Diamonds are forever // the diamond capital of the world // Antwerp Port: one of the largest ports in Europe...
Helpful hints and tips for getting around Antwerp from our man on the ground Freddy Degroux.
Antwerp (Antwerpen) is in fact a small city with less than
half a million inhabitants but is the largest city in Flanders, the northern
part of Belgium. It is a popular place
to visit as it has some excellent restaurants and bars, splendid museums and
Whereas Belgium with only 10 million inhabitants has three
official languages (Flemish, French and German) most speak also English and
some will also speak Spanish or Italian.
Whereas Antwerp is in the Flemish part of Belgium, if you feel you are
not able to master the language, don’t hesitate to address people in French or
Tipping in Antwerp
In Antwerp and in Belgium the prices include the service and
it is perfectly acceptable to give nothing at all without offending
anyone. So tipping is completely at your
discretion. The usual habit is to round
up, so if a taxi ride costs €14, we suggest you give a total of €15. When it comes to restaurants, if you feel
that the service was over and above normal then the Belgians tend to give
either €2, €5 or even €10 if you are more than two people.
Antwerp has its own local airport with limited flights to
European destinations. Most people would
use one of the two Brussels airports. Brussels National is a 30 to 45 minute jouney by car from the centre, depending on the traffic and time of day. Brussels South, located
in Charleroi will take you about 90 minutes.
A taxi from Antwerp to Brussels National will cost you around €60 or €70 depending on the time of the day. Some taxis will agree a fixed price if you ask them. By far the cheapest way to get there though is by taking the Airport Express bus which leaves from the centre of Antwerp on the hour every hour from 4a.m. right up until 11p.m. and costs just €10 (€5 for children) for a one-way ticket and takes an hour and 10 minutes. It makes one stop at The Crown Plaza Hotel in Antwerpen Zuid.
Antwerp Premetro is very limited and is a network consisting of lines 2, 3, 5,
6 and 15 of the Antwerp Tram system. It runs
underground in the city centre as well as further out of the city on surface
Antwerp Railway Station
Antwerp Station has been totally renovated and restored and
is well worth a visit as it was just voted (Sept 2010) as being in the top 10
worldwide railways stations. It is
located in the gold and diamond area of the city and is next to one of Europe’s
most fantastic zoos.
MuHKA is the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp. Every year the museum organises several major
exhibitions. There is a special children’s
activity called MUST, with its gallery of lost objects and a museum game.
The Diamond Museum provides an insight into the world of
diamonds and diamond cutters.
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