Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium, after the capital Brussels, and there are innumerable things to do. Like in most of the bigger cities in Europe, if you want to see and do all highlights and experience the culture, you may feel it the consequences in your wallet. Entrances fees, accommodation, transport, food and drinks, it all adds up pretty quickly. Here are a few tips on where and when to go that will save you some money.
When you are visiting Belgium, you will probably want to try some of those yummy Belgian beers. Luckily Antwerp is a university city. The young population and attitude of thousands of students creates a vibrant atmosphere and additionally there are plenty of student bars. These places usually have daily deals, happy hours and overall unbelievably cheap prices. A popular student bar is De Schacht on Sint Jacobsstraat near the university. It is the home of several student organizations (fraternities) and they have activities and happy hours every day. Bric à Brac is another well-known place where students hang out in the evenings. Every day there are events and beer prices are low. This bar is situated on the Stadswaag. One of the most popular student bars is De Salamander, on Lange Sint Annastraat near the lively Ossenmarkt square. They have happy hours and cocktail parties. Other student bars worth checking out are De Witte Waag, Den Echo Café and Hill Diar Café.
The place to be for late-night clubbing is the infamous Café d’Anvers, located smack-bang in the middle of the red light district. It is a very popular night club and entrance is free on Thursday nights, which is when you can find many students partying the night away.
Besides a lively bar scene Antwerp also has its share of museums well worth a visit. The city used to be the home of painter Pieter Paul Rubens and nowadays you can visit his former workshop and home. This wonderful museum – the Rubenshuis – is free to visit on the last Wednesday of every month. Also free to visit on the last Wednesday of every month is the MAS (Museum Aan de Stroom), located in an impressive modern building and displaying the history of Antwerp, its harbour and river. There is a nice viewing platform on top. Another art museum is the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, which is also free on the last Wednesday of each month. On any other day the entrance fee is €1 for people between 18 and 26 years old. If you are that age, don’t forget to mention it, because the people behind the ticket booth will always ask the full price first. The Red Star Line Museum is one of the most prestigious new museums in the city. It has exhibition on the emigration of people to North America from the late 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The Red Star Line used to transport people from Antwerp to a better life in America. And that’s right; it is also free to visit on the last Wednesday of the month.
Getting around Antwerp is easy and convenient. The bus network is dense and there are trams and metros as well. It is highly recommended to buy your tickets beforehand, for example in supermarkets, newspaper shops or at the visitor centre. These tickets are 20% cheaper than tickets bought from the drivers.