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Things to do in Antwerp

Channel your inner Lewis Hamilton by go-karting

Indoor Karting Antwerp’s tarmac track (tel: +32 3 541 4343; is one of the best in Belgium and a magnet for petrolheads and budding racers alike. This 710m-long (2,329ft) circuit features kerb stones, gravel traps and some nippy little go karts, which make for a true racing experience.

Cycle through Flanders’ fields

There aren’t many places better than Belgium to hop on your bike; the country is as flat as a pool table. A cycle around the city is scenic enough, but if you prefer natural beauty there are plenty of cycling trails in Flanders that take in the region’s waterways and villages. De Ligfiets (tel: +32 3 293 7456; can help with bikes and advice.

Hike to your heart’s delight

Visitors can cover plenty of ground just getting around Antwerp’s urban sights. However, for more serious walkers, there are plenty of great hiking trails in and around the Flanders region. The Antwerp tourist board (tel: +32 3 232 0103; will be able to point you in the right direction.

Show your Royal Antwerp colours

Founded in 1880, Royal Antwerp Football Club (tel: +32 47 265 2440; is the oldest team in the Belgium league. They play at the city’s historic Bosuilstadion and currently compete in the second division. After some crippling financial problems, the club is now alive, kicking and worth a watch.

Splash about in Lake Zilvermeer

If you need to blow the cobwebs away after too many De Koninck beers, head to Lake Zilvermeer (tel: +32 1482 9500;, located 50km (31 miles) east of Antwerp. This 25-hectare (61-acre) lake is used for a variety of watersports. Visitors can sail, kayak and even learn to dive.

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Featured Hotels


Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel

Less characterful than some Antwerp hotels, though no less luxurious, the Astrid is a towering modern building that borrows elements from older styles. Boasting some 200 rooms of 5-star lavishness, it’s situated directly opposite Antwerp's Centraal station. Guests have full use of the leisure facilities, including a health centre.

Hotel Julien

A short walk from Groenplaats Square, this elegant and cosy Antwerp hotel is a beautiful mix of old and new. The rooms sport minimalist designer décor and all amenities blend seamlessly with original medieval features. Friendly staff preside over the space, and the roof terrace provides sweeping city views.

Leonardo Hotel

Located near Antwerp's Centraal Station, Leonardo Hotel has 96 spacious bedrooms, which are smart, clean and contemporary. The location is great for exploring the diamond district and for onward travel, but not so good for the historic Old Town, which is a fair walk away. But the price is right and the summer terrace is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast.

De Witte Lelie

This former 17th-century canal house is today one of the best boutique hotels in Antwerp. Period features and antiques have been sympathetically fused with contemporary designs to offer guests a comfortable and characterful stay in the city. The 10 gorgeous bedrooms give the hotel a cosy, personable feel, although rooms book up quickly.

Hilton Antwerp Old Town

Boasting the sky-high Cathedral of Our Lady as its next-door neighbour, this five-story fin-de-siècle building was originally the Grand Bazar department store. Spacious rooms are sumptuously decorated with one eye on history, though the flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi keep everything up to date. Drink in the surroundings by taking afternoon tea in the marble-floored lobby.

Hotel Rubens

Tucked away in a quiet side street behind the Grote Markt, this stylish 4-star hotel is the perfect base to explore the Old Town. A friendly concierge welcomes weary travellers with a refreshing port or sherry, while the hotel’s chic rooms are comfortable, quiet and well-appointed. You won’t go hungry either; their buffet breakfast will set you up for a day full of sightseeing.