This weekend in Antwerp: 14th, 15th & 16th December

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skating on Groenplaats

The Winter In Antwerp season has started, bringing you winter warmers and festive cheer at various locations around the city, until the 6th January. If you have been in Antwerp for over a year, you will be familiar with the regular features of Winter In Antwerp, and will recognise many of them again this year, in their usual locations: skating on Grote Markt; the Christmas Market on Grotemarkt, Suikerrui and Steenplein; The Big Christmas Wheel also on Steenplein, and the Winterbar on Groenplaats. This year the tubing (2 euros a ride) will be at a new venue: Astridplein. If you have kids, then the Spiegeltent and kids’ corner might be best for you -on Steenplein. The funfair stalls will be along the riverside as usual.

On the other side of the water, there’s Club Cabane Winter Edition, also with Christmas food & drink, a skating rink and a Christmas Market.

Mekanik
Mekanik

Saturday

From 11-6pm at Mekanik store there is a Christmas sale of graphic artworks and illustrations by local graphic artists. Mekanik is Antwerp’s best-known store for . graphic novels, graphic series, animé, comics & more.

SNITT are at CostA on Sint Andriesplaats with a sale of second hand and vintage clothing from 11am- 4pm. This is part of the “Krijg de Klere” event:

Krijg de Klere is an event which asks questions about the textile industry and its impact. There will be activities which encourage and support a more environmentally friendly way of living, and of re-using what we already have. Come dressed in your favourite second-hand clothes, bring your second hand clothes for de Collectie and take part in workshops run by MoMU, a repair café run by Circuit Antwerpen, a speakers’ corner and more (music; drinks; food).

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At Het Roze Huis on Draakplaats, it’s a free film night, starting at 8pm and this month showing I Love You Phillip Norris.  Het Roze Huis holds free film nights on the third Saturday of every month.

Or if you’d like to be the star of the show (or even behind the scenes) head to BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt from 8.30pm to find out more about English speaking theatre in Antwerp, at their Winter Wonderland Open Evening -also a great chance to find out about their upcoming panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in January 2019.

If you are ready for a full-on Christmas service with a Cathedral choir, then head to St Walburgiskerk at 8pm and enjoy the singers of the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir at this Christmas Concert. It’s free, but if you are certain you will be attending, you can reserve a place via this link.

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Sunday

Regular book-lovers’ secondhand market on de Coninckplein in front of the library from 10am: books, comics, etc and (if you are in that area with children) in the Permeke itself, it’s the read-aloud story hour in the library at 11 (free) for kids aged 4-8 (in Dutch).

More secondhand goodies in the Parkloods, courtesy of Goegekregen and the Christmas edition of their successful secondhand, retro and vintage markets. Free in, from 9am -6pm.

For shoppers -the shops are open in Antwerp on Sundays throughout December.

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Alas, it looks likely to be rainy again this weekend, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, and temperatures slightly colder than last weekend -down to 2 degrees on Friday; up to 6-8 degrees over Saturday and Sunday.

Miscellaneous

Two recent special posts: this guest post all about an Italian home-run business called Whisk & Scoop. Have a look if you haven’t read it yet: it’s a must for lovers of authentic Italian food.

heart-1348870_640… and the previous week Nessascityblog also had a guestblog post: a super-handy A-Z of LGBT Antwerp, listing bars, clubs, festivals, community groups and more -by Timothy Junes of Be Out.

 

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De Warmste Week

De Warmste Week (The Warmest Week) is an annual week of fundraising and charity events taking place across Flanders. If you wish to organise an event or activity you can do so and register it via the website. For more fundraising events, look for the Warmste Week logo (left). Charity runs are a big part of De Warmste Week and you can now register for the Antwerp Run which takes place on the 21st December. The first step is to pick the cause you would like to run and raise money for. You can do this as a group or an individual, and will need to be able to make a minimum donation of 15 euros when you register to participate.

If you are looking for carol services in English (also beyond Antwerp) this is a very helpful link from Discovering Belgium blog

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This weekend: 17th & 18th November

It’s all about Sinterklaas this weekend. If you are new to Belgium, The Sint is the winter gift-bearing Saint, familiar to children in Belgium (on the 6th December) and The Netherlands (5th December). But 2-3 weeks prior to the day of celebration there is the arrival of the Sint (“intocht” or “intrede”) from Spain, in various cities, including Antwerp, where the children are known to be particularly well-behaved. This is a very important occasion.

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Children waiting for the Sint at the Town Hall 

Once arrived, The Sint is presumed to be generally in the area. Now and then -before the day itself – kids can put out a shoe, and in the morning it will be filled with sweets. The Sint travels on a horse, assisted by the “pieten”.  Children might also leave out some form of refreshment for the Sint, and some straw or carrot for his horse. His visits to our home indicate that he is not averse to Leffe. Also Gin.

On the day of Sinterklaas, children receive their presents. There are particular sweets eaten during Sinterklaas (pepernoten, kruidennoten, marzipan) and Sinterklaas songs.

