I am away in London (follow #nessascityblogLondon for pics if you are interested) at the moment, so it’s just a mini-post this week.
It’s Antwerp Fashion Weekend 2019 ! The city that brought the world The Antwerp Six enjoys a full weekend of fashion shows and catwalks at various locations around the city, in-store events and offers, a fashion run, evening shopping and a Fashion Sweep on Kammenstraat – this last one to be particularly recommended for lovers of secondhand fashion and given that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Bring your clean, pre-loved clothing to Kammenstraat and get the change to go home with a new-to-you piece, or pieces.
A fortnight of culinary treats and events opens on Saturday: it’s Smaakmeesters 2019 but if you’re only here for the beer this weekend then Modeste Beer Festival at de Konninck Brewery on Saturday and Sunday is for you
Over at Rivierenhof, on Sunday it’s the annual Ecodroom Event – from 1pm -6pm, featuring a fleamarket, stalls and a repair café.
This animal festival (also on Sunday) called Beestig! (beastly) will please all animal lovers, and offers lots of child and family friendly activities.
Shops are open on Sunday -coinciding with Fashion Weekend.
The weather may continue to feel autumnal, with top temperatures (18 degrees) on Saturday, which should also be dry.Some showers on Sunday.
It’s Antwerp Art Weekend over the whole weekend. Galleries -both large and small- around the city open their doors to spotlight and celebrate contemporary art. Over 80 venues are participating and you can find a list of them here. This is the fifth edition of Antwerp Art Weekend.
Friday evening should be dry and mild, so here’s three possible options for starting the weekend with a few outdoors drinks:
Sun-lovers will be pleased to know that another summer bar is opening for the season. Sommar under Hangar 27 (near Eilandje) opens at 5pm.
And regular Dokmarkt is on Napoleonkaai (Eilandje). If you’re out the office early that starts at 3pm and combines music, outdoor drinks with stands which sell a variety of quality, small-batch products from local businesses. Saturday
For kids: encourage your smallest ones to begin enjoy books and reading at Bib Festival Voor Kleintjes: read aloud, creative fun, workshops and activities based around books, stories and reading for babies and toddlers from
On Sint Jansplein there’s the regular mega grote openlucht rommelmarkt (huge second hand market) from 10am -6pm
And at Plein Publiek it’s the revive market from 10am- 4pm, which is a classy closet sale of vintage and sustainable fashion, where there’s also a bar, and bites available. NB: most stands are cash only
Why not jump on your bike and head to Park Spoor Oost for Festa Primavera? Music and food from 5pm. It’s free but the buffet costs 15e (8e for kids) and it’s advisable to reserve via email@example.com
On the other side of the water, you can also enjoy festival feelz at Left Festival on Linkeroever: food, music, games and a rommelmarkt from 10am until midnight. This event is free, kid-friendly and takes place on Thonetlaan 133, 2050 Antwerpen
Goegekregen are in Park Spoor Noord from 9am with their usual vast array of second hand good, antiques, curiosa, vinyl and second hand & vintage fashion.
Bouger Bouger is a nice neighbourhood party on Krugerplein in Borgerhout from 10am -5pm and features music, food and again, a second hand market.
Openwervendag gives members of the public the chance to go and see building projects which are currently underway in various regions. Here are the sites which will be open in the Antwerp area.
A Piano Marathon will take place alongside the usual second-hand book market on de Conninckplein today from 10am-4pm
And if that isn’t enough secondhand eco-friendly goodness for you, head to nightspot Ampere and get your vintage fashion by the kilo from 10am -6pm.
The weather should continue to be pleasant (20-21 degrees over Saturday and Sunday) with the possibility of a bit of stormy weather on Sunday afternoon.
Pint of Science is coming to Antwerp to explain some cutting-edge scientific ideas and developments, and some of their presentations and discussions will be in English. Here is their program for Antwerp venues – events take place next week from 20th- 22nd May in bars around Antwerp.
This week on Monday I published an extra post: meet Sylwia, a life coach from Poland who has lived in Antwerp since 1996.
And tickets go 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. It’s about student actors preparing a Chekhovian play and you can order tickets online here.
Also over both Saturday and Sunday: the Antwerp Tattoo Convention at Waagnatie, where tattooist from Belgium and beyond show off their latest works and styles.
Good times! Summer must be in the air when Bar Noord opens its doors for the season, which it does this weekend, from Friday at 4pm … with DJs, VJs, cocktails, fire show, dancing and an open kitchen.
If you prefer something a little darker, then Antwerp Ghostwalk (pic left) are offering one of their spooky tours in English this evening, starting at 8.30pm at Steen (by the statue of Lange Wapper). Reservations via this link; pay (cash) on the tour.
Before the pros take to the road on Sunday, the We Ride Flanders event will showcase the route on Saturday with keen, super-fit amateur cyclists racing enjoying the thrill of racing along the route that will be followed by the elite cyclists the following day. There are four races of differing lengths but the longest starts in Antwerp: an early start for this race- the starting gun will be fired between 7am and 8am on the Ernest van Dijkkaai (near Het Steen).
A fun part of the Antwerp Fashion Weekend are the catwalk shows with take places regularly on the important shopping streets of Antwerp: Meir, Wilde Zee and Nationalestraat and also at The Fashion Exchange (see schedule right).
New this year as part of AFW will be the Fashion Sweep clothing swap on Kammenstraat -bring your clothes to exchange; make a donation to Kamiano- who work with the homeless in Antwerp- and take home a new-to-you, pre-loved piece.
Over at Stormkop you can help out with a clean-up on the banks of the Schelde. Explanation in English and sign-up doc can be found here.
Today is Slow Art Day.MUHKA is marking the occasion with two tours (at 14h and 17h) and a workshop (at 15h).
The pros ride on Sunday: there will be a fan village on Groenplaats from 10am (including a big screen where you can follow the action once the race has departed Antwerp) and a stage on Grote Markt where the sporting slebs will mingle with the autograph hunters, and you can snap a selfie on the podium (see insta pic below).
New this year is the VeloFoor on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken, featuring stunt bikes, a parcours for kids and other fun biking activities to test your skills.
If you have an eye on summer already, you may wish to know that the Open Air Theatre (OLT) in Rivierenhof has finalised its program which you can see here. Tickets go quickly for the popular acts so get in early.
Similarly, Zomer van Antwerpen are getting ready for 2019 and they’re hiring. If you’d like a summer job with them, see their ‘vacatures’.
There is so much on all of a sudden -Zomer van Antwerp has not yet officially started, but the sun should be shining this weekend and it is starting to feel like Antwerp is getting its summer on, so here is your GOOGLE MAP so you can catch some rays at all the locations mentioned in this post …
Diamond museum DIVA holds its grand opening weekend, starting Friday. If you have not been able to book one of the hour long slots, you might still want to swing by Suikerrui “and join in the festivities”
Until 6th May (Sunday) its Amateur Arts Week (Week Van De Amateurkunsten). Search the link for events in your area.
And it’s Belmodo Fashion Days , also until the 6th (Sunday). These are fashion and designer stocks sales taking place at participating outlets (listed on the Belmodo site). A chance to grab a designer bargain or pick up something unique from a local or Belgian designer …
Abelone Wilhelmsen (right) is a local designer based in Borgerhout, taking part in Belmodo Fashion Days.
Hungry? Picnic on Theaterplein between midday and 2pm. Organised by Broederlijke Delen and Oxfam Wereldwinkels, bring your own food and don’t waste what you have: the purpose is to raise awareness of food waste.
Antwerp locals will be familiar with Aper’eau, providers of alfresco summer drinks, music and food. On Friday from 5pm they begin their season with the summer kick-off event on Grote Markt
Shout out to our favourite international school, who hold their unmissable International Day event just once every two years, making it extra special (particularly as this year is the 50th anniversary of the school). Experience the countries and cultures that make up this diverse learning community of young people, families and staff, as they showcase food, activities, performances and music from around the world, from 10am -5pm on the school’s campus in Ekeren.
It’s Dag van de Gever in Antwerp’s second-hand stores, so a good time to make space and take down unwanted goods which are in good condition to one of the “Kringloopwinkels” in the city. Get a free potplant, and the chance to win a weekend away. There are 8 shops in the Antwerp area: Abdijstraat 104, 2020 Antwerpen-Kiel; Bredabaan 397, 2170 Merksem; Kapelsestraat 237, 2950 Kapellen; Kroonstraat 166, 2140 Borgerhout; Sint-Jorispoort 29, 2000 Antwerpen; Venstraat 153 b, 2900 Schoten; Vosstraat 305, 2100 Deurne and Bredabaan 651, 2930 Brasschaat
A choice of street parties back in town: it’s the Marnix Feest (pic below left) on Marnixplaats from 2pm, where there will be a street party, complete with kids’ entertainment, music, food and drinks until 10pm or the Twintig Achtien free festival (pic below right, courtesy of Twintig Achtien) along the Konijnenwei from 13.30.
It’s the first Sunday of the month, so … Sunday shopping in and around the city centre.
Go and discover creative Berchem at the Made In Berchem and learn why it is becoming a hotspot for innovative and artistic ventures taking place in these locations around the district. Map and brochure to download here.
Open Werven Dag opens up construction and development sites in and around Antwerp to the public. This is more interesting than it might sound (if you are someone who is often frustrated by the amount of construction which seems to take place around the city, you might feel averse to visiting an actual construction site). Last year, we went on a cool below-ground tour of the Noorderlijn works. This year, I’m thinking of seeing this building.
It’s to be a weekend of sunshine, with increasingly warmer temperatures – getting up to 23 degrees on Sunday!
I’m pleased to share this blog post: Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published last 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 …
Open- air swimming pool De Molen is now open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from midday until 6pm.
HERE IS THE GOOGLE MAP WITH THE LOCATIONS FOR THIS POST
Fashionistas will want to head down to Antwerp’s Fashion Museum on Nationalestraat where they are having a stock sale on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend from 10am. Up for grabs will be DVDs, books, mannequins, posters and postcards from previous exhibitions at MOMU on Nationalestraat.
Today is Slow Art Day -an annual international art event; the idea being that you take time to look at a selection of pieces for 10 minutes, and then discuss them. In Antwerp, The Red Star Line Museum, St Paulus Kerk, MuHKA and FOMU will be taking part. Click on the links of participating venues here.
It’s the third Sunday of the month so it’s boekenplein from 10am on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke library -browse second hand books, magazines, graphic novels and old picture postcards until 4pm
MoMu stocksale continues (see above)
There is a plant market for gardeners and other green-fingered individuals on Klooster Straat (on the same square by the Peter the Great statue, where they hold Markt van Morgen) from 10 am until 5pm.
If the kids need one more Easter activity before returning to school after the break, there is an Easter Egg Hunt on Paradeplein from 11 -3pm.
Next Wednesday (18th April) it’s Buitenspeeldag (‘Play Outside Day’). Buitenspeeldag encourages children to play outside all afternoon (and no homework should be given!). Various activities and toys are provided in different locations: last year I took my kids to the reading garden (‘leestuin’) at the Permeke Library. You can search here for particpating venues in the Antwerp area.
If you are a runner, you can still register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on the 22nd April. If ten miles is a bit too far for you then I can recommend The Race For The Cure which is now open for individual and team registrations. My son and I did this last year – it was a lovely event down on the Kaaien, and a great cause.
The weather should be nice again this weekend -quite warm and dry, with top temperatures around 21 degrees. It is also predicted to be good next week (for buitenspeeldag on Wednesday).
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An Sibhin -one of Antwerp’s best loved Irish pubs -celebrates its 20th birthday with festivities over both Saturday (party from 8pm with live music, a free barrel & snacks) and Sunday (the comedy cure: stand-up at with Antwerp’s Nigel Williams & guests).
Antwerp Book Fair continues. This is an annual, ticketed event which takes place at Antwerp Expo until Sunday. It’s a huge event with books and comics of every type, as well as additional events such as authors appearances and book signing sessions.
Also over both Saturday and Sunday (and next weekend too) it’s Eco Builders 2017 -this is an event for you if you have a home-project underway or are planning one: sign up for tours around project homes (both new-build and restorations) to get ideas about how it is done in an eco-friendly and energy-efficient way.
Belmodo Fashion Days takes place until Sunday -stock sales of designer pieces at various Antwerp fashion stores.
The Jazz & Blues Kroegentocht takes place in nine bars around the old town -all within walking distance of one another, and located close to the Grote Markt. From 9.30pm, this event is free. Please note that I have putt ALL NINE of them on the Google map for you AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE JAZZ.
Band 110 are playing Papa Jos bar in the student area -see this improvisational electro-rock trio for free at 8pm.
Find Markt van Morgen on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm … ideal for early Christmas shoppers.
It is -helaas! -once again likely to be cloudy with showers this weekend.
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.
ART: Continuing this weekend on Saturday and on Sunday is Open Ateliers which offers the opportunity to see artists and their work in the context of their own workshops and ateliers. On the OA website, you can select the medium which most interests you and pick which ateliers and art spaces you would like to see, or you can head to Zuiderperhuis between 11am and 6pm (on both Saturday and Sunday) for an overview of the whole event.
FOOD: Also over both days it’s food fest Smaakmeesters: tastings, walks and workshops at various locations round the city. The four key locations are Groenplaats, Leopold de Waelplaats, Nassaustraat and Vrijdagmarkt, with programmes for Saturday and Sunday.
BEER: If beer is more your cup of tea. then the Modeste Beer Festival is on over at the de Koninck Brewery from 11am -7pm. I like this one -many different beers, not too pricey and a very informal atmosphere. If the weather is nice, there’s space to hang out outside too.
This week’s “and now for something slightly different” spot is occupied by this vernissage at MAF from 7.30pm (Keistraat 1, 2000 Antwerp). I have to admit a certain bias here: I own a large trunk painted by Djuna, and although it is assigned the inglorious function of containing my dirty laundry, it is very beautiful.
The last Friday of the month means Critical Mass: assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm as usual -it’s the back-to-college edition, but everyone is welcome, as ever.
Or you could go and get your household items (PCs, electrical goods, furniture or sewing work) fixed for free at The Repair Café, ‘Twerkhuys, Borgerhout between 4 and 7pm.
There’s a food fest on Jezusstraat (off Meir) from 10am -10pm to coincide with the Antwerp Fashion Weekend, while Grand Bazar shopping centre has a surprise offer for their Dag van de Klant between 10am- 6.30pm.
It’s the first Sunday of the month, so Antwerp shops are open for continued enjoyment of AFW, and general shopping.
A dry, mild weekend is forecast with some sun and temperatures of around 16 degrees. Friday afternoon/ evening will be warmest, and might be the best time for one more “terasje”…
Don’t forget to find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:
Zomer van Antwerpen finishes this weekend, so it’s your last chance to enjoy the ZvA summer bar (Sloepenweg) which closes on Sunday….
But there’s a lot still going on -September is busy and fun in Antwerp. Here’s your very own GOOGLE MAP to help you find your way this weekend.
Mark the liberation of Antwerp on Groenplaats at the Bal van de Bevrijding from 6pm (free): dancing, workshops, DJs and lots of retro music including a big band.
Flying Pig will be offering food, drink and music on Theaterplein from 5pm.
If you enjoyed the Cultuurmarkt last weekend you may have happened upon theater company BATS (British & American Theatrical Society) on the Groenplaats, offering information about their upcoming program (which includes Dracula next month). After a summer break, BATS begin their monthly open evenings once again at The Little Theatre (Paardenmarkt 111, first Friday of the month, from 8.30pm), where they open their doors (and their friendly, bijoux bar area) to anyone who would like to inform themselves about getting involved on stage or behind the scenes.
Also on both days is this Food Fest on Sint Andriesplaats, with food truck, kids playground, cocktails and a design market (Ieder Zenne Meug).
And on another popular neighbourhood square (Sint Jansplein), it’s the annual free festival Klassiek in de Stad. It starts at 8.30pm with ballet highlights and continues on Sunday with free orchestral and operatic performances.
Sunday shopping, as Antwerp Fashion Festival continues….
Sunday snacking, as Food Fest continues (from midday) …
Sunday music, as Klassiek in de Stad continues (from 11.30am).
… Or browse Markt van Morgen on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm -gifts, clothes, accessories, home interior items, jewellery -all made by local creatives and small businesses.
The weather looks OK, but temperatures falling off a bit from last weekend with top temperatures of around 20 degrees. It might be showery from time to time.
Runners! You can register now for Race For The Cure which is a 6km run (or 3km walk) taking place on 24th September on the Kaaien, in aid of Breast Cancer research and awareness. It’s a special edition of the run, as this year Think Pink celebrates its 10th birthday.
Also for runners -the Bollekesloop takes place on the 10th of September. You can register until the 7th and it costs 10 euros (the 1km kids’ run is free). You get a free shirt (while supplies last), and -when you hand in your runner’s number at the end – a bolleke (for over 18s).
Belgian schools go back either on this Friday or next Monday, so expect roads and cycle paths to be busier at the beginning and end of the school day.
I am away this weekend and the thing I am most sorry to miss is De Quaeye Werelt, which is on the Saturday and Sunday from 10 – 6pm. As a family, we go to this every year. It is a re-enactment event and the year is 1477 and Sterckshof (Rivierenhof) is transformed into a Medieval Village for the weekend. It’s great to see the re-enactors in character roles and wearing their medieval costumes. There are also all sorts of stall and stands selling olde worlde food, drink, clothing and accessories. There is even a medieval apothecary. For kids, there is a puppet theatre and usually some beheading, as well as the space of Sterckshof to run around and enjoy. There is also music. One of the main attractions is a battle re-enactment that takes place at 3pm. This is very noisy and action packed. You may wish to bring ear-defenders for youngsters. It is free, and the food and drink are reasonably priced, but it’s also fine to take a picnic of your own. I totally recommend this event!
Also over the whole weekend is Barrio Cantina Food Truck Festival on Steenplein, from midday on the 3rd, 4th & 5th.
First Sunday of the month means Sunday shopping and it would be a good idea to combine this with Boulevard National which takes place round the Nationalestraat and the Kammenstraat. Shops will be open but there will also be stands, food, tastings and music between midday and 6pm. Alternatively, stop for a pint and a great sandwich at one of my favourite Antwerp bars – An Sibhin.
Register for The Sint Andries run in the area on the same day, or check out Ieder Zenne Meug design market on Bogaard Plein if you are not feeling quite that energetic.
Temperatures are going to be pleasant this weekend, but cooling off to the early 20s after Friday, which will be pretty hot at 26 degrees. Friday afternoon could also see some storms, and there is the possibility of light rain on Saturday at around lunch time. Sunday will be the coolest day, but should be dry all day
Please note that during July I will be away. As was the case last year, there will be a Big Fat Summer Post (pressing on the 29th June) for the time that I am not here to write weekly posts.
Monday is a public holiday (Pentecost) and there will be a Goegekregen fleamarket on Theaterplein, from 9am -6pm.
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.
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).
Runners -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down tower blocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.
I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …
Belmodo Fashion Days (overstock sales)continue, finishing up this weekend on Sunday, offering the chance to get designer items from big names like Dries Van Noten, A.F. Vandevorst, Ann Demeulemeester, and Stephan Schneider among others. Belmodo sales also to be found on the first floor of Mercado on Groenplaats from 12- 6pm (not Sunday). There’s a map of participating outlets, or download the app.
Antwerpen Vertelt is a festival of story telling (Dutch) which takes place every two years. De Roma, Permeke Library and The Red Star Line Museum are the key venues for events. You can see the full agenda here
Another summer bar opening! This time it’s the Beach bar-style Bocadero at Waagnatie, down by the Schelde which opens at 5pm for the summer (until September)
During the day, from midday, it’s the Damse Feesten, a very child-friendly, free, local street party, comprising of races (bikes, scooters … even a unicyclist took part last year) for people of all ages, kids entertainment and a fleamarket.
The Eurovision Song Contest is of course the highlight of any right thinking person’s musical year, so embiggen your hair and make sure your contouring is on point: Café Den Draak will be holding a Eurovision Night and showing the contest on the big screen.
There’s a big fleamarket on Dageraadplaats from 9am. A good opportunity to go and discover this attractive local square if you don’t already know it. It’s a good place to hang out when the weather is warm and dry, with numerous café terraces, a playground for the kids, and space for them to play basketball or football.
If you ventured over to Linkeroever for the Left Festival (which was excellent) as mentioned in last week’s post, you might be interested in returning for an evening market on Frederik van Eedenplein from 3pm. Frederik van Eedenplein is immediately on the right when you come out of the Sint Anna Tunnel.
Another summer bar (and restaurant) Banningville opens at 2pm. I think this is a newcomer to the Antwerp summer bar scene this year, as I have only recently heard of it.
… And don’t forget that it is Mother’s Day in Belgium today. Need a last minute gift? Try Markt van Morgen on Kloosterstraat from midday …
The weather this weekend is looking a bit patchy. Temperatures are decent (18-19 degrees, tops) but there is very likely to be rain on Friday, and possibly on Saturday too. Sunday should be dry, but cloudy at times.
I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines!
If you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via email@example.com
Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …