Antwerp is the principal city of Belgium’s Flemish region. It’s an often-overlooked gem in Europe, yet it presents numerous rewards for the visitor. While the city is commonly known for its favorite son, Flemish master Pieter Paul Rubens, and for its fame as one of the world’s principal diamond dealing and cutting centers, there’s much more in store. Historically, the city was known as a major port, and today it’s still the world’s fourth-largest.
If you take the train to Antwerp, make note of the Central Station where you’ll be arriving. It was completed in 1905 and has two baroque façades, a 200-ft. high metal and glass dome and a marble interior.
Begin your exploration of Antwerp in the Grote Markt, Antwerp’s central square. It’s anchored by the Stadhuis (town hall).
Next up is the Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kathedraal), the largest gothic cathedral in Belgium; it’s noted for its spire and its four works by Rubens.