1 Day Itinerary for Antwerp

While it is true that Antwerp is one of Belgium’s buzzy and bustling cities that is packed with so many things to see and do, it is still possible to enjoy this vibrant city in just one day.

With proper planning, you can enjoy your visit to this bustling metropolis, which we will help you with through this 1 Day Itinerary for Antwerp. 

Antwerp, Belgium cityscape from above at twilight.

Nestled in the portside city of the North of Belgium, the beautiful city of Antwerp awaits eager travellers with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architectural wonders.

It may not be the first choice for visitors travelling to the country, but Antwerp still attracts tourists because of its remarkable blend of medieval charm and contemporary flair.

Antwerp is a beautiful city with a picturesque old town, and it is known as the world’s diamond city and a significant hub for diamond trading.

It has a fascinating history dating back centuries as one of Europe’s major trading hubs during the Renaissance, plus its wealth and prosperity resulted in a legacy of magnificent architecture and cultural heritage. 

Today, it continues to be a thriving centre of fashion, art, and commerce, captivating visitors with its vibrant energy. Within 24 hours in Antwerp, there’s so much you can do already; figuring it out should not be stressful.

You can always map out your priorities and begin your trip to see Antwerp’s iconic landmarks, including the city’s architectural splendours. For example, the stunning Antwerp Central Station is often hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful train stations.

If you are an art enthusiast, you probably know Peter Paul Rubens, arguably the most famous Flemish painter and someone closely related to Antwerp.

ANTWERP, BELGIUM. Antwerp central station square with bus stops and Radisson Blu hotel on the background.

You can also wander through the medieval streets of Antwerp Central, where you’ll discover the iconic Moretus Museum. Aside from that, Antwerp is also renowned for having a thriving food scene, offering a wide array of gastronomic experiences. 

From indulging in delicious Belgian chocolates to savouring traditional Flemish dishes like moules-frites (mussels and fries) and drinking Belgian beer, Antwerp offers a culinary adventure for every taste.

These are just some of the things you can do in Antwerp for a day, and there’s so much more in store for you in the city. Just keep in mind that it’s also best you consider the date of your visit so you’ll have one less thing to worry about. 

Generally, the best time to visit Antwerp is from April to October. These are the months when the weather condition in the city is moderate and pleasant, which allows for strolls along Antwerp city. 

Meanwhile, the historic city centre of Antwerp is the most recommended area for finding accommodation.

This is especially true if you are a first-time visitor since you would want to spend most of your time admiring the city’s charming cobblestone streets and picturesque squares. Since you are staying for only one day in Antwerp, it would be ideal to stay somewhere convenient and accessible.  

Again, if you plan to spend a day in Antwerp, you should be patient and enjoy the process. We’ll already be giving you a comprehensive guide so you can just pack your bags, and you’re ready to embark on a journey to this enchanting city. 

Plan your trip?

Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.

Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. You can also read our content/editorial policy here.

Is one day in Antwerp enough?

Yes, one day is enough to see the significant landmarks of Antwerp and enjoy a fulfilling overview of the city. While spending one or two more nights in the town for deeper exploration would undoubtedly be better, there may be more fun than 1 day in Antwerp. 

With a well-planned Antwerp one day itinerary, you can get a glimpse into the city’s history, culture and tradition already. 

Antwerp’s compact size and well-connected transportation allow tourists and visitors to cover critical landmarks and attractions within a day. Just make sure to maximise your time and have a comprehensive schedule to enjoy your trip to the city. 

#1 Top Pick
Grote Markt of Antwerp, Belgium at twilight.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Highlights of Antwerp

  • 2 hours 
  • Walking tour
  • Hotel pick up

Overview Of 1 Day In Antwerp Itinerary 

Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in one day in  Antwerp:

  • Start the day at Antwerp Central Station
  • Explore Grote Markt 
  • Check out Cathedral of Our Lady 
  • Have lunch at The Jane 
  • Stroll around Diamond District
  • Shop at Meir Shopping District
  • Visit Plantin-Moretus Museum
  • Watch the sunset at Scheldekaai Zuid
  • Grab a beer at Groenplaats
Aerial high angle view landscape of Antwerp cityscape with cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerpen Belgium sunset. EU Begium city landmark for tourism and travel destination.

1 Day in Antwerp

Start the day at Antwerp Central Station

The best way to get to the city is from the airport (or anywhere in Belgium) by train. You will likely admire Antwerp Central Station once you arrive.

The central station is often hailed as one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world, it is a masterpiece of architectural grandeur, and you can begin your trip to Antwerp by marvelling at its stunning blend of Gothic and Baroque styles. 

The station has been operating since 1905 and has four levels, 2 of which are underground. When inside, you can admire the intricate details of its facade and step inside to appreciate its impressive interior, adorned with marble, stained glass, and ornate decorations. 

Aside from that, the station also houses shops and cafes, where you can grab a morning cup of coffee before you start your day’s adventure. 

Antwerp, Belgium cityscape at Centraal Railway Station from night till dawn.

Explore Grote Markt 

Situated in the Old City Quarter of Antwerp, Grote Markt is a picturesque square lined with magnificent 16th-century guild halls. This is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, where Antwerp City Hall and Brabo Fountain are also located. 

Many events and celebrations occur here throughout the year, including Christmas market selling that locals organise. Come wintertime, an ice rink is placed in the area, making the Grote Markt a winter wonderland. 

Still, you can enjoy the surroundings at any time of the year as you explore the square’s vibrant atmosphere and admire its stunning architecture. 

Grote Markt in Antwerp Belgium - architecture background

Check out Cathedral of Our Lady 

Cathedral of our Lady is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that Antwerp boasts of. This is why a visit to Antwerp would only be complete with experiencing the grandeur of this iconic Gothic masterpiece.

The Cathedral, also known as Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal, houses a treasure trove of artistic and historical wonders. It is located near the Grote market and was built in the 16th century. 

This became an iconic structure for the city since it was named the most prominent Gothic building in the Dutch world and even has the tallest bell tower in Belgium. Not known to many, the cathedral took almost 169 years to be built, making it unique.

One of the highlights that you should notice is the seven aisles and the four Ruben masterpieces inside the Cathedral. 

Antwerp, Belgium -  A statue of 17th century artist Petro Paulo (Peter Paul) Rubens in Groenplaats Square, Central Antwerp, with Our Lady's Cathedral in the background.

Have lunch at The Jane 

Before proceeding with your afternoon tour around the city, spend your lunch at one of the most famous restaurants in Antwerp. The Jane is a local eatery with two Michelin stars ​​serving luxurious Belgian cuisine. 

The restaurant is located on the site of a former military hospital and has been renovated to feel like a true temple for gastronomy. 

Having a meal here is highly recommended, especially for first-time visitors, because you get a taste of authentic Belgian cuisine and enjoy the stunning architecture of the restaurant. Make sure to book ahead of time to get seats in the restaurant! 

Stroll around Diamond District

After getting that excellent meal you needed, it’s time to move to your next stop – the Diamond District. As mentioned earlier, Antwerp is a world trading hub for Diamonds. 

This means taking a stroll around the city’s Diamond District is something you should do! While looking around, you don’t have to purchase a diamond here. But if you have the money and you’ve been planning to own one ever since, this is the best place to buy one. 

If not, stroll through the district’s streets, check out the jewellery shops and admire the exquisite craftsmanship of a wide selection of diamonds and precious gemstones. 

Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium. A jewelers with the famous diamonds of the city presented in different forms of jewelry: rings, necklaces and bracelets.

Shop at Meir Shopping District

If you love shopping, then a visit to Antwerp’s central shopping district, Meir Shopping District,  is something you will enjoy during your visit. 

Meier is considered one of the most important shopping streets in the city and the whole of Belgium.This bustling street has various shops, ranging from high-end fashion brands to popular retailers. 

Shoppers from around the country (and even neighbouring countries) come to Antwerp specifically for Meir District. Antwerp is considered the city of fashion, home to many boutiques, designer shops, and the famous Flanders Fashion Institute and Museum.

As you explore and shop (or window shop) in eh district, see diverse offerings, from trendy boutiques to department stores, and satisfy your retail desires.

