found in over a million litres of water as this fabulous place introduces you to the hidden treasures of the sea.
In this modern zoo you can see over 6000 animals in open enclosures. Many years have been spend perfecting all the different zones to allow over 750 species to thrive in areas simulating their natural habitat and for visitors to be able to enjoy this oasis of calm amongst the bustle of the city.