Last updated on 14 November 2023 | by Stefan Hotel Follower
The city of Antwerp might be known as a commercial hub, but its aesthetic ambience provides a serene environment for holidays.
Separated by River Scheldt, the city’s versatility is best seen when someone decides to take a walk: magnificent architecture, robust commercial centres and friendly residents.
The city can be accessed by sea, road and rail. Spring is the best time to visit when there is the sun all day long. It gives time to explore the artistic culture shops, fashion centres and the busty diamond market.
There are also museums, good discounts on Belgium products and special Antwerp City Card that allow free or subsidised rates on selected goods and services.
What’s the best area to experience the city for the first time, tourists, what’s the best district to buy diamonds, or where to stay on a budget or shopping?
Read on below to find out more best neighbourhoods to stay in Antwerp Belgium.
What is the Best Area to Stay in Antwerp?
Best for First Time (Sightseeing): Old Historical Centre (Grote Markt, Groenplaats)
The Great Market (Grote Markt) is the Centre of Antwerp City and easily passes for a shopping arcade. It is best enjoyed on foot as the historic Brabo Statue stares. There are numerous eateries which gives the best chance to taste all continental cuisines.
The Green Place boasts of the Rubens Statue, the Cathedral and the Hilton Hotel in its radius. There are also nice relaxing spots to experience Antwerp’s hospitality.
Where to Stay in Antwerp City Centre
- Best Luxury Hotels in Antwerp
Hilton Antwerp Old Town • Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Hotels
Boutique hotel Maison Emile • HotelO Kathedral
- Best Cheap Hotels in Antwerp
TripInn Eden Antwerp • ibis Antwerpen Centrum
- Best Bed & Breakfast in Antwerp
Suite 11 • B&B De Koning van Spanje
- Best Budget Hostels in Antwerp
Antwerp City Hostel • YUST Antwerp
Best Areas To Stay in Antwerp
Where to stay in Antwerp for romantic stay (trip)? Bed and Breakfast or Boutique Hotel
For lovers on honeymoon or anniversary celebrations, the Boutique Hotels in Antwerp offers exclusive suites and Spa beside the normal bed and breakfast services. The rooms are all-inclusive with a large bed and a separate reading area. Their services are luxurious with attention to privacy. The rooms are well lit with balconies overlooking well-maintained gardens. The ancient architecture depicts serenity with a great view of the Antwerp Metropolis. Another great option is staying in a bed and breakfast.
What’s the best less touristy neighborhood in Antwerp? Het Zuid (Southern District)
Het Zuid (Southern District) is a sovereign district within Antwerp in Belgium. There are mansions and well-kept squares away from the speedy nature of downtown Antwerp. Het Zuid houses art galleries like the FOMU, the Museum for Contemporary Art and the Galerie van Campen, Fotomeseum Antwerpen (FOMU) and Rochtus. Historical buildings within the district include the Zuiderpershuis (cultural heritage centre) and the Waterpoort. Cosy restaurants at Het Zuid include the Kommilfoo, Fuji San among others.
What’s the best neighborhood to buy diamonds in Antwerp? Jewish Quarter (Diamond District)
Out of any possible 10 kilograms of diamond traded in the world, 8.5 kilograms has gone through Antwerp. Its investment in refining diamond; human resource, equipment, markets, the city has it all. The Jewish Quarter features prominently in this journey. The district has over 12,000 diamond experts working in 380 diamond smelting firms. The total value of the Diamond industry is over $12.5 billion per annum. The best district to stay is the Jewish Quarter or Diamond District.
Best area to stay in Antwerp for shopping? Meir or Theatre District
All internationally recognised shopping brands have their footing in Meir near the Theatre District. A walking distance from the Groenplaats and the Grote Markt, the Meir district has well-arranged shops with varieties of goods on display. There are restaurants on the sides, well-paved aisles and a variety of Belgium souvenirs on sale. Some of the outlets include the Primark, Imperial Palace, Dominique Persoons and many more. That notwithstanding, the buildings show a rich heritage in architecture and urban planning.
