Happy New Year to everyone who is celebrating the beginning of the Year of The Rat this weekend!
Saturday will be the busiest day for New Year celebrations in Antwerp’s Chinatown. The most popular part of the day is the Lion dance which takes place on van Wesenbekestraat. Come and enjoy the drama of the dance, and be prepared for the firecrackers, which are plentiful and LOUD. However, there are lots of accompanying events this year, so have a look at the full Chinese New Year programme as there is a lot going on in the Permeke Library, and in front of it on De Coninckplein, where there will be a new year’s market and a Tai Chi demonstration.
On Saturday evening Swaajp Invites (impro theatre) offers an evening of improvisational humour designed to delight all Potterheads. The evening’s entertainment is in English and begins at 8pm. Reserve your tickets here.
Enjoy a new year’s drink with the good people of Borgerhout on the Moorkensplein from 3pm. It’s a free neighbourhood event with soup, drinks, kids’ fun and even a chance to see a giant or two -for which Borgerhout is justly famous.
Alternatively, head back to Viggo’s on de Coninckplein for coffee and Sunday afternoon music from 4pm, with DJ and saxophonist, Eric Morel.
The weather this weekend is likely to remain quite cold, but mainly dry. There might be some showers on Sunday afternoon. Top temps of 8-9 degrees.
Don’t forget that some Antwerp museums are free on the last Wednesday of the month (next Wednesday, the 29th). These are the Museum Plantin Moretus, the Rockox Museum, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, the MAS and the Red Star Line Museum.
Look out for a guest post on Monday – I am especially proud of this one as it has been written by my students at Antwerp International School. We are studying a sustainability topic, and their post is about sustainable shopping in Antwerp.
Beestenbos is a bar on Sint Andriesplaats celebrating its first birthday this Friday from 5pm with food and music: there’s a square where kids can play while their grown-ups get a beer in this relaxed neighbourhood.
Beer lovers will be pleased to learn that over in Borgerhout, microbrewery Cabardouche opens its doors today with an opening party starting at 3pm.
Molly’s Oktoberfest is on from 3pm -music, food, general good cheer and of course pitchers of beer will be available in this friendly and popular Irish bar in the old town (Jesuitenrui). Because we all need an Oktoberfest in September (just like they do in Munich).
For kids, there’s a day of fun on de Coninckplein in front of the Permeke library: Coninckskinderen children’s festival starts at midday and continues until 5pm: games, dress-up, outdoor play and even a climbing wall.
There’s a small Rommelmarkt on Giraffenplein behind the zoo, courtesy of the cycling and coffee bar, Vitesse. Just round the corner the lovely Baby Pinoy restaurant is selling up a bunch of stuff too (its furniture, plus some vintage clothing) as it prepares to move on to pastures new. We are sorry to see this eaterie leave.
Bouger Bouger on Krugerplein, Borgerhout is a fun local vintage and fleamarket, which always has a few extras in terms of food and music, and a great neighbourhood feel. It’s on from 10am -6pm.
ITAKA Zuidrand is a language, cultural studies, and art history school, with four campuses in and around Antwerp. It is for adult learners, particularly for those over 50 years old and seniors. The languages which are taught are English, Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic. There’s also Art History in Dutch, and Music History in Dutch. No exams, and no stress – registration is available now and into October www.facebook.com/itaka.zuidrand/Tel: 03 457 59 22 (during the school year) . GSM: 0486/53 09 15 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Antwerp Ghostwalks are a well reviewed Antwerp city walk to the darkest and spookiest streets of the city, although they are known for their humour as much as for the horror, and this week you can catch a ghostwalk in English -sign up via email (email@example.com) for 12.50 per adult and 7.50 per child.
Just in case you didn’t get enough beer at the Bollekesfeest last weekend, the ABC Taproom (Seefbier brewery) is launching a new one. How considerate! Come and taste the new summer beer from 4pm at the brewery on Indiestraat in the Cadixwijk.
Zomer van Antwerpen’s Muziek in de Wijk goes jazzy this evening on Dageraadplaats from 7.30pm (free).
It’s the summer edition of Left Festival on Linkeroever -a large open-air flea market, plus some music, kids’ ents and a bar to enjoy while browsing. Free, 9am -5pm
ABC (Antiques, Books Curiosa) at Den Beulebak is a monthly market in the university area, from 11am- 5pm. Free.
‘T Waagstuk is a lovely old bar serving a wide variety of Belgian beers on Waagstuk. It has been closed for refurb since 2016 and many will be delighted to see that it is opening its doors again this weekend, on Saturday at 4pm.
It’s the annual Cultuurmarkt all around Antwerp today. Meir (museums, heritage, literature), Steenplein (dance, circus, movement), Groenplaats (theatre & musicals), Grotemarkt & Kaasrui (music, arts centres, film) as well as other locations, will all be busy with 100s of local cultural organisations showing off their performances, workshops, courses, activities and other opportunities to become involved in the artistic and cultural life of the city, as well as their programmes for the upcoming season (eg. theatre, dance, and exhibition programmes). Many organisations from beyond Antwerp come to the city to share what they do.
It’s a massive programme and there are many activities for all ages which can be tried out at various stands. Activities and organisations with kids’ activities will be indicated with the familiar “vlieg” symbol. You can either plan what you’d like to find out about, or just head in to town and see what you come across!
Lambermonmartre is another popular Antwerp regular summer event: an outdoor artmarket where local artists sell and promote their creations in front of KMSKA (Leopold de Waelplaats) from midday until 5pm. There’s always a small bar, and a stand selling fresh cake and sandwiches too, as well as some live jazz/ swing music.
It’s going to be a very warm weekend -especially on Saturday and Sunday when temperatures could reach 30 degrees. Bring your sun screen and your water bottle!
Next Wednesday is the last of the month, so you can visit Antwerp museums for free. You can see which ones are free here.
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).
It’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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
If you’re a movie fan who can’t wait until next week for Critical Mass, head to the beautiful Roma theatre from 4pm -it will be transformed into a cinematic cyclists’ heaven for Bike-In-Cinema -this kicks off Critical Mass Belgium (see the link and find the Antwerp ride for Saturday.
For a more traditional Friday night activity, there this bar crawl in the Dam area. It’s free to join and around 6 bars will be visited -keep an eye on the Facebook event for details.
Regular ABC (antiques; Brocante; Curiosa) market is on at Den Beulebak from 11-5 on the pretty Sint-Nicolaasplaats in the university area.
Kraakvers Farmers’ Market (fresh and local artisanal products) is on at PAKT in the Groenekwartier from 10am-3pm (Regine Beerplein)
It’s the fourth annual Brasspartij – this is a fun event involving a “battle of the bands”. Vying for victory will be five Dutch and Belgian bands who will bring an upbeat New Orleans vibe to Harmoniepark. The bands will set off from various cafés and bars at 13.30 (see ‘de routes’ on the hyperlink if you want to stroll along with them)
There’s been a few serious running events shared on Nessascityblog lately, but the Sint Andries Run is definitely more of a ‘fun run’ and a family event in a real Antwerp neighbourhood. There are two kids’ runs, a 5k and a 10k. On Sint-Andriesplaats there will also be food and drink stands to cater for runners and supporters. The fun starts at 11am on Sint-Andriesplaats when you can register to join one of the runs, if you are not already signed up.
Hopefully there will be enough breeze on Sunday to lift the kites high above Linkeroever at this Vlieger Happening. Head to Park Middenvijver (corner of Blancefloerlaan/ A. Van Cauwelaertlaan) where amateurs and professionals can show their skills, as well as a variety of kid-friendly activities, food and drink stands and even a circus show – from 1pm-6pm.
Hurrah! It’s the first Lambermontmartre(pic left) of the season: Antwerp’s most relaxed and friendly art market, Lambermontmartre takes place in front of KMSKA on five Sundays over summer from midday until 5pm. It supports local artists in selling their work and is definitely a Nessascityblog recommend! There’s always a band; snacks and drinks for sale and some kid-friendly art activities too.
Good weather expected this weekend: generally bright and dry with top temperatures of 22-23 degrees!
The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) will be online from the 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in early for ticketed events that you are interested in.
29th May is the last Wednesday of the month, so you can visit Stad Antwerpen museums for free on that day.
Last week on Monday I published an extra post: meet Sylwia, a life coach from Poland who has lived in Antwerp since 1996.
And tickets are now on sale for the 2019 BATS Variety Show in June. This is a popular annual event, so get in early if you’d like to catch this fun show!
And here’s another option for theatre in English from Antwerp based theatre and impro group Mixed and United: Loads is a play written by Sebastian Badarau, and the last performance is on Saturday. It’s about student actors preparing a Chekhovian play and you can order tickets online here.
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 …
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.
And don’t forget Dokmarkt down at Eilandje from 3pm -8pm.
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.
Take the kids to play outside on Groenplaats (pic right) from 1.30pm with Jespo on Tour. Jespo 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.
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)
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.
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.
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 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.
For 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.
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*.
Friday It’s the last Friday of the months and it’s a special Critical Mass: it’s the sixth birthday of the Antwerp group. Assemble at 17.45 on Theaterplein (look out for The Hangover Bar).
Saturday JEF is an annual film festival for children and young people in Belgium, with events taking place in various locations across the country. There is of course, a JEF program in Antwerp featuring screenings, activities and workshops for all ages. Most of these take place in the Zuiderpershuis, with a few at the Ecohuis too. JEF runs from today until the 10th March and is well worth looking at if you have kids to entertain during the Spring half-term break (“Krokusvakantie”).
Now that the weather is cheering up, why not head to Plein Publiek and check out the upcoming Circulair Zuid area? There’s a Revive closet sale at Plein Publiek (now at D’Herbouvillekaai 19, 2000) from 10am -4am.
The seed library at the Ecohuis re-opens today, and is a great idea for green-fingered people and gardeners in the city: borrow seeds, and bring back more seeds from your own harvest. Open from 1- 4pm; this is a good time to go along and learn about the work (advice, exhibitions, workshops) of the Ecohuis if you do not already know it (the cafe is really nice too!)
It’s Dag Van De Academies; celebrating the work of those who attend arts academies and follow courses on a part-time basis, with a number of activities, performances and exhibitions in the Antwerp area, including an art trail for children (5-15), starting at Meechelseplein (by the Willem Elsschot statue) at 11am.
Finish your Saturday at BATS Theatre on Paardenmarkt, for a show (in English) from energetic impro group Swaajp, starting at 8pm (and this week hosting “de Boterbrigade“). Tickets here.
Cyclists – it’s the Noordkasteel Cross. It’s 10 euros to take part and forms part of the Ronde van District Antwerpen. Register via the email on the link. Men and women ages 15- 95 may take part.
Temperatures will be mild (13- 14 degrees) cooling off on a Sunday to around 10 degrees. It should be a dry weekend, with some sunshine.
The last Wednesday of the month means free city museums in Antwerp.
… and if that doesn’t provide you with enough cultural enrichment, why not check out this musical event in Merksem (also on Wednesday) which I head about this week, and includes a beautiful classical music set based on dance and fantasy. The second part of the evening there will be a guitar & piano duo playing chansons.
The event (pic right) is free entrance and if you would like a meal before the concert starts, there will be a Volxkeuken providing dinner for just €6.
Next month is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.
Are you, or do you know, a young person who has taken part in the Climate Marches recently? If so, he/ she can get a 20% discount on any purchases from any of Antwerp’s eight second hand stores. To get the discount -show a selfie of yourself on the march. It’s available until the 8th March.
If you are feeling in need of a bracing cycle ride to round off your week, join Critical Mass: assembling at 6pm on Theaterplein for an hour’s cycling en masse through the city (pic right, from Critical Mass Facebook page).
For those who prefer a stroll, explore the Borgerhout area through the lens of its art works: Borger #15 is an art event where participating galleries, within walking or cycling distance of one another open for the evening. The galleries open for Borger #15 are: Zeno X Gallery (Godtsstraat 15); DMW Art Space (Koolstraat 15) ;The Arts Institute (Kattenberg 93); Base-Alpha Gallery, Antwerp (Kattenberg 12); Eva Steynen.Deviations (Zurenborgstraat 28) and they are open between 6pm and 9pm.
Avoid the cold by heading to MAS museum for an afternoon of social game and game-playing. This a free event, aimed at families and kids, and it’s on from 10am -5pm.
Monthly show Swaajp Invites is on at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt. Beata Rozalska from Poland is the impro group’s guest performer this week. Tickets available here.
There’s a mega indoor rommelmarkt at Kinepolis Event centre, from 10am -6pm. 3 euros entry
After the snow this week, it’s going to continue to be cold, with the possibility of snow and showers over Saturday and Sunday
I recently went to DIVA Diamond Museum for the first time to catch the Axel Verwoordt exhibition: WonderKamer. It’s magical, so if you want to stay out of the cold and see some beautiful, eccentric, curious and elegant objects and art works, I thoroughly recommend it.
Last 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.
Legends of Liondance continues at Permeke library 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.
BATS panto is now virtually sold out! … apart from Sunday EVENING (17:30pm) performance at Theater ‘t Eilandje. Tickets are available via the BATS VZW website.
NEW EXHIBITION AT PLANTIN- MORETUS SHOWS THE CITY’S IMPORTANT ROLE IN PAVING THE WAY FOR THE ENLIGHTENMENT.
A trip to the Plantin Moretus museum (left) provided the inspiration for this guest post by Daniel McBrearty.
Are you deluged by data, fazed by fake news, or stressed out from trying to find a teaspoon of facts in a sea of information? What you need is some historical perspective, and Antwerp’s Plantin Moretus Museum is the perfect place to find it …
Christophe Plantin, a native Frenchman and Humanist who became a powerful Antwerp businessman, could reasonably be called the Steve Jobs of the 16th century. He founded one of the three most important printing presses in Europe, and by 1550 he was one of the biggest publishers in the world, with sixteen operational presses and employing fifty people. The technology he used, along with much of his considerable wealth and countless books, are lovingly preserved in the Plantin Moretus Museum, on the Vrijdagmaarkt.
As well as physical artefacts, the Museum has done a wonderful (and timely, given the impact of the internet on our own times) job of placing Moretus’s considerable influence in a historical context. Their current exhibition, “Baroque Book Design”, fuses the work of Rubens and others -as part of the city’s the publishing industry- with insightful observation on social conditions of the time.
After Plantin’s death, the business was taken over by Jan Moretus, his son-in-law, and the family continued to dominate European publishing for the next 150 years. The printing press was a real challenge to the Catholic church, which had relied on the inability of an illiterate public to interpret the Bible without the help of priests. Gutenberg’s invention broke forever that monopoly of belief.
Books – now twenty times faster to produce, and much cheaper- became more widely available. An information revolution as big as our own, was underway. Schools of language, medicine, science and religion serviced a knowledge-hungry public, and created huge demand, which the Plantin-Moretus family was more than willing to supply. With a technology based on pouring lead into stamped copper moulds to make type, which was then manually assembled into pages, their team of craftsmen produced, over several years, a staggering 500,000 copies of one small book of language exercises – this being just one of countless volumes from the house.
Revolutions of belief soon led to violence, followed by a formidable backlash from the Vatican. Europe was beset by rebellion and repression. Catholic Spain and the Protestant Netherlands went to war, and Antwerp caught right between them. As well as Bibles in many languages, The Plantin Press had been publishing translations of Latin and Greek philosophers, and works which spread new scientific research. But a crackdown from the church forced an end to the dissemination of such dangerous ideas. The Plantin-Moretus family, however, were clearly astute diplomats as well as businesspeople, managers, and technicians. Not only did they survive, they became at various times, official printers and typographers to the Dutch, the Spanish and the Church.
Then, as now, the real benefits of the new technology were not immediately felt by common people. In fact it took several hundred years, and much argument and bloodshed, before they led to real improvement in living conditions.
As well as his beautiful drawings and engraved copper plates, the Museum possesses many paintings by Rubens, who was one of the favourite illustrators used by the Moretus family. Everywhere you feel his portraits gazing at you. His subjects included (as well as the nobility and the clergy) workers at the house. For me, they show an honest astuteness which lesser artists lack – rather like a modern artist such as Milo Manara, he has the rare ability to capture something of the soul of his subjects.
Entrance to the Museum is inexpensive (6€ or 8€ depending on age), or free with an A-kaart. Staff are friendly and helpful, and on a weekday the space is fairly uncrowded. You can take refreshment in one of Vrijdaagmaarkt’s excellent cafes and restaurants and then stroll back in with no problem. Photography is permitted without flash.
So, if the internet revolution has left you dazed and confused, or if you simply fancy an entertaining, thought-provoking few hours, I highly recommend Plantin-Moretus Museum. After all, we’ve been here before, and it helps to be reminded of that.
Daniel McBrearty is a father, jazz clarinet and sax player, singer-songwriter and electronics whiz who has made his home in Antwerp since 2001.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Here’s the Google Map to help you find your way around Antwerp this weekend.
Antwerp gastro-fest Smaakmeesters continues this weekend until the end of the month with walks, offers, foodie workshops and markets …
It’s the Hallowe’en edition of Critical Mass! Assemble as usual at 6pm with your bike on Theaterplein. After a group bike-ride of about an hour around Antwerp, you will -if you have dressed up for the occasion be rewarded with a mug of soup on arrival at Sint-Paulusplaats, courtesy of veggie fast food restaurant De Krewelligen Bidet (which comes personally recommended -tasty, cheap home-cooked vegetarian & vegan fast-food).
Last week I mentioned Antwerp’s newest market: Dokmarket, which takes place weekly on Fridays from 3pm- 8pm and finally last week I went along to Napoleonkaai where I enjoyed a cava and a quiche from Quichenette, bought some delicious Save The Queen honey gin and a couple of jars of pickles from Spijs en Valies. It’s a nice mix of local products to eat or drink on the spot or to buy to take home. Although partly covered, it’s one to enjoy while it’s still dry and not too cold.
It’s the ABC (Antiques, Brocante, Curiosa) at Den Beulebak from 11am-5pm.
If you are keen to start your Hallowe’en festivities, then The Irish Times (just off Grote Markt) is the place to start tonight. It’s a fancy dress party (of course) with live music from 10pm. Other Irish pubs will be holding events on the day itself (Wednesday -see miscellaneous).
Union Love Affair is a festival taking place on Steenplein from midday until midnight – funk, hip-hop, DJs -only 5 euros in, plus this also includes drinks jetons for two drinks… you do the maths.
Commemorating and celebrating The Day of The Dead has become an annual event at the MAS museum, Eilandje. This takes place on the 8th floor of the museum from 3pm -6pm. Visitors are invited to bring a photograph or keepsake associated with a loved one who has died. This event is free and includes the opportunity to see the exhibition Feest.
A reminder that clocks go back an hour today!
The weather is going to feel cooler and more autumnal (11-13 degrees) with a possibility of some showers on Saturday and on Sunday too.
Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month which means that Antwerp City museums are free. Of particular interest at the moment might be the De Reede Museum which is presently exhibiting Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Also on the last Wednesday of the month, you can also catch a free classical concert at 2.30pm at the Vleeshuis.
Wednesday is Hallowe’en: Irish pubs around the city are always a good bet: fancy dress party & games at Kelly’s on Keyserlei; the traditional Annual Hallowe’en Quiz & fancy dress at An Sibhin on Nationalestraat (register teams via the Facebook page); and a big fancy dress party at Molly’s on Jezuitenrui, with costumes, games, prizes and free candy ..)
November 1st is a public holiday. There will be a holiday “rommelmarkt” on Theaterplein, courtesy of Goegekregen, from 9am -6pm.