De Grote Schijn looks nice and opens Thursday evening until 11th November – a special route (ticketed) through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.
Antwerp Ghostwalks also offer an extra walk in English as Halloween approaches. These are ticketed (obtain tickets via the link) and start at 8pm from Steenplein. Consistently well reviewed, these walks are known as much for their humour as their horror. There is also a walk on Hallowe’en itself – this one is in English too.
Critical Mass is joining in with the Hallowe’en theme: assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm (with yourself and your bike suitably attired for the occasion if you wish!) for the monthly hour’s ride en masse through the city.
For bargain hunters, the weekend’s fleamarket can be found on the Desguinlei (Antwerpse Singel) from 9am -5pm (free). Sunday
The Day of The Dead is marked at MAS museum with this free event (no reservation needed). The programme and exhibits were created in collaboration between Mestizo Arts Platform and the Mexican Embassy.
Why not head to beautiful Borgerhout for this Repair Café and ‘shared’ fleamarket from midday until 4pm. The fleamarket works by vouchers, not cash -each visitor receives three. You can also bring your own items to donate to the market (clothing, toys, household goods).
Beer lovers may wish to head to de Koninck brewery to mark the arrival and launch of the de Koninck winter beer for this year, which will take place in the brewery’s bar between 3pm and 7pm.
The weather will be typically autumnal again -not cold, but the possibility of showers from time to time on both Saturday and Sunday, although Friday is likely to be dry. Max temps around 18 degrees.
Next week is the autumn break for Belgian schools, happily coinciding with the last Wednesday of the months, when Antwerp City museums are free.
The Mechelsepleinfeesten is a fairly new annual event, which unsurprisingly takes place on and around the Mechelseplein. It’s free and is on on Friday and Saturday. You can see the full programme for this kid-friendly neighbourhood party on the Facebook event page. Look out especially for the London Calling set at de Pallieter!
Part of Antwerp is also underway. It’s a five-week festival comprising of a variety of cultural events celebrating the port area of the city. Comedy, music, talks, tours, music, and food & drink are all Part of Antwerp: see the full agenda here.
There’s a special edition of Critical Mass this Friday -Kiddical Mass! Critical Mass is always a kid-friendly event, but this one particularly centres children. Small people should assemble with their bikes and their grown-ups at 6pm on Theaterplein, as usual, for an hour’s biking around the city.
Also on Theaterplein, it’s Antwerp favourite, Apereau, with their usual offering of DJs, food-trucks and summer cocktails to start your weekend.
Last weekend I made it to Friday Regular, Dokmarkt where Mr Nessascity and I ate delicious Pakistani and Indian food for 15 euros (yes, that was the bill for the two of us). at the Ballywood stand, which is definitely my recommendation if you are at Eilandje for Dokmarkt. They don’t serve beer, but have no problem with you bringing one from the guy serving beer on the stand just opposite.
Discobar Galaxie is this week’s “Free Friday” offering at OLT Rivierenhof, from 7pm.
Fans of street art should check out this Street Art Parcours. It’s one of the Part of Antwerp events (see above). Reserve your tickets for this guided walk here (€ 13).
Jazz fans should also head to the Eilandje area for Jazztemblieft 2019 -a free jazz festival on Goedfriduskaai taking place at two venues, from 2pm until midnight. See the fiull programme on the Facebook events page.
Head to Dageraadplaats (Zurenborg) for more second hand bargains at the Dageraad Rommelmarkt from 9am -6pm. If you’re newly arrived this summer this is a very nice square to discover.
Last chance to visit the Zomerbar: Zomer van Antwerpen wraps up this weekend.
Swan Market is another Antwerp regular, and it’s on Grote Markt this Sunday from 11am -6pm with the usual trendy stands offering clothing, accessories, jewellery, gifts and hand-made items, as well as food and drink and a kids’ area.
Shops are open, as per usual on the first Sunday of the month in Antwerp, for Sunday shopping.
It’s going to be really warm again, with top temperatures on Saturday (31 degrees) and then cooling off significantly on Sunday, when it will still be dry, but much milder.
Please read and share a special blog post which I pressed last Monday: it’s all about BATS VZW theatre society who are looking for a new home, and seeking local help to do so. Tickets to their last production (Agnes of God) in their current home on Paardenmarkt will go on sale very soon via their website.