Saturday

 

2018 signals a bit of a change in the usual Antwerp Sinterklaas arrival proceedings, which involved the Good Sint docking (he arrives by boat) near Steen, and making his way to Grote Markt, where he addresses the children of Antwerp and their families from the balcony of the Town Hall.

NB: This year, everything takes place around MAS and Eilandje – so this is now the area to avoid like the black death if you are kiddie-free (you can safely go to the old town instead).

Verbindingsdok-Westkaai is the location for the 2018 arrival, and the whole thing will be broadcast from 13.30 by Ketnet (TV Channel) who also provides the kids’ entertainment. The Sint will be welcomed by the Mayor at 13.45 and then make his way via Napoleonkaai, de Nassaubrug and the Oostendekaai to the square in front of the MAS museum (Hanzestedeplaats) where he will address the waiting crowds of sugar-fuelled youngsters.

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If you don’t have kids to amuse, you might prefer to go to Steez 02: Urban Culture Festival at de Studio, free entrance for the afternoon program from 2pm (also on Sunday)  -Live Music – Urban Art – Streetwear – Lifestyle – Food – DJ – Skate.

Sunday

Today is Kunstendag voor kinderen – day of arts activities for children across Flanders. Use the search facility to find out what is going on in your locality. Here are the activities for the Antwerp area. Many activities are free (such as this cute Miffy activity at Permeke Library at 11, for kids aged 4+) while others have a participation fee. Check also if you need to register (“inschrijven”) your child(ren) beforehand.

rednoseRodeneuzen Dag (Red Nose Day) raises money to support young people in Belgium in need of mental health services and support, and supports schools in attending to the mental and social wellbeing of students, with campaigns and projects. Many schools take part. Join in by visiting the second hand market being held on Groenplaats for Rode Neuzen Dag – from 9am -17h. Rode Neuzen Dag activities continue throughout November.

It’s the monthly Strip en boeken plein (second hand book market) on De Coninckplein in front of the Permeke Library from 10am.

This weekend is expected to be dry, with cool temperatures (8-11 degrees) and bright, sunny periods.

Miscellaneous

Also for Sinterklaas -The Belgian postal service (Bpost) will deliver children’s letters and drawings to the Sint (until 29th November) -details and address here. NB -be sure to write the child’s name and address on the outside of the envelope, so that the Sint can reply and send a surprise.

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I am really delighted to let you know that a special guest-blog post is on the way. Watch this space -especially if you’d like to know more about LGBTQ+ life in Antwerp – talking of which L-Week (10 day festival of events for lesbians) is currently underway in Antwerp, until 18th November.

And if you have been thinking about writing a post for Nessascityblog, do seize the day -I’d love to hear your Antwerp story, or hear about an aspect of Antwerp life that you know well. Drop me a line at nessascityblog@gmail.com.

I am interested in doing a post about Antwerp Apps. Do you use one? What does it do? Which devices is it compatible with and what do you think of it?

Bargain hunters -did you know that Antwerp has a Last Minute Ticket Shop? Well you do now. You can buy last-minute reduced cost tickets from 12- 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, for shows, concerts, theatre performances etc.

Yes, that time of year is approaching and the Winter In Antwerp website is now up!

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This weekend in Antwerp: 19th, 20th & 21st October

Hello! As promised, quite a bit more on Nessascityblog after a teeny tiny mini-post last week. So here’s your GOOGLE-TASTIC MAP with key locations for the events listed here for this weekend in Antwerp.

Antwerp gastro-fest Smaakmeesters continues throughout October with walks, offers, foodie workshops and markets …

Also over the whole weekend: events at Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord which closes for the end of the summer season for 2018

Friday

eilandjeFFrom 3pm – 8pm you might want to check out Dok Markt -on Eilandje. I have passed by on my bike (alas, didn’t have time to stop) and thought it looked very nice, so am hoping to be able to make a more leisurely visit soon. Dokmarkt offers fruit, veg, flowers and other local food products, or the chance to hang out and start your weekend with some oysters and/ or a glass of cava.

For something else a little different you might want to enjoy the last Friday night at Bar Noord: they are holding a Silent Disco … which is a lot more fun than it sounds. It’s free in, but headphone hire is 8 euros. The headphones have three channels of dancey tunes and you can switch between them at will -the colour of our headphones shows which channel you are tuned into. Yes, it’s a bit odd … but in a good way.

Saturday
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If you wake up with flamenco feelz, head to Groenplaats for a Day of Spanish Culture from 11am – 7pm, featuring music and dance, food and kids’ face-painting. Here’s the full program.

For bargain hunters, look up and visit your local Kringwinkel (aka second hand store/ thrift shop) because it’s Dag van de Kringwinkel today, so a particularly good day to get a bargain. Scroll down this .pdf for a list of participating stores in the Antwerp area -each store has a focus re: the type of goods being offered.

I like the Kringwinkel on Sint Jorispoort -it has four floors and is well worth a browse at any time for household goods, clothes, white goods, and baby/ kids items.
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Bar Noord’s main end-of-season event –The Closing Party -will take care of your evening requirements: it’s free and starts at 8pm.

Sunday

Art lovers: Leopold Sunday is an event where eight galleries open their doors simultaneously in the area of the Leopoldplaats (that’s the square near the National Bank) between 2 and 6pm. The participating galleries are: Annie Gentils, Artelli Gallery, (re)D., Geukens & De Vil, mariondecanniere, Philippe Piessens, Keteleer Gallery and Next Door. Leopold Sundays will take place six times between now and next spring.

It’s the monthly Strip en Boekenplein (second hand book market) on de Coninckplein (just in front of Permeke Library) from 10am.

It’s the absolute last chance to enjoy Bar Noord in 2018 with its Sunday Matinee starting at 3pm. It’s such a handy hangout and I have to say that when Bar Noord closes its doors, we really have to accept that summer is done …

… on the other hand, the unseasonably warm weather is set to continue, and there is little chance of rain; top temps around 17- 18 degrees.

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Bar Noord @ Park Spoor Noord

Miscellaneous

I am pleased to share this interview I did for The Bulletin about life in Antwerp.

vote-2831241_640Last Sunday saw elections take place across Belgium. It is not always easy to understand the political processes and parties of your adopted country, but doing so can make non-Belgians feel a bit more integrated. Here is an article from Flanders Today that might help you understand the election, and the results, if you don’t speak a lot of Dutch yet. I voted for the first time as a Belgian (although non-Belgians may also vote in local elections). The next election will be a general election in May 2019.

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Ethiopian coffee at Elsie’s

Want a random restaurant recommendation?
Try Elsie’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Restaurant Mr Nessascityblog and I were there a couple of weeks ago and loved the food which was very reasonably priced. Elsie’s has moved to this new address (in Het Zuid) from the previous location on Turnhoutsebaan.
The food was delicious, the service was friendly and -ideally for us – there was a good range of vegetarian (and vegan) options.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 28th, 29th & 30th September

Greetings, good folk of Antwerp.

Well last weekend certainly seemed to drive home the fact that summer is finished, and if that gives you the sad feelz, then maybe a couple of promos and the chance of some free tickets to Antwerp events will cheer you up.

3byonbeFirst of all this weekend its Puur Beleven at Antwerp Expo – a huge event covering all aspects of health foods, natural products, vegan, vegetarian and organic food. Thanks to Laura from Three By One a local business selling organic coconut products, Nessascityblog readers have the chance to win some tickets. Just email Laura at threebyoneeu@icloud.com and winners will be given a code for the website. Three By One will be launching new coconut products at this event!

 

image002Also at Antwerp Expo is the Antwerp Art Fair: over galleries from all around the world will be occupying 6000m sq of exhibition space. For the chance to win one of 5 pairs of free tickets to this event check out the Nessascityblog Instagram account and find the Antwerp Art Fair post.
Follow/ like/ tag-a-friend and the 5 winners will be contacted by direct message on Friday afternoon.

And here is your GOOGLE MAP for the Antwerp locations mentioned in this post. 

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All weekend

Have you noticed the white globe-like structure (pic left) at the Bonaparte Dock, down by MAS? Well this weekend the Port of Antwerp invites you to go and take a look, and learn about how ports -including the port of Antwerp – will look and operate in the future.  The Water Pavilion will be open at the following times until the 30th:  27/9 from 10h00 to 22h00; 28/9 from 10h00 to 15h00; 29/9 from 10h00 to 22h00; 30/9 from 10h00 to 18h00 and there will be various other stands and activities in the Eilandje area.

Also over the whole weekend is the Ganesh Festival. This is the 11th Ganesh Festival in Antwerp. Click the link for the full program. The Ganesh Festival takes place in the Stadspark (at the corner of van Eyklei and Rubenslei. The opening ceremony is on Friday at 6.30pm.

Artists all around Antwerp open up their work spaces and galleries this weekend as part of Open Ateliers on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday

Critical Mass takes place as usual at 18h, starting (and concluding) at Theaterplein. The theme this week is Bike To School. Join with your bike and your kids for an hour’s cycling en masse around Antwerp.

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Bar Paniek on the Kattendijkdok closes this weekend. It will be open from 11am -11pm for one last drink (or two?) by the waterside.

Kilo Verkoop is at HAAR on Montevideostraat: buy vintage & retro clothes and accessories by the kilo, from 2pm.

 

Sunday

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It’s the Antwerp Race For The Cure! Go on -come and cheer us all on -I’ll be running with my mum, and my son. If you want to join in, you can register online until the 26th, otherwise you can still join in on the day for 15 euros per person.  A lovely event, and support a very important cause, organised by Think Pink: the National Breast Cancer Campaign in Belgium. NB this year it happens on Linkeroever (Frederik van Eedenplein).

It’s the last Lambermontmartre of summer 2018. Take this last chance to come and appreciate the talent of local artists and creators, while enjoying some live swing music from Les Baptistes (at 2.30pm and 5pm). From midday, in front of KMSKA. Free.

