We just returned from a weekend trip to Antwerp, Belgium and I was positively surprised! Although some of the buildings are in need for renovation and we missed a bit of green and free space in the city centre, the old city is beautiful and has a lot to offer.
They are three general points I want to mention:
- Public transport: even the metro, tram and bus system is good some trams are rather old and the steps to get in and out are very steep and narrow! Either swap to a bus or take a slim stroller.
- We toke the Thalys train to get to and from Antwerp. If your little ones are under 4 years old, they don’t need a ticket, but they also don’t get their own seat! We decided to save the money, but the seats and the corridor in the Thalys are narrow so I only recommend that for a short trip and with one kid.
- Language wise it’s really easy if you speak either English, French or Dutch (or a little bit of any combination of them ;-)).
We stayed at the SIR Plantin (now Tryp Antwerp), which is a good and affordable choice with four advantages:
- They offer family rooms: two rooms connected with a door;
- Free coffee, hot chocolate and tea in the lobby (saying that the “tea” can only be called like that by people who think bottled ice tea is tea);
- Next to the hotel is the Dageraarplats which has one of the few playgrounds in Antwerp and lots of cafés and restaurant. If the weather is nice, it’s a great spot to sit outside and let the kids run around;
- The Bus 21 stops just next to the hotel, which gets you directly to Middelheim Museum;
However, there are two things to be aware off:
- Ask for a room to the courtyard, as the windows are old and you will hear the traffic otherwise;
- The free minibar consists of two small bottles of sparkling and non sparkling water each, and a small bottle of orange lemonade and beer each;
More to come!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, sign up to receive updates to my blog by e-mail. And if you want to share your tips for Antwerp, please comment!