ANTWERP

HIIIIIIIII.

About three weeks ago, I came back from Croatia, which was on a Thursday. On Saturday, I left again for a weekend away in Antwerp. YAY. I was so excited about all this travelling, I actually felt like a real travel blogger, ha!

antwerpen

We stayed with these two very kind sisters from Lithuania through AirBnB. This is such a good stay if you’re in Antwerp for the weekend because you’re seeing someone in het Sportpaleis (concert arena), like we were. It’s only a 20 minute walk from the house to the arena, and cheaper as well as easier to get there.

We didn’t stay in our room long though, because our time was only limited and we wanted to see as much as we could. So off we went, with the tram to the city centre. For a good hour or so we wandered through all the little streets.

I had visited Antwerp once already when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Back then, we had hot chocolate and coffee in the cutest little chocolatery, Monte Cristo. All this time I remembered the name, so when we decided to go to Antwerp again, I was determined to pay a visit. I googled the address and we tried to find it. When we finally found the right street though, we found a Thai Wellness Centre instead of our beloved Monte Cristo. I was actually so disappointed, because I was really looking forward to having hot choco and delicious chocolates again in this cafe. Monte Cristo was like the only memory I have from my stay in Antwerp then, so yeah.

But, we didn’t stay upset for too long, because there was so much goodiness to discover in this gorgeous city! We had some drinks at a cafe terrace and then walked along the Schelde.

I had done my research, and read everywhere that the neighborhood ‘t Eilandje such a cool place is. There are lots of hipster cafes and restaurants and cute, unique shops. I convinced my parents to go here to get some food and we were so pleased with everything that we discovered.

It was quite crowded so it was a challenge to find an empty spot outside. We first saw this restaurant called Heavenly Pizza, and it actually looked so pretty! I really wanted to sit down here, but it was so busy we probably would’ve had to wait over half an hour. When we crossed the Schelde though, we found this place called Burgerij (check out the 360 degrees tour in the right corner of their website, it looks so cool!). The burgers we had were so good, like 10 million times better than at McDonalds or BurgerKing.

On Sunday, Victoria and Maria (our hosts) made us breakfast, which was so lovely. When I asked for recommendations in the city, they told us about the Kloosterstraat. This street, in the middle of the city, is full of antique shops and concept stores.

Right before we went there, we wanted to go get our (read: my parents’) daily shot of caffeine. We were just wandering a bit, when we saw the tiniest shop called Galleria Barista. The cafe/shop was crammed with coffeemachines and fridges that all had the ’50s vibe to them. So cuuute. The owner was so nice and told us all about coffee and the machines he has. My dad is a huge coffeelover, so he was over the moon. I usually am more of a tea-person, but this time I went for it and got a latte machiatto, even though I kind of hate milk and don’t really like coffee either. It was so good though!

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The Kloosterstraat was so much fun. Luckily both me and my parents are big suckers for antique and vintage, so we were in for a treat. Every ten meters, there was another antique shop with new and original things. I discovered a shop that sold at least 30 vintage globes and I literally fell in love. Good thing I have a strong will, because it would’ve been darn hard to drag a big and heavy globe with us through Antwerp.

We could’ve easily spent the whole afternoon just walking in and out of all these cute shops. If you’re in Antwerp and you love antique/vintage and don’t want to get away too far from the city centre, definitely check out the Kloosterstraat, you won’t regret it. If you can, try and visit on Sunday August 14, because then there will be a cute little market, Markt van Morgen, with loads of designer products, ranging from jewelry to interior stuff.

We had a late lunch/early dinner at Take 5 Minutes in Paris. This is a lunch/brunch cafe with a garden! The garden is beautiful, although it would’ve been even more beautiful if it wasn’t raining so hard. Hm. But, we still enjoyed our view on the garden and the food so much. I had a salad, and that was definitely enough to keep me going for the next 6 hours.

When we finished our salads/pastas, we headed back to our car. From here, we walked to het Sportpaleis to see Adele (!!!!!) in concert. YES, we actually managed to get tickets. Woooo! We couldn’t go and see her in Amsterdam, because I was still in Croatia on that day, so that’s why went to see her in Antwerp and made a weekend-getaway out of it.

The concert was so. flipping. good. Like every note was on point and man, that woman is funny. I mean, if she would do a stand-up comedy show instead of a concert, I would still go. I actually got chills so many times because I was finally seeing her after waiting for many many years and she slayed it. Her laugh actually gave me life as well. I LOVE THAT WOMAN.

I loved loved loved everything about this little citytrip. The people that we met were so kind, the food was good, the city was beautiful and the concert was absolutely amazing.

I still have some things on my wishlist though, such as the MAS (a museum, the big red builing in the picture above), the Fotomuseum, Felix Pakhuis, and this restaurant called Urban Wrap (this actually sounds like my heaven on earth).

Hope you liked this little (it turned out to be not so little, oops) piece about the lovely city that is Antwerp. Let me know if you have any good hotspots in Antwerp that I should put on my wishlist.

M.

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