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Cycle Route Kempenroute



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Elevation profile Cycle Route Kempenroute0100200050100150200

Added on 14 Apr 2024,

on 14 Apr 2024

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OpenStreetMap and Contributors + biroto-Redaktion (

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Contains information from OpenStreetMap, which is made available here under the Open Database License(ODbL)

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by biroto-Redaktion on 14 Apr 2024

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Start location

Antwerp, Antwerp, BE (7 m NHN)

End location

Maasmechelen, Limburg, BE (39 m NHN)




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0 km
0,2 km
19 m

BE-2000 Antwerpen


Old town

Grote Markt in Antwerp
Grote Markt in Antwerp
Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
Het Steen, Antwerp
Het Steen, Antwerp

Antwerp (Dutch: Antwerpen, French: Anvers) is a large city and the capital of the eponymous province in the region of Flanders in Belgium Wikivoyage Icon. At a population of just over half a million people, it is the second largest city in Belgium (after Brussels Wikivoyage Icon), and it has a major European port. Due to its long and culturally rich history, the city of Antwerp houses many interesting historical buildings from different historical periods, as well as a lot of interesting museums. Antwerp is also known as the global diamond trade hub - more than 70% of all diamonds are traded in Antwerp.

Antwerp has grown to become a trendy city, attracting many Flemish and foreign artists, writers, intellectuals, and actors. This is reflected in the city's many trendy bars and shops. Antwerp is a city with many faces. While it may not be as historically preserved as Bruges Wikivoyage Icon or Ghent Wikivoyage Icon, it is a very dynamic city, offering a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life. The overwhelming friendliness of the people of Antwerp and their innate penchant for good food and good living, combined with their low stress lifestyle, makes it a desirable and relaxing place to visit.


The origins of the name of Antwerp comes from "aan de werpe", which is Dutch for "at the throw", referring to where the river throws its sand. The name also has a funny anecdote saying it comes from "Hand werpen", which translated is "throwing hands". In the city flag, the castle "het Steen" and the hand of Antwerp are shown.

In the 16th century, Antwerp was one of the most important financial centers of the world, where traders from all over Europe and Asia sold and bought their goods. After the siege of Antwerp in 1585 by the Spanish, this role as a financial center was taken over by Amsterdam. Nevertheless, since the 19th century and especially the 20th century, Antwerp has made a serious economic comeback.