For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breast cancer awareness and research).
There’s a few two-three day events this weekend, and if you are a food and drink lover (that’s a polite way of saying GLUTTON) it’s going to be a great (if expensive) weekend for you, as with a little planning you could eat and drink your way along the Schelde from Friday to Sunday (even from Thursday if you are already peckish).
Down on the Plantinkaai it’s Fiesta Europa – this is a fun mix of on-the-spot eating, drink ing and socialising, and a market with plenty of stands selling food products to take home: European products are central, so plenty in the way of great cheeses, meats, olives, honeys and tapenades. Food and drink stands a-plenty throughout means it’s a fun hang-out if the weather is good, especially since the event is always kid-friendly (yes, there is the obligatory bouncy castle!). Thanks to reader, Arwin, for reminding me about this event!
HAP Festival is another food festival, this one is more focussed on food trucks and hip street food. It’s on Steenplein and although can be pricey. It’s not kid-unfriendly, but Fiesta Europa is better if you have small people to consider.
And last, but by no means least, one of my absolutely favourite events of the year De Quaeye Werelt! In which the Rivierenhof is transformed into a bustling medieval community of traders, knights, noblemen and ladies, and artisans of every type. Re-enactors hold a noisy battle. It’s the historical element which makes this event so special
(it’s 1477) as well as the good natured, enthusiastic and friendly atmosphere created by everyone who takes part. There’s loads of cheap, hearty food and affordable drinks -if the weather is nice bring a picnic blanket and settle in for the day. The kids will love the battle, the puppet show and the costumes (but the littlest ones might want ear-defenders if they are near the battle, which is very loud indeed).
If you’re worried about what all this will do to your waistline, why not join Critical Mass for their monthly bike ride through the streets of Antwerp? Assemble at 6pm at Theaterplein, with your bike as usual. I expect Critical Mass will still be riding high on the buzz created by last weekend’s fantastic Critical Mass Belgium ride, and party at Park Spoor Noord, which is captured in this footage made by Critical Mass riders from Brussels who looked as though they enjoyed themselves here in Antwerp!
Aper’eau will be on Antwerp’s newest outdoor party place: Operaplein from 5pm to start the weekend with their usual blend of outdoor drinking, summer cocktails and DJs.
For a more local food experience, farmers’ market Kraakvers are in Borgerhout on the Vincottestraat from 10am-3pm.
Another healthy food option could be Vegan Vibes Picnic at Park Spoor Noord from 11am- 7pm. Food trucks and stands selling vegan only options – see the link for the exact location (it is near – but not right at – Bar Noord).
If you cannot eat another thing, maybe a browse round this vinyl market would suit you. It’s at Giraffenplein (behind of the zoo) and hosted by Vitesse Coffee & Cycling.
Finally a reminder that it’s Sunday Shopping in Antwerp, and the regular shops will be open too, in the main shopping areas of the city, like Meir, Nationalestraat Kammenstraat and Kloosterstraat.
A warm and dry (though sometimes cloudy) weekend is predicted, with possible top temps as high as 27 degrees (Sunday).
You may remember Daniel McBrearty from his fascinating guest post on Nessascityblog all about the Plantin Moretus museum. Daniel has launched a campaign in Belgium to persuade the supermarket chain Colruyt to reduce plastic packaging and single-use plastics in their stores. Please support the campaign! You can listen to him explain its reasoning in this short film, and the links to the campaign are here (in English), here (in het Nederlands) and here (en Francais).
It’s very nearly show time at BATS VZW don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual show via their website -this year’s extravanganza promises to be a riot of colour and fun.
Runners: you can now register for the Reuzenloop in Borgerhout (choose from runs of 4, 8 or 12 km; there is also a free kids’ run). This takes place on the 9th June: click on ‘schrijf hier in!’ to sign up.
If you’re a movie fan who can’t wait until next week for Critical Mass, head to the beautiful Roma theatre from 4pm -it will be transformed into a cinematic cyclists’ heaven for Bike-In-Cinema -this kicks off Critical Mass Belgium (see the link and find the Antwerp ride for Saturday.
