Travel + Leisure

Visiting Belgium: Antwerp

Visiting Belgium: Antwerp

Visiting Belgium Antwerp

After a few days in Brussels, we then headed to Antwerp, Belgium which you may know from the diamonds! Visiting Belgium Antwerp was an amazing experience and let me tell you why.

Diamonds!

Diamond cutting – the process that makes diamonds dazzle – dates back to medieval Bruges, where diamond cutting was invented. Bruges grew to be the first great diamond centre and, up until the late 20th century, was home to many diamond-cutting ateliers. But by the end of the 15th century, Antwerp became the main centre for diamond trade. There are over 1,000 diamond cutters in Antwerp today.

Diamonds are predominantly mined in India, Brazil, South Africa, Canada and Australia, but approximately 84% of raw diamonds pass through Antwerp.   The heart of the diamond industry is based in the Diamond District at Central Station in Antwerp.

Only the best quality diamonds obtain the label of Antwerp’s Most Brilliant. Jewelers who have earned this label have had to meet strict quality standards. Antwerp's reputation as the world’s centre for diamonds is definitely earned.

Visiting Belgium Antwerp Hilton Antwerp

In Antwerp, we stayed at the wonderful Hilton Antwerp Old Town which is on Antwerp’s most famous and historic town square in the heart of Antwerp city center. It is literally within walking distance of all Antwerp’s major attractions. The hotel building formerly housed the Grand Bazar Shopping mall and the original 1864 facade still forms part of the hotel.

Visiting Belgium Antwerp

Visiting Belgium Antwerp

Dining in Antwerp

When in Antwerp, I highly recommend making a reservation at Brasserie Flo. Chef Pascal de Portemont prepares delicious brasserie cuisine with a temporary twist. I typically do not dine in the hotel restaurant in the hotel I am staying at for dinner (breakfast and/or lunch most definitely). I just like to get out and enjoy the city I am in by walking to a nearby restaurant or the experience of taking a cab and discovering more of the city. However, I am glad I did not pass up on the opportunity to eat at Brasserie Flo.Visiting Belgium Antwerp

Visiting Belgium Antwerp

5 Fast Facts about Belgium:

  • Yes, yes they really do serve mayonnaise with french fries in Belgium.
  • The Smurfs comic franchise was written by Peyo, a Belgian comic artist and writer. The Smurfs franchise began in 1958 as a comic strip in Belgium and expanded into a worldwide TV series, films, dolls and even theme parks.
  • Belgium produces more comic books than any other country in the world.
  • Tomorrowland, one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world, takes place in Boom, Belgium (a few miles from Antwerp). Over 180,000 people from around the world attended the July 2016 event.
  • The Hilton Antwerp Old Town has the largest hotel ballroom in Belgium – – the historic Belle Epoque Ballroom with 12,260 sq. ft.

Visiting Belgium Antwerp

Planning a trip to Belgium? Visit www.visitflanders.com/en to plan your trip to Visiting Belgium Antwerp. If you are in Belgium, stop by the Visit Flanders office near Grand Place.

We were hosted by Visit Flanders on this trip to Belgium and not compensated to write this Visiting Belgium Antwerp Visit Flanders post. We loved Belgium and really appreciate their hospitality. 

Please see our other post: Visiting Belgium: Brussels

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14 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. We love to travel! I have not been here yet, but it is most defiantly on my travel list! That food looks awesome! 

  2. Omg I want to take bran to the tomorrowland!! This place looks beautiful!!! Not to mention my husband’s. A TOTAL nerd and would love all the comics.

  3. I am totally going to try the mayo and french fries thing now. It sounds kinda good. I would love to visit Belgium one day, the architecture is amazing!

  4. Oh my. I’ve never been to Belgium, but it’s on my bucket list. Mayo and french fries are the best! It’s funny how delicious it is and yet no one knows about it.

  5. It’s rediculous to say, but I first heard of Antwerp from an old Tick cartoon (when he fought Octo-Panini and Eastern European Cowboy Robot, and yes, these were real super-villains from The Tick), but after the cartoon, I found an encyclopedia and fell in love with the city.

    It really is a beautiful place!

  6. Kathy

    Wow, that looks like a very nice place! I have never been to Belgium before. I love how beautiful it looks though! I hope that some day I can visit there too.

  7. It sounds like you had an amazing time. I would love to visit Belgium in the future. We do enjoy our travel.

  8. What an adventure! I would be delighted to see those diamond cutters to see in action! This place and the food are such a dream!

  9. This looks like a great place to stay. I love to learn about the history of the places I visit.

  10. That sounds like so much fun! I would love to travel to Belgium someday and see all the sights!

  11. That looks like an amazing place to travel to! I would love to visit Belgium some day.

  12. Rosie

    I would love to visit this area – Antwerp sounds so interesting, lots to see, do and eat!

  13. Amy

    Diamonds are a girl’s best friend haha! I would love to visit Antwerp with my husband and explore.

  14. Reesa Lewandowski

    This looks like a beautiful trip! My husband would love to visit the diamonds!

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