I've just moved to Antwerp from London and I'm looking to explore the best bits of the country. It's easy to find the bigger things to see, but I wanted to know what places people know that aren't the usual (Brugges, Gent, Brussels, Antwerp etc). I like all sorts of different types of trips so I'm open to any suggestions.
Thanks in advance!
Hi Luke, first of all welcome in Antwerp. As you'll learn it is the center of the universe (at least that's how "real antwerpians" like to talk about it). So now that you've moved here you should refer to Antwerp as " 't Stad" (THE city). All other cities should be refered to as villages .
Anyway, I think the best way to experience any country is through a site called couchsurfing.org. The community in Belgium is pretty active and this summer there will be plenty of events all around Belgium ranging from beer tasting to gathering on festivals or just BBQ at the riverside. You can find a list of events here: http://www.couchsurfing.org/meetings.html. My profile on the site can be found here: http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/pmgd/. The next couple of weeks I'll be moving so won't have that much time to go for a drink etc. (Speaking of moving, if you feel like moving a bit more and help us out... we can always use a helping hand this weekend (sunday). We'll have a BBQ in the evening with the people who helped out. It'll be an international group of people (Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium) so language shouldn't be a problem and they'll be able to give you first hand information on their experiences with Antwerp/Belgium). If you're interested you can contact me through this website or via couchsurfing.
Some things you should get at the tourist information office at the Grote Markt are:
- Use-It map of Antwerp --> all the great (hidden) spots and cheap restaurants...
- Program of the "Zomer van Antwerpen" (Summer of Antwerp). Theater, concerts etc in Antwerp this summer. Lots and lots of things to do. I think the "Zomer van Antwerpen" is only 25% of the events going on this summer.
- "Zone03", can also be found at train stations and all around the city. It's a free magazine with nice places to go to, events, interviews etc. I think it's a weekly thing.
Okay, that should get you started at least a bit. See you around and enjoy Antwerp!
Ok - you've posted the obvious places, although Brussels really isnt that interesting at all after 1/2 a day or so.
Try the Ardennes Region. Its beautiful over there.
Try the eastern area near the border with the Dutch province of Limburg, Germany and the north of Luxembourg. Do trips to Maastricht in the Netherlands, Monschau in Germany and Clervaux in Luxembourg. The region is partly Dutch speaking, German speaking and French speaking...
Another option is smaller cities/towns like Leuven, Turnhout and Namur.
Or go to the goest and travel almost the entire lenght of it by the longest tramline in the world
O, near Antwerp, just across the border with the Netherlands, is the small town of Hulst, where I am born. It's one of about a dozen of towns in the Netherlands with all of its defensive walls still intact!
The hills in the east near the german border are nice to explore in the weekends. A good starting point might be La Roche en Ardenne, or a little bit further north the area of the National Park High Eifel (Parc Naturel Haut Fagnes Eifel). You could of course also cross into Germany from there, and check out a town like Monschau. It is a nice area for long walks. The downside is that when the weather turns bad (fog and rain), it can stay bad for a long period overthere.
From Antwerp you can ofcourse also cross into the Netherlands, Middelburg is a nice place to visit and combine it with a visit the Oosterschelde dam, one of the finest defensive constructions of the Dutch against the sea.
[ Edit: Edited on 30-Jun-2010, at 12:15 by Herr Bert ]
When it comes to biking you can always use www.fietsnet.be. It is based on "de knooppuntenroute". A "knooppunt" is a crossroad. Along the route there are little signs giving you direction to every crossroad. The routes are made so that you have the nicest/safest/... connection between two nodes. Makes it pretty easy for you to create a route and then note down the numbers. The list of numbers is the only actual thing you'll need...
Thank you so much for your wonderful contributions! You've given me so much to do, now it is an even harder task!
I really appreciate all of your suggestions and will definitely be trying as many as possible.
All the best and thanks!
Antwerp in Belgium has a lot for people who come in here as a tourist and even those who have recently moved in here. There are many places which are not that famous but you can say 'if you haven't checked them, you haven't seen Antwerp. These include Cogels-Osylei, The ‘Ruien’ and St. Anna Tunnel.
Cogels-Osylei is the most remarkable street of Antwerp. It has an incredible mixture of architectural styles - a French Chateau, a Venetian Palazzo and a Greek temple compliment eccentric Art Nouveau buildings
First of all welcome in Belgium dude, can you tell me your age?So I can advice you more efficiently.
Now I can suggest you Namur as it was already said,Nivelles (small but nice there is a lake and you can also see the old bulwark),Wavre (nothing really interesting to do but there is an amusement park "walibi") you may definitely go to Louvain-La-Neuve this is know as the university stad, you have a little mall,a lake,a lot of different people and many activities for summer such as louvain la neuve beach (volley,cocktails and fun) you must also go there during student event such as "les 24h vélos" on 20 october.
Liège is also a great and big city with lovely place and the traditional "carré" with all the bars.
If you prefer countryside I may suggest you Houffalize in the south of belgium.
You may also go to Eupen the german part of Belgium.
I think that's it, yes the belgian coast obviously but maybe you already did it so...
As you know Belgium is really small so it will be a good idea for you to make little trip (or one day trip) to Maastricht(Netherland),Aachen or Köln(Deutshland),Luxemburg(Luxemburg),Lille or Roubaix(France),...
For summer there are "apéros urbain"organized in Bruxelles you must check the calendar because it is really really cool!
Hope you'll have fun in our country,wish you all the best!
[ Edit: Edited on 05-Jul-2010, at 13:55 by elena-m ]