Antwerp is such a vibrant city, it is a mix between old and new - on the one hand, there are the shopping malls and the gritty feel of a modern city to it.
The first thing you notice when entering Antwerp is the beautiful train station, which must be the most elegant . It stated as No 4 of the most beautiful train station in the world, based on Newsweek Survey Listed (after London, NYC and Mumbai).
When the train is pulling up to the platforms it is modern and trendy, all blue lighting and smooth steel. Then you step out of the train and the platforms are covered by an enormous old iron frame and the station itself is a thing of beauty. Built in 1895, the high dome and attention to detail reflect the values of a time when public services were granted respect and even reverence, a seemingly impossible opening up of the world to all who chose to see it.
In the basement and 1st floor of the station you ll find teens of Diamond Shops. Should i remind you that Antwerp is a world diamond city ?
The historic centre is Antwerp's main attraction. The best place to start would be Groenplaats, where a lot of trams stop, both above and underground. Here you can see a statue of Pieter Paul Rubens, one of Antwerp's most famous painters.
Then continue to see the Cathedral of Our Lady, a beautiful building that you can see from most places in the centre. Building took 169 years, from the 14th to 16th century.
The next place that everyone should see is the Grote Markt, Antwerp's main square. The beautiful City Hall takes a prominent places on one side of the square, but the other houses around the square are worth a look too.
The next must-see is the castle "Het Steen" on the bank of the river Schelde. It dates back to the 13th century and is the oldest remaining building in Antwerp.
End up your trip with hang out in the cafes around the city,and since drinking for Belgians is a culture and social happening, thus order a beer is a must :)
Travel diary shared by febbvan