Hello and welcome everyone!
It’s been 10 years since my husband and I last visited this city back when we were on our belated honeymoon in 2006. On that particular day trip from Paris, it was pouring rain, freezing cold and all in all just not nice. So when we returned the other month and the sun was shining, it made the welcoming reception a lot nicer.
When I’m doing a day trip I can do either/or when it comes to sight-seeing, immersing myself in culture or guidebook exploring. Today I was immersing myself in culture whilst enjoying the food, beer and chocolates that Belgium is renowned for.
We made our way around the old city which is alive and full of people on a Sunday. Around the Cathedral of Our Lady, there are tourists as far as the eye can see. While we were there the church was closed due to a sermon so we only got a little sneak peek inside. But I can honestly say it’s a grand structure which is worth seeing.
This is Antwerp’s oldest building with a huge amount of history and is located along the River Scheldt. Back in the 1800 this was in fact a prison until it was converted into a museum and it’s also been a saw mill and a fish warehouse too. The statue that you see in the picture is the ancient fertility symbol however in the sixteenth century he lost his man jewels!
Here I’m standing next to Town Hall standing in Great Market Square. There were people standing all around watching the singing and children were running around playing. I was busy admiring the surrounding buildings and absorbing the atmosphere which had a happy vibe going on. As you can see it’s really such a beautiful place, so I recommending checking it out if you are in Antwerp. There are markets on here from time to time so if you click on the link above it will give you a guide.
I bought a diamond in Antwerp the last time I was there which got traded and upgraded in NYC Diamond District, which got traded and upgraded again a few years later (long story). Plus, I’ve made some other small purchases along the way.
I know Antwerp is renowned for being ‘The Place to Shop for Diamonds’. However, in my experience when I compare my shopping over the years it’s not as cheap as NYC Diamond District, sorry Antwerp…
However, that’s only my personal experience yours might be different and the perfect diamond might be waiting for you there.
What’s great about the diamond district as they have an abundance of precious and semi-precious stones such as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, aquamarine, topaz as more. So if you are looking for a coloured stone then this is the place to come because you are bound to find what you are looking for!
Eating and Drinking in Antwerp
There is a great little fish shop which does takeaway call Fish A’GoGo which is approximately 30 meters from Cathedral of Our Lady. The food was great and what makes it even better is you can stay there and have a drink or two. However, we decided to head to the beer place 10 meters away call Belgian Beers & Brews which is located at Cathedral of Our Lady (where I am standing in the picture above). Here you will find heaps of different beers to choose from or you can have a ‘beer degustation’ experience and work your way through a few different flavours at 2 Euro per glass (which we did!).
You can’t come to Belgium and not do chocolate that would be criminal, so if you want a true chocolate experience, then this store is a must see (and eat!). There are so many different varieties of chocolate on offer here. From personal experience of the chocolates, we bought I think it’s pretty safe to say I am going to gain a few extra kilos, because this chocolate is divine! (and yes I know I gave up refined sugar but sometimes we need to make exceptions!).
My husband is in love with their marshmallows which he said was one of the best things he’s ever eaten! We bought an array of their different varieties and I can say with all honesty the extra kilos are worth it!
Those who know my eating habits are aware I’m always looking for healthy, gluten free, vegetarian options. I stumbled across Foodmaker which was a little slice of food heaven for me. Everything is labeled for food allergies so you don’t need to worry and it’s in English! The food and juice are so good I ate there twice (yes twice) once when we first arrived and then I got some takeaway on my way back to the train station.
My Overview of Antwerp
This isn’t my first time in Antwerp but I have managed to do the same thing I did the first time around (eat and drink and consume copious amounts of chocolate) so needless to say I enjoy the city. Plus, the beer is stronger here so after a few you’re totally in a happy buzzed mood! Note, if you like drinking beer this is the place to visit.
On a Sunday the old city area is the place you want to check out. I’d avoid diamond shopping on Sunday because not all the shops are open.
You could easily spend days in this city it’s so beautiful and the Belgians are so friendly and helpful.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful city as much as we do and I’m sure you will have a great time, cheers and beers!
Until next time I travel, I see, I share... This is Character 32 doing her best to help you!