Antwerp is for me from Amsterdam less than 2 hours away with a trein and that makes it extra easy and fun for a weekend away in winter time. I’ve been there last weekend and checked out some of the best spots and events for you to enjoy food, drinks and more. Do you have plans to go to Antwerp in the coming weeks? In that case read my wintry Antwerp tips! Besides the nice Winterland (from 8 December until 6 Januari), Antwerp has a whole list of must sees and do’s!
CHINA LIGHT FESTIVAL
In the Zoo near Central Station you can experience an impressive spectacle during the magical light festival China Light. The meters-high light artworks created by Chinese artists, transform the animal park into a winter light festival. The light show called ‘Ray’ tells the story about the Lotus princess and her lover. The gigantic light spectacle contains 25,000 meters of satin and 30,000 lights and opens in the evenings! You can visit the China Light Festival everyday from 17.30 to 21.00.
In the city center, on the Groenplaats, just in front of the City Hall there is an oversized ice skating rink, a tubing slide, mini golf, wellness and of course the classic Christmas Market! If you want to see tubs or Antwerp from above, then you have to go to the Scheldt because there is a tubing track and a huge Ferris wheel.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE WORLD OF CHOCOLATE
Antwerpen is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth and you have chocolatiers everywhere here. But the chocolatier in the Palace on the Meir is surely one of the most special chocolatiers in the world. The store called The Chocolate Line is from chocolatier Dominique Persoone. He is one of the three chocolatiers who are named in the Michelin guide and if you taste his products you immediately understand this too. Dominique Persoone is no ordinary chocolatier, but also calls herself a shock-olator. He works with special combinations, is not afraid to experiment and dares to enter into daring taste combinations. For example, he made a chocolate shooter for the birthday party of one of the Rolling Stones and chocolade lipstick.
Make sure to pass by chocolatier & Confiserie Burie, located on the Nationale straat 42. They are making the famous, beautiful chocolate display pieces. Personally, I am a fan of the pink chocolate diamonds.
Food Food Food!
For vegan lunch
At Native they serve plenty super healthy and vegan dishes made of organic, seasonal products. To be sure of a spot in this cozy restaurant, book the best in advance.
For a healthy dinner
Restaurant Graanmarkt 13 is located in a stately home in the heart of Antwerp near the Meir and Stadschouwburg. It bears the name of a concept store with a trendy clothing and lifestyle store. Each floor creates a different experience and there is also a duplex luxury apartment that can rented as a hotel room. De chef Seppe Nobels focuses entirely on seasonal and high-quality terroir products that he converts into creative taste sensations.
A cute bakery that not only sells the tastiest bread and pastries, but where you can also sit down for a high tea in the most beautiful setting! Domestic in the Lange Gasthuisstraat is the pit stop you want to make during your wintry city trip in Antwerp.
Extra tip! Check out the DIVA and go on a journey through the Antwerp diamond story. The new Diamonds museum is located in the historic heart of Antwerp on the Suikerrui en in de Gildekamersstraat near the ‘Grote Mark’.
During my trip I stayed in the boutique hotel Les Nuits. Right in the city center, on the ‘Wilde Zee’. Les Nuits Hotel nice and small-scale hotel with 22 uniquely decorated rooms. My room was perfect and above all very tastefully decorated. The rain shower was nice and the bed comfy. From the hotel you walk in a minute to the first shops of the Wilde Zee. The shops on the Schuttershofstraat are a few minutes walk from the hotel as well. You’ll also find lots of nice restaurants, and eateries in the area.
This publication was created in collaboration with Toerisme Vlaanderen.