Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Day Trip to Antwerp, Belgium

Another spring trip I did last year was to Antwerp, Belgium.

The Groeneplaats, a huge city square in Antwerp.

My mussels lunch.

The city of Antwerp is so near to Utrecht, I can literally commute here every day or every week if I want to. So when the weather is good, Dutchman and I might go for a quick dinner in the city.

However, this post is a quickie trip I did last year with a friend, Bubbles. She has never been to Antwerp, so we planned this day trip for her when she visited last spring.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

All the beautiful nostalgic buildings on the Leystraat corner Meir.

The goal of the day trip was really just to do some sightseeing, have lunch and do a bit of shopping (mainly for Bubbles). She has seen in the past the cathedral-like Antwerp Central Train Station from the train only so we made sure to visit the station so she could have a closer look at it. Well, we actually parked the car just around the corner from the train station, so it was easy for us to visit.

The weather hasn’t been that great but it was doable for walking around. It was windy and quite chilly for April, but at least it did not rain.

We visited the Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp (Onze Lieve Vrowenkathedral Antwerpen) and I lighted a candle for the Dutch father and Blondine.

For lunch, we settled at the De Kleine Post Brasserie on the corner of the Groenplaats. I was craving for mussels and this was one of the restaurants with a nice semi-outdoors ambiance that was offering mussels and has an available spot on the terrace.

Bubbles wanted some pasta and I was happy for my steamed mussels paired with some Belgian Leffe.

After lunch, we walked around again and went back to the Grote Markt (big market square where the City Hall is located) and had coffee at one of the cafes there. It's a nice place to sit for a drink and admire the beautiful City Hall and watch the goings-on on the big square.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing some shopping on the busy Meir.

The Meir is the main pedestrian shopping street of the city. All the main fashion brands are on this street. I like this street actually, not because of the shopping options but the buildings here are beautiful. The connecting streets of Leysstraat and De Keyserlei going to the direction of Antwerp Central Train Station offer eye candy old architecture.

Although I am not a big shopper, I did manage to incur some damage. I bought a small bag which can fit a lot which would be perfect for travelling. Until now I still use the bag. So it was a good buy after all =)

Check out my earlier blog posts of the trip last spring here:

And here are the rest of the pictures with some notes on them:

Shopping on the Meir in Antwerp.

The Hilton on the Groenplaats. A beautiful building isn't she.

This is the Groeneplaats, the first big square visitors will see if you are coming from the train station. There is a big cafe terrace scene here. The statue in the middle of the square is Pieter Paul Rubens, a famous Flemish artist/painter.

At the Handschoenmarkt, just in front of the cathedral. On the square is a sculpture on the ground called Nello & Patrasche, a story of a little boy and his dog set in Antwerp.

The Oudekoornmarkt Street is a great place to hang out as well. Lots of cafes and restaurants here. I have eaten at the restaurants here a few times in the past.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp on the Handschoenmarkt.

Lighting a candle for the Dutch father and Blondine.

Where we had our lunch: De Kleine Post Brasserie on the Groenplaats. The restaurant is on a very nice and lively area of the city.

When in Belgium, drink the local brew: Krief and Leffe. That's my Leffe =)

A hearty (quite heavy!) lunch in Antwerp. Those mussels are fresh, fat and juicy. Just perfect. I tell you we did not have dinner, except for a shared dessert before going back to the Netherlands.

The outdoor cafe and restaurant terraces scene on the Groeneplaats. The outdoor terrace areas are of course equipped with heaters so its nice and comfy.

The view from the cafe where we had coffee after lunch on the Grote Markt (main market square): The Antwerp City Hall and men fixed to their mobile phones.

Antwerp City Hall (Stadhuis van Antwerpen) and Brabo's Monument on the Grote Markt.

Beautiful Flemish/Dutch-style architecture on the Grote Markt.

Moi tired from a long day of sightseeing in Antwerp.

We stopped by at this beer cafe called Bier Central on the De Keyserlei, just before reaching Antwerp Central Train Station.

Since we will not be having a real dinner (blame the heavy pasta and mussels lunch), we settled for a shared dessert. This is the only thing we are eating for the evening.

Our dinner is this waffle with whipped cream and strawberries dessert. Typically Belgian. We are sharing this.

The Bier Central has really cool interior! Beer crates as walls and cosy nooks.

De Keyserlei is a lively area with lots of cafe and beer pubs. Many are open until very late.

Travel Period: April 2017
Destination: Antwerp (Antwerpen), Belgium

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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