photo of Antwerp

City Hall in Antwerp, Belgium (ThinkStock)

What to do in Antwerp

There’s something surprising about finding avant-garde design shops and vintage clothing boutiques along Antwerp’s tree-shaded, cobblestone lanes. On the outside, the city looks straight out of a fairy tale—all 16th-century guild houses, Gothic cathedrals, and Flemish mansions. It even has a castle: the Het Steen medieval fortress. But the city’s soul is all cutting edge. The delightful mix of old and new is best on display in its historic city center, a maze of shops and landmarks built around the city’s most impressive 16th-century Antwerp Cathedral. Stroll the encircling Meir, an expansive pedestrian boulevard where high-fashion stores and diamond shops are housed in 18th-century mansions. It’s a city easily managed on foot, with a timeless appeal and modern twist.

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