For a more traditional Friday night activity, there this bar crawl in the Dam area. It’s free to join and around 6 bars will be visited -keep an eye on the Facebook event for details.
Regular ABC (antiques; Brocante; Curiosa) market is on at Den Beulebak from 11-5 on the pretty Sint-Nicolaasplaats in the university area.
Kraakvers Farmers’ Market (fresh and local artisanal products) is on at PAKT in the Groenekwartier from 10am-3pm (Regine Beerplein)
It’s the fourth annual Brasspartij – this is a fun event involving a “battle of the bands”. Vying for victory will be five Dutch and Belgian bands who will bring an upbeat New Orleans vibe to Harmoniepark. The bands will set off from various cafés and bars at 13.30 (see ‘de routes’ on the hyperlink if you want to stroll along with them)
There’s been a few serious running events shared on Nessascityblog lately, but the Sint Andries Run is definitely more of a ‘fun run’ and a family event in a real Antwerp neighbourhood. There are two kids’ runs, a 5k and a 10k. On Sint-Andriesplaats there will also be food and drink stands to cater for runners and supporters. The fun starts at 11am on Sint-Andriesplaats when you can register to join one of the runs, if you are not already signed up.
Hopefully there will be enough breeze on Sunday to lift the kites high above Linkeroever at this Vlieger Happening. Head to Park Middenvijver (corner of Blancefloerlaan/ A. Van Cauwelaertlaan) where amateurs and professionals can show their skills, as well as a variety of kid-friendly activities, food and drink stands and even a circus show – from 1pm-6pm.
Hurrah! It’s the first Lambermontmartre(pic left) of the season: Antwerp’s most relaxed and friendly art market, Lambermontmartre takes place in front of KMSKA on five Sundays over summer from midday until 5pm. It supports local artists in selling their work and is definitely a Nessascityblog recommend! There’s always a band; snacks and drinks for sale and some kid-friendly art activities too.
Good weather expected this weekend: generally bright and dry with top temperatures of 22-23 degrees!
The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) will be online from the 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in early for ticketed events that you are interested in.
29th May is the last Wednesday of the month, so you can visit Stad Antwerpen museums for free on that day.
Last week on Monday I published an extra post: meet Sylwia, a life coach from Poland who has lived in Antwerp since 1996.
And tickets are now on sale for the 2019 BATS Variety Show in June. This is a popular annual event, so get in early if you’d like to catch this fun show!
And here’s another option for theatre in English from Antwerp based theatre and impro group Mixed and United: Loads is a play written by Sebastian Badarau, and the last performance is on Saturday. It’s about student actors preparing a Chekhovian play and you can order tickets online here.
Friday It’s the last Friday of the months and it’s a special Critical Mass: it’s the sixth birthday of the Antwerp group. Assemble at 17.45 on Theaterplein (look out for The Hangover Bar).
Saturday JEF is an annual film festival for children and young people in Belgium, with events taking place in various locations across the country. There is of course, a JEF program in Antwerp featuring screenings, activities and workshops for all ages. Most of these take place in the Zuiderpershuis, with a few at the Ecohuis too. JEF runs from today until the 10th March and is well worth looking at if you have kids to entertain during the Spring half-term break (“Krokusvakantie”).
Now that the weather is cheering up, why not head to Plein Publiek and check out the upcoming Circulair Zuid area? There’s a Revive closet sale at Plein Publiek (now at D’Herbouvillekaai 19, 2000) from 10am -4am.
The seed library at the Ecohuis re-opens today, and is a great idea for green-fingered people and gardeners in the city: borrow seeds, and bring back more seeds from your own harvest. Open from 1- 4pm; this is a good time to go along and learn about the work (advice, exhibitions, workshops) of the Ecohuis if you do not already know it (the cafe is really nice too!)
It’s Dag Van De Academies; celebrating the work of those who attend arts academies and follow courses on a part-time basis, with a number of activities, performances and exhibitions in the Antwerp area, including an art trail for children (5-15), starting at Meechelseplein (by the Willem Elsschot statue) at 11am.
Finish your Saturday at BATS Theatre on Paardenmarkt, for a show (in English) from energetic impro group Swaajp, starting at 8pm (and this week hosting “de Boterbrigade“). Tickets here.
