What we think of Antwerp
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Antwerp, Unique and Fun
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We arrived in Antwerp from Delft early in the morning with the intention of staying the day and exploring the city by bike. Our plan was to rent Blue Bikes, which would allow us to conveniently use the same card to rent a bike in multiple Belgian cities at a relatively low cost, but we were foiled when we were surprised to learn that the Blue Bikes office is closed on weekends (we arrived on Saturday). Instead, we opted to rent from another company for a few afternoon hours. Bicycling is ideal for seeing key sights if you have limited time in Antwerp.
Bicycling is ideal for seeing key sights if you have limited time in Antwerp. We found it to be easy to rent bikes and to navigate the city on bike. With bikes, we were able to experience numerous highlights – even in the few short hours we were there. By bike, we headed straight for Old Town Center Antwerp and we are immediately immersed in a crowded flow of pedestrians on a large walking street. Our evasive and reflex bicycle skills were happily tested as we enjoyed the challenge of constantly weaving in and out of crowds of walkers.
After a few blocks, we arrived in an area of fantastically ornate medieval buildings, tiny walking streets and some fantastic shopping. While exploring the city, we stopped by the Rubenshuis (former home of the painter Pieter Paul Rubens), and the Plantin-Moretus HouseIf Museum, which is one of Belgium’s 13 World Heritage sites. We rode along the riverfront for a bit and explored the Het Steen castle.
We were ready for lunch so we found one of the many outdoor cafe’s and relaxed for a bit. Maggie could not resist buying a Belgian waffle, so we stopped at an outdoor café where she enjoyed a delicious version of one while I sipped a delightful belgium beer.
After our snack we decided to ride east and explore the Provincial Domain Rivierenhof, the large city park just outside the city center. The gardens were lovely and it was a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
After riding around the city, we rushed back to the train station where we quickly returned our bikes, grabbed our luggage from the lockers, and arrived at our platform to board a train for Brugges, our next destination.
Overall, Antwerp is very much worth your time. It is rich in history, has wonderful shopping and cafes, and plenty of nature nearby.