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Antwerp is the second city of Belgium and has a long and rich history. In its beautiful center there are historical buildings from various eras. The city also has many interesting museums and art galleries. There is a large number of (often very exclusive) shops, and Antwerp's nightlife is famous across Belgium's borders, which is why many Belgians and foreigners (especially the Dutch) love spending one or more days in this relaxed city.
The city has half a million inhabitants, although greater Antwerp has over a million inhabitants. People from Antwerp are called 'sinjoren', but only if their ancestors were also from Antwerp. The word 'sinjoor' dates back the Spanish Inquisition, and is derived from the Spanish word señor.
Antwerp is located in the north of Belgium, not far from the Dutch border. The city has been built on the right bank of the river Schelde, which is connected with the North Sea via the Westerschelde (in the Netherlands). The city is located 47 kilometers to the north of Brussels. Amsterdam is located at 159 kilometers from Antwerp, Bruges op 104 kilometers, the German city of Aachen at 140 kilometers and Paris at 347 kilometers.
Antwerp is an important economic center, not least because of its port. It is the third largest in Europe (after Rotterdam and Hamburg). Like Rotterdam, Antwerp's port has a large petrochemical industry. In addition, the city is the world's major center for processing and trading diamonds. In recent year, Antwerp has also developed into a fashion city.
Tourism also plays an important role. Antwerp is considered a 'trendy' city: a city that has a very modern feel against a historical look. Antwerp is visited by almost a million (day) tourists.
The small airport of Antwerp-Deurne is located 7 kilometers from the city center, but it is used by just a few carriers. Every day, there are flights to and from London, but apart from that the airport is mainly used by private and business aircraft. The airport of Brussels is located at less than 50 kilometers, and there is an hourly bus connection between that airport and Antwerp.
The city has an extensive network of tram and bus lines, which are exploited by 'De Lijn'. The trams move underground some of the time. At the moment, work is underway to expand the public transport network. Tickets can be bough at news stands and supermarkets, at 20% less than when they are bought from the driver.
The international train between Amsterdam and Paris (Thalys) stops at Antwerpen-Centraal train station. International speed-buses from Eurolines and Ecolines also have Antwerp as their destination or stop.
It is easy to reach Antwerp via the circular road around the city. The Circular Road has connections to the most important motorways. During the morning and evening rush hour, there are often long traffic jams.
In the center of Antwerp, many streets and squares are car-free. In addition, there are many one-way streets. Also, the city authorities try to limit car traffic in the center as well as parking in the street. That is not a problem, because in the city center there are many car parks. Park your car in one of those car parks, and proceed on foot or by public transport.
In Antwerp you have a choice of a large number of hotels. There are simple youth hostels, but there are also a number of luxury hotels. There is one 5 star hotel. Antwerp is not only a popular holiday destination, it is also an economic and cultural center where many exhibitions and conferences are organized. We recommend booking your hotel room in advance.
For more information about Antwerp, we recommend Google, and the following sources: