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

MUSIC LOVERS: WIN SOME TICKETS!

Richard Egarr Conductor and Harpsichardist Photo; Marco Borggreve

On Saturday March 16th, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra plays Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, known as the Scottish, under the baton of the British conductor Richard Eggar (pictured left; photo by Marco Borggreve) at the Queen Elisabeth Hall, Antwerp.

If you would like to win a pair of tickets to this event, head to the Nessascityblog Instagram account then simply FOLLOW -LIKE –  & TAG A FRIEND on the competition post. The winner will be informed on Sunday night.

Friday

Friday is International Women’s Day. Join the Women’s Strike Festival on Theaterplein from 4pm. Take part in the activism and also enjoy some food, drink and kids entertainment; you can read about the women’s strike here.50751067_372479183531775_2584346929412440064_o

On Friday evening there is a group exhibition from a new art platform called Pas de Soucis (pic right). You can find them on the Van Diepenbeeckstraat 22 from 7pm onwards and offering drinks, snacks, music, painting, photography, video installations and fashion.

Chocolate Week begins in Antwerp – if you are familiar with Pateekes Week, then you will know the format, as it is the same: get your Chocolate Pass 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 stration, and on Grote Markt). Chocolate week continues until the 17th March and you can see a list of participating chocolatiers and cafés here.

Saturday

Hurrah, it’s RETRO DAY in the second hand shops (“kringwinkels”) of Antwerp. There are eight second hand shops in Antwerp; you can find them listed here. Pick up an authentic bargain and support the eco-friendly work of your local second hand store. And don’t forget that if you have items to recycle, the Kringwinkel offer a free pick-up service if you ring to arrange it: 03 217 25 10

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Sunday

Swan Market is back in Antwerp today, with their regular brand of food trucks, and market stands offering clothes, accessories and home products produced by small businesses. Swan Market is at Meatpack (Samberstraat 40) from11am- 6pm.

From 9am- 6pm purveyors of second hand clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, antiques, vinyl and household goods …. Goegekregen are at Waagnatie. This is a free “rommelmarkt”. There will also be streetfood, and drinks.

Last day of kids’ film festival JEF -see miscellaneous, below.

Weather – Friday could be bright, cool and pleasant; light rain expected over Saturday and Sunday.

Miscellaneous

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

JEF2019JEF 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 until the 10th March and is well worth looking at if you have kids to entertain during the Spring half-term break (“Krokusvakantie”).

 

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

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skating on Groenplaats

The Winter In Antwerp season has started, 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.

On the other side of the water, there’s Club Cabane Winter Edition, also with Christmas food & drink, a skating rink and a Christmas Market.

Mekanik
Mekanik

Saturday

From 11-6pm at Mekanik store there is a Christmas sale of graphic artworks and illustrations by local graphic artists. Mekanik is Antwerp’s best-known store for . graphic novels, graphic series, animé, comics & more.

SNITT are at CostA on Sint Andriesplaats with a sale of second hand and vintage clothing from 11am- 4pm. This is part of the “Krijg de Klere” event:

Krijg de Klere is an event which asks questions about the textile industry and its impact. There will be activities which encourage and support a more environmentally friendly way of living, and of re-using what we already have. Come dressed in your favourite second-hand clothes, bring your second hand clothes for de Collectie and take part in workshops run by MoMU, a repair café run by Circuit Antwerpen, a speakers’ corner and more (music; drinks; food).

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At Het Roze Huis on Draakplaats, it’s a free film night, starting at 8pm and this month showing I Love You Phillip Norris.  Het Roze Huis holds free film nights on the third Saturday of every month.

Or if you’d like to be the star of the show (or even behind the scenes) head to BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt from 8.30pm to find out more about English speaking theatre in Antwerp, at their Winter Wonderland Open Evening -also a great chance to find out about their upcoming panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in January 2019.

