In 2/3 hours you’re in another world, a place so different from Holland. This lovely place is called Antwerp. It’s the second biggest city in Belgium. This pretty city is known for its chocolate, fashion and good Belgium food. Home to famous fashion designers Dries van Noten, Ralf Simons (head designer for Jill Sander) Walter van Beirendonck and the famous fashion department of the royal academy of fine arts. I’m going to take you on a tour du jour through my favorite city in Europe!
The first thing(when you travel by train) you’ll see is Antwerp central station. It took almost 10 years to create this incredible architecture masterpiece. When you walk out of the station you immediately feel the atmosphere of the city. You must be tired of the train trip, why not start your trip with an nice organic cup of coffee at Café nation. This cafe is close to the central station. The staff here is very friendly and helpful. Here you will find a lot of locals.
Then on to my favorite part: shopping! You can choose to go on the main street : the Meir. But bare in mind that you have all these shops in Holland as well. Antwerp has more to offer than that! This city is not called fashion captial of the Benelux for nothing. Vintage, designers, little boutiques. You name it, you can find it here.
Some good sustainable shopping:
Vintage heaven: T2/ think twice- this may look like and regular shop, but this is a very good vintage shop. Maybe the best in town. It’s really affordable and they make a good selection vintage clothing.
Today is a good day- a very big variety of brands that are Eco friendly and sustainable. Lovely atmosphere in the store.
jutka & riska- this shop sells one-of-a kind vintage clothing. The accessories are very nice and inexpensive.
RA- this is a shop/gallery and café in one. This uber hip shop carries young fashion designs from all over the world. Most of the designers are graduates from the royal academy of fine arts for Antwerp. The owner is a graduate from the fashion academy. Every now and then they change the gallery into another world filled with art and poetry. You can drink and eat something as well! A must visit.
After all that shopping you must be hungry! In Antwerp there’s a big ‘’good food’’ offer.
Ekki- is a ‘’good fast-food’’ concept store with only good food. Most of the food they serve have the BIO label. Meals are super fresh and affordable. If you what a quick and easy healthy meal this is the place to be.
Lombardia- very famous, best vegan restaurant of Belgium. Moby and Eliza Doolittle are fans. Here you can eat delicious vegan sandwiches and have super fresh juices.
Another must visit is the Fashion Museum (MoMu). 2 times a year there’s a new and totally different exhibition. The one prettier than the other. Every time you walk out with a WOW feeling. The building itself is worth visiting alone. On the top level there’s the fashion academy. If you don’t have time to visit the exhibition you can visit the free gallery in the central hall of the museum. There you can see works of the fashion design students. Also visit the bookstore left of the entrance. This bookstore has every fashion book you can think of. I can spend hours in that store just browsing around in the books.
Fun streets to walk: Kammenstraat- very hip fashionable street with a variety of vintage and designer shops.
Groendalstraat ,korten gasthuisstraat,schrijnwerkersstraat: These 3 little streets are filled with cute stores and ‘’fast good food’’ shops.
Lombardenvest, steenhouwersvest: Great atmosphere! If you’re walking on the steenhouwervest take bio croissant to-go from ‘’Het dagelijks brood’’ They are freshly made, and really good!
Hoogstreet: this street is filled with typical Belgium shops. If your craving Belgium fries go to ‘’frituur #1’’ on the corner of the oude koornamarkt and the hoogstreet. Take the Belgium mayonnaise, you never want the regular!