Antwerp Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing
(Antwerp, Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium)
A city known for its historic diamond industry and many family orientated tourist attractions, Antwerp is truly a city for everyone. Some of the best ways to sightsee in Antwerp include horse-drawn carriages and motorised trams departing from the Grote Markt and travelling around the city centre, along with leisurely boat trips on the River Scheldt, the many canals (ruien) and the harbour itself.
An underwater tunnel is one of the main attractions at the city's popular Aquatopia Aquarium, where you are able to enjoy excellent views of the fish as they swim directly above you. Antwerp Zoo is also popular with tourists and is amongst the world's oldest zoological gardens, opening as far back as 1843. Today the zoo is home to 5,000 animals attractions covering nearly 1,000 different species, and is particularly well known for its exceptional state-of-the-art sub-antarctic penguin enclosure and large elephant compound.
City Zoo / Zoological Gardens
Address: Koningin Astridplein 26, Antwerp, BE-2018, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 03 202 4540
Enjoying a particularly central setting within the very heart of the city, next to the Centraal Station, Antwerp Zoo was originally considerably larger than its present size of 25 acres / 10 hectares. The many animal attractions within the City Zoo of today are extremely diverse and include giraffes, penguins, hippos, tapirs, elephants, tamarins and reptiles, all of which are housed within themed enclosures of various sizes.
Open hours: daily, November to February - 10:00 to 16:45; March to April and October - 10:00 to 17:30; May to June and September - 10:00 to 18:00; July and August - 10:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children and seniors
Address: Koningin Astridplein 7, Antwerp, BE-2018, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 03 205 0740
An excellent aquarium attraction within Antwerp city centre, Aquatopia has become home to literally thousands of different fish and sea creatures. Highlights include landscaped coral reefs, large rays, sharks, a tropical rainforest area with reptiles, a submarine experience and a new indoor playground area, which has recently opened and can be found directly next to the actual shark tank.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children
Brouwerij de Koninck / Brewery Tours
Address: Mechelsesteenweg 291, Antwerp, BE-2018, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 03 218 4048
Located in the 't Zuid district, the Brouwerij de Koninck is a historic local brewery first established in the middle of the 19th century. Housed within an important listed building, the Brouwerij de Koninck is known throughout Belgium for its famous brown ale. Guided tours take visitors around the brewery and explain the various processes involved in creating this liquid nectar, offering the chance to sample the actual produce at the end.
Open hours: daily guided tours
River Scheldt / Flandria Scheldetochten
Address: Steenplein, Antwerp, BE-2000, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 03 231 3100
The River Scheldt has long been an integral part of life in Antwerp and dominates much of the westerly side of the city, being crossed by a series of bridges and tunnels. Boat trips on the River Schedlt provide the ultimate lazy way to sightsee and soak up some sunshine along way, with those provided by Flandria Scheldetochten being especially popular. Lasting around one hour, these cruises offer a variety of packages, including evening trips, and generally end at the Steenplein.
Open hours: hours vary
Address: Rederij Prinsenland, Sasdijk 2D, 4671 RN Dinteloord, Antwerp, Belgium, BE
Tel: 31 16 752 1030
Moored in Antwerp's harbour and capable of accommodating around 600 people, the floating Catamaran Castle is actually a large boat complex, which incorporates a restaurant and bar, casino and even a conference centre, encompassing some 700 square metres / 7,535 square feet of space. The Catamaran Castle regularly hosts a diverse selection of events, which often includes parties with live music.
Open hours: hours vary, check events listings
Haven van Antwerpen (Port of Antwerp)
Address: Dienst voor Toerisme, Grote Markt 15, Antwerp, BE-2000, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 03 232 0103
Lying in the centre of Europe, the Port of Antwerp actually features an inland setting and allows ships of all sizes to sail some 80 km / 50 miles inland. Joined by the River Scheldt and used for more than 500 years for commercial shipping, the port features an array of waterfront attractions, which are gathered close by to take full advantage of the available views. The Deurganck Dock has recently opened, while developments are currently in progress along the right-hand bank. Boat trips around the Port of Antwerp are always available and allow you to properly appreciate the city's skyline from a distance. This vast sea lock is actually the world's biggest and covers some 127 km / 79 miles of quays.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Pirateneiland (Pirate's Island)
Address: Kribbestraat 12, Antwerp, BE-2000, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 03 231 5060
A firm favourite with children and known for being the country's biggest indoor playground, Pirateneiland covers a total of three floors and is housed within a renovated warehouse, within the city docklands. Pirateneiland features a definite pirate theme and forms one large ship, with slides, ropes, soft play equipment and refreshments.
Open hours: Wednesday - 12:00 to 18:00, Thursday and Friday - 09:30 to 16:00, Saturday and Sunday - 11:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, accompanying adults are free