But aside from the shops in the area, Meir Street also has other impressive buildings, including the Royal Palace and the Stadsfeestzaal, which you can pass by and admire before proceeding to your next stop. 

Antwerp, Flanders. Along the main shopping street, the meir, many people stroll around the city.

Visit Rubens House/Plantin-Moretus Museum

As you make the most out of your one day in Antwerp, there are two iconic museums or galleries that you should check out. Depending on your preference, either way, these two will complete your experience in Antwerp already. 

Plantin-Moretus Museum is a famous museum in the city and a visitor favourite. It is a printing museum that has been declared a UNESCO Heritage site. The world’s oldest printing presses and the oldest collection of books and other artefacts are displayed inside the museum. 

A visit to the Moretus Museum will feed you with historical information about Antwerp’s printing history.

You can also visit the famous Rubens House (Rubenshuis), where the renowned artist Ruben lived and worked from 1616 to 1640. It was made into a gallery displaying his original artwork and furniture. You can also find other works by famous artists and a charming garden. 

If you can’t choose between the two, you can always visit both. Just manage your time visiting each location, and you’re good to go. 

ANTWERP, BELGIUM - Library room with bookshelves with antique books in printing museum of Plantin-Moretus, UNESCO World Heritage Site. More 1,200,000 people lives in Antwerp

Watch the sunset at Scheldekaai Zuid

Now that your trip to Antwerp is almost ending, you should take things slow and admire the city as you relax at Scheldekaai Zuid. 

Scheldekaai Zuid is a public place near the city’s river. Many locals come to the area for a picnic or just to relax with a can of beer after a long day. 

You can stroll, enjoy the river and city skyline views, and savour the tranquil atmosphere. The riverside location provides a perfect backdrop for your photos or something to admire from a relaxing spot. 

Aerial view of the Port of Antwerp in Antwerp, Belgium.

Grab a beer at Groenplaats

A trip to Antwerp will only be complete with tasting local and authentic Belgium Beer. Now, the best place to enjoy one is at the buzzing square of the city, which houses various cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.

Groenplaats is located near the Cathedral, so it’s easy to go to. Look for a great spot or restaurant in the area where you can see the statue of the most prominent resident of Antwerp, Rubens.

Some of the beer bars that we can suggest include Beerlover’s Bar and Billie’s Bier Kafetaria. You can enjoy the rest of your night in the area and hop from one beer bar to another.

Antwerp - Inside an Irish Pub on Groenplaats

Tours in Antwerp

Walking Tour 

Just like any other tourist destination, it’s highly recommended that you include a walking tour in your things to do in Antwerp in one day. But, our suggested walking tour differs from the typical historic or city tours.

This evening walking tour is something you can add to your one-day itinerary. It only lasts an hour and 30 minutes, yet it’s something to look forward to. A local guide will bring you to lesser-known Antwerp sites at night and share the “darker” side of the city. 

Stories that are not usually shared will be told, and you’ll also learn about the medieval legends and the dark side of the diamond trade of Antwerp. Aside from that, secrets about the Red Light District will be shared throughout the tour. 

Brabo fountain on market square, center of Antwerp, Belgium

Beer Tour

Aside from chocolate, Beer is automatically linked to the country when talking about Belgium. This is why it would be a shame if you don’t get a more profound experience with Antwerp’s beer scene during your visit. 

In this Beer tour, you will join a small group led by a local who will take you to sample some of Antwerp’s best beers. You will be crawling from one pub to another as you learn more about the history of beer and the city. 

ANTWERP, BELGIUM - Restaurants in the old town of Antwerp, in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the night

1-Day Itinerary for Antwerp Wrap-up

It is clear that there’s so much to see and do in Antwerp in one day. As long as you are careful with your time and clever with your planning, you can already get an authentic experience of what this marvellous city offers.

You are always free to use and read this comprehensive guide when planning a trip to the city. Don’t let Antwerp wait; book that flight and have fun! 

Recommended tours in Antwerp

If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.

Author

  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

    View all posts https://www.tiktok.com/@travellingkng

Similar Posts