Kilo Verkoop is at HAAR on Montevideostraat: buy vintage & retro clothes and accessories by the kilo, from 2pm.

The weather will feel autumnal and cooler. There are low chances of showers on Friday and Sunday.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 21st, 22nd & 23rd September

All weekend

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Antwerp Port Area

Part of Antwerp is a 10 day festival which started last weekend and finishes this weekend. It is focussed on the area from Eilandje, taking in Schengenplein, Sloepenweg, Red Star Line Museum … up to the Zaha Hadidplein (at the new port of Antwerp building). Expect events which celebrate the city’s status as a major port, as well as food, music and parties in this much gentrified and historic area of the city. See the full program here. There’s lots on but personally I am especially pleased to see the reopening of the wonderful Red Star Line Museum which has been closed over summer for some improvements, and which is also celebrating its 5th birthday.

Round the Grote Markt area you can catch the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) World Cup Trials. My kids and I have been impressed by the stunts and skills on display by the sportsmen and women who compete in this event -definitely a fun watch.

If skating is more your thing, head to the Jordaenskaai for the Nokia Antwerp Skate Contest 2018 taking place on Saturday & Sunday.

 

Friday

TheaterpleinColourPopFlying Pig  will be on Theaterplein to start your weekend with their usual line-up of drinks, DJs and food.

UPDATE: Alas this event has been cancelled 😦

Saturday

Come and have a uniquely local Antwerp experience at the Reuzenstoet (“Giant Parade”) in Borgerhout. This is a very old and annual tradition, involving a procession of giant puppet-like figures. The details (and map) are here. The parade starts at 1pm and takes the following route: Gitschotelhof, Vosstraat, Gitschotellei, Bacchuslaan, Berchemlei, K. De Preterlei, Lt. Lippenslaan, Morckhovenlei, Griffier Schobbenslaan, Collegelaan, Stenenbrug, Turnhoutsebaan, Helmstraat, Groenstraat, Laar. Tournhoutsebaan would be a good place to see the parade (from around 3ish). There will be other activities in the area around the Roma Theater, and many people like to follow the giants on their journey.

And while you are in the area, you might want to pick up some fresh and local produce at Farmers’ market Kraakvers.

If you have kids to entertain, head to de Coninckplein at midday for a day of fun activities for the smalls: “ConincksKinderen” will have outdoor play, a bouncy castle, henna and other activities for them to enjoy.

 

Sunday

Music, food stands and a market on Krugerplein: It’s Bouger Bouger from 10am -6pm in this attractive, family oriented square in Borgerhout. Good for kids.  UPDATE: bad weather expected so alas this event has also been cancelled.

It’s the last chance to enjoy a drink and some live music on Flamingoplein (zoo entrance) at the zoo summer bar from 5 – 7pm.

Weather …. hmmm, it should remain mild (and possibly dry) so we can continue to pretend that it’s still summer, but there may be some showers on both Saturday and Sunday

Miscellaneous

Antwerp Art Fair is coming to Antwerp Expo in October and I will have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to Nessascityblog readers, so watch this space for more info and a chance to win soon!

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Runners! still time to register for the 6km Race For The Cure (there’s also a 3km walk if you don’t fancy running). A lovely event, and a very important cause, organised by Think Pink: the National Breast Cancer Campaign in Belgium. I will be running again this year, having had a great experience last year  Come and support survivors, runners and supporters of this cause.

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Race For The Cure

Click here for Bats Variety show info & tickets. “Around The World” on this weekend: Friday, Saturday & Sunday night.

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Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month which means free access to city museums:  Plantin Moretus,  Rockox, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, & the MAS.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 31st August, 1st & 2nd September

Here is the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend!

It’s a good weekend for music lovers of various sorts. On Saturday and Sunday it’s the annual free classical music concerts on Sint-Jansplein: Klassiek In De Stad which features opera and dance  (from the Flemish opera and ballet companies) as well as orchestral pieces performed live on the stage by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra

Friday

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Photo by Louis Lo on Unsplash

Friday evening’s Critical Mass is a special edition for kids, brought to you in conjunction with the Fietsers Bond and with corresponding events in Antwerpen, Gent, Brussels, Aalst, Hasselt, Tienen and Ternat. Assemble at Theaterplein at 6pm with your kids, bikes, tagalongs, kids’ bikes and bike seats, to help make a point about the importance of safe cycling for children and young people in Antwerp.

Urban Meets Baroque takes place on de Coninckplein (in front of Permeke Library) as part of the ongoing Baroque Season in Antwerp. Urban Meets Baroque kicks off a weekend of related events which form the Festival Royal taking place over Saturday and Sunday as well.

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Saturday

The Paulusfeest is a new music, street theatre and arts festival on two locations: Sint-Paulusplaats and at Het Stadsmagazijn. It starts at 10 am and the last musical performance begins on the square at 9.15pm

500 years  ago the towers of Antwerp’s famous cathedral were completed. This is being celebrated by the city at an event called Onze Toren 500 which starts at 4pm and finishes at 10pm, with the promise of free cake on Grote Markt at 5pm.

Sunday

Two local markets on today:

Swan Market  from midday on Grote Markt from 11am -5pm

and Markt van Morgen on the Kloosterstraat from midday. Both markets offer products made by small local businesses and creatives. You can find jewellery, stationery, household goods and accessories for sale. Swan Market is the larger of the two markets.

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Open Studios

Local artists open their ateliers and work spaces all over Antwerp today between 2pm and 7pm as part of Open Studios.

It’s the last chance to enjoy the Zomerbar as the ZVA programme comes to a close.

 

It’s the first Sunday of the month which means Sunday shopping in Antwerp centre and other shopping areas of the city (e.g. Nationalestraat, Kloosterstraat)

The weather is likely to be warm and dry (although cloudy at times) with temperatures of around 20- 22 degrees.

Miscellaneous

Belgian schools go back on Monday, so roads will be busier at school times.

On Tuesday, look out for a special blog post from a reader in Scotland who was part of the street music scene in Antwerp from 1998 -2012 and has written a fascinating account of his time here …Dave is a man with great Antwerp stories to tell, so much so I am hoping that there will be a sequel to Tuesday’s guest post.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 24th, 25th & 26th August

Thanks for checking out Nessascityblog now that weekly posts have resumed! This time I managed to find the time to make the usual GOOGLE MAP pinpointing the locations mentioned in this post, so that you can find your way around what is set to be quite a busy weekend in Antwerp. I hope you find something fun here, especially if you are recently arrived in the city.

I’ve found three events for you which are ongoing over the whole weekend. These are:

HAP Food Festival which takes place on Schengenplein in the Cadixwijk from 4pm on Friday and continues on Saturday (12 -12) and Sunday (12- 10pm). This is a food truck festival and entry is free. A good chance to check out this nice area  -just beyond Eilandje -which seems to be an up and coming place to hang out.

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HAP food stands from a previous event at Park Spoor Noord

Also over the whole weekend, it’s the Mechelseplein Feesten on (unsurprisingly) The Mechelseplein, which actually starts on Thursday at 4pm. This is a very small, friendly square surrounded by local bars which are worth checking out. It is a free kid-friendly event. Times are: Friday 4pm -12; Saturday 4pm -12; Sunday 12- 8pm. The festival offers food, drink and live performances: see the full programme here.

Bargain hunters should drop by this garage sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Gierstraat 9 from 1- 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Gierstraat is just round the corner from the Vrijdagmarkt which is a cute local square, a little off the beaten tourist track and worth stopping by..

Friday

If you are a fan of markets, you might want to head down to Eilandje to scope out this new weekly market which opens today: Dok Markt offering fruit, vegetables and flowers. It’s an afternoon market (3pm- 8pm) so even if you’re working you might be able to catch it in the evening.

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Tuinstraat on De Pretstraat

Swaajp is an energetic impro theatre group which consistently gets good reviews. Over on Tuinstraat (Natie buurt) you can see them for free as part of events on this local street . You may have noticed “Tuinstraat” (“Garden Street”) on De Pretstraat) -it is near Park Spoor Noord (off Ellermanstraat) and it is currently a car free, attractive green space hosting catering and performance events designed to bring the community together, as well as being a place where locals can sit out and socialise.

Saturday

For more fresh and local produce head to Borgerhout for Kraakvers -Antwerp’s farmers market: fruit & veg, cheese, bread, preserves, chocolate, local honey, fresh coffee and more, from 9am -2pm on Vincotteplein.

Sunday

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Cultuurmarkt flags

It’s the annual Flemish Culture Market today: many, many cultural organisations (theatre, music, dance, art, literature and more) showcase their upcoming programmes at various locations around the city, offering free performances, freebies and tons of information. The programme is extensive; you can find it here.

Have you been to the brewery  Cafe Seefhoek? It’s worth a visit. It’s somewhat tucked away and it’s where Seefbier is brewed. It also features a nice, airy bar and sunny courtyard. The food is good, fresh and reasonably priced (share some tapas with friends) and this weekend they are additionally holding a second hand market there, featuring second hand goods, vinyl and crafts from midday until 6pm.

Lambermonmartre on Leopold de Waelplaats is Antwerp’s summer open-air monthly art fair, enabling local artists and creatives to showcase and sell their work. It takes place from midday, just in front of the Museum of Fine Art (KMSKA). There is also always a food and drink stand, and a band playing at 2.30 and at 5pm to add to the atmosphere.

The weather is expected to be mainly dry, with some brief showers possible on Saturday and Sunday morning. Temperatures will cool off a bit but stay warm, with highs of around 18 degrees.

Miscellaneous

Don’t forget that Zomer van Antwerpen is not over yet! Here’s the website.

Baroque Antwerp season continues until January 2019.

