Hello, Hallo & Bonjour!
Summer is still here and among us, so enjoy the rest with your family, friends and date(s) at these 7 summer hotspots in Antwerp! With roughly a month or so left of this beautiful summer, I wanted to share with you these top 7 hotspots and events that you can take advantage of here in Belgium along with top tips to make the most of your time and budget: what-to-see and do, what-to-eat, and what-to-wear!
Antwerp is an awesome city for food, fashion, and scenery, but their events are sizzling hot in Belgium and should not be missed!
So, without further ado, here are the TOP 7 hotspots you need to go see now.
If you're looking for a summer, city beach-vibe in Belgium, checkout Bocadero. While it's not actually near a beach, it is near the large Antwerp seaport and you really get the beach vibes. It's an old, giant warehouse that's been converted into a huge beach-party venue with a variety of bars, mini popup restaurants, and dance events. It's a great weekend day hangout spot and a cool night-out party scene. With multiple events nearly every other day for the rest of the month, you're sure to find something you love to do and see. From Yoga classes to Tango and Salsa nights, it's a perfect place to hangout without the long drive to the seaside.
Ideal For: Day or Nightout with Friends; Suntan and Chill spot; Music Vibe; Date Nights
Location: Rijnkaai 150, 2000 Antwerpen
Price range: €€€ [fairly pricy, so best to get a bottle for a group]
Opening: Summer only (last day is First of September)
Looking for street-food vibes with cool, trendy and modern city-market spot? This is your calling then. While Bocadero offers a beach-vibe with palm trees, sand and beach bars, Mercado offers an underground-type of experience in a beautiful modern building with small popup restaurants lined up all around the sides of the building. It's as central as you'll get in the city, right near the famous City Hall, Grote Markt, and the cathedral.
When you step in to Mercado, look to your left and enjoy the big wine bar, offering a wide selection of wine from bottle to glass. Then walk around to get a taste of small plates and bowls from Asian to Moroccan to Mexican-inspired food, you'll be sure to find something you love. This is great for groups or a first date. Avoid the awkward first dates and take your partner somewhere exciting and fun that you can both enjoy and explore. While with groups, avoid the hours and long texts of where you guys are going to eat. Everyone has a selection here from food to drinks. As for drinks and dessert, they offer bubble waffles with ice cream to a central bar with beer, gin and cocktails.
Ideal for: Friends (brunch or dinner); Afterhours with work colleagues; Date Night (esp 1st dates)
Location: MercadoGroenplaats 43
Price range: €€-€€€ [ food portions aren't crazy big, so be prepared to get multiple small plates and drinks are mid-high price, so be sure to keep your spending in mind]
Opening: All Year Around
3. MAS & EILANDJE
My favorite hangout and night-out spot is here on the famous Eilandje (a.k.a little island). This is a new, up and coming neighborhood that's really not comparable to any city area. It's by the famous Antwerp seaports and surrounded by water, hence the name "little island." Famous for the beautiful view, stunning seaport filled with gorgeous boats, yachts and ships, it is the host of the stunning MAS (Museum aan de Stroom). If you're into modern art and a great view, checkout this museum.
To properly explore this area, you should have a delicious burger at Burgerij (offers wide range of beef to chicken burgers and even salads), where you can sit outside and enjoy the view of the MAS. Then, stop by Cremerie Germaine (my favorite ice cream shop and a popular spot here on the Eilandje) and grab your favorite chocolate drizzled cone and flavor. Then headout to the MAS, where a grand courtyard (completely brick) is awaiting your arrival. Enjoy the water front view and the sunset with your friends, family or significant other.
Ideal for: Family, Friends (Day or Night-out), Day-Dates and Night-Dates, Walking Your Dog
Location (of MAS): Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerpen
Price range: €€-€€€ [ food portions fair and big, so be prepared to fill up]
Opening: All Year Around
4.) LAUNDRY DAY + ANTWERP PRIDE PARADE
Ok, this not really a Hotspot, per say, as it's more event-based than location, but I had to include these 2 amazing festivities here to make sure you guys don't miss out on them!
Antwerp Pride: This parade should be no stranger to you, as they are celebrated all around the world in major cities. Antwerp is currently hosting this festivity from August 9-13. Be sure to check their website to see the times + locations + events. Great to explore the city in a super fun and colorful way with everyone parading and enjoying life!
Laundry Day: A one-day music festival that actually started as a small street event in front of hanging laundry and eventually turned into a giant music festival. It features a variety of DJs and artists from Belgium, so a great way to get to know the music scene and artist talents here. It is one of the last summer festivals in Belgium, held every September, so be sure to get your tickets and celebrate a great summer with your friends!
Ideal for: Friends & Party
Price range: €€-€€€
Opening: See dates and times in links above
This is a great corner spot located at the end of Bocadero, where you can enjoy a great view to relax and chill. Jardim offers a "boho feel" and is considered popup oasis. It often hosts their own events from disco and a variety of music artists to bring your day and night to life. Grab some finger food, cold drinks and enjoy a great conversation with friends.
Ideal For: Friends, Weekend lounge, Afterwork drinks and Nightout
Location: JARDIM SCHELDEKAAI 28, 2000 ANTWERPEN
Price range: €€-€€€
Opening: Summer time from 4pm and on (only Tues-Sun)
6. SUMMER OF LOVE
A summer bar, this little quaint, classy popup spot is located right in the center of Eilandje, facing the MAS and the port filled with boats, yachts, and ships. As you enjoy dinner, drinks and music by the water front, soak up the sun and a great conversation with your friends and partner. Summer of Love is located right near restaurants, so you can enjoy some food there, while a small, street stage offers DJs to live Jazz music.
Ideal For: Friends, Dinner, Music Scene, Weekend lounge and Afterwork Drinks
Price range: €€-€€€
Opening: Summer time
7.) STEEN CASTLE (HET STEEN)
A beautiful medival fortress (some call it a castle--because it appears to be a real, legit castle) located right in the heart of Antwerp. It is just on the outskirt of the Grote Markt and the City Hall. The castle faces the water front leading up to the port (near Eilandje), and offers a stunning sunset view. I actually did an entire outfit shoot here based on this location.
Grab some food on the Grote Markt (there are a ton of restaurants), take a view of the Grote Markt (great market) and head up to the castle. The best part of this castle and what makes it unique is that it is completely open. You can walk into the castle and end up on a high dock that you can walk along to see the view of the Scheldt river and catch the glorious sunset.
Ideal For: Sightseeing with Friends and Family; Romantic Walk
Location: Steenplein 1, 2000 Antwerpen
Price range: Free (No admission fee for the castle)
Opening: All Year Long
Outfit idea: Denim & Cool
Hope you guys enjoyed this and found it helpful! Hit me up on social media and let me know how your experience was at these eventful hotspots! And if you have any of your favorite spots, comment below!
MUCH LOVE FROM ANTWERPEN <3