Antwerp – “Belgium’s Capital of Cool”

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When SAT Travel decided to feature Antwerp in one of our antique shopping tours, it was time to learn more about this vibrant and hip fashion capital….

A NY Times blog, Antwerp was described as follows: “With its experimental architecture, bijou furniture markets and numerous concept galleries and fusion eateries, Antwerp has long been known as Belgium’s capital of cool.”  Makes you want to know more, doesn’t it?



Here are some suggestions if you are keen to explore Antwerp and to pamper yourself on a 3-day antiques shopping trip.  Grab your girlfriends and let’s go!


Toma Haines - The Antiques Diva

First of all, it pays to visit with an antiques expert who knows as much about chocolate and diamonds as fashion and furniture. We’ll definitely head for  Tongeren – the home of Europe’s best flea market!


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Next let’s go to one of the city’s most-famous museums, the Rubens House, the former residence and workshop of Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens.


310b5548-3d03-11e4-b46d-c1d13b1d11cc_webA street down from the Rubens House is Meir, the busiest shopping district in Antwerp. With a mix of designer  and hip chain stores,

Stadsfeestzaal Shopping

Stadsfeestzaal Shopping

you’ll find the Stadsfeestzall, originally built as a banquet and exhibition hall at the turn of the 20th century.  Be sure to stop by The Chocolate Line shop and factory.


A most interesting lunch stop- Kathedraalcafe

All this shopping is bound to make one hungry. Lunch will be the Kathedraalcafe in the center of Antwerp.

Steen_-_medival_fortress_in_AntwerpThe River Scheldt runs through the city and the medieval castle, Het Steen, is on its banks. It was one of the first stone buildings in Antwerp and possibly in all of Flanders, thus name “Steen”  which means stone.

grote_markt_brusselWe’ll be in a city with a number of market squares and shopping zones, several with pedestrian areas in the Historic Center. Grote Markt is the main market square with several medieval guild houses.  Here, a festive market called the Rubensmarkt is held in August each year and the  merchants all dress in 16th century attire.

Bourla Theatre- Antwerp

Bourla Theatre- Antwerp

On our last night, we meet up for dinner at the De Foyer restaurant at the beautiful Bourla Theatre and compare notes.  What did you enjoy the most?  Shopping in fashionable Stadsfeestzall?  The Tongeren Antique market? The art and architecture? Antwerp- on your must see list!