Getting around Antwerp
Most of Antwerp’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other. If you're exploring beyond the Old Town, the city is extremely well served by public transport, with an extensive, efficient and regular bus and metro network run by De Lijn (tel: +32 3 218 1411; www.delijn.be). A few tram lines run partly underground; this is referred to as the Metro system. Useful trams for visitors are 2 and 15, which run between Groenplaats, at the heart of the Old Town, and the Centraal (railway) station. Most bus lines also begin outside Centraal station.
Options are single tickets (valid for any journey within one hour), SMS tickets (cheaper and ordered via your mobile phone), a 10-ticket Lijn card, a one-day pass, a three-day pass or a five-day pass. These are available from the tourist office and a public transport kiosk inside Centraal station, as well as authorised sellers throughout the city. You can also buy them from the driver, but it's cheaper to buy them in advance.
Taxis are one of the most expensive ways to get around the city but, if you need one, Antwerp-Tax (tel: +32 3 238 3838; www.antwerp-tax.be) and Taxi Antwerpen (tel: +32 3 283 8393; www.taxibedrijfantwerpen.be) are both reliable operators.
Driving around Antwerp can be both infuriating and intimidating. Not only is the centre of the Old Town off limits to cars, but the narrow, cobbled streets surrounding it are a labyrinth of one way systems.
Then there are the trams, which can be a dangerous distraction for motorists who are unfamiliar with sharing the road. Add this to the bikes, buses and expensive parking and you have all the ingredients for a headache behind the wheel.
Those with no alternative but to bring their vehicle would do well to book a hotel outside the city centre and park there. Otherwise, there are privately owned car parks dotted throughout the city.
You won't need a car to get around Antwerp itself but, if you want to explore outside the city, Hertz (tel: +32 3 239 2921; www.hertz.be) has an office at the airport and in town. Other major car hire companies, including Avis (tel: +32 3 218 9496; www.avis.be) and Europcar (tel: +32 3 206 7444; www.europcar.be), have offices in the city centre.
Cycling is the favoured method of transport for locals, and they keep a brisk pace in the city’s cycle lanes. There are numerous places to rent bikes. Try De Ligfiets (tel: +32 3 293 7456; www.ligfiets.be) at Steenhouwersvest 25 for recumbent bikes by appointment. More conveniently, pick up a Velo city bike (tel: +32 3 206 5030; www.velo-antwerpen.be) for short hops across town. Many hotels also have bicycles available to their guests.