The Cicero meeting in Antwerp will enable you to get acquainted with most of the culture heritage.
When you fly in from whatever airport and travel to the city center by train (we advise you to do so as you will avoid becoming part of the traffic congestions, we are famous for in Europe) you will arrive in the Antwerp Central Station (2 minutes walk (when you are a slow walker) from your hotel).
The impressive arrival hall and the main entrance hall of the Central Station will offer you a magnificent view and a warm welcome! Built in the late 19th, beginning of the 20th century it has been fully adapted to 21st century standards, including a multilevel platform.
Next to the Central Station, you will find the Antwerp Zoo: founded in 1843, it will make a great day out when you are tired of museums, architecture or (Cicero) meetings…
As you may imagine, the zoo, being one of the oldest in the world, has been renovated in the recent past. Although surrounded by houses, streets, and the railway station, you will never get the impression that you are in the city center when visiting the zoo.
A lot of restauration has taken place in Antwerp recently.
The Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen (the Royal Museum of Fine Arts) has been closed for more than 10 years (!) and will open its doors again by the end of September 2022. You never had the opportunity to have a closer look at Rubens’, Van Dijck’s and Jordaens’ masterpieces? Take the chance to do it now, brilliant building, best painters. A visit to this museum is scheduled in the partners program.
Antwerp’s Grote Markt or town square (16th Century) reflects Antwerp’s importance and “grandesse” in the Golden 16th Century. The town hall is the centerpiece and was built in Renaissance and Gothic styles: it has been restored during the last 4 years and reopened its doors for the mayor (and the public) in June 2022.
The city hall just reopened after a 4-year renovation.
In the city hall area you will, weather permitting, be walking in the shadow of the Cathedral of Our Lady: a must-have-seen when visiting Antwerp… Beautiful building from the outside and the inside, with -again…- paintings by Rubens, … Took us nearly 2 centuries to build.. And yeah, we ran out of money when building the second tower, but who cares…
The same area is the center of the old town, cobblestones, meandering narrow streets, have a look at the numerous old houses, enjoy the many pubs and terraces in this neighborhood (but watch out for the tourist traps here).
Interested to see the world’s oldest printing press working? And to visit the premises of its owners, a medieval building with a splendid courtyard? Then you should visit the Museum Plantin-Moretus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (one of many in Antwerp).
And of course you know that Rubens was living in Antwerp! His house (the Rubenshuis) built by the master himself as both a place to live and a studio to work in. However, the House is also being renovated and currently only partially open to visitors: it will close in January 2023 and reopen in 2027.
You obviously are aware that a lot of Europeans migrated to a.o. the United States. But did you know that a lot of them left the continent from the port of Antwerp? And that the very building were most of them embarked is currently the Red Star Line Museum exhibiting the stories of many migrants who left Belgium, via the Red Star Line ships?
When strolling in the main shopping area around the Meir, do take 5 minutes to visit the Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre, not for shopping though (sorry ladies…), but to have a look at the fully restored architecture, the marble staircase and mosaic floor… And yes, it is allowed to have a drink in the champagne bar and enjoy the environment.
Looking for an exploration of the history of Antwerp and its role as an important port city but also keen on temporary cutting-edge exhibits? Then the MAS is your place to be! In the center of the fully renovated area of Het Eilandje (The Little Island) in the ancient port, you can visit the museum and enjoy a splendid view on the port and the city center.
Het Steen: a small but pretty castle just on the side of the river Scheldt in Antwerp. The castle dates back to the early 13th Century and makes for some great photographs. It is currently home to the tourist information office.
And yes, it has been recently restored (a contemporary addition was built, but with respect to the existing building) and was reopened only in October 2021…
MoMu (Fashion Museum Antwerp): housing the largest collection of contemporary Belgian fashion in the world and offering various fashion exhibitions. And yes, it is currently being restored but will open again in October 2022: another place to have been on your bucket list!
When visiting the museum don’t forget to pop in at Dries Van Noten’s store, only 50 meters away. He’s one of Belgium’s design icons and his store is quite impressive.
You want to escape from the city center, have a quiet walk and enjoy a breathtaking view on the city, from a distance? Then you should walk to the left bank of the river Scheldt: take the underpass under the river leaving from right bank and leading you another world! Coming back to the civilized world is possible by shuttle boat (no charge).
