My summer 2020 was filled with little escapes while waiting for my week of vacation in Spain! This is how I came across a Thalys offer with an affordable trip to Antwerp (55E).
You should know that during the Covid period, it was not allowed in Flanders to stay in a shared room. The hostels were therefore closed but some were still displayed on Booking. So I had reserved a bed in a hostel and they contacted me to offer me instead a room in another of their hotel (at the hotel rate …). This is how I stayed at the Hotel Postiljon in a bedroom with an common bathroom. In terms of location I would say 💯. Full center, view of the cathedral! On the other hand, be careful on the street, it’s quite noisy (I blessed the curfew to manage to get a minimum of sleep!). On the other hand, the toilets were of the hostel level!
There is one important point to know about Antwerp. It’s in Flanders! And so francophones are not welcome at all. Almost all restaurants display their menu in Dutch. Most have them in English on request. But no menu in French and some restaurants do not even bother to have menu in English to provide to non-Dutch speakers … Welcome! Well I was still able to find something to eat but it was not that simple 😅.
The visit begins as soon as you arrive at the station, which is already a special moment! In particular its dome.
Because of the covid, some places were not open to visitors. Religious monuments, for example, were only open to attend masses. So I could not see the interior of the majestic cathedral!
With his beautiful statue on the square :
Not far from there you can also see the churches of St Paul and St Charles :
I was able to go to see the Rubens house, which has become a museum. Then the impressive printing museum (Plantin-Moretus).
I really liked the town hall square with very typical buildings (unfortunately the town hall was under construction I couldn’t see it).
Despite two other small disappointments (castle under construction and Hard rock café closed), I really enjoyed wandering the streets of the center in search of beautiful architecture 💗.
Without forgetting gourmet snacks!