This weekend in Antwerp: 16th & 17th March

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It’s St Patrick’s day on Sunday, but as the ‘day’ has long since morphed into an entire weekend, it’s worth listing all of Antwerp’s Irish bars on this post. They will all be offering promos, music and other events or offers this weekend.

Nearest the station is Kelly’s – popular with tourists and sports fans, this is the most central of the bars, and the largest.

Also popular with tourists is The Irish Times on Grote Markt, a busy bar with a great location, it’s also known for sports and for live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

MollysFMolly’s Irish Pub is tucked away on Jesuitenrui on the old town -it’s smaller, very friendly and also popular for sport.

And last (but never least) An Sibhin on Nationalestraat -like Molly’s it’s smaller and friendly, with a relaxed crowd, sports and live music (also excellent sandwiches).

In a city the size of Antwerp, these pubs are not far from each other, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t aim high and hope to do a crawl which takes in all four of them this weekend.

Saturday

If you are interested in ebikes, Park Spoor Noord is the place to be for this E-bike test event from 10am- 5pm.

It’s the monthly film night at Het Roze Huis, Draakplaats. Film nights and free and you don’t need to reserve. Starting at 8pm, the film this month is the 2011 Dutch documentary film “Allemaal Lesbisch” by Mildred Roethof.

guinnessFThere’s a Guinness promo (and the chance to pour your own Guinness) at Molly’s all day, with music from 8pm (and a very similar program for the next day too).

Sunday (St Patrick’s Day)

From 10am it’s the usual second book market at the library (“boekenplein”).

Art lovers -enjoy a selection of Antwerp galleries opening their doors on and around the Leopoldplaats: it’s the second of the Leopold Sundays this year (participating galleries are Annie Gentils, Artelli Gallery, (re)D., Geukens & De Vil, mariondecanniere, Philippe Piessens, Keteleer Gallery and Next Door.)

An Sibhin will be great for food with Irish breakfasts being served from 11am and, oysters and stew on the terrace for lunch / afternoon. There will be a live band at 6pm.

If you like a really big, traditional sound, a St Patrick’s Day highlight for you could be the Red Hackle Pipe Band at 3pm in Kelly’s bar.

Irishpubs

A different way of going green on St Patrick’s Day would be these gardening workshops at Rivierenhof 2100 Deurne (near the kids’ farm). They’re free but you do need to register in advance here. Choose a 10am or 2pm start time.

Look out for runners taking part in the Antwerp Urban Trail.

The weather will be reasonably mild (top temps of 12 -13 degrees) but showers likely each day.

Miscellaneous

chocopassFChocolate Week continues in Antwerp – if you are familiar with Pateekes Week, then you will know the format, as it is the same: get your Chocolate Pass (“chocoladepas”; pic right) for 10 euros and then benefit from special chocolatey bargains around the city by exchanging the vouchers on the pass. You can buy the pass at one of Antwerp’s tourist offices (in central station, and on Grote Markt). Chocolate week continues until Sunday and you can see a list of participating chocolatiers and cafés here. Not only do you get bargain-priced chocolate but you can get in free to the Expo Chocolat Martougin which tells the interesting story story of this Antwerp brand (which has been revived and is being sold again in the city from this year) and its founder, Alfred Martougin (1875-1952).  I stumbled across this exhibition on Wednesday and found it all really intriguing. It is in Dutch but there are some lovely images and examples of Martougin products and packaging over the years which anyone would enjoy.

March is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.

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