ANTWERP CITY GUIDE
Nicknamed the 'Capital of Diamonds', Antwerp is Belgium's capital of creativity and cool. This diverse city is full of enticing museums, gourmet food and a rich culture that practically begs to be discovered.
In a single day you can explore the city's medieval centre, take in startling modern architectural masterpieces and shop to your heart's content at a host of designer stores.
Located only 90 minutes away from the port of Zeebrugge, all you need to do is board a ferry to Belgiumwith P&O to start exploring this captivating city.
There are treats to discover at every turn in Antwerp, from the diamond district to the historic heart of the city. The first stop for visitors should be the lavish marble Grand Central Station, which is one of the most beautiful railway stations ever built. Within walking distance, the city's famed Cathedral of Our Lady is a must-see and a listed World Heritage Site.
For a more modern architectural wonder, the MAS – Museum aan de Stroom – is one of the most striking buildings in the city, and houses a museum that tells the story of Antwerp, the port and the world.
For a glimpse at how people may have lived here in the 17th century, the period property and studio of renowned artist Peter Paul Rubens is a must visit. Tucked away just off the main square, you can wander around the Rubens House and discover an extraordinary collection of Flemish masterpieces.
Antwerp is the perfect place for foodies, offering a brimming selection of delicacies such as waffles, artisan chocolates and steaming pots of mussels.
For some high class treats, make sure to visit the grand Antwerp Royal Palace and seek out The Chocolate Line, a quaint shop tucked away inside that sells delicious and bizarre combinations.
For weekend visitors, the Exotic International Markettakes place every Saturday and sees Oudevaartplaats bustle with traders selling an enormous array of hunger-inducing products including croquettes, Dutch cheese, charcuterie and freshly baked bread.
For fine dining with a rock 'n' roll twist, newly opened restaurant The Jane provides elegant, contemporary cuisine in a converted military chapel. Another option for those looking for a lively local spot is Billie's Bier Kafeteria, which features a selection of delicious stews, Belgian beers and great value pub food on its menus. Make sure to save room for something sweet at the famous Désiré De Lille tearooms where waffles and Dutch donuts are compulsory.
Shopping in Antwerp: Fashion finds
While many might not realise it, Antwerp is actually one of the great fashion capitals of the world, boasting countless boutiques, exhibitions and bold concept stores.
Head down to the fashion district on the corner of National and Drukkerijstraat, where nearly every shop is full of eye-catching designs and luxury products. You can learn all about the craftsmanship and creativity behind the city's fashion stars by visiting the MoMu fashion museum, which features an exciting array of design masterpieces.
For those more interested in indulging in some retail therapy, head to Graanmarkt which offers a restaurant, store and an art gallery all in one building. For vintage wear,Jutka & Riska is a Dutch fashion label well worth exploring.
Take a P&O ferry to Belgium on our Hull to Zeebrugge crossing to see this stunning city yourself.