The OLT (Open Air Theatre) concert season program is here. To go for free, see events entitled “Gratis Vrijdagen” (Free Fridays)

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The Big Fat Summer Post 2018

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Here is the Nessascityblog Big Fat Summer post for 2018 -a bumper post to keep you informed and equipped to enjoy summer in Antwerp while I take my own summer holiday.

Regular weekly posts for the weekend will be back on 16th August!

The first information source you need to plan your Antwerp summer is the Stad Antwerpen Zomer Van Antwerpen website!

Summer Bars

Pop-up summer bars are at the heart of the Antwerp Summer experience, and are always an excellent go-to option for simply getting out in the city with friends or family. I can’t list them all but here is a breif guide to some I have been to. For a full list of all the summer bars in Antwerp (and beyond) this site is very useful and has an English version now too.

The Zomer van Antwerpen summer bar on Sloepenweg is the mother of all summer bars and is completely all-purpose, providing affordable food, drink, an outdoor library, ZVA info-booth, circus tent, and loads of space for kids to play. Professional loafers (like myself during the summer holidays) think of it as ZVA HQ.

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Bar Noord (Park Spoor Noord)

In Park Spoor Noord, Bar Noord is similarly all-purpose if you are entertaining kids for the warm summer days (the fountains in which children can play are a big draw when temperatures rise). Bar Noord is open until late with more events and music for when it’s grown-up time.

Another huge bar is Bocadero at Waagnatie. It’s got a great location right by the water and is a pretty hip place to see and be seen. Kids will like the sand but Bocadero is definitely more of a venue for those sans enfants, as is Jardim just a little further along the river. There is more of a cocktail atmosphere at these two bars

Bar Paniek is another bar we have enjoyed: it’s got a more quirky and somewhat arty vibe, and is located on the Kattendijkdok with an industrial waterside feel and a standard drink selection: come for a glass of wine or a Seefbeer, rather than to hang with the cocktail crowd. Bar Paniek has also served as a nice location for food and second hand markets in the past. I get the impression that the Cadix Wijk in this area is an up-and-coming one.

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Antwerp summer bars

Also part of ZVA, the Zomerfabriek -is a spacious urban- style bar in Zurenborg, with a busy programme of regular events (e.g. urban sports, dance workshops) aimed mostly at a younger crowd, but the bar itself is a really nice place for anyone wanting a food and drink.

Right in the centre of the city is Strandhof at Kavka. Kavka is a youth-club but even as a crumbly middle-aged person, I really liked being able to go to a summer bar here, two years ago, in the courtyard of this attractive building on Oudaan. It was missed last summer. It’s a perfect location if you are shopping or running errands in the centre and want to get away from busy shops or sticky streets.

A Dozen Dates For Your Summer Diary:

1) On the 11th July, head to Groenplaats for Vlaanderen Feest (the kids entertainments start at midday, courtesy of Ketnet) and the evening entertainment begins on the Grote Markt at 17.45. Both squares will have stages, music, drink, activities and dancing. This is the Day of the Flemish Community, not to be confused with Belgium’s National Day (see number 5, below)

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Groenplaats

2) On the 15th July, it’s the usual second hand book market on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library, starting at 10am.

3) Food and Drinks Festival Fiesta Europa is on Groenplaats for five days from the 18th July

4) On 20th -21st July it’s Borgerwood Musical festival at Trix music venue and Spoor Oost

5) 21st of July is a national holiday in Belgium, it being Belgian National Day What better way to celebrate than by going to Roller Disco Dageraad ? It’s on all day from 1pm on Dageraadplaats: bring your skates if you have them (there will be a limited number for hire if you don’t) and dress as per roller disco style!

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The 21st July is Belgium’s National Day

6) Staying on Dageraadplaats for the 22nd July for Rommelmarkt Dageraad. These second hand markets are pretty good as many of the local residents are quite well-heeled…

7) Art Lovers: on 29th July it’s Lambermontmartre -support local artists, photographers and creatives while enjoying outdoor food, drinks and music. Free, from midday -in front of the museum of modern art (aka KMSKA).

8) On the 3rd August Flying Pig is at Antwerp’s Theaterplein. Outdoor evening drinks, DJs and music from 5pm.

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Sommar

9) Also on the 3rd August and continuing on to the 4th it’s annual music festival Linkerwoofer. Tickets here – this is a kid-friendly event.

10) Stay up late and visit your favourite Antwerp museum on the 4th August because it’s the annual Antwerp Museum Night

11) The next day (5th August) you can sing your heart out at Antwerp Zingt. This is a super-friendly, kid-friendly event based around the simple idea that it is fun for a community to get together in song. As well as local songs, there are usually plenty of well-known tunes that everyone can join in with, and a song sheet to help you along. Free, on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken from 6pm

16) And last, but never least, it is the rainbow jewel in the crown of the Antwerp summer: from 8th-12th August it’s Antwerp Pride. The Parade is on the Saturday, starting at 2pm and taking this route: Route: Vlaamse Kaai (start) – Verschansingsstraat – Leopold De Waelplaats – Karel Rogierstraat – Marnixplaats – Scheldestraat – Scheldekaaien – Sint-Pietersvliet (end). For the full program (including pre- and post Pride events) see here.

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Pride Parade

Five For The Rugrats

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1) For just 2 euros per day per kid there’s Speel -O- Rama at Zuiderpershuis

2) Time your drinking to coincide with kids’ read-aloud: daily stories at the outdoor library in the Zomerbar.

3) Check out these sport programs and activities (you need to register for these and pay a fee when you do so). Choose your activity and click on “inschrijven”. Here is the full list For other types of workshops, it is worth looking at the websites of local museums such as MUHKA who have additional holiday workshops for kids.

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Sportopia

4) For cheap indoor play there is Sportopia at the Park Loods building (Park Spoor Noord)

5) The kids’ workshops and activities which have previously been held at Cafe Het Steen have moved to a new venue further along the river on the Drogendokkenweg, and is now called STORMKOP. Here’s their program.

Ongoing

Baroque Antwerp season continues until January 2019.

The OLT (Open Air Theatre) concert season program is here. To go for free, see events entitled “Gratis Vrijdagen” (Free Fridays).

Over summer, Stad Antwerp offers two outdoor swimming pools (Boekenberg and de Molen)

Follow Nessascityblog on Instagram for pictures of summer 2018 in Antwerp!

I hope you have a lovely Antwerp summer and I am very grateful to everyone who reads the blog, and who takes the time to contact me with events, information or a positive comment.

Don’t forget that if you would like to write a special post for Nessascityblog or do a short interview (in person, or via email) then please get in touch: nessascityblog@gmail.com or via the other social media in the Find & Follow section. I’d love to hear and share your Antwerp story!
Nessascityblog weekly posts will return on 16th August.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 22nd, 23rd & 24th June

Here’s the map!

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 19.31.34Good times! It’s Bier Passie Weekend over the whole weekend on Groenplaats. Bier Passie opens on Friday at 5. The opening hours for Saturday 1pm -midnight; and for Sunday – 11am -8pm. Sample many different beers by buying and picking up a glass and your jetons (2 euros each) before you make your way around the selection of 200+ different beers.

 

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Over both days in the Klapdor- Paardemarkt- Falconplein -Varkensmarkt area it’s Ramblas Antwerpen rest assured this event is ON, despite confusion caused by an online announcement that Ramblas 2017 would be the last one. I am assured that this one will be a great edition of this busy neighbourhood street party, and many streets in the area will be car-free, to make way for the live performances, kids’ activities and food & drink.

Friday

Atlas  is an organisation which helps newcomers and non-natives to feel at home in Antwerp. They can help you integrate, understand Belgian culture, access services and find out where to learn Dutch.

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Atlas op het Plein is an event on Theaterplein which showcases their work, and the theme of making connections in the community. The idea is to go along, meet people of different cultures while additionally enjoying something very Belgian: frietjes! (fries). There will also be drinks, kids’ entertainment (baking fortune cookies together; children’s theatre on a bus; face painting and henna (NL: ‘Kindergrime en henna-tattoo’); arts & crafts (NL: ‘tekenen en knutselen’); Rollerdisco for kids 8+). There will be DJs & music until 10pm.

Beerlovers Bar on de Coninckplein is a bar which I really like and this weekend it celebrates its second birthday. Enjoy an extra 8 beers on draught on Friday night, and/ or come along for further festivities (and World Cup football) from 13.30pm on Saturday. Beerlovers is definitely an Antwerp bar worth knowing about.

Saturday

borgerriocollageBorgerrio takes over the Turnhoutsebaan today! Streets will be cordoned off to keep this event traffic free and things will be busy from 11am at the heart of this most multi-cultural of neighbourhoods. The highlight is the hugely colourful parade which takes place from 3.30pm, but there’s also food, music, local selling & info stands, plus a special program of kids activities to enjoy all day. This year is the added bonus of the Belgium -Tunisia World Cup game showing in the evening. Borgerrio is free, and festivities continue until 8pm.

Sunday

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Lambermontmartre

It’s Lambermontmartre, down by KMSKA. This monthly art market showcases and offers for sale the work of local artists, painters and photographers. There’s a Ricard bar, as well as other drinks and snacks. There’s also always live music (2.30pm and 5pm) and a relaxed atmosphere: just right for a Sunday afternoon.

Port of Antwerp are holding a picnic in the harbour – register via the link for a family event with a varied menu (including fruit, sandwiches, chocolate, salads, cookies, coffee)  for just 5 euros pp. Half of the money raised will go to Mercy Ships: a hospital boat which provides treatment and care to people in sub-saharan African nations (including children) who cannot afford it.

Miscellaneous

Tickets for the ticketed events on the Zomer van Antwerpen agenda are now for sale via the program page of  the ZVA website.

The OLT (Rivierenhof) has a summer music program. Info and tickets here.

The Baroque Antwerpen program is underway.

Next Wednesday is the last of the month, so Antwerp city museums are free on that day.

