It’s Valentine’s Day -for something a bit different, why not swing by MAS museum at Eilandje if you are around over lunch? They are providing a ‘poetry massage’ featuring Antwerp city poetry between midday and 14h. Saturday
Filmhuis Klappei is holding a film festival for children (Filmfestival van De Evenaar) on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend (see pic left; taken from Klappei Facebook page). Here is the Saturday programme: you can register your child(ren) here.
For grown-ups, it’s the closing party for Wintar at 8pm -12, over near the de Koninck brewery.
It’s the monthly second hand book market on de Coninckplein in front of the Permeke Library. Books, comics, graphic novels, postcards and more for very reasonable prices. 10am -4pm.
*** UPDATE: helaas, once again storm disrupts play – Boekenplein is cancelled due to predictions of bad weather, as is the Valentine Run (below) for the second time. Rivierenhof will be closed; and the Run is postponed until 23rd Feb. ***
Rivierenhof hosts an annual Valentine Run which takes place today, having been postponed from last weekend, due to Storm Ciara. You can register for the run until Saturday.
Every Sunday at 2pm at the “sprookjeshuis” there’s a fairy story read aloud (in Dutch) for children aged 6+. It’s costs 5 euros and you can register your child(ren) here, in advance. The Sprookjeshuis is near the Rivierenhof Kasteel and the playground.
The weather is likely to be mild (11- 12 degrees) and showery on Saturday and Sunday, with wind -although not stormy like last weekend!
Runners: You can now sign up for the Antwerp 10 Miles on 26th April 2020. It costs less if you sign up before the 6th April.
The week beginning 24th February is spring half-term (“krokus vakantie”) for Belgian schools. If you have kids to occupy, you might like to enrol them in some local activities. On this page, you can find sport activities for them, and Idee Kids runs camps for a variety of age groups and interests. Kamp Zoeker helps you search for a suitable camp according to age, activities and location.
(Because I am away at that time, there will be no post on the 27th February).
It is still Antwerp’s annual Pateekes Week (until Sunday) Lovers of cakes and pastries can sample them at a discounted rate at participating bakeries, cafés and chocolatiers. To enjoy pateekesweek, you need to get a sheet of 10 vouchers (Pateekespass) for 10 euros. You can get these from the Visit Antwerp outlets at Central Station and on Grote Markt. They are already on sale.
Over at Boomgaardsestraat, right near de Koninck Brewery (currently Wintar) there’s a Wild Jo’s Market on today and on Sunday too. It’s free in, opens at 1pm and there will be clothing, arts & crafts, jewellery, accessories, food, drink & more for sale. This is a kid-friendly event, with some music and entertainment.
UPDATE: It’s just been announced that unfortunately – on the very weekend that I do a focus on Rivierenhof, the Rivierenhof will be closed, due to a storm warning.
A focus on Rivierenhof for three Sunday activities today. Rivierenhof is a large, green estate, which includes Kasteel Rivierenhof, Sterckshof and a large pond. There are other recreational facilities in Rivierenhof, which is Antwerp’s largest park. Rivierenhof is in Deurne.
Every Sunday at 2pm at the “sprookjeshuis” there’s a fairy story read aloud (in Dutch) for children aged 6+. It’s costs 5 euros and you can register your children here, in advance. The Sprookjeshuis is near the Rivierenhof Kasteel and the playground.
As the weather improves, Rivierenhof is a handy place to know about (there’s also mini-golf, as well as ample space to run, exercise and play, and an open air-theatre for summer events and performances) and it’s easily reachable by tram (8 and 10) and bike.
As the UK drifted out of the EU with a whimper rather than a bang last week, British passport holders who are interested in retaining the advantages of European citizenship by becoming Belgian may find this recent article from The Brussels Times of use.
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).
Hi again! It’s back to weekly posts on Nessascityblog and I hope you have enjoyed a great summer so far -don’t forget that the summer post will still contain relevant information, but let’s get back to the specifics for the coming weekend.
It’s Bollekes Feest 2019! For those newly arrived in Antwerp, this is a great way to see the city at its best. “Bollekes” are beers, from the local De Koninck Brewery (as well as the usual pils -aka a ‘pintje’- a bolleke is always standard in Antwerp bars and restaurants) and Bollekesfeest is a festival which showcases De Koninck beers as well as others, in an annual festival of beer, foods, music and general bon viveur-ism.
Bollekesfeest is on over the whole weekend, at various locations. It’s a family friendly event, and if you have kids with you, Steenplein will be ideal -there’s always activities for children to enjoy while their parents have a drink.
The other main locations for Bollekesfeest are Groenplaats, Grote Markt and Suikerrui – just head to the old town (Historic Centre) and you can’t miss it. Payment this year (as last year) is cashless -a system which worked well. Get your Bollekesfeest card, load it up at the kassa, and off you go.
The weather should be warm this weekend, with top temperatures of around 22- 23 degrees. It should also be dry with the possibility of light showers only on Saturday evening.
Always keen on finding new places to eat and drink at an affordable price in Antwerp you will be pleased to learn that this summer I discovered three new (or fairly new) places to dine, which I am happy to recommend to you. These are (in no particular order) :
Shad on Tabakvest near Theaterplein, does a lovely curry, very reasonably priced and handily located near other bars (Theaterplein) for going on with drinks with friends too.
Baby Pinoy is more of a lunch venue. It serves delicious Philipino-inspired meals in a pretty restaurant near the zoo. I also enjoyed the Korean iced coffee that they do there.
Bentosan is a very recent arrival in China town on Van Wesenbekestraat. My daughter and I were hugely impressed by the vegetarian hotpot. A great place to take your time with your food in a friendly environment.
All of the above are very different in their style of food, but I’d give them all a recommend for some qualities they have in common: reasonable prices, informal ambience and really friendly service. Also, I am always on the look out for places with good veggie options (I am vegetarian, but most of my friends are not) so that I can enjoy a meal out alongside my omnivorous companions.
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 (breas cancer awareness and research).
Atlas op het plein is an event organised by Atlas, integratie & inburgering Antwerpen, which provides help, support and information for those arriving from other countries to settle in Antwerp. Atlas op het Plein is a chance to socialise with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, and to have a good time: there will be a conversation café, music, workshops and child-friendly activities -starts at 4pm.
Jazz fans – check out this free Jazz Bar Tour: eleven Antwerp bars offering live Jazz music across the course of the evening. Most are in the Sint Andries area of the city, but some are a little further afield, however I think with a little planning, the walking distance is not too great, and a bike would make this even easier.
This week’s addition to the Antwerp summer bar scene can be found at Plein Publiek where they open their Congé Summer bar from 5pm.
There’s a lot going on in the Dam area of Antwerp:-
On Groenplaats, look out for vintage trams, music and vintage costume (from 1pm) as the tram museum prepares to open to the public tomorrow (see Sunday). The re-opening will also be celebrated at the Zomerfeest Groenenhoek 2019 neighbourhood party which is nearby the new museum, from 11am.
Kleur je Oma is an event that’s a little further away than those I usually include, but what is not to like about this great idea? It’s an art project for anyone who has a beloved grandparent who is gone but not forgotten. You can submit a photo of your grandparent (Oma or Opa) to the project which makes colouring pages of your picture. You can email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the event (from 2pm -5pm) in Park Sorghvliedt and bring your picture with you. The images and stories will become part of an exhibition, taking place in July. The event is the brainchild of artist Elske van Lonkhuyzen, and Antwerp’s very own city poet Maud van Hauwaert.
Strip en Boekenplein takes place on de Conninckplein as is usual for the third Sunday of the month. Cheap books and graphic novels for all lovers of book browsing.
Thanks to Stephanie for getting in touch to let me know that on Sunday the Vlaams Tram en Autobus Museum in Berchem (pic below, courtesy of VlaTAM Facebook page) is reopening (following a period of closure for rennovation) at 2pm. On Sundays throughout July, vintage trams will be riding between Groenplaats and the museum at 1.45pm, 3pm, 4.15pm and 5pm.
Markt van Morgen with it’s local, cheerful selection of creatives offering fashion, jewellery, stationery and accessories for sale is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm.
The weather should become nicer after a drizzly week at times -top temps of 22 degrees, though there could still be showers on Saturday.
On Monday on Nessascityblog I am publishing a guest post by Jon Kemp who has experience of various different language courses available to those who wish to learn Dutch in Antwerp. Don’t forget to check in if you think it’s time to brush up on your Dutch language skills -there will be tips about how and where to find a course that’s right for you.
Sinksenfoor has opened at Park Spoor Oost! The traditional Antwerp fair will be open daily until the 7th July.
It’s show time at BATS VZW! don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual Variety Showhow via their website -this year’s extravaganza is a riot of colour and fun, and there are still a few tickets available (particularly for Sunday night).
Enjoy Dokmarkt down at Eilandje before it gets too cold -from 3pm -8pm, with food and drink to enjoy on the spot, or to buy for your own kitchen.
See the World War One links below (Sunday) -some commemorative events are taking place today.
Here’s an event for those bizarre individuals who are already irritatingly over-excited about Christmas: its the Waagnatie Winter Fair.
Bookworms and vinyl lovers might wish to consider a Saturday night at Cafe Boekowski, which is holding a vinyl night starting at 8pm. Cafe Boekowski is a used-book and reading café: you can take books from the cafe by exchanging them for books of your own that you have finished with. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a great place to sit and read.
It seems to be a quiet weekend in Antwerp; a good chance to visit Antwerp market on Theaterplein, for fresh fruit and veg, international food and food to enjoy on the plein.
Today is a public holiday, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. This article from Flanders Today gives a useful guide in English about how this will be commemorated across Belgium. If you are looking for a church service, St Boniface is an Anglican church, which will be holding services at 10.30 and 18.30 on the 11th November. There are memorial programmes in Hoboken and Borgerhout. There will also be a memorial ceremony at the Monument to the Fallen at Stadspark, starting just before 11am. This takes place each year (a canon will be fired, so you may wish to take ear defenders).
This weekend’s second hand market comes from STULP and takes place at the new pop-op, Lokaal 25, at Costa Sint Andries from 10am -6pm.
The weather this weekend should be mild (13- 14 degrees), with periods of both sun and cloud. There may be some rain on Saturday.
It’s been a little while since we had a guest blog, so if you -YES, 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 email@example.com
Just a brief post this time as I am away (again) and starting my summer holidays with a weekend in Namur (insta pics will be hashtagged #nessascityblognamur – last weekend’s were #nessascityblogaachen)
HERE IS THE GOOGLE MAP -it includes all the venues listed for World Cup Football, and for the Jazz Kroegentocht.
Alfresco drinking to start the weekend takes place at Apereau Boeienweide this week -just across the water on Linkeroever, from 5pm. Take your bike and enjoy the fiets tunnel.
Alternatively check out CoSintAndries Jazz Kroegentocht– (jazz pub tour): eight bars between the Sint Andries neighbourhood and the Schippenkwartier bring you live jazz music from 8.30pm. See the link to check the program and plan your evening: it’s all very walkable from bar to bar -these bars are all marked on the Google Map for this post.
And very happy holidays to students and staff at Antwerp International School who start their summer break today!
Regular fixture for bibliophiles Boekenplein takes place at de Coninckplein just in front of Permeke Library from 10am -4pm: second hand books, magazines, graphic novels, picture postcards and children’s books at low prices.
If you are feeling sporty check out the Antwerp Triathlon at Eilandje, or just go along to support the participants and enjoy the atmosphere. If you are not familiar with this part of town (near the city’s iconic MAS museum) it will be a good day to check it out as there will be DJs and a foodmarket as well as the sporting activities. There is even a free Kids Triathlon organised by Jespo: register your child(ren) here
Temperatures this weekend are predicted to be between 21 -23 degrees. It should be dry and warm, but cloudy
As Pride month begins, and in preparation for Antwerp Pride (August), iconic locations around the city are lit in rainbow colours this weekend! Look out for the rainbow version of the Stad Antwerpen logo (right), and posters with the motto “In Antwerpen Kan Iedereen Stralen” (“Everyone Can Shine In Antwerp”).
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.
Sinksenfoor (annual funfair) is underway in Park Spoor Oost and it is HUGE. We went 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.
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. Some games are showing at Bocadero. 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 weekend the Zomer van Antwerp officially begins! For those who don’t know, this is a program of venues and cultural events (cinema, theatre, circus and music) which are in place until the 3rd September. Many events are free, some are ticketed or have an entry cost. The ZVA website is the go-to place online for information and tickets. The Zomerbar on Sloepenweg is one of the hubs of ZVA and it is an ideal place to hang out for everyone really, as it is a great bar and location, but also has a play area for kids and plenty of sand. There’s also food (or you can bring your own), and an outdoor library. It’s also a place where you can pick up ZVA tickets and info.
The ZVA kicks off at the Zomerfabriek at 10pm but doors -and the bar- will be open from 5pm.
Those interesting people down at MAF have a vernissage …
At Bato Batu bar from 1.30- 6pm there’s a second hand vinyl sale in the side-street by the bar.
… and regular rommelmarkts in Appelstraat, Borgerhout and in Berchem from 8am, for early birds…
Other than that, Saturday seems a bit quiet -I would take the time to either check out one of the summer bars, or spend the day at Antwerp’s regular Saturday market on Theaterplein, which is much more than a place where you can just pick up your weekly fruit and veg: more and more stands are selling food and drinks for on the spot, and it is making the market an increasingly social place to hang out. There’s a busy cava and seafood stand in front of the theatre, but also worth a visit is a stand with a Spanish flavour, a little further along (usually almost parallel with Belgian Wines) which does decent tapas, or egg rolls for a late breakfast, which you can wash down with wine, coffee or Cava, depending on your levels of bon viveurism (or hangover).
The evening, however, brings the perfect event for the jazz fan: The Sint- Andries Jazz Bar Tour: five bars, all within easy walking distance of one another, each offering a menu of live jazz, starting at 8, with the last band signing off at midnight. Check the link to plan your route (the venues are all marked on the map with the sax image, left).
Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am (design, accessories, clothing, food)
… and the usual strip & boekenplein (second hand books and graphic novels) is on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library.
There’s a rommelmarkt (second hand clothes and goods) on Dageraadplaats from 9am. This is a very nice local square with plenty of cafés, bars and a playground so you can keep an eye on your kids while you have a drink or browse the stands.
Weather forecast: lovely.
Antwerp has a new museum – Museum de Reede which casts a spotlight on the work of Goya, Munch and Rops. It is just opposite Steenplein near the river (Ernest van Dijckkaai 7).
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.
Summer bar Smokey Jo’s Cantina (formerly Smokey Joe’s Garage) at de Koninck Brewery is another summer bar (also with kids play area) which is now open.
Get your tickets for BATS Variety Show (this weekend and next weekend) I hear they are selling out fast!
If you are finding it a challenge to get around the various roadworks in Antwerp these days (especially since the Leien were closed off on the 5th June) then check slimnaarantwerpen.be to help you negotiate your way around town.
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).
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.
Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on social media, where additional events are also posted:
If you like live music there are a few choices this evening -you might want to start your weekend listening to Kollectiv playing jazz at Cafe Kiebooms on Conninckplein at 9pm; or singer Kuba Kesy at The Irish Times bar on Groote Markt at 10pm. Described as ‘melancholy folk pop’, Second Son Sam will be playing Bar Lucy also at 9pm.