Country: Belgium Capital: Brussels Language: Flemish & French Currency: Euro
Antwerp is renowned for its role in the diamond trade; it is also Europe’s second largest port. Since the 16th century the city has grown in wealth and power, the evidence of which can be seen in the opulent medieval and Renaissance buildings that line the streets of the old city.
Cobbled streets with cute boutiques and restaurants are ideal for wandering around in. The Cathedral of Our Lady is an impressive example of medieval architecture, while the Baroque Carolus Borromeus Church and Hendrik Conscienceplein Square are further sights. Luckily many buildings escaped the destruction of the Second World War bombings.
Fans of museums will enjoy the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, home to Baroque artist Pieter Paul Rubens, and the Fine Arts Museum. With so much culture on display it’s no wonder Antwerp was named European Capital of Culture in 1993, which kickstarted the regeneration of many areas such as the formerly abandoned Zuid Quays, now a trendy district.