What To Do In Antwerp – Part 2

Posted by Jay in Travel on January 18th, 2018

Antwerp has so much to offer that I had to separate it into two posts! You can find the first Antwerp post hereSo let’s not waste any time and dig right into part two of this fabulous little city!

MAS Museum

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Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) is a very unique museum, and unlike any that I have ever been to on my travels. Located by the docks in the hip neighbourhood of Eilandje, it towers over the surrounding boats and buildings. The different floors are stacked on top of one another like building blocks. I really enjoyed my visit, as each floor is dedicated to a different theme. Ranging from life, Antwerp, food, and even death. The museum is accessible to the 9th floor, but there are some steps to get you all the way to the top. There is a a lift from the ground floor to the 9th, however, you need a staff pass to be able to use it. That was the downside for me, as I always needed someone to go with me. So I just used the escalators after a while.

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You can only access the top floor via stairs (around 34 steps) for the panorama view. However, for people unable to get to top floor of MAS, you are able to use the side terrace on 9th floor. While not as spectacular as the rooftop, you still get some pretty gorgeous views. This is also the location of the ‘t Zilte restaurant. This two Michelin star restaurant is always fully booked, so you have to make reservation in advance!

Antwerp Cathedral

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Antwerp Cathedral, also known as Cathedral of Our Lady is absolutely stunning. At a great height of 123 metres, it is the tallest Gothic building in the Low Countries. The cathedral has 4 different Rubens paintings housed within its walls. This is especially great for those that don’t have time to visit Rubenshuis. The artworks are translated into a few different languages, great for non Dutch speakers. You may find the front door really heavy to get through, but Antwerp cathedral is accessible once you got inside. There is a wheelchair at the front that can be loaned for people that can’t stand for long periods of time. Plus there are loads of seats everywhere else. Thank God for pews, eh?

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The inaccessible places are the crypt (because it has to be built underground, for obvious reasons) and the front altar as there are steps there. But you can still get a very good view of the Rubens painting from the side angle. Having been there myself, I do have a warning for those on crutches; there are big gaps where light fixtures are stored near the giant columns. Big enough for a crutch to accidentally go through and cause injury. So be careful!

Grote Markt

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A very short walk away from the Antwerp Cathedral is the Grote Markt, or the Great Market Square. The cobble stoned square is situated in the historic old town district of Antwerp, and features the famed Brabo Fountain in the centre. The sculpture shows the legendary Brabo, who is said to have cut off the hand of a giant and thrown it into the nearby Scheldt river. The surrounding area is also home to stunning Antwerp City Hall, as well as a large number of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops.

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Apart from the slightly larger cobblestones, I found this area to be very accessible. The whole city of Antwerp is pretty flat, so there are no large hills to contend with, which is always a plus. However, when it did rain I had to be mindful not to slip on the very smooth stones, that had been polished by years of rainfall and foot traffic. It is a really pretty place to spend the afternoon, as you’re so close to everything but you can still take your time.

Antwerp Botanical Gardens

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Botanical gardens are very pretty places in general, but obviously much better when they are accessible. The Antwerp botanical gardens were a dream, with ramps everywhere and plenty of seating with benches galore. Like the Grote Markt, this is also a lovely part of Antwerp to just relax and let the day pass by slowly. As it is not as well known as the market, you will find fewer people here, and will more likely bump into a local than a tourist. Please note that the greenhouse is only open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.

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about Jayon UPDATE: As of 25/09/2015 Nigeria has been removed from the WHO's Polio Endemic List! Having been born in Nigeria, I hail from one of three countries where polio is still unfortunately endemic, the other two being Pakistan and Afghanistan. I had contracted the poliovirus before my ...Read More

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