  • Antwerp City Card With the Antwerp City Card you can visit all museums and three monumental churches over a 48-hour period. It also features a 25% discount on attractions, sightseeing and bicycle rentals. In the free guide you find vouchers that you can use to enjoy benefits on typical Antwerp and Belgian products including chocolate and chips. Price: €28.
  • City Hall/Old Market Square (Stadhuis/Grote Markt). This is the historical center of town. The market square is surrounded by the typical medieval guild houses you find in most Flemish historical towns. The city hall is designed in special architectural style with a combination between Gothic and early Renaissance, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This style is almost exclusively found in this region of Europe. 
  • Diamond District. This is south and southwest of the central station. You will find countless jewellery shops, as well as the Antwerp Diamond Exchange, one of the most important financial centres of the world's diamond industry. The district is interesting from an ethnic and cultural perspective, for at least 50% of the diamond industry is in the hands of the city's Jews. Antwerp has a large population of Jews (about 50,000 people), a lot of them Orthodox. 
  • The hidden street Vlaeykensgang. Connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt and Pelgrimsstraat. It is a real street, but only accessible through unassuming medieval front doors in the streets. The medieval equivalent of a gated community. It now houses nice, informal restaurants and chic, discrete houses. A must see! 
  • Jewish Quarter (Joodse wijk). One of the main Jewish centers in the world, with the beautiful 'Van Den Nest' and 'Bouwmeester' synagogues. Contact the Jewish community for a guide. 
  • Antwerp Ruien. You can take a guided tour of the underground city of Antwerp. (updated Mar 2018)
  • Red light district. Like cities such as Amsterdam and Hamburg, Antwerp has a red light district. If you want to visit, consider going during the day. When Villa Tinto set up, Antwerp's little red light district became Europe's most High Tech Brothel. If you intend to be a patron of the district, be wary of women who beckon you to their kamers and invite you in without discussing a price. In many cases, these women will charge a greatly inflated rate once they have you inside their kamer. Even if you have no intention of partaking in the festivities, it is worthwhile just to see the spectacle that the district is. 200 women all in their own window dressed for action. It is also worth being wary of beggars in the Red Light District. While few of these are particularly hostile, they can be bothersome and should be ignored. There is very little illegal activity as there is a constant police presence, which you can expect to see. 
Museums and galleries
  • Plantin Moretus Museum, Vrijdagmarkt 22, +32 3 2211450, +32 3 2211451. Tu–Su 10:00–17:00, last entrance 16:30. The home of 16th-century bookbinder and printer Christoffel Plantin. Regarded as one of the finest museums dedicated to printing in the world. Its extensive collections of important books and printing presses along with its role in spearheading the technology of printing have seen it added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. adults €8. Wikipedia Icon  
  • Vleeshuis. Literally, the "Meat house". It was built as the guild hall for the butchers. Every day tonnes of meat changed owners here. The building is famous for the original masonry made to resemble stacks of bacon (switching between white stones and red bricks). It now houses a museum, of which the main part comprises a musical instrument collection, including some examples of old harpsichords built by the local Ruckers family.
  • Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), Hanzestedenplaats 1, +32 3 3384400. Tu-Su: 10:00-17:00. April-October: Sa Su until 18:00. M closed. Large museum that tells about Antwerp in the world. You can visit the building for free, with an very wide view across Antwerp on the rooftop. The viewing platform on the roof is accessible without a museum ticket. €10 regular if there is a temporary exhibition, otherwise €5. €8/€3 reduced. Free for children under 12 and on the last Wednesday of the month. Wikipedia Icon  
  • Red Star Line Museum, Montevideostraat 3, +32 3 2982770. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Closed on M. This museum opened in 2013 and displays the history of the Red Star Line, a Belgian navigation company offering connections between Antwerp and New York. This enabled large-scale emigration to the United States. The museum collection is based on the stories of people who travelled on this line, including Albert Einstein and Irving Berlin. €8 regular, €6 reduced, free for children under 12. 
  • Extra City Kunsthal, Eikelstraat 25. ECK is an art space for contemporary visual arts, based in an old bottling factory. Its shows are mostly experimental, but always intriguing. 
  • Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal). One of the most impressive and largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, built in 1351 it stands over 400 ft tall. It also houses some of Rubens' most famous paintings. 
  • Saint Paul's Church (Sint-Pauluskerk). A beautiful mixed gothic and baroque church formerly part of a nunnery. Noted for its Calvary monument. It is a short distance north of the Grote Maarkt on Zwartzustersstraat. 
  • Carolus Borromeus Church. Unlike the cathedral, this is a Baroque church. With a safe and minimal exterior, you would not know the beautiful decorations (done by Rubens' studio) are inside. It is on the picturesque square Conscienceplein. 
Animal interest
  • Antwerp Zoo. One of the oldest zoos in the world, with over 4000 animals and lots of 19th-century design and architecture. 
Other buildings of note
  • The Begijnhof (beguinage). A sort of medieval monastery for women. The well-kept gardens are great photo opportunities. 
  • Boerentoren (Farmers' Tower). Now called KBC Tower after the company that owns it, this 97-m skyscraper in the historical center of town is said to be the oldest one on the European continent. It was built between 1929 and 1932. It is at the end of the Meir shopping street. The tower is renowned for its typical art-deco sculptures. It is not a skyscraper on the same scale as some that were erected in North America; for example the Empire State Building in New York, built at the same time, is 381m. 
  • Bourla theatre (Bourlaschouwburg). 19th century neo-classicist theatre building. Charming from the outside and even nicer if you manage to get in for a theater show or a concert. It houses a spectacular pastry salon inside the large cupola above the theater. Great place to have tea with cake or waffles, of course. 
  • Central Station. Even if not arriving or leaving by train the station is well worth a visit. Platforms are on three levels, all constructed beneath the very impressive original structure. Wikipedia Icon  
  • Het Steen (The Stone), Steenplein 1. This is a rather small medieval castle on the banks of the river Schelde. It used to function as a city fortification and now houses a naval museum (open air only, inside closed). It is the starting point of the Wandelterrassen, a scenic boardwalk with a cafe/restaurant at either end. Wikipedia Icon  
  • Rubenshuis, Wapper 9-11, +32 3 2011555. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Closed on M and some holidays. The house of painter Peter Paul Rubens is now a museum of his life and artwork. Multiple of Rubens his paintings and artworks and his contemporaries are installed in the rooms, as well as furniture of his period. Paintings include his early Adam and Eve (c. 1600) and a self portrait made when he was about fifty. €8 regular, €6 for people aged 12-25 and 65+, free for children younger than 12 and on the last Wednesday of the month. Wikipedia Icon (updated Jul 2017)
South of Antwerp

Since the restoration a couple of years ago, the south of the city is known as the trendy part.

The centre of this piece of the city is a huge square called de gedempte zuiderdokken which simply means, 'the filled-up southern docks'. In the 1960s, this was an abandoned trade dock. They filled up the dock in an attempt to expand the city. The high crime rate in the region made it a very cheap place to live. This was a blessing for the local art world, which started to flourish, making the region trendy and safe over the years. Today, it is known as a "yuppie stronghold".

  • M HKA, Leuvenstraat 32, +32 3 2609999. Museum of contemporary art. Wikipedia Icon  
  • FotoMuseum, Waalsekaai 47, +32 3 2429300. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. M closed. Renovated in 2004. €8 regular, €3 for -26, free for -18. Wikipedia Icon  
  • Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Museum of Fine Arts), Leopold de Waelplaats, +32 3 2387809. Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten boasts of an excellent collection of paintings from the 15th century up to the 20th century. The museum's permanent collection has masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Brueghel, Van Eyck, Anthony Van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, and James Ensor. Closed for heavy reconstruction work as of Nov 2018. Some of the collection will be temporarily displayed at other museums in Antwerp and nearby cities on a rotating basis during construction. 
  • Zuiderpershuis, +32 3 2487077. It is on the "kaaien" and is a center for intercultural art. 
  • Het Muntplein. A place where graffiti artists can make artwork without being chased by police. There are often very nice creations. Graffiti contests occur on a regular basis. 
  • Palace of Justice (Justitiepaleis). There are actually two of these. The old one is a 19th-century red brick building on the Britselei. The new one is a dominant, modern, white building in the south of Antwerp (Bolivarplaats). You can hardly miss it once you're there. The architect of this building was Richard Rogers, who also built the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Millennium Dome in London. 
  • Zurenborg neighborhood. A little off the beaten track. This neighborhood in the south east of Antwerp (near the railway station Antwerpen-Berchem, look for 'Cogels-Osylei' on the map) is known for its eclectic, sometimes rather bizarre 19th century architecture. Consider taking a tram or bicycle to get there.

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by-sa: CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-ShareAlike

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Input taken over from:

Wikivoyage contributors, 'Antwerp', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 13 January 2019, 07:18 UTC, <> [accessed 14 January 2019]

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14 Jan 2019

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