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Last chance to visit Sinksenfoor (annual funfair) in Park Spoor Oost and it is HUGE. We went  and had a great time. It’s on until Sunday. And you can print out some vouchers for deals and reductions on rides & food here.

For World Cup Big Screen action try the Irish Bars (An Sibhin, Molly’s, Irish Times & Kelly’s). Games are also being shown on the big screen at Dagerraadplaats, The Hyundai Fan Village, Bar Nord, Bar Leon and at de Koninck brewery. Here is the schedule of World Cup matches. Do you know of other fun venues to watch the games? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

I’m publishing an extra post about Casa de Sonny on Monday -keep an eye out for that if you are interested in the Antwerp music scene.

I will be taking a month off from mid July- mid August. There will be a summer post with some key links and events to cover this period.

Find & Follow Nessascityblog …

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This Weekend in Antwerp: 25th, 26th & 27th May

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It’s Antwerp Art Weekend all weekend. Take the opportunity to discover some of the many galleries  and art spaces around the city. Here is the agenda for the weekend, and don’t forget to swing by de Studio, which functions as a hub for the event, and provides information and directions about what is happening as part of Antwerp Art Weekend.

Here’s the Google map you need for this weekend!

Friday

Critical Mass assembles on Theaterplein at 6pm to mark 20 Years of Critical Mass in Belgium with an hour’s cycling through the city.

Flying Pig is on Grote Markt from 5pm

Saturday

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 22.14.26At Bocadero (Waagnatie) it’s Feria Andaluza -a festival of Spanish culture, which is free to enter, and which continues on Sunday. It’s open from 12- 12. Enjoy traditional music, dance, food and drink from Spain.

Also showcasing its national -the Thai Embassy are hosting a Thai Weekend on Groenplaats, also over both days from 10am – 7pm. Dance, music, food and handmade Thai products will be available at over 70 stands on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s the ABC-markt (Antiek, Boeken, Brocante & Curiosa) at Den Beulebak from 11am -5pm.

If you are feeling energetic, it’s the Rivierenhof Run 2018 and if you did not register, you can do so on the day between 12 and 3pm. Kids run for free.

And London Calling celebrates all things Morrisssey and The Smiths at Ampere. Come and enjoy the tunes of England’s favourite musical curmudgeon, along with other Britpop tracks.

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London Calling at Ampere

 

Sunday

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Feria Andalusa is open from 12 -10pm (see above).

Thai weekend continues on Groenplaats.

Billed as a ‘slice of New Orleans on The Schelde’ Brasspartij 3 takes place at Harmonie Park thought other styles will also be represented:  funk, balkan, ska, drum’n’bass … as five Belgian bands battle for the winning title, from 1.30pm onwards.

 

 

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Photo by Murat Ustuntas on Unsplash

Kite flying enthusiasts will enjoy this Vlieger Happening on Linkeroever from 1.30pm featuring some professional kiteflying stunts, kids entertainment and the chance to make your own kite if you do not have one. Vlieger Happening takes place on the Middenvijver (August van Cauwelaertlaan).

And art lovers will be pleased to know that Lambermontmatre is starting up again for the summer. This monthly art market showcases and offers for sale the work of local artists, painters and photographers. There’s a Ricard bar, as well as other drinks and snacks. There’s also always live music (2.30pm and 5pm) and a relaxed atmosphere, just right for a warm Sunday afternoon.

Finally, best wishes and congratulations to Grade 12 students of Antwerp International School for the graduation ceremony today!

The weather is predicted to be warm again (21 -22 degrees) though with some clouds. There may be a little rain on Friday.

Beyond Nessascityblog

It’s been really great to have worked with other interesting people recently. I’ve been pretty busy!

Firstly I wrote  Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published on the Stad Antwerpen website and optimistically describes three places in the city you might want to check out if the weather holds out …

Next I wrote this guest post  about 5 Antwerp destinations for the blog Discovering Belgium.

NonnativeblueyellowLast Monday, I was delighted to publish a guest post by Laura Soave of Nonnative – a must-read if you are new or recently arrived in Antwerp.

I also thoroughly enjoyed myself in conversation with comedian Nigel Williams  of Stand Up Antwerp. You can hear the podcast of that conversation here. It is the first of a new series of weekly podcasts that Nigel is working called “Babbel Without A Cause” about members of the expat community inAntwerp.

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Stand- Up Antwerp

I was also interviewed for The Bulletin and look forward to sharing that soon.

Anyway, this all serves of a reminder of how nice it is to work with others, so if you have an Antwerp idea for Nessascityblog that you would like to contribute, or something you would like written for your own publication, please get in touch.

Miscellaneous

Next Wednesday is the last of the month, so Antwerp city museums are free on that day (30th May)

Sinksenfoor (annual funfair) is underway in Park Spoor Oost and it is HUGE. We went last weekend and had a great time. It’s on until 24th June. And you can print out some vouchers for deals and reductions on rides & food here.

Find & Follow Nessascityblog

Find Nessascityblog on social media, where additional events and activities are also posted

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Instagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter &  Pinterest

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