Antwerpen, Belgium

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105 comments

  1. Beautiful. The only time I had in Belgium was at Spa last year for the F1 GP. Countryside heading there was beautiful. Would have been great to see more of Belgium.

  2. Really shows how much older cathedrals are shaped like crosses, never noticed that until a class I had two semesters ago

  3. Fun fact: the stumpy tower on the right never got finished because the city ran out of money to build it after there was a fire in the cathedral

    EDIT: Parish owns it and ran out of money rather than the city

    1. Not quite. The finished tower is build and still owned by the city. The smaller tower is build and owned by the parish. It’s the parish that couldn’t get the funds to complete the tower.

  4. This belfry (bell-tower) is on the UNESCO World Heritage list as part of the Belfries of Belgium and France. The rest of the building (ie the actual church) isn’t on the list. I’m fairly sure as well that this is the tallest bell-tower in the Benelux countries!

    1. As a history nerd who exists for the purpose of climbing old belfries, i can confirm that Antwerp (and belgium as a whole) is out-fuckin-standing. Free advice: if you go to climb the market tower in Bruges, go EARLY, and don’t be claustrophobic, afraid of heights, or out of shape. (see “in bruges”)

      1. I climbed a bunch of them as part of my UNESCO world heritage journey, and yeah the Bruges one is fantastic to climb! Especially early in the day when not many people are around. The one in Tournai is fantastic as well and gives you an epic view of the cathedral nearby!

  5. Cathedral of our lady.
    I’m not sure how to edit this post on mobile.
    Drove from London to France then through to Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. 24hr and less than £200.
    Slept in our VW golf to save money.

      1. I’m from Australia and I’ve never been to Germany or Belgium, so it’s not something I can’t do everyday.

        1. Well everybody has their own way of travel I guess.

          You apparently like being on the road most of the time and only seeing a country’s single highlight.

          1. I don’t get why you are getting downvoted.

            It’s like looking at the louvre museum from the outside and then saying that you visited the louvre…

          2. I think it really depends on context.

            If someone takes ALL their trips in this fashion it’s pretty ridiculous but my guess is that this isn’t the case.

          3. To clear the confusion, live in the UK. This is a trip I did on the weekend for something exciting to do instead of sitting at home.

      1. You got lucky, drone pilots in Belgium need to have a permit to go above 10 meters. It are new rules, and we don’t really care. But be aware in the future 😉

        Nice picture dho, seems like it was july…during the Antwerp summerfestival.

  6. I’ve lived near Antwerp my whole life, I finally moved into district Deurne this year, bought a sizable appartement with my SO for 180k.

    Antwerp has all the perks of living in a big city without the riduculous cost of living cities like Amsterdam and London have.
    The quite sizable harbour also provides lots of well paying jobs.
    If you’re looking to visit or immigrate I can guarantee you that you’ll encounter other people of your nationality. We (probably) have the most nationalities (some 160) per capita in the world. We have a saying here, if you walk along the Turnhoutsebaan you’ve seen most the world.

    If it sounds like I’m shamelessly promoting Antwaerpe, I am, it is probably one of the best cities in the world to live in when you’re young and looking for opportunities.

    1. Is it necessary to speak Dutch in order to live and work there? My wife and I visited Brussels and Bruges a couple of years ago, I have the impression that you can easily live speaking French only in Brussels (I have no idea about working) but in Bruges people where less willing to communicate in French. Maybe I just got the wrong impression.

      1. If you want to live here for a couple of years it is probably best if you learn the basics of Dutch. The locals are used to immigrants having a hard time learning and appreciate the effort.

        Especially when looking for work, the more languages you speak the better. If you’re here for a couple of months you can easily get by with French. English will get you much further socialy and work related tough. I know pub owners who have lived here for years and still don’t speak a word of Dutch.

        Most people who grow up here speak a bit of French due to it being taught in schools, but English is a lot more mainstream and accepted tough.

      2. Brussels is mostly French-speaking, even though it is geographically in Flanders. It also has a large international community because of the international organisations stationed there.

        Also, not everyone in Belgium speaks both languages. Some people might not be willing to communicate in French, or they might not be able to. I’ve had the reverse experience: I spoke Dutch, but not everyone in Belgium wanted/could speak Dutch back to me. But if you are going to live/work somewhere long-term, it’s always a good idea to learn the language, otherwise you’ll end up in the expat-bubble because you can’t make friends among the locals.

        But Brussels is generally French-speaking, although there is a conflict with the B-H-V area, Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde, and language is a political issue.

        1. Thank you for sharing your experience. The only thing I knew before our visit to Belgium was that they have 3 official languages and I thought that we would be fine speaking French. I was a bit puzzled when I saw a lot of street signs and street names in Dutch, but everyone we spoke to didn’t have any problem speaking French. It was later that I learned that language is a political issue.

          And I completely agree with you, when you go live somewhere is better to learn the language, I had to learn English and French when I moved to Canada, but it was well worth it.

          1. We have 3 official languages but they are not official everywhere. French is only an official language in Wallonia and Brussels. Dutch is the official language in Flanders (Bruges and Antwerp) and also Brussels. Most people in Flanders know a bit of French but it’s not an official language. It’s a big political issues and most people kinda get offended if you speak French in Flanders. The reasons why is a long history and if we notice you are a tourist most people will react with “No francais, English please” but you can genuinely upset people.

          2. We found out “the hard way” about the political issues at the train station in Bruges, my wife asked the guy at the counter for directions in French, he’s answer was a bit rude. I think we looked like tourists, and my wife has a French Canadian accent, he could have go with the “English please” like you say.

            Anyway, our trip was great and we would love to go back to Belgium, next time we’ll go “full tourist” and speak English only.

      3. The language communities in Belgium are geographically split, and there’s been a lot of historical animosity between these groups.

        Bruges is solidly in the Dutch speaking part of the country and if you speak French there a lot of people might see you as one of those Walloons who tries to force their francophonic supremacy on us. OTOH Bruges is also very touristy so as long as you’re only there temporarily most people will be willing to assist you.

        Brussels is officially a bilingual area with Dutch being treated as an inferior language by the rotten elites of the city. So you’ll be fine in French.

        Anywhere South of Brussels is monolingual French (other than a very small Dutch speaking corridor).

    2. I’m going to be there in about two weeks (Oct 14th) only for one day though, anything you would recommend as a “must do” in the city aside from anything that would be on a standard tourist’s list?

    3. Same here dude. Moved to deurne from antwerp in january. Coming this october i’ll be working for the city too! Coolest city in the world, yes indeed

  7. this looks beautiful! I’m travelling to Belgium next month for 3 days and I’m gonna visit Brussels, Bruges and Ghent. Wish I could accomodate Antwerp as well 😐

  8. Went to a pretty great absinthe bar in Antwerp on the way home from Amsterdam. We wanted to go to Brussels before heading back to Germany, but it was too far out of the way. While our waiter was lighting the sugar cubes on fire to pour into the absinthe, we were asking about things to do in the city since we had wanted to go to Brussels originally. (Yes. We’re rude Anericans.) He looked at us, scoffed and muttered, “Brussels… sssucks.” Then he blew out the flames and we all tripped balls (kinda – absinthe style dreamy tripping) and drank beer on a boat bar as the sun set. That’s my Antwerp story!

    1. >He looked at us, scoffed and muttered, “Brussels… sssucks.”

      He could not be further from the truth, but that’s Antwerp for you. My sister’s boyfriend described it quite aptly as Manchester thinking it’s London (or for Americans, Cleveland thinking it’s NYC).

      1. I lived in Antwerp for a bit, and I work in NYC, and trust me it’s no Cleveland. Maybe Boston, with their strange rivalry with NYC that no one here really thinks about, but it’s a nice city with its own charms

          1. Brussels *has* more, meaning most of us can find more of what we’re looking for there, whether craft beer, or sport, or whatever. But you do have to dig through the sadness to get there.

          2. I can’t wrap my around people that think Brussels is nice than Antwerp but let’s not have that discussion here. I think most people in Belgium prefer Antwerp above Brussels.

          1. I know dont worry, even in Belgium our city names are translated to dutch, french and german. Its just utterly redundant and confusing for monolingualists or tourists.

            I have to explain on a weekly basis to tourists that Bruxelles-Midi = Brussel Zuid.

          2. I also got confused once when I went to Brussel myself (I’m Belgian), is there a reason why they didn’t call it *Brussel-Sud*?

          3. Because we like our archaïc linguisitcs. It’s old french for sud. Just like the south of french is also often referred to as midi

      1. Haha nah, it’s not that. I just find it weird when people throw in the local word for a city in an otherwise completely English sentence. Like, he is speaking English on an English forum. Saying “Antwerpen” when everyone here knows it as “Antwerp” only serves to add confusion. I don’t even know why people do it, except to show off that they are worldly or something?

        For example, I speak Mandarin, but I’m not gonna be like “check out this pic I took of the Xiang Gang skyline” when I go to Hong Kong. Why the hell would I do that? Seems really obnoxious and some people will have to Google WTF I’m talking about. It’s Hong Kong.

        1. I dunno. It’s /r/travel. There’s not really any harm. My favourite atlases as a kid were the ones with proper (or at least latinized) local place names. The motivations here don’t really bear overthinking.

          1. I’m fully willing to admit that this is likely just an overblown personal pet peeve of mine. I just feel like if I have to google “Antwerpen” just to double check and make sure it’s “Antwerp,” you’re sacrificing clarity for showboating.

            Just a couple weeks ago on this sub, someone posted “look at this sandwich I ate in La Habana!” Again, 99% sure he was talking about Havana, but now I have to google it to double check. It just irritates me and serves no purpose.

          2. It’s not just you. It’s pretentious, and sometimes even ignorant to use the original name when you’re speaking English.

            Similar situation: the folks in /r/ireland always complain that when you’re speaking English, their language is called Irish, not Gaelic.

    1. You’re allowed to, but only in July. It’s a longstanding tradition that in July people can climb the tallest tower and try to reach the top fastest. The winner gets a goose’s head, that is “donated” by the villages surrounding Antwerp, when they have their goose pulling contests (basically pulling the head off a goose).

  9. We spent an awesome afternoon in Antwerp this summer. Rubenshuis, the Botanical Gardens, and Cafe Kulminator. Wish we’d allowed for more time.

  10. Spent two days here on my trip through Europe, absolutely loved it. Paeters Vaetje is right near this church and I had some excellent beers and even better conversation there. Can’t wait to go back!

  11. I love this pic because of the aerial view and also because there is a perfect mix of ancient and modern. The tower is so beautiful and impressive!

    1. A “perfect mix of ancient and modern” kind of sums up Antwerp in general. It’s interesting – most cities have bands or neighborhoods of buildings built in the same era, so the architecture changes gradually. Antwerp has a lot less of that. Walking around, you can see just about every major European architecture style of the last 500 years within a 15 minute walk. It’s fascinating and beautiful.

      1. Thank you so much for your answer! You perfectly described the reason for which that pic impressed me so much: the perfect mix of ancient and modern. Thanks to your pic, I will consider to visit Antwerp during my Belgium trip!

  12. I was considering studying abroad here, this photo and the stories in the comments have solidified my decision!

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