Antwerp Things to Do
Any visit to Belgium should include a stop in Antwerp. The Flemish capital is the second biggest city in the country and much of the country’s culture comes from the area. Belgium is most widely known for wheat beer, chocolate, and waffles. The nation has much more to offer than that, though. There is a lot to do while visiting in Antwerp.
Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp is one of the most important religious buildings in the country. The church has existed for centuries. Because of this, it has been remodeled countless, making it an interesting architectural curiosity thanks to the different eras represented in its current design. Interestingly, constructions stopped on the building during the 16th century but it has never been finished. While touring it, you will notice elements of rococo, Renaissance, and gothic architecture. Located all over the church are paintings by some of the greatest artists in Belgium’s history. It is open every day and there is a small admission charge.
Visiting Grote Market is practically mandatory while in the country of Belgium. It is located in the main square of the city and is considered one of the great town squares of Europe, despite the fact that it is smaller than many other notable city centers. Like many other buildings in Antwerp, the construction of the Grote Market has its roots in the 16th century. One particular thing that is great about the market is that you can experience it with both big crowds or almost individually. The later in the day you go, the more crowded it will be, especially starting in the late afternoon. This is also where the center for tourist information is located.
Het Steen is the oldest and most impressive structure in Antwerp. Built at the turn of the 13th century, the stone (Steen translates to stone in Flemish) fortress is still intact today. Antwerp was an important city during the medieval period and this structure is one of the last remaining buildings from that time. It was the home of the National Maritime Museum until very recently, but there is still a museum on the premises.
Easy to Access Zoo
Often, the zoo in major cities is located on the outskirts of town to account for the space needed. Antwerp’s is right downtown, making it a popular destination attraction for tourists. The zoo was built in the early days of the development of the city, giving it a very historic feel. It has been renovated a few times, so it still has great modern features. Some of the most popular animals in the zoo are those native to South Africa and Namibia. Because of its accessibility and exotic animals, the zoo is an ideal day trip for tourists with children.
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