Belgium’s second city, Antwerp is one of the biggest cities in the Flanders region. With typically quaint architecture and pretty streets reminiscent of the other Flanders cities, Antwerp is well worth a visit for anybody looking to enjoy a classically-European city break.
The closest DFDS ferry port to Antwerp is
which is just under 2 hours away in the car, however you can also sail from
Dover to Calais,
should that crossing be more convenient.
If you live in the north of England or Scotland, then our overnight crossings from
Newcastle to Amsterdam
are ideal. You’ll arrive at our IJmuiden port early in the morning, refreshed and relaxed, with a drive of just over 2 hours to Antwerp.
Why visit Antwerp?
Like most of Belgium’s cities, Antwerp has pretty streets and stunning buildings, incorporating both classical and modern architecture. The streets of Antwerp also host a buzzing bar, café and restaurant scene which comes alive at night and transforms into a vibrant nightlife hub - it's the perfect place for holidays or a city break.
Antwerp also has a great artistic heritage, with some famous names having lived and worked there in the past including Peter Paul Rubens, whose 16th century baroque work earned the city the nickname “Rubens City”.
What to see in Antwerp
Begin your trip at the beautiful Grote Markt square, which is still the heart of the old town of Antwerp. From the square, sample some Belgium beer at one of the many terrace bars and restaurants whilst surrounded by the stunning architecture of the Town Hall, Houses of Guilds and Cathedral of Our Lady. In the middle of the square you’ll also find the Brabo Fountain, this huge monument depicts Silvius Brabo tossing the severed hand of the giant Antigonus into the Scheldt.
Antwerp is slowly becoming a European capital of fashion, thanks to the success of young Flemish designers. Just off the main shopping strip of Meir, you can find a fantastic fashion district with a range of boutique offerings, and a diamond district with excellent jewellers. Fashion fans should check out the MoMu museum, which exhibits a collection of clothing, lace, embroidery, fabrics and artisan textile processing tools. Twice a year the museum organises themed exhibitions which include a side programme of workshops, lectures and guided tours.
Peter Paul Rubens is one of Antwerp’s most famous sons, and the house that he spent the latter part of his life in is a key tourist attraction for the city. This beautiful house, restored as a museum in Rubens’ honour, showcases ten of his works including his famous self-portrait. The building, built around an inner courtyard, includes a baroque doorway between the courtyard and the garden, which was designed and built by Rubens himself.
Where to stay in Antwerp
Visit our accommodation partner
booking.com for an extensive list of accommodation available in Antwerp.
Prices are subject to availability. Credit card & telephone booking fees apply. Terms & Conditions apply.
It’s always a proud moment when you’re recognised for your good work, we’re honoured to have been named again as the World and Europe's Leading Ferry Operator 2016 at the World Travel Awards. We have been Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator for 5 years running now, and the World’s Leading Ferry Operator for 6 years.