This weekend in Antwerp: 16th, 17th & 18th August

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.

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Bollekesfeest on Steenplein

It is also Jazz Middelheim (ticketed) all weekend.

Friday

Dokmarkt is on every Friday from 3pm until 8, and if you want to stay out later, you’re very close to summer bars like Jardim, Sommar and Bocadero -all of which are along the Schelde.

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Dageraadplaats

You could also start your weekend on Dageraadplaats with Muziek in de Wijk from 5pm, or at this weekend’s Free Friday gig at OLT Rivierenhof, from 7pm with Pink Floyd tribute act, Floyd Matters.

Here’s the Bollekesfeest Friday Programme

Saturday

Here’s the Bollekesfeest Saturday programme.

Sunday

It’s the monthly second hand book and comics/ graphic novels sale on De Coninckplein
in front of the Permeke library, from 10am- 4pm.

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de Coninkplein

And there’s more browsing to be had on Dageraadplaats at the secondhand market there from 9am- 6pm. This is always a good market, and the location is nice and very kid-friendly.

Here’s the Bollekesfeest Sunday programme.

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.

Miscellaneous

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) :

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dinner at Shad

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.

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Race For The Cure Antwerpen (pic courtesy of Think Pink Belgie)

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).

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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The Big Fat Summer Post 2019

Summer is underway!

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Well, I am taking some time off now, for a month or so, so here’s a grab-bag of useful links and information for a great Antwerp summer. I will be back in August. Until then, additional events will be posted on other social media, listed at the end of this post. For Antwerp pictures, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Thank you for reading and following  Nessascityblog; do please keep sharing it with anyone who might find it handy to have this information in English, especially if they are arriving new in the city this summer -WELCOME!  -and have a fabulous summer 2019 in Antwerp.

Eat & Drink

… at Dokmarkt every Friday from 3pm until 8, and if you want to stay out later, you’re very close to summer bars like Jardim, Sommar and Bocadero -all of which are along the Schelde.

Check out Café Capital in the Stadspark if you haven’t already done so. It’s great if you IMG_20190718_174847_resized_20190718_054908004are taking kids to the play area; for an evening out try Bar Jeudi on Thursdays.

Fiesta Europa is a popular, diverse and accessible five day food festival on Groenplaats which is on until Sunday 21st July.

Flying Pig are on Steenplein on the 2nd August; drinks, music, food trucks and general revelry from 5pm.

Bollekesfeest is an annual Nessascityblog not-to-be-missed favourite, celebrating our local beer: de Koninck, or Bollekes as it is known once served in its distinctive bow-like glass. Bollekesfeest is on the 16th, 17th and 18th August, and like other Stad Antwerpen events will be cashless this year. As well as the local brew there will be lots of other foods and drinks to enjoy. If you have kids to entertain (or are hungry) then the Steenplein is the best location for you -there you will find the Kids’ Village and all the food stands.

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Bollekesfeest on Steenplein, next to the river

Visit

Experience the excitement of going around Antwerp’s best museums throughout the night on Museum Night on the 3rd August, and don’t forget that Stad Antwerpen museums are free on the last Wednesday of the month.

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MUHKA is Antwerp’s museum of contemporary art

Enjoy Lambermonmartre the largest open-air local art market: on Leopold de Waalplaats (in front of KMSKA) on the 28th July and the 25th August. For the other regular markets in Antwerp, here’s a useful list.

Take a stroll along the renewed Scheldekaaien – the banks of the river from Sint Andries to the south of the city have been renovated with open spaces, places to sit, stroll or for kids to play (pic below).

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If you are scratching your head looking for something cheap and cheerful to occupy the kids on their summer holidays, then have a look at Speel-O-Rama at the Zuiderpershuis, starting next week: it’s on from 15th July -9th August and costs only 2 euros per day, per child. It’s for kids aged 7-13, and offers workshops, activities, creative play, theatre and water games.

These Antwerp Sports Activities are for children aged 6-13. You need to register your child for a place on an activity. These usually mean a week sport sessions (Mon- Fri) in your chosen sport.

Bookish and creative kids might enjoy Bibfabriek at the Permeke library, on Wednesdays at 2pm during July.

belgium-flag-1332904_640Neighbourhood parties and festivals

The 21st of July is Belgium’s national day. Here are a few places which will be marking the formation of our relatively youthful nation.

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Antwerp Library Cafe wearing Pride colours on De Coninckplein

You can find all you need to know about Antwerp Pride, which is celebrated in Antwerp from the 7th-11th August. Of course there will be loads of Pride-related events taking place around the city, but for many the most important is the Pride Parade which takes place on Saturday 10th August, starting with a pre-parade event at midday. See here for the details, including the route of the parade.

Also taking place during Pride week (and continuing until the 18th August) is the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival. For a great general guide in English to LGBT+ life in Antwerp see this guest post from last year by Timothy Junes.

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Linkerwoofer

Sfinks Festival (25th-28th July) and Linkerwoofer (2nd -3rd August) are two popular Antwerp music festivals. Sfinks is a free four day festival, Linkerwoofer is ticketed. Both events are child-friendly.


Browse, buy & sell

Antwerp regulars-  for those in search of a second hard bargain- include Goegekregen rommelmarkt (28th July) and Permeke Boekenplein (21st July)

You can go Sunday Shopping in the shopping areas of the city on the first Sunday of the month.

Handy summer links

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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Summerbars.com is a really useful link with the details of all the summer bars in Antwerp for this season.

And there are a couple of open-air swimming pools in Antwerp, which can be found here.

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

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Summer is underway and it’s the last day of school on Friday. There are a lot of inexpensive events to enjoy, and new places to hangout. This is a great link which provides the names and locations of all the summer bars in Antwerp!

Friday

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Sint-Andriesplaats

Music, food, DJs, performance and kids games and entertainment at the Sint Andries Feesten  (pic right)from 3pm, in the square (Sint-Andriesplaats).

Circus Boelaere takes place over the whole weekend and has an extensive program of music, workshops, kids’ entertainment with a circus theme. It also comes with a reader recommendation from a local who got in touch to recommend that it be included in this week’s post!

Bar Oost also opens this weekend in Park Spoor Oost and they are holding their opening weekend (same venue as Sinksenfoor).

Take part in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride, starting as usual on Theaterplein at 6pm

Aper’eau  are on Leopold de Waalplaats -that’s the square right in front of the fine arts museum (aka KMSKA) with summer cocktails, wines and beers, DJs, and al fresco drinking from 5pm -11pm

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lots on for Beer lovers this weekend!

Down at the Seefbeer brewery and cafe, they’re holding a beergarden opening with festivities continuing over the weekend, starting at 3pm on Friday and including live music, a BBQ and a bouncy castle for the kids. Seef makes some really good beers and this is a lovely, slightly out-of-the way venue -recommended!

And there’s even more for beerlovers: all weekend on Groenplaats it’s the annual Bierpassie Weekend!

Saturday

kiloAt Plein Publiek there’s another vintage Kilo Sale from 12 -5pm, where as the name suggests you make your vintage/ retro/ pre-loved clothing purchases by the kilo (20 euros per kilo).

Lovers of street art should head to the Permeke Library reading garden (leestuin) today where street art festival Colours of Antwerp is taking place; check the agenda on the link since some activities require pre-registration. Most of them are free, except the tour led by Antwerp’s most popular and knowledgeable street art guide, Tim Marschang.

The ZOO summer bar opens today at 4pm; it’s a real little oasis of a summer bar just next to the flamingos at the zoo entrance and a lovely place to hang out right in the centre, next to the station, with frequent live music performances on the bandstand. ZOOmerbar is open until 19th August.

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The Zoo Summer Bar (pic by Zoo Antwerpen)

triodesfemmeRound off your Saturday with something a bit different in the form of this boisterous performance hosted by Antwerp’s English speaking theatre group Mixed and United, welcoming Trio de Femmes (pic right) and their show Girly Show: What We Sacrifice For The Dream of Love. Tickets 10euros, via email to info@mixedandunited.be
(stating: 1. show name: GirlyShow & 2. Names of the attendees).
Sunday

Fabric and craft fans, today is your day: it’s the fabric market on Grote Markt  brought to you by Stoffencircus from 10am -5pm, for all your stitching, sewing and fabric needs.

Around the St Pauluskerk area it’s the Utopia Festival -see the link for the full programme which comprises music, reading, guided tours and kids’ activities.

There’s an hour’s free zumba in the Harmoniepark from 4-5pm.

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Lambermontmartre

It’s the second Lambermontmartre of the season: Antwerp’s most relaxed and friendly art market, Lambermontmartre takes place in front of KMSKA on five Sundays over summer from midday until 5pm. It supports local artists in selling their work and is the perfect way to spend a stress-free summer afternoon. There’s always a band; snacks and drinks for sale and some kid-friendly art activities too.

Not only is Plantin Moretus an amazing place to visit because of what is inside the museums, but also because of what is outside and today is the day to go and find out about their historical gardens because it’s Open Gardens 2019 which is an annual event run by Open Tuinen VZW. This is an extra activity provided for visitors to the museum today (so you do need to pay the cost of visiting the museum, which is a must in itself)

Miscellaneous

 

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Bolt (source: Instagram)

The most important thing in this section this week is Bolt The Bearded Dragon! Just before term ended, I had the pleasure of guest-teaching a class of young bloggers at Antwerp International School who were improving their English skills by beginning blogs and writing blog entries. They all made amazing blogs, but this blog post was voted as the best one: it’s by Julian who blogs about looking after his fascinating and unusual pet -a very handsome bearded dragon who goes by the name of Bolt. Please have a look and give him a LIKE to encourage this young blogger -keep on writing, Julian!

(NB: Bolt also has his own Instagram account!)

On Monday last week, I published a helpful guest post by Jon Kemp all about how and where to learn Dutch in Antwerp

It’s truly summer when Summer HQ opens in the form of the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg which it did on the 24th June (last Monday) at 2pm. It’s a familiar and essential summer hangout that’s very relaxed and kid-friendly. Note: Stad Antwerp summer bars will be cashless this year.

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in quick for ticketed events that you are interested in. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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

Friday

Screen Shot 2019-06-18 at 14.12.22It’s international Yoga Day today and if you enjoy yoga or would like to try it, the Permeke library might be a good place to be. They have a programme of events for the day, taking place in their Leestuin (reading garden) which is a lovely secluded courtyard at the back of the library. Check out the Permeke Flow Yoga workshops for the day 

Flying Pig are down on the Zuiderdokken ready to help you kick off your weekend with their usual blend of summer outside drinking, food trucks and DJs from 5pm.

Saturday

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Bogerrio

If there is a more colourful carnival event than Borgerrio in Antwerp, then I’d love to hear about it -in the meantime this streetparty is the queen of Antwerp street parties, bringing -as it’s name suggests -a taste of the Rio carnival spirit to Borgerhout. From 13h – 18h there will be a splendid parade, music, kids activities and lots of stands offering food and goods from the various communities that live in this richly diverse part of Antwerp. For those ready to party way into the night there’s the Borgerrio Afterparty at Pekfabrik
from 11pm.

For something a little more low key there’s the ABC (Antiques, Bric-a-brac, Books, Curiosa) Market den Beulebak from 11am-5pm in the University area.

Govinda is an annual Indian festival in Antwerp (organised by the Hare Krishna movement) which takes place on Groenplaats.

Sunday

portofantwerptriathlon2019Sunday doesn’t seem like a day of rest at all this weekend. Firstly here are a couple of sporty events for you. The Antwerp Triathlon welcomes supporters at Eilandje: it will be a warm busy day as athletes take part in three events around the Eilandje and port area of the city, featuring swimming, cycling and running.

For those wanting to enjoy some outdoor exercise themselves, head to this free zumba event at Harmonie Park at 4pm. These hour-long sessions are on until 25th August.

For bargain hunters and browsers check out one or two of these  markets today: from 9am-6pm there’s a secondhand market on Dageraadplaats.

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Grote Markt

Brocantwerpen is on Grotemarkt from 10am -6 (this is more an antique and curiosa market)

Stulp (11am-6pm) at Costa Sint Andies (Sint Andriesplaats) is a market with an emphasis on recycling and upcycling pre-loved clothes, books, plants and other items.

It’s set to be warm and dry this weekend, with temperatures of around 21-22 degrees on Friday and Saturday, rising to 25 degrees on Sunday.

Miscellaneous

On Monday I published a helpful guest post by Jon Kemp all about how and where to learn Dutch in Antwerp

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Zomerbar

It’s truly summer when Summer HQ opens in the form of the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg which is does on the 24th June (Monday) at 2pm. It’s a familiar and essential summer hangout that’s very relaxed and kid-friendly. Note: Stad Antwerp summer bars will be cashless this year.

As usual at the end of the month Stad Antwerpen museums are open for free on Wednesday

And don’t forget the Buurt Pleintjes which are on over summer and offer sporting activities and classes for very low prices. You need to register for some of these but sometimes that is not directly possible via that link: click on “meer lezen” where there will be info about registering for the activity you are interested in (eg. via email). In some cases it’s not necessary (where it says “Inschrijven is niet nodig”) and you can

Antwerp’s biggest annual funfair has opened at Park Spoor Oost: Sinksenfoor 2019  – a traditional funfair with all the rides, colour, noise and high-carb food  you could wish for! Sinksenfoor is on daily until the 7th July.

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

Just a short post as I am out of town this week, but I hope you have a great Easter weekend in Antwerp. If you are celebrating Easter, here is a list of the services at Antwerp Cathedral over the Easter weekend.

And here are a few possible highlights …

Friday

Bollyfit offers Bollywood dancing lessons in Antwerp and on Friday there are two free trial lessons at Parkloods; the first at 5pm, and the second at 6pm.

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And don’t forget Dokmarkt down at Eilandje from 3pm -8pm.

Saturday

If you’re a vinyl lover who didn’t quite get enough of Record Store Day last weekend, then head to the bar Bato Batu for their second hand record fair from 1pm -6pm.

GroenplaatsTake the kids to play outside on Groenplaats (pic right) from 1.30pm with Jespo on TourJespo is a non-profit organisation aiming to bring sporting activities and opportunities to kids aged 3-18 at an affordable price. Kids will have the chance to try out different sports activities at this event.

Alternatively they may enjoy this Easter Egg Hunt at BATS Little Theatre at 2pm (Paardenmarkt 111). It’s only 2 euros per child and you can register via email: theatre@batsantwerp.be

 Sunday

It’s the monthly secondhand book, magazine and comics market on de Conninckplein in front of Permeke Library from 10am.

If you prefer to celebrate your easter with an afternoon/ evening dance session, then head to Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord where Soulshakers will be playing some Dancehall, reggae and Afrobeats from 4pm (free)

Miscellaneous

Two recent special Nessacityblog posts are available now: one about The Chef’s Cut, for foodies, and one about the VZW Wwelcome, which has a variety of services for newcomers to the city, to help them settle in and integrate into local life.

There will be a Goegekregen secondhand market on Theaterplein for Easter Monday.

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Buitenspeeldag!

24th April is Buitenspeeldag (play outside day) from 1pm -5pm. There are a number of areas where kids can join in with this and where outside toys and games are provided for them. Last year mine enjoyed this day in the reading garden at Permeke Library, and on de Coninckplein (left), but elsewhere in and around town there are other places too: Kielpark, Agorapark, Stuivenbergplein, Sint-Andriesplaats, Koning Albertpark and Boeienweide.

Brocantwerpen is an antiques and bric-a-brac market held on Grotemarkt over the summer months: the first one is next Wednesday (24th) from 10am -6pm.

Also on the last Wednesday of the months, these Antwerp City Museums are free.

Runners! There is still time to sign up for The Antwerp 10 miles and marathon. This event takes place on the 28th April.

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

Friday

 

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MEUG 2019

 

Hurrah! MEUG Tasting Festival opens at Zuiderpershuis with a one-day craft café from 4pm. It’s free but you need to purchase a tasting glass and jetons to buy drinks. photocredit: Meug – Frauke Photography.

BATS hold their spring open evening, from 8.30pm – a chance to find out about joining BATS, being involved in a production and hearing more about their current program. Join them at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt.

Dokmarkt starts up again at Eilandje (near MAS on the Napoleonkaai) from 3pm. With spring like weather forecast, Dokmarkt would be a nice place to start your weekend.

Saturday

Saturday is MEUG’s main day. Buy tickets in advance or on the door (if it’s not sold out) each ticket includes 4 jetons. I really enjoy this festival. There are loads of beers to try -and also whiskies, which Mr Nessascityblog enjoys. Zuiderpershuis is a great venue for this purpose and it’s always a friendly and relaxed event.

grotemarkt319For a real piece of Antwerp folklore, come and see the Seminiviering. This is a very local festivity, dating back a long time in reverence of Semini, a fertility figure who can be spotted (sadly, minus his original phallus) in the stonework above the entrance to Het Steen. You can read his story here. Couples who marry on this day are celebrated, and the festivities start on Grote Markt (pic left) at 11am with song and dance, followed by a procession which will set off for Sint Andriesplaats at 1.30pm.

Need something fixed? There are two possibilities: head to the Repair Café at Archipel from 10am – 4pm (entrance is via the Lange Lobroekstraat), or there’s this one at ‘T Werkhuys in Borgerhout from 12- 4pm, where you can also sell your own used items. Both are free.

On the shopping streets of Dambruggestraat- Offerandestraat they’re celebrating spring (to coincide with the Persian New Year) on both Saturday and Sunday -featuring extra stands, and  a bouncy castle.

Or head down to Plein Publiek (D’Herbouvillekaai 19) for this weekend’s rommelmarkt (second hand market) from 11am, courtesy of STULP.

Sunday

Music on Dambruggestraat- Offerandestraat (see above) from 18pm.

Take the kids to Cinema Zuid for “Gus” (in Dutch) for 5 euros at 10.30am -much cheaper than the mainstream cinemas, plus you have the chance to look around FOMU while you are there. Both Cinema Zuid and FOMU are holding events for Black History Month at the moment, and you can see these and other BHM events here.

There’s a big rommelmarkt at Kinepolis (indoor) from 10am- 6pm. There is a 3 euro entry charge for this one.

Weather’s looking up – Friday should be warm and dry, cooling off to a milder Saturday and Sunday (12- 14 degrees) but still staying dry. *crosses fingers*.

Miscellaneous

redstarlineNext Wednesday -being the last of the month -many museums are free in Antwerp.

March is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.

Write a post for Nessascityblog. Go on. You know you want to.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th & 17th March

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It’s St Patrick’s day on Sunday, but as the ‘day’ has long since morphed into an entire weekend, it’s worth listing all of Antwerp’s Irish bars on this post. They will all be offering promos, music and other events or offers this weekend.

Nearest the station is Kelly’s – popular with tourists and sports fans, this is the most central of the bars, and the largest.

Also popular with tourists is The Irish Times on Grote Markt, a busy bar with a great location, it’s also known for sports and for live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

MollysFMolly’s Irish Pub is tucked away on Jesuitenrui on the old town -it’s smaller, very friendly and also popular for sport.

And last (but never least) An Sibhin on Nationalestraat -like Molly’s it’s smaller and friendly, with a relaxed crowd, sports and live music (also excellent sandwiches).

In a city the size of Antwerp, these pubs are not far from each other, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t aim high and hope to do a crawl which takes in all four of them this weekend.

Saturday

If you are interested in ebikes, Park Spoor Noord is the place to be for this E-bike test event from 10am- 5pm.

It’s the monthly film night at Het Roze Huis, Draakplaats. Film nights and free and you don’t need to reserve. Starting at 8pm, the film this month is the 2011 Dutch documentary film “Allemaal Lesbisch” by Mildred Roethof.

guinnessFThere’s a Guinness promo (and the chance to pour your own Guinness) at Molly’s all day, with music from 8pm (and a very similar program for the next day too).

Sunday (St Patrick’s Day)

From 10am it’s the usual second book market at the library (“boekenplein”).

Art lovers -enjoy a selection of Antwerp galleries opening their doors on and around the Leopoldplaats: it’s the second of the Leopold Sundays this year (participating galleries are Annie Gentils, Artelli Gallery, (re)D., Geukens & De Vil, mariondecanniere, Philippe Piessens, Keteleer Gallery and Next Door.)

An Sibhin will be great for food with Irish breakfasts being served from 11am and, oysters and stew on the terrace for lunch / afternoon. There will be a live band at 6pm.

If you like a really big, traditional sound, a St Patrick’s Day highlight for you could be the Red Hackle Pipe Band at 3pm in Kelly’s bar.

Irishpubs

A different way of going green on St Patrick’s Day would be these gardening workshops at Rivierenhof 2100 Deurne (near the kids’ farm). They’re free but you do need to register in advance here. Choose a 10am or 2pm start time.

Look out for runners taking part in the Antwerp Urban Trail.

The weather will be reasonably mild (top temps of 12 -13 degrees) but showers likely each day.

Miscellaneous

chocopassFChocolate Week continues in Antwerp – if you are familiar with Pateekes Week, then you will know the format, as it is the same: get your Chocolate Pass (“chocoladepas”; pic right) for 10 euros and then benefit from special chocolatey bargains around the city by exchanging the vouchers on the pass. You can buy the pass at one of Antwerp’s tourist offices (in central station, and on Grote Markt). Chocolate week continues until Sunday and you can see a list of participating chocolatiers and cafés here. Not only do you get bargain-priced chocolate but you can get in free to the Expo Chocolat Martougin which tells the interesting story story of this Antwerp brand (which has been revived and is being sold again in the city from this year) and its founder, Alfred Martougin (1875-1952).  I stumbled across this exhibition on Wednesday and found it all really intriguing. It is in Dutch but there are some lovely images and examples of Martougin products and packaging over the years which anyone would enjoy.

March is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 18th, 19th & 20th January

Friday

lolfLegends of Liondance begins at Permeke library today as part of the approaching Chinese New Year festivities. This is a colourful display of the lions which lasts until 10th February, and is free.

And if you fancy an old-school date, classic film The Italian job is on at Cinema Zuid. This is such a nice venue to watch classic movies, and -at 5 euros – much cheaper than the corporate cinema multiplexes. I recommend checking out the cinema, and their program. Cinema Zuid is in FOMU (the photography museum).

Saturday

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Eilandje

On Saturday afternoon, from 1pm the Astridplein (next to central station) will be transformed into a tulip field containing tens of thousands of tulips from Flanders: you can come and pick some for free, until 4.30pm.

Similar to the Leopold Sundays (see below), Artland sees galleries around the Eilandje area open their doors and also offer a New Year’s drink to visitors, as well as a chance to see the works on display in the art-spaces around MAS. Free, from 1pm -6pm

 

Sunday

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It’s the first Boeken Plein of 2019 at de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library: second hand books, magazines, postcards and graphic novels for sale from 10am -4pm. This event takes place monthly on the third Sunday of every month.

Not far away around the Leopoldplaats area, it’s another Leopold Sunday: seven galleries open their doors simultaneously enabling you to enjoy for free a variety of local art exhibitions between 2 and 6pm.

The weather will feel pretty cold, but Friday and Sunday should have some periods of brightness. Possibility of showers.

Miscellaneous

This week I published a special post by Daniel McBrearty. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a lively and fascinating account of the history, ideas and current expo behind the Plantin Moretus museum on the Vrijdag markt: How An Antwerp Immigrant Changed The World In 1550.

January in Antwerp wouldn’t be complete without the BATS panto! This year it’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (oh, yes it is!)  at Theater ‘t Eilandje, and tickets are available via the BATS VZW website.

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This weekend in Antwerp: December 8th, 9th & 10th

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Wishing Wall at Antwerp Christmas Market

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

Saturday

Opening of Winter in Antwerp (see above)

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On Krugerplein from 6pm there will be a winter camp fire, music and warming winter “stoofpot” (stew) to coincide with a local winter market at De Kleine Wereldburger school (from 2pm – 8pm).

Berchem Schittert is an end-of-year winter event on Plein aan de Vredestraat, starting at 4.30pm. The festive lights will be turned on, and there will be a fire show and a small Christmas market

Sunday

Markt van Morgen offers a way of doing your Christmas shopping that is a little less stressful than the main shopping areas and a bit more likely to support local businesses and their products. Check out the Christmas edition on Kloosterstraat from midday.

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Permeke Library

Another means of escape from the hubbub would be Leopold Sundays: eight galleries around the Leopoldplein area open their doors for art lovers between 2 and 6pm. Annie Gentils, Artelli Gallery, (re)D., Geukens & De Vil, mariondecanniere, Philippe Piessens, Keteleer Gallery and Next Door are the galleries taking part in Leopold Sundays.

It sounds like an unlikely venue for such an event, but Meatpack is hosting a Vegan Christmas Market from 11am -10pm. 3 euros entry (under 12s go free).

Kids may like this free pompom making activity from 11am- 1pm at Permeke Library.

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

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Weather could be a bit mixed this weekend. It’s not freezing cold yet (temps around 9- 11 degrees) however, there could be light rain, on and off over the weekend.

Miscellaneous

This week on Monday I was delighted to press this guest post all about an Italian home-run business called Whisk & Scoop. Have a look if you haven’t read it yet: it’s a must for lovers of authentic Italian food.

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

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De Warmste Week

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

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This weekend: 17th & 18th November

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

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Children waiting for the Sint at the Town Hall 

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

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

Saturday

 

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

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

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

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

Sunday

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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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