Everyone has an opinion about Antwerp, but it's only when you start paying attention that you realize what a wonderful city it really is. And then you can only envy the students who get to study and live here.
Three reasons to choose Antwerp
1) Nowhere is the cultural life as well developed as in Antwerp.
2) Thanks to a healthy balance between colleges and university, Antwerp is a real student city.
3) Antwerp is an international port city and thus has a view of the world.
Three reasons not to choose Antwerp
1) Too many Antwerp residents.
2) Student life is barely visible in the city.
3) For a top student city, Antwerp still lacks a few essential fields of study.
Where is the student district?
The heart of Antwerp is located on and around the Stadswaag and the Ossenmarkt at the northern border of the centre.
Young people who enjoy the performing arts can go to the cafés near the Mechelseplein.
Of course, students also like the bohemian chic of the trendy bars on the Zuid or the Dageraadplaats in Zurenborg.
What is there to see outside?
If you're willing to pay the expensive entrance fee, don't miss the magnificent Zoo.
Nothing like a stroll on the elevated walking terraces on both sides of the Steen.
If you want a port experience without crawling onto a boat, walk to the Eilandje, with the sixty meter high tower of the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS).
Of course you can also walk across the Grote Markt, the Handschoenmarkt (Glove Market) (by the cathedral) and the Groenplaats. Then head to the Zuid, where you can admire the silver roof of the modern Courthouse.
What is there to see inside?
Even if you didn't come by train, you should enter the spectacular Central Station.
Nor should you miss the cathedral and the Rubens House.
On the Waalsekaai at 't Zuid you'll find the MKHA (modern art) and the Photography Museum.
The top museum in Antwerp is of course the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom), in the futuristic tower on the Eilandje.
Where can you shop?
De Meir is the place to shop.
Turn left in the Wapper, and you’ll end up in a true fashion paradise. Go window shopping in Hopland, Schuttershofstraat, Komedieplaats and Huidevettersstraat.
It gets a little more budget-friendly in the traffic-free alleys of the Wilde Zee, only to become unbearably chic again on Nationalestraat, which includes Dries van Noten and the Fashion Museum.
Our favourite is Kammenstraat: a hip street full of vintage, urban wear, tattoo shops, gothic and more interesting curiosities for students.
Where can you eat well?
For trendy restaurants full of Flemish celebrities you have to be on and around the Gedempte Zuiderdokken.
You'll find a mishmash of exotic restaurants in the station district, with authentic Chinese in Van Wesenbekestraat.
Between the Groenplaats and the cathedral is a touristy Little Italy, where students get a twenty percent discount.
Dining with a view over the Scheldt is possible at the Zuiderterras, super hip dining is done at the Eilandje and an uncomplicated café bite, spiced with a touch of place to be, is served in Zurenborg.
8 Antwerp highlights
- Shopping for hours in the Kammenstraat.
- Taking the historic pedestrian tunnel to Linkeroever, deep under the Scheldt.
- Hanging out at the Stadswaag or the Ossenmarkt, or better yet, both.
- Spotting famous Flemings in trendy cafes on the Dageraadplaats or the Gedempte Zuiderdokken.
- Listening to typical Antwerp slang in a popular café (tip: Café Beveren on the corner of Vlasmarkt).
- Going out among a mix of tattooed sailors and terminal hipsters at 't Eilandje.
- Climb to the top floor of the MAS and enjoy a fantastic view over the Scheldt and the city centre.
- A terrace at the Conscienceplein, the most beautiful and best hidden square in Antwerp.
Here's an overview of just a few ISIC benefits
you can score in Antwerp:
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Enjoy a trip through the eyes of a local: walk off-the-beaten paths, see hidden gems, taste authentic food, and hear insider stories that only locals know. Verify your ISIC card to get a promo code for a 10% discount on your experience.
Into photography? Then definitely pay Fotomuseum in Antwerp a visit! With several expositions, this is without a doubt the right place for you. Show your ISIC card and pay only 3 EUR for an entrance ticket.