How I Spent 10 hours Strolling Around Antwerp
How I Spent 10 hours Strolling Around Antwerp
Antwerp is a Flemish city in Belgium and a most populous city in Belgium. Located about 15 kilometers from the Dutch border, it only took me 2 hours by bus from Rotterdam. I used flixbus, btw, the same kind of bus that I took for my Christmas trip. Leaving from Rotterdam at 8 am gave me almost the whole day to explore the city. It was just a few days before my departure back to Indonesia, so I didn’t plan on staying over there. Because I knew that it would be a one-day trip, I have listed things that I wanted to see in Antwerp. Mostly those places were about architecture because if you don’t know it by now, that’s what excites me 😀
I didn’t put my hope high in seeing everything in one day, because I know I could be lazy. But, here is the list of places that I wanted to visit, and I would tell you if I got to see all of those or not:
- Antwerp Central Station
- Museum aan de Stroom
- Antwerp Port House
Antwerp Central Station
The flixbus I took from Rotterdam stopped at Antwerp Central Station, so it was impossible to miss the first destination point. We stopped in front of a huge classical building with a writing “Antwerp Centraal Station” on it. When we arrived, of course, I took a lot of pictures of the building and the area. One of many things that I like from this station is the park around it. People really embrace and use the open space in this part of the world. I went with a friend there, and while she was busy making life sketch of the station, I walked around to take pictures and did a small observation. The result of my observation? Nothing. Just enjoying the moment and the view! Haha.
Buildings around the central station
After strolling around for a while, I finally went inside to the lobby area of the station. I was amazed (still? haha) with the details on the inside. It’s like being inside of a palace! Too bad when we were there, there was a temporary booth of a brand that was having their promotion event there. The modern design of the booth didn’t really match with the interior of the station, in my opinion. But, I say that only because it blocked me from taking the picture of the station lobby. I don’t have anything against the booth, really! haha.
Getting deeper into the inside of the station, I was amazed again at the huge area of the inside of the station. Because of that, I dug for some more information about Antwerp Central Station from the internet. It said that Antwerp Central Station was judged as world’s fourth greatest train station by an American magazine in 2009. It doesn’t end there, in 2014, this station was awarded as the most beautiful railway station in the world by a British-American magazine. I haven’t visited every single railway station in the whole world, but I must say that it deserved it.
Now, it’s safe to say now that I have crossed the first point of destination. Let’s celebrate! 😀
Strolling Around Antwerp by Foot
One thing that I realize now, looking back to the trip I made in Antwerp, is that I didn’t try any kind of transportation there. Not even the sharing bike that is provided for public use. We saw the bike parking and bike sharing almost on every corner of the city that we walked in. Now that I think of it, it’s too bad that I didn’t try to use the bike sharing. Based on a Copenhagen agency, in 2015 Antwerp was listed as number 7 of top 20 bike-friendly cities all over the world. However, I wonder why Rotterdam was not on that list?
Bike sharing in Antwerp
Before going to Antwerp, I wanted to get Belgian waffle. I have tried once in Brussels, and it was awesome! But, I didn’t really plan it thoroughly and didn’t do any research about waffle store prior to the departure. Sadly, I didn’t get any waffles on this trip. I even only had noodles for lunch and fried chicken for dinner. In summary, food is not the highlight of this trip. I was trying to make it as cheap as possible. haha. Near the central station, there are a lot of food store or small restaurants where I could find a place to eat. I saw a small cafe with interesting decoration, but I didn’t stop there either.
After walking around for a while, I finally decided to go to Museum aan de Stroom. One of the buildings that I had on my destination list. But, after looking at the map, I saw that I could walk pass by a cathedral or catholic church, so I took the chance to see the cathedral. Unfortunately, it cost 10€ to get inside the cathedral. Remember I was being cheap, so I didn’t want to pay for 10€ just to enter a cathedral. I just took some photos from the outside and continue walking to find the museum.
Museum aan de Stroom
It was a long walk until I arrived in front of the museum and could get a good sight of it. I decided to sit and lay at the plaza in front of it to rest. While resting, I was thinking if I could enter the museum and whether or not I need to pay. It took quite a while for me to decide. I even almost left without even trying to ask if I could enter. I mean, the building looks so nice and intimidating for me. But I’m glad that I gave it a whirl to enter because turned out it’s free to enter the building and go to the rooftop, which they called panorama. I had to take escalators to get to each floor, though.
Before I got to the panorama floor, there was a large hall with curved window glass. It was also an interesting area to take pictures, and you can almost get the city view from that floor. On the panorama floor, it was cold! It was still cold because I went there in October. But I always like a city view from the top, so I didn’t mind taking the escalators for 10 floors. It was interesting that I could also see the cathedral that I stopped by before getting to this museum.
View from the top
After I took a loop around the panorama floor, or maybe several loops, I stopped by the merchandise store to see what they had there. I stayed there for quite awhile because they actually have some interesting stuff. But, I ended up not buying anything because I didn’t plan to. I stayed there while planning on how to get to the third destination, which was the Antwerp Port House.
Antwerp Port House
This port house was designed by a famous architect, Zaha Hadid. Knowing that this building was designed by her, I really wanted to cross the list with this one. I walked for 30 minutes from the museum. For Indonesian girl like me who probably rarely walk that far, it was pretty tough. I went inside, but could only enter the first floor which was like a lobby. Too bad, because the interesting part of the building is on the upper floor. It was still cool because I managed to take several pictures of the building from the outside.
The port house from the front
Since I could only see the building from the outside and couldn’t really do anything or see something interesting inside of the building, I can’t say much about my visit here. But if you ask me if my 30-minute walking was worth it, I would say yes. The walking back to the station felt shorter. I don’t know, but people said that the trip to go somewhere always feels longer than the trip back. After all, I did feel that the day passed by so fast. However, I’m glad about what I have seen of the city. I won’t mind going back 😀