Where to stay in Antwerp on a budget? Antwerp Central Station area
The Antwerp Central Station area is home to numerous affordable goods and services joints. There are a Jewish Gold and Diamond Market, Fashion shop Walhalla and numerous eatery joints. There are also museums such as the Comin Strip, a chocolate avenue and cinema complex. Catching the train is also the most affordable transport means around the city. For a one-stop-shop and tour around Antwerp, call on the central station.
The 5 Best Neighbourhoods in Antwerp (Antwerpen) for Tourists
The city boasts of many historic sites in Belgium and Europe in general. The Cathedral of Our Lady is a breath-taking architectural creation dating back to the 15th century. It was built by Romans and has lived through time. It is one of the tallest buildings in the city and the home to ancient art pieces; The Descent from the Cross, The Assumption among others. The same can be said of St. Carolus Borromeus Church. Once a Jesuit church but later sold to the Catholics, the building has stood the test of time and has immensely contributed to the growth of Belgian culture.
The Steen “Stone” Castle is a war fortress that has survived numerous battles going back to the 11th Century. It has undergone structural transformation but maintained the original design. Other prehistoric sites and curvatures in Antwerp neighbourhood include the Middelheim Open Air Museum and the Brabo Statue.
River Scheldt gives Antwerp a rare advantage. The river is over 350 kilometres into Europe’s hinterland. One can try the Flandria Boat Rides or the Spring River Cruise. The city is also known for its irresistible French, Flemish, Italian and Belgian cuisines, thanks to the European blend in art, religion and geographical proximity.
The must-visit places in the Antwerp district are the Grote Market, the Beguinage, the Groenplaats, Lange Wapper Statue and the Oldest House of Antwerp.
1. City Centre (Old Town, Sint-Andries District, Theatre District)
The old town has a variety of accommodation to choose; serviced apartments, bed and breakfast, hotel rooms and holiday homes. They offer short or long stay with flexible and affordable payment schemes. One can do a reservation from anywhere in the world. Popular accommodation facilities in the district include Kaai11 Cityflats, The Greenplace Hotels and Lodge, Manana Manana, Huize Amoras, Hotel Colvenier and the Meir Lodge.
- Best Hotels (Great Value): HotelO Kathedral • Theater Hotel
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Hotel Rubenshof • Antwerp Inn Hotel
2. Het Eilandje (MAS Museum and Red Star Line Museum, Old Docks)
The Little Island has the serenity of a beach. The morning breeze makes the atmosphere homely, away from the bustle of Antwerp city centre.
The Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) is historic while the Red Star Line Museum shows the journey of the port. Other notable features include the exotic Broer Bretel coffee spots, restaurants, museum docks and numerous art ateliers.
- Best Hotel: U Eat & Sleep Antwerp
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels (Great Value): Best Western Hotel Docklands • Holiday Inn Express Antwerpen City North
The central station fits in well with budget spending, exposure to a variety of goods and services from Belgium and affordable accommodation. Here you will meet people from all walks of life doing business or on transit.
Diamond is the main product on sale. The high population ensures sufficient housing arrangements to make trading easier. Other districts within Antwerp can be easily accessible from the central station, which makes it strategic.
- Best Hotels: Hotel Indigo Antwerp City Centre • Radisson BLU Astrid Hotel, Antwerp
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Hampton By Hilton Antwerp Central Station • Park Inn by Radisson Antwerpen
4. Het Zuid (Southern District)
The location is ample for lavish living, with well-kept mansions, gardens and driveways. There are also cafés, restaurants and bars that roar life at night.
The district has a cinema complex and the Contemporary Art Museum. Locals easily integrate with visitors, offering first-hand cultural shocks and assimilations. The main reason for anyone coming to stay is serenity and first-hand experience to Belgium culture.
- Best Hotel: Boutique hotel Maison Emile
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: B&B Hotel Antwerpen Zuid • Hotel Pilar
5. Deurne (Outside of City Centre)
Deurne neighbourhood offers a relaxed place to stay outside the Antwerp metropolis. The atmosphere is cool with minimal disturbance.
There are affordable accommodation and a good environment for activities like cycling and cultural activities. Hotels within Deurne include the TRYP by Wyndham Antwerp, BnB Intermezzo, Antwerp’s Calling and Bed and Breakfast Exterlaer. Other accommodation facilities include serviced apartments, lodges and holiday homes.