Antwerp is within easy reach of other Belgian towns that are worth a visit, such as Brussels, Ghent, or Bruges. Major European cities such as Amsterdam (less than 1,5 hours away by train), Paris (2 hours), and London (2,5 hours) are simply neighbors. Therefore, organizing pre- and post-conference tours was superfluous, while also presenting us with impossible choices.
Visiting the city´s museums and monuments, which are all quite close together, is done best at your own time. We advise you to make use of the Antwerp City Card (which costs 25 euros for 24 hours of free access to all museums and monuments as well as free public transportation, 32 euros for 48 hours, or 37 euros for 72 hours). A good map and documentation, as well as information on where to get the City Card, will be available upon your arrival at the registration desk. For a glimpse of the possibilities, visit
What we did organize for you, however, is a selection of guided walking tours on Wednesday 29 June, 15:00-17:00. They will lead you into areas you might otherwise miss. You can participate free of charge.
Preregistrations for these tours are now closed
. Some possibilities may, however, still be available upon your arrival at the venue.
HERE ARE THE OPTIONS:
THE DIAMOND DISTRICT – lively mix of industry and luxury
This walk will take you around the world´s most important diamond trading center. Through the fascinating story of your guide you will relive the glory days, the near collapse and finally the resurrection of the Antwerp diamond industry in the nineteenth century. From the Central Station you walk to the ‘Diamond Square Mile’, the Antwerp diamond district. While there is a true mix of nationalities, this district partly coincides with the city´s Jewish area. Diamond workers, jewellers and diamond merchants feel at home here in their own world of grinding shops, showrooms and exhibitions.
IN AND AROUND MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) – urban redevelopment
You will go the panoramic rooftop of the the monumental ‘Museum aan de Stroom’ for a stunning view of the city to the south and the port of Antwerp (one of the biggest in Europe) to the north. Around it, the district called ‘Eilandje’ (little island), is a blue lung for the city. Port operations are making way for water tourism and a spectacular urban renewal process. Between the Scheldt, the picturesque old docks and the new ‘Park Spoor Noord’ landscape park you witness the growth of an attractive new neighbourhood, an excellent example of urban redevelopment.
COGELS OSYLEI – stunning Belle Epoque architecture
The Cogels-Osylei and its side streets are like an architectural sample of the Belle Epoque in this city. You will take a leisurely walk past stately (sometimes stunning, sometimes bizarre) homes which include some the most beautiful town palaces of the Antwerp bourgeoisie. Two hours will be barely enough. And your camera will be in overdrive.
FASHION WALK – daring design and lifestyle
If Belgium equates beer and chocolate, Antwerp (in addition) stands for fashion. Find out more about Antwerp as a vibrant lifestyle city on this cultural exploration walk, which focuses on contemporary design, architecture and history. The emphasis is on the more recent past when the city developed into a leading fashion centre. This reputation is largely due to the world-wide reputation of the Fashion department of the Royal Acdemy of Fine Arts and the talent and perseverance of fashion designers such as the legendary Antwerp Six, who from the 80s onwards managed to carve out a niche for themselves in the fashion world.
CULTURAL PUB CRAWL -- exploring the city for thirsty people
The point of this walk is not to get drunk. But while the emphasis is not so much on the history of the pubs or the brewing process, two or three stops (where you will of course be asked to pay for your own consumptions) will deepen your appreciation of the historic city center.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE OLD TOWN – monuments of the Golden Age
In the sixteenth century Antwerp was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in Europe. At the time, the port city acquired an unparallelled reputation as a centre for commerce and art. During this classic tour you will step back in time to the amazing glory days of the city by the Scheldt and your guide will spotlight the history, art and architecture of this period.
All tours will be guided in English. But tour number 6 is also available in French and in Dutch.
Starting points, and how to get there, will be clearly communicated.