Photo Essay: Discover Antwerp, Belgium’s Other City

Photo Essay: Discover Antwerp, Belgium’s Other Great City

While in Egypt, we met a fun Dutch couple from Amsterdam.  When we told them of our future plans to travel from Brussels to Amsterdam they both agreed that, if the opportunity presented itself, we must make the effort to visit Antwerp.

Equipped with a 10-segment rail pass that allowed 24 hours to complete each trip segment, we strategized how to squeeze in a day trip to Belgium’s lesser known city.  After studying the maps and train schedule, we realized that Antwerp was located right in the middle of the popular Brussels-Amsterdam train route.

There were several trains departing Antwerp in the evening, arriving in Amsterdam later that night. The plan came together quickly and was actually quite simple.

We departed Brussels early in the morning, arriving in Antwerp late morning.  It gave us about 5 hours for sightseeing and lunch, which is more than enough time to explore the historical city renowned as being the diamond capital of the world (provided you skip the shopping!).

Take a walk with us as we discover Antwerp in 5 hours!

To view the photo slideshow click here – Antwerp, Belgium Slideshow

Streets of Antwerp, Belgium
Above: Business and shopping district of central Antwerp.

When we arrived, the weather wasn’t cooperating.  It was cold, rainy and overcast.  Fortunately, as you can see in the photo below, within 20 minutes of arriving the clouds parted and the sun decided to make an appearance.

Antwerp, Belgium
Above: Pedestrian shopping streets with the towering gothic cathedral in the backdrop.  Ironically a McDonald’s restaurant located on the strip (you can’t travel anywhere without the golden arches making an appearance!).

Grote Markt in Antwerp, Belgium
Above: Nicole in the popular Grote Markt.  The architecture in the main square is stunning, especially decorated for the Christmas season.

Gothic Cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium
Above:  The dominant medieval Cathedral of Our Lady

Antwerp Cathedral in Belgium
Above: Golden clock on the towering cathedral

Colourful buildings in Antwerp, Belgium
Above: Colourful Belgium buildings in Antwerp’s city centre.

Streets of Antwerp in B&W

Above: Wandering the cobblestone streets of Antwerp, admiring its wonderful European architecture.  You’ll notice the trees have no leaves as we were visiting in December, which was surprisingly the perfect time of year to visit Europe.

Steen Castle in Antwerp, Belgium

Above:  The picture perfect 11th century Steen Castle, located on the shores of the Scheldt River.

Below: Nicole at the gates of the fairy-tale, medieval castle.

Nicole in front of Steen Castle, Antwerp, Belgium (1)


Streets of Antwerp, Belgium
Above: The giant Cathedral of Our Lady towers over Antwerp, visible from virtually anywhere in the city centre.

Shopping and Business District of Antwerp, Belgium
Pedestrianized shopping streets in Antwerp’s city centre.

Primus Beer - Antwerp, Belgium
A well deserved frothy pint of Primus after a full afternoon exploring Antwerp.

We were glad that our Dutch friends recommended we visit Antwerp, otherwise we likely would have skipped it while on the train from Brussels to Amsterdam. It’s a beautiful riverside city rich in history and with stunning architecture.


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About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are family travel bloggers who live in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has lead them to over 70+ countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.