From cosmopolitan cities to postcard-perfect countryside, Antwerp Province is an enchanting pocket of Belgium. In addition to world-class galleries and museums, Antwerp is a stronghold for designer boutiques, chef-driven restaurants and trendy bars. Cities like Lier and Mechelen rival the likes of Bruges and Ghent when it comes to charm.
Things to do in Antwerpen
Set on the River Scheldt, Antwerp is a gateway to the region. It’s one of the largest cities in Belgium and a hotspot for art, culture and fashion. The beautifully preserved medieval centre will charm you with its cobbled streets and atmospheric cafes.
Admire masterpieces by Baroque luminary Pieter Paul Rubens at museums across Antwerp. Some of the best pieces are showcased at Rubenshuis, the 17th-century mansion where the painter once lived. Rubens’ originals are showcased alongside pieces by Flemish Baroque artist Van Dyck and Venetian painter Tintoretto.
Visit Lier and stroll around one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Belgium. The city is home to Lier Begijnhof, a picturesque quarter criss-crossed with cobbled streets. Many of the historic houses still host “kantkring” workshops where you can watch local artisans create delicate lace.
Escape to the Campine region and immerse yourself in the Flemish countryside. The region is dotted with historic farms reimagined as charming B&Bs. Enjoy a traditional breakfast of bread, cheese and homemade jams before setting off on a bicycle tour. The landscapes are stunning and range from rolling farmland to pristine forests.
Magnificent St. Rumbold's Cathedral soars over Mechelen. The Gothic cathedral dates back to the 14th century and welcomes you with glorious stained-glass windows. Climb the staircase up the 97-metre-tall tower for sweeping views over the city. Cafes and restaurants spill onto the cobbled central square framed by centuries-old gabled houses.
Getting around Antwerpen
Cities in Antwerp Province are pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Trams are a fast and affordable option, while cycling is a safe and eco-friendly way to get around. Trains connect Antwerp with major towns and cities across the province, including Lier, Turnhout and Mechelen. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore Antwerp Province and the Flemish Region at your own pace. Antwerp is a one-hour drive from Brussels and Brussels Airport.