If you are ready for a full-on Christmas service with a Cathedral choir, then head to St Walburgiskerk at 8pm and enjoy the singers of the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir at this Christmas Concert. It’s free, but if you are certain you will be attending, you can reserve a place via this link.

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Sunday

Regular book-lovers’ secondhand market on de Coninckplein in front of the library from 10am: books, comics, etc and (if you are in that area with children) in the Permeke itself, it’s the read-aloud story hour in the library at 11 (free) for kids aged 4-8 (in Dutch).

More secondhand goodies in the Parkloods, courtesy of Goegekregen and the Christmas edition of their successful secondhand, retro and vintage markets. Free in, from 9am -6pm.

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

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Alas, it looks likely to be rainy again this weekend, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, and temperatures slightly colder than last weekend -down to 2 degrees on Friday; up to 6-8 degrees over Saturday and Sunday.

Miscellaneous

Two recent special posts: 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 the previous 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.

If you are looking for carol services in English (also beyond Antwerp) this is a very helpful link from Discovering Belgium blog

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

Lego
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: 19th, 20th & 21st October

Hello! As promised, quite a bit more on Nessascityblog after a teeny tiny mini-post last week. So here’s your GOOGLE-TASTIC MAP with key locations for the events listed here for this weekend in Antwerp.

Antwerp gastro-fest Smaakmeesters continues throughout October with walks, offers, foodie workshops and markets …

Also over the whole weekend: events at Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord which closes for the end of the summer season for 2018

Friday

eilandjeFFrom 3pm – 8pm you might want to check out Dok Markt -on Eilandje. I have passed by on my bike (alas, didn’t have time to stop) and thought it looked very nice, so am hoping to be able to make a more leisurely visit soon. Dokmarkt offers fruit, veg, flowers and other local food products, or the chance to hang out and start your weekend with some oysters and/ or a glass of cava.

For something else a little different you might want to enjoy the last Friday night at Bar Noord: they are holding a Silent Disco … which is a lot more fun than it sounds. It’s free in, but headphone hire is 8 euros. The headphones have three channels of dancey tunes and you can switch between them at will -the colour of our headphones shows which channel you are tuned into. Yes, it’s a bit odd … but in a good way.

Saturday
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If you wake up with flamenco feelz, head to Groenplaats for a Day of Spanish Culture from 11am – 7pm, featuring music and dance, food and kids’ face-painting. Here’s the full program.

For bargain hunters, look up and visit your local Kringwinkel (aka second hand store/ thrift shop) because it’s Dag van de Kringwinkel today, so a particularly good day to get a bargain. Scroll down this .pdf for a list of participating stores in the Antwerp area -each store has a focus re: the type of goods being offered.

I like the Kringwinkel on Sint Jorispoort -it has four floors and is well worth a browse at any time for household goods, clothes, white goods, and baby/ kids items.
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Bar Noord’s main end-of-season event –The Closing Party -will take care of your evening requirements: it’s free and starts at 8pm.

Sunday

Art lovers: Leopold Sunday is an event where eight galleries open their doors simultaneously in the area of the Leopoldplaats (that’s the square near the National Bank) between 2 and 6pm. The participating galleries are: Annie Gentils, Artelli Gallery, (re)D., Geukens & De Vil, mariondecanniere, Philippe Piessens, Keteleer Gallery and Next Door. Leopold Sundays will take place six times between now and next spring.

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

It’s the absolute last chance to enjoy Bar Noord in 2018 with its Sunday Matinee starting at 3pm. It’s such a handy hangout and I have to say that when Bar Noord closes its doors, we really have to accept that summer is done …

… on the other hand, the unseasonably warm weather is set to continue, and there is little chance of rain; top temps around 17- 18 degrees.

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Bar Noord @ Park Spoor Noord

Miscellaneous

I am pleased to share this interview I did for The Bulletin about life in Antwerp.

vote-2831241_640Last Sunday saw elections take place across Belgium. It is not always easy to understand the political processes and parties of your adopted country, but doing so can make non-Belgians feel a bit more integrated. Here is an article from Flanders Today that might help you understand the election, and the results, if you don’t speak a lot of Dutch yet. I voted for the first time as a Belgian (although non-Belgians may also vote in local elections). The next election will be a general election in May 2019.

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Ethiopian coffee at Elsie’s

Want a random restaurant recommendation?
Try Elsie’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Restaurant Mr Nessascityblog and I were there a couple of weeks ago and loved the food which was very reasonably priced. Elsie’s has moved to this new address (in Het Zuid) from the previous location on Turnhoutsebaan.
The food was delicious, the service was friendly and -ideally for us – there was a good range of vegetarian (and vegan) options.

 

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

All weekend

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Antwerp Port Area

Part of Antwerp is a 10 day festival which started last weekend and finishes this weekend. 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. There’s lots on but personally I am especially pleased to see the reopening of the wonderful Red Star Line Museum which has been closed over summer for some improvements, and which is also celebrating its 5th birthday.

Round the Grote Markt area you can catch the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) World Cup Trials. My kids and I have been impressed by the stunts and skills on display by the sportsmen and women who compete in this event -definitely a fun watch.

If skating is more your thing, head to the Jordaenskaai for the Nokia Antwerp Skate Contest 2018 taking place on Saturday & Sunday.

 

Friday

TheaterpleinColourPopFlying Pig  will be on Theaterplein to start your weekend with their usual line-up of drinks, DJs and food.

UPDATE: Alas this event has been cancelled 😦

Saturday

Come and have a uniquely local Antwerp experience at the Reuzenstoet (“Giant Parade”) in Borgerhout. This is a very old and annual tradition, involving a procession of giant puppet-like figures. The details (and map) are here. The parade starts at 1pm and takes the following route: Gitschotelhof, Vosstraat, Gitschotellei, Bacchuslaan, Berchemlei, K. De Preterlei, Lt. Lippenslaan, Morckhovenlei, Griffier Schobbenslaan, Collegelaan, Stenenbrug, Turnhoutsebaan, Helmstraat, Groenstraat, Laar. Tournhoutsebaan would be a good place to see the parade (from around 3ish). There will be other activities in the area around the Roma Theater, and many people like to follow the giants on their journey.

And while you are in the area, you might want to pick up some fresh and local produce at Farmers’ market Kraakvers.

If you have kids to entertain, head to de Coninckplein at midday for a day of fun activities for the smalls: “ConincksKinderen” will have outdoor play, a bouncy castle, henna and other activities for them to enjoy.

 

Sunday

Music, food stands and a market on Krugerplein: It’s Bouger Bouger from 10am -6pm in this attractive, family oriented square in Borgerhout. Good for kids.  UPDATE: bad weather expected so alas this event has also been cancelled.

It’s the last chance to enjoy a drink and some live music on Flamingoplein (zoo entrance) at the zoo summer bar from 5 – 7pm.

Weather …. hmmm, it should remain mild (and possibly dry) so we can continue to pretend that it’s still summer, but there may be some showers on both Saturday and Sunday

Miscellaneous

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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Runners! still time to register for the 6km Race For The Cure (there’s also a 3km walk if you don’t fancy running). A lovely event, and a very important cause, organised by Think Pink: the National Breast Cancer Campaign in Belgium. I will be running again this year, having had a great experience last year  Come and support survivors, runners and supporters of this cause.

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Race For The Cure

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

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Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month which means free access to city museums:  Plantin Moretus,  Rockox, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, & the MAS.

 

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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.

BATSaroundtheworld

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 7th, 8th & 9th September

Part of Antwerp starts this weekend, although most events take place from next weekend, and I will post again about it next week. It’s a series of events over September which centre on the Port and the Eilandje area of the city. Eilandje is always a great area to visit or take guests -if you are recently arrived, it is the area where the well-known MAS museum is situated; there are also lots of nice bars and cafés around the water.

Here is the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend’s post.

Friday

Flying PigStart your weekend with Flying Pig who are on Bolivarplaats from 5pm until midnight – got to make the most of what might be the last chances to enjoy al fresco drinking…

For a more old-school event try the Bal van de Bevrijding (Liberation Ball) on Groenplaats. It’s on from 5pm and is free. Dress retro to join in with the spirit of the occasion and to commemorate the liberation of Antwerp in 1944.

Saturday

Following on from the Liberation Ball, there are also Remembrance ceremonies for the Liberation of Antwerp all over Antwerp this weekend (starting at the monument in the Stadspark at 10:00 on Saturday) and a tattoo on the Grote Markt on Saturday evening with marching bands from the US, Russia & Belgium..

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It’s the annual Damse Feesten around the Dam area of Antwerp: a neighbourhood street party with fun competitions, a flea market, performances and kids’ fun in streets near Park Spoor Noord (Lange Lobroekstraat, Twee Netenstraat and Ijzerlaan) from 9am, with the last performance starting at 8pm.

If you have children interested in theatre, take them along for some taster sessions at BATS VZW to meet the Pipistrelle Youth Theatre.

Paardenmarkt 111, Antwerp
12.30 – 14.00 Group 1. 7 – 10 y
14.15 – 15.45 Group 2. 11 – 14 y
16.00 – 18.00 Group 3. 15+

And a must for skaters: the Belgian Skateboarding Championship (BK Skateboarden) from 10am on the Jordaenskaai.

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Sunday

Heritage Day or “Open Monument Day” (Open Monumentendag) takes place across Flanders, with plenty to see and do in Antwerp. You can see the cultural centres and monuments which open their doors for free in the Antwerp area here -there are over 100 of them!

Markt van Morgen are on the Kloosterstraat again from midday until 6pm -you can find jewellery, stationery, household goods and accessories for sale.

There’s a second hand market on Dageraadplaats from 9am -6pm. This is also a good local square to know about, with a play area for kids, and numerous bars with terraces.

The roller-skating at the Dageraadplaats was fun -come and enjoy a similar event on Krugerplein this Sunday at 2pm.

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Miscellaneous

This week 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!

BATS do shows in English. Their variety show “Around The World” is coming soon. You can read about it and order tickets here.

The weather this weekend should remain warm and dry with temperatures between 18- 22 degrees, and some clouds.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 24th, 25th & 26th August

Thanks for checking out Nessascityblog now that weekly posts have resumed! This time I managed to find the time to make the usual GOOGLE MAP pinpointing the locations mentioned in this post, so that you can find your way around what is set to be quite a busy weekend in Antwerp. I hope you find something fun here, especially if you are recently arrived in the city.

I’ve found three events for you which are ongoing over the whole weekend. These are:

HAP Food Festival which takes place on Schengenplein in the Cadixwijk from 4pm on Friday and continues on Saturday (12 -12) and Sunday (12- 10pm). This is a food truck festival and entry is free. A good chance to check out this nice area  -just beyond Eilandje -which seems to be an up and coming place to hang out.

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HAP food stands from a previous event at Park Spoor Noord

Also over the whole weekend, it’s the Mechelseplein Feesten on (unsurprisingly) The Mechelseplein, which actually starts on Thursday at 4pm. This is a very small, friendly square surrounded by local bars which are worth checking out. It is a free kid-friendly event. Times are: Friday 4pm -12; Saturday 4pm -12; Sunday 12- 8pm. The festival offers food, drink and live performances: see the full programme here.

Bargain hunters should drop by this garage sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Gierstraat 9 from 1- 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Gierstraat is just round the corner from the Vrijdagmarkt which is a cute local square, a little off the beaten tourist track and worth stopping by..

Friday

If you are a fan of markets, you might want to head down to Eilandje to scope out this new weekly market which opens today: Dok Markt offering fruit, vegetables and flowers. It’s an afternoon market (3pm- 8pm) so even if you’re working you might be able to catch it in the evening.

