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  • Writer's pictureFernanda Matsuoka

Discover Antwerp: 5 Reasons to Make It Your Next Benelux Destination


Are you searching for a hidden gem in the Benelux region, a city that offers both historical charm and modern vibrancy? Look no further than Antwerp. This city effortlessly blends tradition with modernity, offering visitors a unique and enriching experience. Its prime location, serene yet vibrant atmosphere, stunning architecture, rich cultural scene, and world-class accommodation options make it a must-visit destination in the Benelux region. Plan your trip to Antwerp and discover the many treasures that await you in this captivating city.


Known for its rich artistic heritage, bustling port, and dynamic cultural scene, Antwerp is often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors. However, this gem of the Benelux region offers a unique and enriching travel experience. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a new adventure, Antwerp has something for everyone. Here are five compelling reasons to make Antwerp your next travel hub:


1. Perfect Location & ideal hub

Antwerp’s strategic location makes it an excellent hub for exploring Belgium and beyond. Firstly, Located just two hours from Amsterdam and within easy reach of Brussels, Ghent, and Bruges, Antwerp is perfectly situated for convenient travel throughout the region. This central position in Belgium allows you to experience the best the country has to offer without the hassle of long travel times and changing hotels. Enjoy day trips to these iconic cities and return to the comfort and charm of Antwerp each evening. Its excellent rail and road connections ensure that you can easily plan your excursions, making your stay in Antwerp both flexible and enriching. If you pack light, you can take advantage of the Eurostar Train, that stops in Antwerp Central Station several times during the day.




2. Peaceful Yet Vibrant

While Brussels often steals the spotlight, Antwerp offers a more tranquil and genuine experience. The city is rich in culture and history, providing plenty of sights and activities without the overwhelming crowds. Stroll through its charming streets, visit its peaceful parks, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere that distinguishes Antwerp from its busier neighbours. The city is also renowned for its exceptional shopping scene, particularly for diamonds and jewellery. Antwerp is often called the "Diamond Capital of the World," making it the perfect destination for those looking to purchase exquisite pieces. It's an ideal destination for travellers seeking a blend of excitement and serenity.




3. AMAZING Art and History Scene

Antwerp's history is rich and multifaceted. In the 16th century, it was one of the most important ports and financial hubs in Europe, which helped shape its cultural and economic landscape. The city played a pivotal role during the Age of Exploration, serving as a hub for explorers and traders from around the world. The Plantin-Moretus Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a glimpse into the history of printing and publishing, that played a key role during the Protestant Reform.


Antwerp also has a dynamic art scene, with a diverse array of museums and galleries, such as the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), which offers insights into Antwerp’s maritime history and its global connections. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA), which recently reopened after an extensive renovation, houses an impressive collection of Flemish and international masterpieces. As the hometown of the legendary Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, Antwerp has a rich artistic heritage. The Rubenshuis, Rubens' former home and studio, remains a significant cultural landmark, will reopen on the 30th of August, 2024 after an extensive renovation.




4. Architectural Marvels

Antwerp is a treasure trove of architectural wonders. Wander through the historic city center to discover beautifully preserved medieval buildings, elegant Art Nouveau facades, and contemporary architectural gems. The blend of old and new creates a unique urban landscape that is both visually stunning and historically rich.

The city’s skyline is adorned with masterpieces from various eras, showcasing its rich architectural heritage. Highlights include the Antwerp Port House, an iconic structure designed by the renowned architect Zaha Hadid, and the majestic Antwerp Central Station, often referred to as the "Railway Cathedral" for its grandeur.


The historic Antwerp Stock Exchange, established in 1531, is another architectural and historical marvel. It is considered the world's first purpose-built commodity exchange and has been meticulously restored to its former glory, symbolizing Antwerp's long-standing economic significance.




5. The Brand New Hotel Botanic Sanctuary

If you arrived until the end of this post and you're still looking for a reason to go to Antwerp, look no further. The Hotel Botanic Sanctuary, a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), recently opened in early 2023. Located in the heart of Antwerp, is housed within a beautifully restored 12th-century monastery in the heart of old city center. The hotel offers 108 luxurious rooms and suites, each designed with a unique blend of historical charm with modern elegance. Guests indulge 5 dining options, including Michelin restaurants led by renowned chefs. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art wellness center and spa, providing a range of treatments, a sauna, and a fitness center, ensuring a holistic wellness experience.


 


How does an ideal trip to Antwerp look like?

At Sapiens Travel DMC, we champion slow, meaningful travel, ensuring every moment of your journey is rich with culture, flavor, and lifestyle. Here's our recommended itinerary to explore the best of the Flemish Belgium area:


  • DAY 1: Arrival in Antwerp

  • DAY 2: Half-Day Tour in Antwerp Old City Center

  • DAY 3: Full day tour to Brussels (Option of adding Fort Breedonk for WW2 History)

  • DAY 4: Full day tour - Bruges & Ghent

  • DAY 5: Day at Leisure in Antwerp

  • DAY 6: Departure


At Sapiens Travel DMC, we craft journeys full of content and emotion, offering you quality, beauty, and meaning in every step. Discover Antwerp with us, and create stories that will last a lifetime. Email us to help you curating your client's perfect itinerary!

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