Let me introduce you to … ANTWERP
“Whatever is on your city-trip checklist, Antwerp can offer it. The city is full of surprising highlights, discover them all during your stay in Antwerp.”
Antwerp in a nutshell
Belgium’s second city and biggest port is Antwerp (Antwerpen/Anvers in Dutch/French) and without a doubt, this charming city is the country’s capital of cool. It’s long been a powerful magnet for everyone from fashion moguls and club queens to art lovers and diamond dealers. In the mid-16th century it was one of Europe’s most important cities and home to baroque superstar painter Pieter Paul Rubens, as you’ll be regularly reminded – there are numerous places to admire his works across the city. Despite many historical travails thereafter and severe WWII bombing, Antwerp retains an intriguing medieval heart with plenty of café-filled cobbled lanes, a riverside fortress and a truly impressive cathedral. Today Antwerp’s top drawcards are its truly vibrant fashion and entertainment scene, along with its startling architectural and cultural contrasts (Lonely Planet).
Antwerp is also the city that strongly believes that you can always do things just that little bit differently. Enjoy architectural feats such as the Antwerp Law Courts, the Bourla Theatre and MAS | Museum aan de Stroom. Treat yourself to dishes from all over the world. Explore the shopping streets with the many high-end shops and unique concept stores. Take a stroll along the River Scheldt and gaze at the port from afar. Don’t forget to visit the diamond district. And what about museums like the Rubens House, the Red Star Line Museum and Museum Plantin-Moretus. With world-class collections in a unique setting. Discover why our city is different from other cities. Discover Atypical Antwerp (ArrivalGuides).
According to Rough Guides, Antwerp is one of the 10 best cities in the world to visit in 2017, and this is why:
"Although not as populous as nearby Brussels, Belgium’s beautiful second city is arguably the country’s cultural hub – and still large enough to offer all the excitement of a big metropolis. Antwerp has long been a source of Flemish pride, home to one of the world’s largest ports dating back to the middle ages. Today you can trace the city’s history through gorgeous Gothic and Renaissance architecture, fantastic museums and bars serving some of Europe’s most storied beers.
It has carved out a place as one of the world’s fashion capitals, thanks in no small part to the famously avant-garde designers known as the Antwerp Six. Creatives continue to gravitate here, bringing with them a superb café scene, design boutiques, art spaces, frequent pop-up events and absolutely wild nightlife, especially in the south of the city."
Antwerp was ranked 5th, after Paris (France), Isfahan (Iran), Nairobi (Kenia) and Bristol (England).
How to travel to Antwerp?
- Brussels Airport (Zaventem) (45km or +/- 30 minutes from Antwerp)
You can reach Antwerp in approximately 30 minutes from the Belgian National Airport of Zaventem. There is a train station (‘Brussel-Nationaal-Luchthaven’) underneath the airport with a direct connection to ‘Antwerpen-Centraal’ railway station (duration +/- 30 minutes). Several rental car services and taxis are also available at the airport. Travelling by car or taxi will also take about 30 minutes to the city centre of Antwerp.
- Brussels South Charleroi Airport (92 km or +/- 1h10 from Ghent)
Brussels South is approximately 70 minutes away from Antwerp. There are shuttle busses travelling between Charleroi Airport and Antwerp. You can also take a bus to the capital (Brussels), where frequent train connections can bring you to Antwerp. A ticket that combines the bus and train services can be purchased at the Airport Ticket Desk. Taking bus and train will take you about 2 hours to get to Antwerp.
‘Antwerpen-Centraal’ station is easy to reach by train from all Belgian and European cities and is only 30 minutes from Brussels South Station. After arriving in ‘Antwerpen-Centraal’ station, public transport can take you to the city center, or you can go by foot via the shopping street ‘Meir’. The conference venue is located at less than 1km of the station.
For more information on train and tram go to www.belgianrail.be.
During the days of the conference, the center of the city of Antwerp is hard to reach due to traffic works on the main road. It is advised to leave the ring road in the north of Antwerp (follow Centrum-Noord) and park in one of the various car parks in the city center. Q-Park Antwerpen Shopping Meir in the Korte Klarenstraat is the closest one to the conference venue. More info on travelling to Antwerp by car on https://www.slimnaarantwerpen.be/en