The Ultimate A-Z of LGBT+ in Antwerp

The Ultimate A-Z of LGBTQ in Antwerp.

A guest post by Timothy Junes

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Timothy Junes (left) was born in Antwerp (1981) and still lives and works  here. He studied journalism and has written for LGBTQ media since 2000, both online and in print. His passions include LGBTQ news stories and travelling to new places. Nowadays he runs the Flemish language LGBT news blog Be Out and the English language travel blog Trip By Trip.

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Antwerp has a long history of being a safe haven for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Belgium. Let me introduce you, using the alphabet.

First, I’ll start with a disclaimer: this is not a ‘Complete Gay Guide to Antwerp’. That would be impossible since Pink Antwerp is constantly changing. Some blame the internet, some blame the economy and gentrification, some blame youth. There are many factors as to why LGBTQ oriented bars and cafés come and go. I should point out here that bars and cafés mostly cater to gay and bisexual men. Presently there’s no lesbian bar in town.

A

Active Company is Antwerp’s LGBTQ sports group. From athletics to swimming, from cycling to yoga, Active Company has it all. A great way to make friends.

Antwerp Pride is a highpoint of LGBTQ life in Antwerp. Four to five days to party, parade or attend a debate. Mark the second weekend of August in your calendar.

Coupled with Antwerp Pride, there is the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival. Exhibitions, performances, parties. While Antwerp Pride is more ‘party oriented’, the queer arts festival is more activist. Both work well together. First half of August.

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MAS museum lit up in Pride colours

B

The Bonaparte at the Grote Markt is a karaoke bar. But with a gay owner, it won’t surprise you there are drag nights and gay parties. Pannekoek on Sundays.

D

I’m not sure the managers of Den Draak like to call their bar a gay bar. Patrons are both LGBTQ and straight. It will throw a very gay Eurovision Song Contest viewing party, and it will also celebrate the Red Devils, Belgium’s football team.

Located at the Draakplaats, it’s very well integrated in the hipster, somewhat leftist neighbourhood of Zurenborg.

Café DeLux at Melkmarkt 16 is in the middle of it all. DeLux is what you could call a ‘mainstream gay bar’. Coffee and tea during the day, alcohol at night. Don’t forget in Belgium a café could both be a coffee and snacks place, and a bar!

E

Enig Verschil is the LGBTQ youth group of Antwerp. Flanders has a tradition of youth groups outside the scouting movement. For many LGBTQ’s in Flanders, such youth groups were a starting point.

F

Are you a student? Why not join De Flamingo’s? Student clubs in Belgium are not really like American style fraternities; they’re more open.  

H

H.I.M is a more or less monthly party concept. H.I.M is really ‘club scene’ as you’d imagine it: beats, shirtless men, flirting… People come from far and wide to attend.

The Hessenhuis at Hessenplein opened its doors in 1993. During the day it serves as the cafeteria of the event space Hessenhuis, but around 6PM the atmosphere changes and it becomes a gay bar.

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Het Roze Huis – çavaria Antwerpen (pictured above) is both a brick ‘pink house’ and an umbrella organisation for LGBTQ groups and associations in the Province of Antwerp. It organises the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival and L-week.

Each January, Het Roze Huis holds a New Year’s reception under the bridge of Draakplaats. An absolute must-attend event for LGBTQ’s in Antwerp. Beware! Due to engineering works on the bridge, the New Year’s reception will for once take place at De Roma. Mark 5 January 2019 in your calendar.

The offices are above Den Draak.

K

The Antwerp gay scene is not shy of kinky spots. The Boots in the Van Aertdtstraat and The Kinkys in de Lange Beeldekensstraat are too nice examples.

L

Leather & Fetish Pride Belgium in February accommodates lovers of leather, fetish and kinks. It consists of parties, socials and a fair. Darklands includes shops, workshops and activities for leather, fetish and kinks. If you open your eyes, you will definitely see men in leather, rubber and other fetishwear in the streets of Antwerp. The event mostly caters to men, but not exclusively.

There may not be L*-oriented bars in Antwerp but you can attend L-week in November. Ten days filled with activities, workshops and parties for women who like women. The asterisk stands for a broad interpretation of the word lesbian.

Q

Que Pasa in the Lange Koepoortstraat 1 is a latin drag queen bar. It organises performances and drag contests. It’s near one of the rainbow crossings.

R

The Red & Blue was founded in 1997. Nowadays it’s called Cargo Club but ‘Red & Blue’ remains its gay brand. It’s the obvious party location and an icon in Antwerp.

S

Sjalot & Schanul is a lesbian run restaurant behind City Hall. The address is Oude Beurs 12.  

SPEK (“bacon”) is a queer, ‘alternative’ party concept. Electro tunes, booze, cigarettes, other substances. Attracts queer, leftwing, hipster crowd.

Café Strange in the Dambruggestraat is the oldest, still open gay bar in town. Manager Armand Everaerts is well in his 80s but still serves you cheap beer. A special place.

Strangelove – A Queer Festival is a June based event. It combines film, performances and parties.

T

T-day is a day of activities, workshops and meet-ups for trans* people, their friends and their families. It is organised by çavaria, the Flemish LGBTQ umbrella organisation.

Café Twilight used to be located in the Van Schoonhovenstraat or Rue Vaseline. In the 20th century, the Rue Vaseline is where all the action happened. Twilight closed there but rose like a phoenix at Theaterplein.

U

The Unicorn Festival in July is not an exclusively gay event, but with such a name it clearly attracts LGBTQ people and their friends. Belgium is famous for its numerous summer festivals and Unicorn is one of them. It’s small but very cosy. It’s on Linkeroever (Left bank) and offers a great view of the Antwerp skyline.

 

All photos by Timothy Junes.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 23rd, 24th & 25th November

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Brickmania

At Zuiderpershuis there’s the annual book stock sale over the whole weekend. It’s free in and there are usually some English books, as well as other books (e.g. children’s books) which make good presents if you are one of these organised people who is ready to do some Christmas shopping already. It’s free in, open from 10- 18h on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and is also on next weekend too.

Also over both Saturday and Sunday, it’s another popular annual event: Brickmania – a must for Lego fans of all ages. Note, it’s at a different venue this year; not Waagnatie but Antwerp Expo. You can get tickets for 5 euros in advance (they are 7 euros if you buy them on the door) and kids up to 6 years old go free.

Friday

Buurthuis t’Pleintje is holding an Autumn Market  for the first time. On sale will be local handmade and craft products and foods, from 15h -20h. Syrian food is on the menu while you browse the stands which will offer products such as local honey, scarves and accessories, soaps, household items, candles, stationery and more.

Also offering local food products is Dokmarkt at Eilandje from 15h -20h.

Saturday

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Swaajp guest: Jacintha Damstrom. Photo by Quentin Le Gall

After Brickmania, or a day at the book sale, you might like to head to BATS Little Theater on Paardemarkt for an evening of impro theatre with Swaajp. Their guest this week is Jacintha Damstrom, who will bring an element of circus excitement to the show.

Sunday

It’s Dag van de Wetenschap today (Science Day) and Antwerp has a wide and varied programme of activities in various locations.

At De Roma Theatre there’s a kids’ rommelmarkt from 13.30h -17.30h. The kids themselves are the stallholders, and will be selling all sorts of children’s toys and books, so go and support them and pick up a bargain. It’s only 50 cents in for kids, and a euro for grownups.

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Dag van de Wetenschap

 

Another second hand market by Goegekregen will take place at Park Spoor Noord (in the shelter where Bar Cargo is). It will be on from 9h -18h and also promises street-food and drinks.

More second hand bargains at Plein Publiek (now up and running at its new location) with this Closet Sale from 10h- 16h.

Weather is mixed -Friday might be quite bright and pleasant (9 degrees), but there may rain on Saturday, and both Saturday and Sunday will be colder (only 5-7 degrees)

Miscellaneous

Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month, so city museums are free (the Plantin Moretus, the Rockox, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, the MAS and the Red Star Line Museum).

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I am really delighted to let you know that a special guest-blog post is on the way. Watch this space -especially if you’d like to know more about LGBTQ+ life in Antwerp: an LGBT+ special; posting on Monday! And if you have been thinking about writing a post for Nessascityblog, do seize the day -I’d love to hear your Antwerp story, or hear about an aspect of Antwerp life that you know well. Drop me a line at nessascityblog@gmail.com.

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De Warmste Week

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

 

 

Don’t forget: for Sinterklaas -The Belgian postal service (Bpost) will deliver children’s letters and drawings to the Sint (until 29th November) -details and address here. NB -be sure to write the child’s name and address on the outside of the envelope, so that the Sint can reply and send a surprise.

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

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

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

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

HERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP WITH THE LOCATIONS FOR THIS POST!

All weekend

There are two ongoing events taking place this weekend both in really nice areas of the city, so it’s a good chance to explore one or both of these neighbourhoods

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Zuiderburen (literally, southern neighbours) takes place (unsurprisingly) to the south of the centre and is a free street festival centred on the area which incorporates the kaaien, and Leopold de Waalplaats (in front of MUHKA). It’s a festival of music, sport, culture and food, with activities for kids too.

Part of Antwerp is a 10 day festival celebrating the port area of the city. It is focussed on the area from Eilandje, taking in Schengenplein, Sloepenweg, Red Star Line Museum … up to the Zaha Hadidplein (at the new port of Antwerp building). Expect events which celebrate the city’s status as a major port, as well as food, music and parties in this much gentrified and historic area of the city. See the full program here.

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Port of Antwerp – Zaha Hadid building

Friday

Aper’eau  joins forces with Part of Antwerp festival to begin the program with their usual brand of open-air drinks and music on Zaha Hadidplein from 5pm.

Saturday

There’s a Free film showing at Het Roze Huis at 8pm. This week it’s BPM (aka 120 battements par minute)

Kilo Verkoop is a different way of buying vintage and second hand clothes -by the kilo. This sale takes place at HAAR (in conjunction with Goegekragen) on Montevideostraat from 2pm.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 20.45.46The Klappeistraat Rommelmarkt will be something of a street party as well as chance to pick up bargains. The street will be car-free from 9am, and the “Klappei Bar” will open at midday to further encourage the festive atmosphere.

It’s the opening night BATS variety show (see below for details and tickets)

Sunday

Antwerp Car Free Day is an annual event which my family and I always enjoy. Between 10am- 6pm the  city centre and surrounding streets are car-free, and replaced by a variety of stalls and activities which centre pedestrians, kids, cyclists, skaters and loiterers. Start on Meir and see where you go from there. Here’s the full programme. Enjoy experiencing a car-free Antwerp. Great for kids, with some surprising and fun alternative ways to travel around city streets .

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Autovrij (car free) Antwerp

Boekenplein on de Conninckplein is a regular monthly fixture for secondhand book lovers and browsers -from 10am -4pm.

Goegekregen (second hand market) is yet another opportunity to get your second hand, vintage and retro bargains; this time in Stadspark. A huge and very sociable occasion, with a decent food and drinks stand too. From 9am -6pm.

The weather this weekend should be warm and dry again -Sunday should be really warm, maybe going up to 24 degrees.

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

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Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 20.27.00Miscellaneous

Recently I pressed Buskers and Street Musicians in Antwerp  a guest blog post by Dave Llewellyn, now returned to Scotland who played music in the streets of Antwerp between 1998- 2012: read all about his fascinating memories of our city.

Get in touch if you have an Antwerp story to tell!

 

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

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The Big Fat Summer Post 2018

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

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

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

Summer Bars

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

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

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Bar Noord (Park Spoor Noord)

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

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

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

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Antwerp summer bars

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

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

A Dozen Dates For Your Summer Diary:

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

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Groenplaats

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

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

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

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

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The 21st July is Belgium’s National Day

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

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

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

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Sommar

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

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

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

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

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Pride Parade

Five For The Rugrats

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

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

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

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Sportopia

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

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

Ongoing

Baroque Antwerp season continues until January 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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This weekend in Antwerp: 15th, 16th & 17th June

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.

silhouette-3178763_640Friday

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!

 

Saturday

swaajplogoImpro theatre from local group Swaajp: Swaajp Invites Gael Perry (France) at 8pm at the BATS Little Theatre.

Sunday

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.

More second hand bargains at Goegekregen’s Rommelmarkt in ‘t Park (Park Spoor Noord) from 9am- 6pm

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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

politieprideMiscellaneous

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.

The Baroque Antwerpen program is now underway and continues until January 2019.

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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.

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Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 20th, 21st & 22nd April

Here is the GOOGLE MAP  for this weekend

Friday

It’s the monthly free film night at Antwerp’s LGBT+ Het Roze Huis. This month showing romcom Zot van A at 8pm.

Saturday

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Rubenshuis Museum on Wapper

After extensive restoration work, Ruben’s self portrait returns to the Rubens House on Wapper. From 10 am -8pm you can go and have a look for free. Look out for the appropriately costumed figures on stilts around Meir to point you in the right direction. The Rubenshuis is a real treasure, and worth seeing, including the gardens which are very pretty. When you are done there, come out and turn left to go shopping at the market … or right to go shopping on Meir.

It’s Record Store Day, vinyl lovers! I found three Antwerp vinyl stores which are marking this annual international event with special offers and live music in store: Tune Up on Melkmarkt, Fat Kat on Vleminckstraat,  and Coffee & Vinyl on Volkstraat.

If you know someone who is interested in studying in Antwerp, The University of Antwerp and it university colleges (Artesis Plantijn, Karel de Grote) are holding an open day today (you need to register in advance) and you can see the different campus locations and subjects here, so you know where to go. Open Day takes place from 9.30am -4.30.

affiche-wereldkeuken-2018 2Head to Chiro Lore youth group (left) for their “Wereld Keuken” (World Kitchen) from 4pm. A great way to try dishes from around the world for very low prices (a euro per dish!) and you can pick up a free recipe book.

Chiro Lore is a youth group for young people aged 6-18 who organise and enjoy a variety of activities in Antwerp, and who meet each Sunday.

Sunday

It’s Erfgoeddag (Heritage Day) all over Flanders meaning that various sites and insututions are making a special effort to open their doors. Many of Antwerp’s museums (e.g. MUHKA and The Red Star Line) have special activities or guided tours. Use this search to find out what is going on in an area near you -be aware that some activities require you to register beforehand. There is also an Erfgoed App.

Antwerp 10 Miles takes place today. The 19th (Thursday) is the last chance to register if you want to run. If you are a supporter and want to watch the runners here is a map of the route that the run will take, including information about entertainment along the way. Today is also the Antwerp Marathon which starts on Linkeroever, and finishes on The Grote Markt, so expect a lot of runners around town!

This weekend’s second hand joy for bargain hunters is brought to you by SNITT vintage & second hand clothing market which will be held at HAAR from 10am -7pm.

Miscellaneous

Yet again, the weather outlook is very good -warm and dry, if a bit cloudy at times. Top temps as high as 24 degrees are predicted!

Last Wednesday of the month (25th April) means free city museums (Museum Plantin Moretus, the Rockox Museum, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, MAS and The Red Star Line Museum)

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This Weekend: 17th, 18th & 19th March

[Next post: Thursday 22nd March]

HERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP WITH ALL THIS WEEKEND’S LOCATIONS.

Friday

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Molly’s is Antwerp’s oldest Irish Bar

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Irish bars in the town will be celebrating and my calculations tell me that if you are keen enough, it is perfectly possible to have a Guinness at all of them. Kelly’s, Irish Times, Molly’s and An Sibhin are the four Irish bars in Antwerp. Kelly’s on Keyserlei will be offering live music throughout the day, starting at midday, as will Irish Times on Grote Markt, which also promises give-aways in the form of hats, T-shirts and more. Molly’s also open their doors at that time, but the live music will be on from 8pm, and the party will include Guinness and Jameson promos. An Sibhin kicks off its 20th celebration of St Patricks Day at 5, with music and also food (oysters, Irish stew).

Not only that, but for the first time Antwerp City Hall will be joining other landmarks around the world in  going green and will be lit up for St Patrick’s Day.

 

Saturday

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It’s the monthly free film night  at Het Roze Huis, where there will be a showing of Finnish film ‘Open Up To Me‘ at 8pm (free).

De Slegte book stores are taking part in Children’s Book Day (in Dutch) with read-alouds at 2 (8-12 year olds), 3 and 4pm (for 4-8 year olds). De Slegte book store is on Wapper.

De Groene Waterman bookstore is also taking part, between 2 and 4.30pm. You need to register your child(ren) by mail -groenewaterman@groenewaterman.com, or phone (03/232.93.94)

The Red Hackle Pipe Band and Highland Dancers of Belgium are celebrating their 50th year. To mark the opening of their birthday celebrations programme, they will be parading from St Jansvliet (starting at 12.30-1) and around the Grote Markt from 2pm.

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On Saturday afternoon De Roma theatre kicks off its Picknick The Streets event at 7.30, with music, film, reading, plus stands and stalls from community groups, committees, organisations and action groups from the area.

Sunday

If you have children (aged 8-14) interested in the Children’s University event it might still be possible to  register them for events and workshops which take place today at the University of Antwerp.

It’s the monthly book fair in front of the library (Permeke) on de Conninckplein from 10 until 4pm.

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The former Havenhuis

There are two second-hand sales on at the old Havenhuis (Entrepotkaai, near MAS) which has converted into a pop-up since Port of Antwerp moved. One is an opening for vintage furniture (Mr Frisko) and the other is Ieder Zenne Meug (vintage, retro design). Both start at 11am. This pop-up also now houses a new coffee bar called Het Eiland, which has a great view of MAS and Eilandje.

It is Father’s Day in Antwerp -celebrated today in Antwerp (along with Spain, Portugal and Italy) rather than June, because it is St. Joseph’s Day.

Alas, after last weekend’s pleasant weather, this weekend is not set to be quite so dry and sunny; some showers are likely on Saturday and on Sunday afternoon. Friday will be cooler but temperatures should be up a bit for the weekend (12-13 degrees).

Miscellaneous

We are fast approaching the very end of the Stadhuis 450 expo, which closes at the end of this month. If you have been meaning to go but haven’t, then time is running out ….

Talking of running -you can now register for the Antwerp 10 miles in April.

March is Youth Book Month.

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on:

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Instagram

Facebook (in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter

Pinterest

 

NEXT POSTING: 23RD MARCH

 

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This weekend: 24th, 25th & 26th February

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LBWG

This weekend sees the close of winter bar Little Brewers Winter Garden. It will doubtless re-open in a summer incarnation later this year. Here’s the full program of weekend events to mark the end of its winter season.

JEFF (Youth Film Festival) is also on the whole weekend (and thoughout the holiday week). Films will be showing in Ecohuis and Zuiderpershuis. There are also workshops. See the full program here.

If you are not familiar with the Eilandje area of Antwerp (the port area where MAS museum is situated) then this is a good weekend to discover it, with events on both days for Welkom op Het Eiland.

Over the whole weekend there is an exhibition of minerals, fossils and precious stones at Kinepolis, for 4 euros.

Here’s your GOOGLE MAP for all the places mentioned in this weekend’s post.

Friday

It’s the last Friday of the month, and -according to Critical Mass -never to late to enjoy some Valentine’s Romance. Assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm for the Valentine’s edition of the monthly bike ride.

Saturday

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London Calling

Skool’s out! Why not kick off the krokus vakantie with London Calling’s Let’s Bowie! at Bar Venetie, Saturday night on the Turnhoutsebaan from 10pm.

Gardeners of Antwerp -the Ecohuis is offering a day of free gardening workshops from 1pm until 6pm. To take part costs nothing but you need to register by mailing or calling: ecohuis@stad.antwerpen.be or tel. 03 217 08 11

Or head to Sint Jansplein for another big second hand market from 9am -6pm

It’s the monthly free film at Het Roze Huis at 8pm: Tru Love.

Sunday

More gardening tips! This time it’s pruning the roses at Rivierenhof, with the gardners that keep the rose garden there. Register by calling 03 3605218 . Free.

Alas, the weather is not looking great -about 10-12 degrees, but feeling colder, with chances of rain and drizzle on both Saturday and on Sunday.

Miscellaneous

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Maddi Goodwin & A Sunburnt Country

I was pleased to be contacted by musician Maddi Goodwin, creator of A Sun Burnt Country project. I am very much looking forward to attending this eclectic event at de Singel on Friday 19th May. It’s a must for internationally-minded people, and doubly so if they are from- or have an interest in – Australia and Australian culture. The evening will comprise of music, readings and dance, and I am including it here because there is a 20% discount on tickets if you order them before the 1st March, which is not far away!

If you have children (aged 8-14) interested in the Children’s University event on 19th March, you can register them from now. You might also want to know that March is Youth Book Month.

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Also for kids -the spring break (Krokus vakantie) is coming up in Belgium (starting 27th February). If you have kids who are off that week and would enjoy some sports activities check out this Stad Antwerpen Page. The activities on offer can be seen here and you need to go here to register. Stad Antwerpen museums also offer some ateliers during the Krokus vakantie, some of these involve signing up for more than one day.

Idee Kids also offers a variety of activities and workshops during the holiday week.

Also during the break, some swimming pools in the Antwerp area have extended opening hours.

If you took part in Lei Reijnder’s (Cloudknitters) Let Sky The Limit postcard mail-art project last year, you can now see all the entries on this film

We are fast approaching the very end of the Stadhuis 450 expo, which closes in March. If you have been meaning to go but haven’t, then time is running out ….

It’s Carnaval!

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Het Beleg van Antwerpen

 

And just for fun, thank Het Beleg van Antwerpen for offering on our behalf, this very special greeting from the city of Antwerp, to President Trump.

 

 

 

 

Finally – would you like to write a guest post for Nessascityblog? As you are probably aware, I post on Thursdays, weekly. I’d like to include a guest post for after the weekend is over, but before the new post is out (so Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday). I’d like posts in English which tell personal Antwerp stories -yours. Where are you from? What are you doing in Antwerp? Why? And what are your experiences of living and/ or working in Antwerp? What are the pleasures and challenges of adapting to life here? You don’t need to be Shakespeare and you don’t need to have English as your first language. I will proof-read and edit posts if necessary. Please get in touch via the About page if you would like to contribute. If you have a different idea for an Antwerp-related post I’d also love to hear it.

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on:

Instagram

Facebook (in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter

Pinterest

— NEXT POST: THURSDAY 2nd MARCH —

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This weekend: 16th, 17th & 18th December + more

This will be Nessascityblog’s last post for 2016 , so I am trying to include as much as possible to see you into 2017 in Antwerp.

NEXT POST: THURSDAY 5TH JANUARY 2017

 

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Tubing slide on Steen

As mentioned last week Stad Antwerp’s Winter Festivities have now started so head down to the old town and you can’t miss it. The Christmas market can be found around Steenplein, Suikerrui, Groenplaats and Grotemarkt, with gluhwein and hot chocolate aplenty. There’s skating on Groenplaats, a tubing slide on Steenplein and the ferris wheel by the Schelde. The atmosphere is friendly and festive, and it’s a great place to take visiting friends or family and kids. The Nello & Patrasche (A Dog of Flanders) statue was unveiled last weekend in front of the Cathedral. This beautiful piece is the work Batist Vermeulen of Studio Tist.

On social media, you can share your Antwerp festive pictures with the hashtag #WinterinA

Festive & Miscellaneous

If you are planning a clear- out of your home you might want to revisit this post for ideas about where to take still useable toys, books, household goods and wearable clothes, instead of throwing them out.You could also contact the EVA centre in Ekeren who often take items to assist the refugees that they welcome and care for. At the moment, there is also a drop- off for clothes, shoes and fabric in Het Steen Café -make sure all your items are bagged before bringing them there.

MAF is opening a new art space on Keistraat 1 on the 21st December. Head along at 8pm to find out about their approach and what they do.

A random recommendation from me for this time of year is to go to Antwerp Market on Theaterplein. It’s open on both on Saturdays and Sundays, but Saturday is better, in my opinion. If you are going to be cooking a lot over the Christmas period, then this is the place to get great food from all over the world at a really good price. I always get veg here, and if I can, cheeses too. Over the time that I have lived in Antwerp, the market has also become increasingly social, with cava stands, oyster bars and food trucks, adding to the more traditional food sellers here. You can also get fresh coffee and pasta on the market, and a huge range of the sort of food you would want to offer at a party or to Christmas guests, including many varieties of olives, dips and tapenades. The market on Sunday is less food orientated, with more clothes and household items -it also closes earlier. Since the Theaterplein gained a roof, rain no longer stops play.

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Delicious food at Antwerp Market -every Saturday

Don’t forget to reserve your BATS panto tickets:
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China Light is an event that is slightly pricier (15 euros for an adult ticket) than the usual events and activities I post here, but it is a really nice tour if you want to do something a bit unusual this winter. The lights do look magical and the zoo is a great setting in which to display them. I would check the weather forecast before going as rain would spoil this tour.

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China Light, Antwerp Zoo

The last Wednesday of the month means free museum entry for Stad Antwerp museums (Wednesday 28th December).

Next weekend is of course Christmas, and I am away for New Year, so I will be posting again on the 5th January. For New Year’s Eve in Antwerp head to The Schelde if you want fireworks. But if clubs and parties are more your thing, then I recommend that you keep an eye on This Is Antwerp who I am sure will be posting all the information you need as NYE approaches.

There are lots of #WinterinA snaps on the Nessascityblog Instagram feed. You can also find me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Thank you very much for reading and following Nessascityblog during 2016. Please comment and include links to any additional winter events which I have missed. If you have found this blog helpful, please share it with your friends, on social media and in groups where it may be useful.
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*** Here’s the GOOGLE MAP with all the locations from this post for the specific Friday- Sunday events***

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Nello & Patrasche

Friday

Street Art Antwerp has featured a few times on this blog, and earlier this year my son and I joined a tour which we both very much enjoyed. This Friday, Tim is finishing up for the year with a special Flame Edition of his tour: bring torches and flashlights, and wear luminous clothing. It starts at 8 at the entrance to Zomerfabriek, Minkelersstraat in Berchem and will conclude at a tba venue, with music and snacks. Check the Facebook event page to register and to be informed of final details. Tim does not charge for these excellent tours, but you can make a donation which will go to Music For Life

Special holiday wishes to everyone at the Antwerp International School which finishes today for the winter break – safe travels and have a wonderful festive season!

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Saturday

At 1pm at bar Bato Batu there’s a record fair -for last minute gifts for the vinyl freak in your life (or for yourself, or course!)

If you are at the Christmas market during the day and are an incomer from abroad to the city of Antwerp, and would like to meet other parents and their kids, then head to Café Den Engel on Groote Markt at 2.30 for this Expat Parents & Kids Party.

Fancy a short trip out of town? Cosplay on ice: Cosplayers of Antwerp will assemble at Antwerp central station at midday and take the bus to Antartica Ice Rink in Wilrijk, returning for 5.30pm. You need the cost of the bus fare + skate hire (don’t forget ID too) which in total comes to E7,25

Improtheatre on Saturday Night: Swaajp describe this as a theatre show full of new stories, surprising adventures with intriguing plot twists, sometimes emotional, frequently hilarious, always made up on the spot. Swaajp Improtheater presents the second episode of their new regular improv theatre show ‘Swaajp Invites’.

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Our guest for this show is Flavien Reppert (France). As the director of the Strasbourg-based Cie du Théâtre de l’Oignon, this moustache-bearing Frenchman will astonish you with his many talents, one of which is a delightfully scraping Rrr in his English pronunciation.

When: Sat. 17 December 2016, 20:00
Where: BATS Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt 111, Antwerp
Tickets: €9  via: www.swaajp.be

If you are crafty and like making things, head to Little Brewers Winter Garden at 2pm to make Christmas decorations. There’s also kids’ entertainment and a kids’ play area. These activities take place between 2 -5pm and are free with no pre-registration necessary LBWG is the De Koninck Brewery winter bar which is open until February 19th (you might know the venue from its summer incarnation -Smokey Jo’s).

At 8pm Het Roze Huis will be showing the film The Imitation Game. Het Roze Huis has monthly film screenings for the LGBT community in and around Antwerp, and these are free. I saw The Imitation Game when it came out in cinemas in 2014, and it is well worth seeing.

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Sunday

There’s a Goedgekregen fleamarket down at Eilandje between 9 and 6pm. It’s indoors at ’t Kot (port employment centre), Kempischdok-Westkaai, and is free.

Design Market ‘Ieder Zenne Meug‘ holds a Christmas edition at Zuiderpershuis between 11 and 6pm, and because it is the third Sunday of the month, it’s the book market at de Coninckplein (Permeke library) from 10 until 4pm.

There’s read-aloud for kids aged 4-8 at Permeke library at 11am (free, no registration registration, in Dutch). This weekend the story will have a festive theme.

Shops in the city centre will be open today for Christmas shopping.

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The weather is set to be mild and dry again this weekend, with some cloud and fog at times.

 

May your festive season be all sparkly and completely stress-free!

NEXT POST: THURSDAY 5TH JANUARY 2017

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Thanks to Peggy & Marco on Pixabay for the wee santa person pics.

Thanks to MAF for the Nessascityblog banner made earlier this year.

Thanks to BATS and SWAAJP for the publicity images for their events.

This weekend: 11th, 12th & 13th November

***NEXT POSTING ON THURSDAY 17TH NOVEMBER***

Things are a little quieter at the moment -a bit of down time until the Christmas and winter events get going at the start of December, but I found a few low- budget/ free options for this long weekend…

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Firstly, here’s the GOOGLE MAP with all the locations from this post.

 

Friday

It’s a public holiday for Armistice Day. Schools are off. There will be a big second hand market courtesy of Goegekregen and Snitt on Theaterplein from 9am -6pm.

Het Roze Huis -HQ for activities, events, lobbying and information for Antwerp’s LGBTQ+ community launches L-week  today, kicking off a programme of events, workshops, film and socialising for lesbians in Antwerp.

It’s the last day of the Antwerp Book Expo 2016.

Saturday

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Antwerp kids await the arrival of the Sint on Grote Markt

Today is a big day for all Antwerp children who have been well- behaved of late: Sinterklaas is arriving on Antwerp and will be in the area until 6th December. He will arrive on his boat from Spain and make his way to Grote Markt to address crowds from the Stadhuis. It’s a traditional, local occasion; kids are in awe to see the Sint and there is always an upbeat kiddie-friendly atmosphere, but be prepared for a fair amount of waiting around, and quite dense crowds. Take waterproofs and umbrellas. Sint is expected at Steenplein at 13.30 and will make his way to the Town Hall for 2.45. For couch potatoes -it will be on TV (Ketnet).

An alternative, indoor event takes place at Waagnatie: Brickmania which is a MUST for Lego enthusiasts -don’t worry if your kids want to do both though, because Brickmania is takes place over Saturday and Sunday.

It’s five euros in, but free for under 6s. We went last year and the kids really loved it. Some of the creations are really remarkable: complex and detailed. Kids get a goodie bag, and if you are already thinking of Christmas shopping for the Lego fans in your family, you can get that done here too.

Also over both days is the 30th Festival of Japanese Culture at Zuiderkroon on the Vlaamsekaai.

Sunday

legoBrickmania  contd.

Japanese Culture Festival contd.

On Krugerplein there is a food event: Food in The Hood.

 

 

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Weather will be quite wintry, with temperatures of about 6 degrees and highest chances of showers on Saturday. Sunday should be more pleasant, and dry.

Miscellaneous

Find Nessascityblog on TwitterPinterest and Instagram!

Nessascityblog Brexit posts are here (part 1) and here (part 2).

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Nessascityblog also featured in Den Triangel recently. If you would like a .pdf of that interview, send me a message at nessascityblog@gmail.com

Sinterklaas sweets & cloud pics from Pixabay

 

*** NEXT POST: THURSDAY 17TH NOVEMBER ***

 

 

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