All in Antwerp & Mechelen
After moving to Antwerp six months ago, and coming here for many years, I really wanted to discover some of the city's hidden gems, its lesser known places most people don't get to see. And to do so, I got myself a City Card! It gives you free entry in 17 museums and 4 historical churches, as well as free use of public transport. The perfect bargain to discover Antwerp's cultural patrimony that goes far beyond the Rubens House and the Cathedral of Our Lady. Follow me!
As many of you know, I recently moved to Antwerp, Berchem more precisely. Naturally I developed a curiosity for my new neighborhood and the one directly adjacent to it, Zurenborg. And boy, they did not disappoint! This part of Antwerp is considered by some to be the most beautiful of Antwerp for one particular reason: its Belle Époque grandeur! The neighborhood's quiet streets are packed with gorgeous architecture which make it the perfect decor for an afternoon stroll.
I've been taking photographs for many years now. When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with them because they allow you to freeze the moment, to delude time and capture an image that is per definition fleeting. Nowadays photography has become one of my mediums of expression. For all these reasons, it is only natural I became curious about the Museum of Photography in Antwerp. Combined with a picture-perfect meal, a visit to the FOMU is my kind of 'Brunch & Culture' day!
One of the things I hope to achieve with my blog is to inspire people to go beyond the mainstream places and discover alternative parts of town. For instance Antwerp is about so much more than shopping on the Meir! Wandering from South to Central Antwerp alongside the river Scheldt, you'll discover some of the most beautiful relics of the city's past. Doing a little vintage shopping 'en passant' is therefore only fitting.
I love discovering new places that are beautiful, inspiring and lively. But every now and then, I enjoy discovering places of a different kind. Doel is one of those. This little village near Antwerp has been abandoned for years and has faced the same faith as the remains of the Berlin wall: it became an urban, open-air museum; a canvas for street artists to show their talent. And by doing so, this ghost town developed its own kind of beauty. But first, let's stop in Antwerp for some late breakfast, shall we?
It is no secret I have a thing for Art Nouveau, as I mentioned in a previous article dedicated to a part of Brussels. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered there was a genuine Art Nouveau jewel hidden somewhere outside of Mechelen. The convent complex of the Ursuline nuns has many hallways and rooms to be discovered, but the masterpiece is without a doubt its Winter Garden with colorful canopy! I'm happy to walk you through it, but first, let's have some brunch!
Typically, when you're in search of an inspiring, quiet thing to do on the weekend, you go to a museum or a park. But what if you could do both at the same time? The Middelheim park in the South of Antwerp is actually an outdoor museum where hundreds of sculptures are scattered across paths and trees. The perfect cultural activity on a sunny day, but not before you had some brunch. Follow me!
I love Belgium and I love fashion, so I guess it's only natural I developed a passion for Belgian Fashion. And there is no better city to experience it than our own fashion capital, Antwerp. For mere mortals like you and me, high end fashion is often out of reach, but keep in mind: not shopping at Zara for a few months and saving up that money for a unique, Belgian item is totally worth it!
If I had to describe Mechelen in three words they would be small, charming & picturesque. Thanks to its record number of classified buildings, the city has a strong historical character. But in recent years, Mechelen has seen the appearance of many hotspots, attracting a new public. There are numerous lunch places and cute boutiques for you to enjoy and they're all on walking distance from each other. It is safe to say Mechelen has something for everyone!