Antwerp

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 historical buildings.

 Languages

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 English!

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.

Airport Transportation

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 Metro

The 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 lines.

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.

Museums

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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Thank you for choosing Our Man On The Ground to be your luxury travel guide to match you to your perfect destination. Read on for the city's highlights, our reviews on its hidden gem hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs and great things to do.

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