Cyclists – it’s the Noordkasteel Cross. It’s 10 euros to take part and forms part of the Ronde van District Antwerpen. Register via the email on the link. Men and women ages 15- 95 may take part.
Temperatures will be mild (13- 14 degrees) cooling off on a Sunday to around 10 degrees. It should be a dry weekend, with some sunshine.
The last Wednesday of the month means free city museums in Antwerp.
… and if that doesn’t provide you with enough cultural enrichment, why not check out this musical event in Merksem (also on Wednesday) which I head about this week, and includes a beautiful classical music set based on dance and fantasy. The second part of the evening there will be a guitar & piano duo playing chansons.
The event (pic right) is free entrance and if you would like a meal before the concert starts, there will be a Volxkeuken providing dinner for just €6.
Next month is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.
Are you, or do you know, a young person who has taken part in the Climate Marches recently? If so, he/ she can get a 20% discount on any purchases from any of Antwerp’s eight second hand stores. To get the discount -show a selfie of yourself on the march. It’s available until the 8th March.
It’s a great weekend for shoppers; if you are not keen on shopping now is the time to escape from it all at the main summer bar of Zomer van Antwerp which is now open (every day from 14h) until the 2nd September, by the Schelde on Sloepenweg.
Costa Sint Andries are holding Pleinfestijn at 3.30 pm to launch a program of sport activities taking place on the square until 16th August. There will be yoga, salsa, zumba, basketball and sport for kids, showcased for free to take part in, alongside information about future classes and activities.
Critical Mass hold a holiday edition of their monthly bike ride, assembling as usual on Theaterplein at 6pm. Bring a snack and/ or sandwiches with you (as well as your bike, of course) as after an hour’s leisurely cycling, the ride will finish at Park Spoor Noord for a picnic.
If you are a parent or carer for children aged 6-12, you may be familiar with the kids’ workshops and activities which have been held at Cafe Het Steen (my kids have all enjoyed spending time there over the years). These have moved to a new venue further along the river on the Drogendokkenweg, which is opening today (festivities will also continue on Sunday) and is called STORMKOP. A program of events for children aged 6-12 (similar to activities which previously took place at Het Steen) will get underway this summer.
…. after which you could head to London Calling at Magiq Spiegeltent for free! starts at 10pm.
…shopping continues, as it’s first Sunday of the month, so Antwerp is open for Shopping Sunday, round the centre of town (Meir, Stadsfeestzaal) but if you want to get away from the busiest areas to something a little more relaxed and local, head for the shops and cafés on the lovely Kloosterstraat.
Swan Market (jewellery, food trucks, live music, clothes, accessories, stationery) is on Groote Markt from 11am – 6pm
Nessascityblog got a lovely new header pic this weekend to coincide with the publication of a special post about Sonny Dhanowa of Casa de Sonny -if you haven’t seen it take a look, and get in touch via email@example.com to share your own Antwerp story.
Thanks to Critical Mass, London Calling & Stormkop for additional images.
HERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY TO ALL THE EVENTS MENTIONED IN THIS POST …
All weekend on the kaaien you can enjoy Vakantie op ‘t Zuid which continues on into next week, to take in the 1st May holiday. This is a fun kiddie- friendly event with lots of great local products for sale and a wide variety of food and drink. It starts this Friday at 1pm and remains open until 10pm. On all other days it’s open from 10am -9pm. We really enjoyed this event last year and went more than once. The food (especially the Asian food) was very reasonably priced.
On the last Friday of the month it’s always Critical Mass: as usual assemble at 6pm on Theaterplein for an hour’s riding en masse through the city. This month with a bike to work theme.
It’s the Mercado Food Market closing weekend. The Food Hall will be closing temporarily. There will be music and food on both Friday (from 8.30pm) and Saturday (from 9)night
PARK Festival is a festival of music, food and art which focuses on young artists in the community. It takes place on Baron Joostensstraat from midday until 11pm. This is followed by an afterparty at Ampere. The day festival is free, but the afterparty is ticketed (see link).
It is the monthly ABC (Antiques, Books, Curiosa) Markt at den Beulebak from 11am -5pm.
Shops in Grand Bazar are open today from 12 -18h due to the re-opening of the Mango store.
Temperatures this weekend are expected to be pleasant (16-17 degrees) but not as hot as last weekend. Sunday may bring some showers or a summer storm.
I’m pleased to share this blog post: Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published this week on the Stad Antwerpen website and optimistically describes three places in the city you might want to check out if the weather holds out …
From 27th April- 6th May its Amateur Arts Week (Week Van De Amateurkunsten). Search the link for events in your area.
Tuesday 1st May is a public holiday (Labour Day). There are “feestmarkten” on Theaterplein and at Park Spoor Noord (Goegekregen) as well as the annual May Day parade from Leopold de Waalplaats, through the old town) concluding at Grote Markt, where there will be food, music and kids entertainment.
Open- air pool De Molen is now open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from midday until 6pm.
Find & Follow Nessascityblog
Find Nessascityblog on social media, where additional events and activities are also posted
I’m looking forward to tasting festival MEUG this weekend. It’s on both on Friday and Saturday at the Zuiderpershuis. I went last year with friends and we had a good time. It works really well in this spacious and airy venue and the atmosphere was friendly and laid-back, with a wide variety of stands to please both beer and whiskey enthusiasts. At time of writing, there are still tickets available.
Also over both days at Kinepolis, The 2018 International Minerals, Precious Stones and Fossils Expo.
For this post, I’m doing something a little different by giving it a market focus, so there is an Antwerp Market on each of the three days below. I’ve chosen a different one for each day.
The Vrijdag Markt (Friday Market) takes place -unsurprisingly -on Fridays, and on the Vrijdagmarkt, a small square that you can get to by turning off either Reyndersstraat, Kammenstraat or Hoogstraat in the old town. You can find various types of jumble and bric-a-brac at this small weekly market. This square is not so well known to tourists, even though it is right by the Historic Centre. If you are on Vrijdagmarkt, it’s a good opportunity to hang out at any of the small bars which surround the square or to visit the Plantin Moretus museum.
Critical Mass are extending the Valentine love to this Friday. Their monthly bike ride will have a romantic theme: show your love for Antwerp and for cycling freely and safely in the city by showing up as usual at 6pm with your bike for an evening 8km bike ride, starting and ending at Theaterplein.
If you like stories of phantoms, spirits and things that go bump in the night, you will be pleased to learn that Antwerp Ghost Walks have some tours coming up in English, including this one today: meet at the Lange Wapper statue (Steenplein) at 8pm. Cost: E12.50 pp.
Antwerp’s largest weekly market(pic above) takes place on Theaterplein every Saturday. It is a regular fixture in the agendas of many locals. It’s a lot more than a place to pick up your weekly fruit and veg (although its great for that too!) as it is also a spot where locals stop and socialise and meet friends. Since the “roof” was installed on Theaterplein in 2008, rain no longer spoils the market experience. The food stands are hugely varied: Greek, Moroccan, Spanish, Italian… You can pick up fantastic cheeses, spices, fresh pasta tapenades and breads to take home, but should also take time to stop to enjoy oysters & cava, coffees and teas, mini- waffles, wraps or tapas at any of the stalls which have seating and standing areas. If you prefer to sit inside, there are some many bars and cafés all round Theaterplein: my favourites are Belgian Wines (great wine and cheese -all from Belgium), Nellies (coffee, ice cream, shakes and hopefully they still do that tasty poached egg and avocado toast) and Fabrik, a bistro-style bar/ restaurant which also often has live music on Friday night if you find yourself still in the area,
The ABC Market (Antiques, Books & Bricabrac, Curiosa) takes place on the last Saturday of the month. It’s mainly -but not solely – about the books, and takes place in a pretty courtyard (pic right, from Google streetview) towards the university district.
Gardeners and growers: the Ecohuis “Seed Library” is re-opening. You can take seeds to plant yourself, and are requested to bring seeds back in from your own harvest, to contribute to the library. From 1pm- 5pm.
Another well established Antwerp market is the Sint Jansvliet Sunday market offering bric-a-brac, small antiques, second hand homeware, jewellery, curiosa and glassware. Again it is located in a square surrounded by bars, but it’s also right in front of Antwerp’s voetgangers tunnel (the square building on the Schelde side of Sint Jansvliet) The Pedestrian Tunnel goes under the river and is for those travelling by foot or by bike. If you haven’t been down there, you should take a look and cross over to Linkeroever on the other side of the river.
Temperatures are cooler than last weekend, but it should remain dry, and there will be some periods of sunshine.
There’s a lot on this weekend so don’t let November blues keep you in -here’s your GOOGLE MAP with the locations mentioned in this post.
Over Saturday (10am -6pm) and Sunday (10am -5pm)it’s Brickmania at Waagnatie- an absolute must for Lego fans. We’ve been to this in the past and always had a good time, even though it can get really busy. It’s 5 euros in (free for kids under 6) and some of the Lego constructions are just amazing. There are all sorts of beautiful scenes and building recreated in Lego, as well as mechanised constructions with moving parts, as well as Disney and film characters in Lego. It’s also a chance to buy for Sinterklaas or Christmas, for the Lego-lovers in your life.
Also over the whole weekend is the annual stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis -De Markies book sale is free entry, and also a good tip for reduced books if you need to buy gifts for a reader. Most books are in Dutch, with some (e.g. non-fiction, art) in English, and there is usually a good range of kids’ books for your younger readers in Dutch. Doors open at midday.
It’s Black Friday in Antwerp. More than that I do not know and am not prepared to research, as anything that I have ever seen that is to do with Black Friday looks absolutely terrifying. Late night shopping on Kloosterstraat (many shops open until 22h) might be a lot less stressful.
Critical Mass has an important safety theme this month as recent cyclist casualties need to be kept in the spotlight of current traffic safety debates in Antwerp. Assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm -the theme is ‘light in the darkness‘, emphasising the importance for cyclists to be seen, and bikes to be lit -especially at this time of year, so wear your fluo and put your brightest bike lights on.
Antwerp’s Mission to Seafarers holds its yearly Christmas Bazar this year on the Noorderlaan for the first time. Head to the Antwerp Harbour Hotel if you would like some British Christmas cards, festive foods and other Christmas goodies this year.
Markies Bookmarket & Brickmania continue (see above)
Across Brussels and Flanders it’s Dag van de Wetenschap (Science Day) with lots of free and fascinating events in and around Antwerp. Last year, we spent most of the day in Kavka where they learnt about robots, had a go at taking blood and learned about bacteria on hands, but there are lots of other activities for kids and adults across the city.
In The Roma Theatre there’s a kids’ rommelmarkt -everything for kids: toys, games, books and clothes. The stands are also run by kids, and it’s just 1 euro in (50cts for children).
Markies Bookmarket & Brickmania continue (see above)
The weather continues to be typically Novemberish -quite cold with slight chance of showers throughout the weekend.
If you are looking for times to take your child/ren to see Sinterklaas, he is around at the following central locations over the coming days:
Shops will be open on Sundays throughout December in Antwerp.
If you have younger kids, they may like to write a letter to Sinterklaas. This is organised each year by Bpost. Post the letter(s) in special Sint letterboxes (there’s one in the Quellinstraat post office) before 29th November. Don’t forget to ensure that the child’s name and home address is clearly written on the outside of the envelope, so that the child can receive a letter back and a surprise from the Sint. You do not need a stamp. If your child doesn’t write, you can send a Babbel Brief!
If you are new to this tradition, be aware that it takes place on the 6th December and is VERY important to the children of Belgium. You can read about it here.
I was recently contacted by Sandra from Colectivo Amorika. This is a group which offers cultural and arts activities for Spanish speaking families in Antwerp, as well as conversation lessons for intermediate and advanced non-native speakers. They are based in Borgerhout and you can see their program below
De Collectie is a means by which you can give away your second hand clothing, shoes, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, hats) and bedding if they are in good condition. They will be passed to people who need them in Belgium and abroad. You can arrange to have them picked up or can bring them to a collection point. Very handy if you are planning a clear out before the festive season. You can find more information about how this works in Antwerp on De Collectie Antwerpen site.
If you haven’t done so yet, have a read of this recently pressed guest post by Laura, the creator of the lovely Nonnative Antwerp blog, and do get in touch if you would like to contribute your own Antwerp story.
Plein Publiek celebrates two years at the Fierensblokken this weekend. There’s also a fair amount of Hallowe’en events on, although Hallowe’en itself falls on Tuesday.
One option for some Hallowe’en entertainment would be the BATS production of Dracula. Tickets for the 31st are sold out but there are still some left for the 28th, 29th & 30th. I have already heard very positive reviews of this production!
Critical Mass takes place as usual for the last Friday of the month, and this is a special edition for children and young cyclists. Be aware that this route will, however, comprise three sites where cyclists have been killed in accidents lately in Antwerp, so that flowers can be laid at these places. If you’re a cyclist, do be especially careful as the weather gets darker, and especially at crossings (all the recent fatalities occurred at crossings).
The Antwerp Fire Services celebrate their 200th birthday with an open door day at their main depot on Noorderlaan, between 9.30 am- 5pm. Ideal for a visit if you have a child who aspires to be a fire-fighter.
It’s the legendary An Sibhin Hallowe’en Quiz! General knowledge quiz in fancy dress, in English. Teams of max. 5 players – 5€ per person entry. The quiz starts at 8pm.
Reserve your team by messaging the An Sibhin Facebook page or in person at the bar.
There is a free Dia de los Muertos event at MAS museum from 3pm on the 8th floor. It is suggested that visitors bring a photo or object that evokes the memory of a lost loved one. There’s music, and a free visit to the expo on the 8th floor, as well as some activities for children.
The weather this weekend is likely to be mixed with showers (particularly on Sunday) and maximum temperatures of around 15 degrees. Miscellaneous
Wednesday 1st November is a public holiday (All Saints) and there will be a Goegekregen Rommelmarkt all day (9am- 6pm) on Theaterplein.
On MONDAY 30th Oct: I’m looking forward to pressing another guest post – this time from Laura, an Italian who lives in Antwerp and is the the writer of Nonnative blog
Don’t forget to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to write a post telling your Antwerp story.
For kids: you may be pleased to know that the indoor playground above Mercado (Groenplaats) has re-opened. It will be open on Saturdays and Sundays (and during school holidays) from 10am- 6pm and on Wednesdays from 1pm -6pm.
Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:
It’s a busy weekend to finish the month of August, and before Belgian schools go back at the start of September. Here’s your GOOGLE MAP!
The Mechelsepleinfeesten take place on both theFriday and Saturday this weekend. This is a kid-friendly neighbourhood event, offering music, food, drinks and dance. The full list of events and happenings can be found on the event page on Facebook. On Friday it starts at 4pm.
Critical Mass holds their usually monthly cycle ride, starting from the Theaterplein at 6pm, so assemble then with your bike for this month’s Africa editionof the bike ride.
Also on Friday, Aper’eau is on Bolivarplaats from 5pm, with their usual offering of beers, wines and aperitifs – until midnight.
The Mechelsepleinfeesten continue -again, from 4pm.
Jazztemblieft is a free Jazz festival taking place on the Godefrieduskaai, at the MAS museum, starting at 2 and continuing until midnight. It’s free and kid-friendly.
You may have noticed some red, white and blue flags hanging on Meir -these are for Cultuurmarkt which takes place in Antwerp today, in various locations around the city centre. There is a very varied and wide program for this day, including many exhibitions at city museums (most of which are open from 10 -5pm) as are other venues, including bars, theatres and businesses. Groenplaats, Meir, Grote Markt, Steenplein, Suikerrui and Wapper will all be busy with cultural activities, free performances and information. Check the Google map which indicates which arts area you can find out about at each of these locations. It is a chance to find out about the upcoming agendas of a huge number of musea, clubs, societies, theatres, music venues and organisations offering creative activities and performances in the coming months. There’s usually a lot to keep kids amused, including a trail to follow called Vliegroute -go to the hyperlink to download the card, which kids can get stamped as they go along, and eventually win a prize when they have collected stamps from completing fun activities.
Also for kids – Bar Noord is offering this free cooking workshop at 3pm for budding chefs aged 6-12. Mail email@example.com to register your child.
Lambermontmartre will be holding their monthly art fair from midday, at Leopold de Waelplaats (near the Fine Art Museum) from midday, also with live music and food.
Yoyogi (part of ZvA) is back for Sundays in August -not just yoga, but music, games, workshops and other activities are on offer for free between 2- 7pm on the green at Rivierenhof.
The weather should be warm, and sometimes sunny with top temperatures of 24 – 25 degrees.
Wednesday 30th: don’t forget that on the last Wednesday of the month there is free museum entry.
Runners! You can register now for Race For The Cure which is a 6km run taking place on 24th September, in aid of Breast Cancer research and awareness.
Sportopia (Park Spoor Noord, in the Loods building) finishes this weekend (on the 27th)
Don’t forget to find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:
This post covers the next month while I am on holiday (even bloggers need a break from time to time). The first section lists some ongoing activities, whilst the second section lists specific activities and events by date.
I’ll be back at the start of August -if you feel so inclined you can follow my #nessascityblogUSA adventures on Instagram
In the meantime, here are some Antwerp highlights which I am sorry to be missing …
During or throughout July
The most useful thing to know is the Zomer van Antwerpen website, which lists all the special summer events provided by the City of Antwerp, including theatre performances, summer bars, live music and Cinema Urbana (outdoor cinema venue next to The Schelde, opens in August). You can also buy tickets for those events which are not free, but many are, as is access to the summer bars of course. Zomerfabriek has a bit more of a clubby vibe to it, while the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg has a very broad appeal, and is probably better for younger kids -there’s a playground as well as an outdoor library there. Muziek in de Wijk is pretty much as the name (Music in the Neighbourhood) suggests -stages with live music on local squares or parks, and is free. Again, these are very much occasions for all ages and there are refreshments available. It’s a good chance to hear some local bands. Other summer bars which I really like are Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord and Smokey Jo’s Cantina -both kid-friendly, also Bar Paniek right next to the water on the Kattendijkdok.
Another special program of summer performances and music can be found at the Openlucht Theater (OLT) at Rivierenhof (Open Air Theatre) which is a really nice place to see a band on a summer’s evening. Order tickets via the site (some sell out quickly and more well known performers are already sold out) but there are also free shows on Fridays (search for Gratis Vrijdagen) .
For kids up to the age of 13, there is Speel-O-Rama in the Zuiderpershuis every week day for 2 euros per kid (17th July -11th August)
During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).
Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city. Last year, my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.
A grab-bag of events in order of date…
Saturday July 1st You can join a ghostwalk for 7,50, starting at 7pm from Steen
Sunday 2nd July:Goegekregen in the Stadspark these are always big and very sociable. There’s pretty much nothing you can’t get on the cheap here -including- usually – a haircut.
Sunday 2nd July: First Sunday of the month means Sunday shopping in Antwerp
Tuesday 11th July:Vlaanderen Feest Dag celebrating Flanders and the Flemish Community –check here for the program in Antwerp (note that there are also events in the days running up to the 11th of July itself). There are kids shows on Groenplaats from midday until 6pm (Studio 100). The Feest Dag finishes on Grotemarkt with a party at night from 7.30.
Sunday 16th July: Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am -6pm (accessories, food, music, clothes, jewellery, interiors) and Boekenplein (second hand books & graphic novels) is on de Coninckplein in front of the library from 10am.
Friday July 21st: Re:set fleamarket at Het Eiland from 11am -5.30. Last time I went to Het Eiland it was a little quiet in terms of the stands (I guess some stand holders are on their summer holidays) but even so, it is worth going to Het Eiland to see the location. A relaxed bar with a great view of MAS. This is a pop-up in the Port of Antwerp old harbour building.
and a (free) Roller Disco on Dageraadplaats from 11am -10pm, with food, music, yoga and art installations.
Wednesday July 26th -City of Antwerp museums are FREE on the last Wednesday of the month
If the activity and heat of summer in the city get a bit much, did you know that Antwerp has a Botanical Garden? It’s a haven of green and peace. Sit on the lawns or benches, or wander through to the back and find De Serre
And so …
Enjoy July in beautiful Antwerp! I hope this post serves as a useful pick ‘n’ mix for the time that there are no weekly posts. Feel free to add comments & ideas in the below. See y’all in August!
And please don’t forget that I am still looking for guest posts -if you have some free time over the holiday period, you might like to think about telling YOUR Antwerp story on Nessascityblog. Don’t forget to find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted: