As the world’s largest diamond-cutting city, Antwerp (Anvers in French) is naturally affluent. It comes as no surprise then that fashion is also of utmost importance, so the shopping here is excellent. It may not be the cheapest place, but the quality certainly matches the price.
Another big business in Antwerp is the port, one of Europe’s largest. Take a cruise around to admire its scale. The Scheldt River leads from the port into the city, and on its banks are a handful of interesting museums and Het Steen, a medieval castle built to protect the city against Viking invasions.
A few streets back is the Grote Markt, a beautiful square flanked by the grand town hall and 16th-century guildhouses – a typically Belgian scene. Behind this is UNESCO World Heritage-listed Antwerp Cathedral, whose asymmetrical towers look down over Groenplaats, a tranquil square filled with pavement cafes. Belgian beer is legendary and the local brew is De Koninck, which packs quite a punch.
In the south of the city is the most unusual sight – Wilrijk’s huge Jain Temple, one of the largest outside India. A little further east is Antwerp Airport, efficiently connected by public transport to the Antwerp hotels, guesthouses and apartments that are available on Booking.com.