Antwerp- “Belgium’s Capital of Cool”

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Travel within Europe is seductively easy.  Did you realize that from Montpellier, you can be in Antwerp in less than 7 hours?

 

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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.

Peter-Paul-Rubens-Self-Portrait

A street down from the Rubens House is Meir, the busiest shopping district in Antwerp.

 

310b5548-3d03-11e4-b46d-c1d13b1d11cc_web  With a mix of designer  and hip chain stores you’ll find the Stadsfeestzall, originally built as a banquet and exhibition hall at the turn of the 20th century.

Stadsfeestzaal Shopping

Be sure to stop by The Chocolate Line shop and factory.  All this shopping is bound to make one hungry. Lunch will be the Kathedraalcafe in the center of Antwerp.

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The 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.

Steen_-_medival_fortress_in_Antwerp

We’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.

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On our last night, we meet up for dinner at the De Foyer restaurant at the beautiful Bourla Theatre and compare notes.

 

Bourla Theatre- Antwerp

What did you enjoy the most?  Shopping in fashionable Stadsfeestzall?  The Tongeren Antique market? The art and architecture? Antwerp- on your must see list!