Diamond capital of Europe and the second most multicultural city in the world. Antwerp may be small but with over 170 different nationalities represented, it’s a cultural hub.
The ideal way to get to this city is by the Eurostar from London St Pancras, travel to Brussels and then get the train out to Antwerp Central which is around an hour north. If you book far enough in advance it’s fairly cheap and you can bring a large suitcase – which you’ll need to carry back all the amazing beer.
Beer is a key part of Belgian culture and Antwerp has many unique independent pubs which always have allocated seating outside. This is due to the amount of people that still choose to smoke in the city.
A great spot to grab a drink is Ossenmarkt. There are a few pubs on this square and none are incredibly strict on seating, so you can just get a drink and then sit in the public communal space away from the pub.
Art and culture come together in this city with plenty of museums and outdoor spaces filled with installations.
The MAS is one of the main museums in the city, the art inside is a mixture of paintings, installations and photography. I’d advise venturing to the top so you can have a full 360 degree view of the city.
As well as its art, the multicultural nature of this city can be found in its food.
Mercado, located on the Groenplaats, is an indoor food market with plenty of stalls offering everything from an avocado bar to a meat selection and a brunch stall.
There is something for everyone in this city. Diversity, food and art, it has so much to offer for so little. It is the perfect weekend getaway for anyone on a budget.
This was originally written in 2017