A selection of the finest bars, shops, places to stroll by …
a tiny, lush and colourful flowershop, that also specializes in selling vases in all shapes and forms (e.g. animals).
Butchers Coffee is a coffee bar pur sang. The owner Andy specialises in his passion: the black gold. From selecting the green bean to the roasting itself, each step in the production process is carefully controlled and monitored. In short, this is the place for your daily coffee cravings. You will also find a fine selection of tea or fresh homemade lemonades on the menu. A small hunger is appeased by fresh toast, a piece of cake or the healthy superfood balls!
The square where this triumphant Baroque edifice stands is like a little piece of Italy. The Antwerp Jesuits built the church between 1615 and 1621, at the height of the Counter Reformation. To people at the time, it was ‘heaven on earth’. And it still is to this day, with its dynamic facade, refined interior, two storeys and the sublime Lady Chapel. Rubens made a significant contribution to the church, as both joint designer and painter. The building also boasts a remarkable collection of lace and textiles. And it is the home of the Community of Sant’Egidio, which is devoted to the poor, to dialogue and to peace. A special tradition is the Sunday Artists’ Mass, complete with choir and musicians. Be sure to visit the crypt, the sacristy and the subterranean canals too.
Founded in 1829, Delvaux is a truly Belgian brand. In fact, it was even born before the Kingdom of Belgium, which was only established one year later, in 1830.
Created in Brussels by the innovative Charles Delvaux, la Maison has remained at the forefront of luxury leather goods for nearly two centuries because of its savoir-faire, uncompromising craftsmanship and the outstanding quality of its creations.
DIM Dining is a modern and traditional, Asian and at the same time Western-inspired restaurant, awarded with one Michelin star. The team will transport you to a world of Asian culinary influences, combined with quirkiness through the seasonal dishes that are served.
Dogma is an informal speakeasy style cocktailbar in the heart of Antwerp. In this retro industrial interior you can enjoy anything from classic …
The Antwerp-based brand is influenced by the numerous life experiences of its founders Esfan Eghtessadi and Inge Onsea. Esfan, the son of Nicole Cadine, grew up in a world of textiles, sketches and fashion collections. Inge had a vintage loving mother, was a fashion model and spent five years in India, where she fell in love with colors, prints and unexpected combinations.
Enjoy the jazz music playing in the background, read a newspaper or watch the strolling hipsters. Den Hopper has been the café for trendy players and cool people for years.
Enter Philip’s Biscuits and enjoy the sweet scents and the varied selection of treats. As you enter Philip’s Biscuits’ shop you will immediately experience the sweet scent of our freshly baked selection of treats.
As many of its landmarks, part of quays of the River Scheldt were renovated. Nowadays you have a beautiful boulevard to stroll around on and enjoy magnificent views over the water, the ships and the left bank.
And if you’re strolling around, at the end of the renovated quays (away from the city center), just turn left and visit the ‘Gedemte Zuiderdokken’ (Drained South Docks) / Vlaamse Kaai (Flemish Quay) / Waalse Kaai (Walloon Quay)). For years and years this rectangle place was nothing more than an ugly carpark surrounded by (some) beautiful buildings. However, as a part of our Mayor’s plan to make Antwerp once again the most beautiful metropolis in the world, this carpark is being converted to a park. Half of it was finished a couple of months ago and the other half will be finished in 2023.
It doesn’t look any more like this (how it looks today is for you to discover)
An established value in the city center of Bruges for more than two decades and also an asset in the historical building of the Palace on the Meir in Antwerp. The Chocolate Line represents quality. Artisan and tasty chocolate with a cool and trendy side. And lots of love for Mother Nature, source of everything. Dominique Persoone, on of the owners, is a real TV personality in Flanders and he hosts different cooking shows. He makes amazing chocolate figures, ….
Fancy one of the many Belgian beers, a quick bite (nen grote bruinen boterham met kop), some bitterballs, … then this is your place to be.
Every Saturday there is a market on the Oudevaartplaats, near the Antwerp City Theatre. This Saturday market, also known as the foreigners’ market, is held from 8 am to 4 pm. The foreigners’ market owes its name to the many exotic fruits and vegetables you can buy here. Besides the Turkish, Moroccan and southern specialities, you will also find local products here. Today it has become more and more foodmarket, where people gather and come together to meet with friends and family.
The Cicero meeting in Antwerp will enable you to get acquainted with most of the culture heritage.