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Tuinstraat on De Pretstraat

Swaajp is an energetic impro theatre group which consistently gets good reviews. Over on Tuinstraat (Natie buurt) you can see them for free as part of events on this local street . You may have noticed “Tuinstraat” (“Garden Street”) on De Pretstraat) -it is near Park Spoor Noord (off Ellermanstraat) and it is currently a car free, attractive green space hosting catering and performance events designed to bring the community together, as well as being a place where locals can sit out and socialise.

Saturday

For more fresh and local produce head to Borgerhout for Kraakvers -Antwerp’s farmers market: fruit & veg, cheese, bread, preserves, chocolate, local honey, fresh coffee and more, from 9am -2pm on Vincotteplein.

Sunday

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Cultuurmarkt flags

It’s the annual Flemish Culture Market today: many, many cultural organisations (theatre, music, dance, art, literature and more) showcase their upcoming programmes at various locations around the city, offering free performances, freebies and tons of information. The programme is extensive; you can find it here.

Have you been to the brewery  Cafe Seefhoek? It’s worth a visit. It’s somewhat tucked away and it’s where Seefbier is brewed. It also features a nice, airy bar and sunny courtyard. The food is good, fresh and reasonably priced (share some tapas with friends) and this weekend they are additionally holding a second hand market there, featuring second hand goods, vinyl and crafts from midday until 6pm.

Lambermonmartre on Leopold de Waelplaats is Antwerp’s summer open-air monthly art fair, enabling local artists and creatives to showcase and sell their work. It takes place from midday, just in front of the Museum of Fine Art (KMSKA). There is also always a food and drink stand, and a band playing at 2.30 and at 5pm to add to the atmosphere.

The weather is expected to be mainly dry, with some brief showers possible on Saturday and Sunday morning. Temperatures will cool off a bit but stay warm, with highs of around 18 degrees.

Miscellaneous

Don’t forget that Zomer van Antwerpen is not over yet! Here’s the website.

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)

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This weekend in Antwerp: 17th, 18th & 19th August

 

bfsp2018Greetings! I hope you are having a great summer in Antwerp and that readers survived the heatwave, and enjoyed safe travels. Weekly posts are back, but some of the information on the Big Fat Summer post may still be useful to you.

This weekend the most important event is the annual Bollekesfeest -for newbies, a ‘bolleke’ is the local name for a glass of Antwerp’s best known beer: de Koninck, which obviously will be flowing in copious quantities this weekend. Bollekesfeest takes place over all three days, and over a few different locations, most notably round the Historic Centre: Suikerrui, Groenplaats, Grote Markt and Steenplein, with smaller events on Sint Andriesplaats. It’s about a lot more than beer: this is a hugely social and popular event, also featuring music, DJs, foodstalls and additional events, some of which connect to the Baroque Season. Check the program carefully to see what you would like to do, or alternative just show up and wander from location to location. If you have kids to entertain, the Steenplein will be the best venue for you, where as well as the beers, food and music, there is a Kidzone and a play fountain (tip: bring a change of clothes and a towel).

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dancing at Bollekesfeest

It is free to attend Bollekesfeest (food and drink purchases are made with a Betaalkaart this year). Here are the opening times:
Friday 17/8: 16.00 – 24.00 uur.
Saturdag 18/8: 11.00 – 24.00 uur
Sunday 19/8: 11.00 – 20.00 uur

 

Friday

Here the Friday programme for Bollekesfeest.

The Zomer van Antwerpen (ZVA) is by no means over and there are still a number of free music events taking place on squares around the city. This Friday night the band Handkerchief (blues, ska, gypsy, gospel, surf, calypso and rumba influences) are playing on Dageraadplaats from 7.30pm. Or show up earlier, as there are kids’ activities from 3pm.

The OLT free music event this week comes courtesy of The Mambo Queens and starts at 8.30pm.

 

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Bollekesfeest on Steenplein by the River Schelde

 

Saturday

Here is the Saturday programme for Bollekesfeest

 

 

 

Sunday

Here is the Sunday programme for Bollekesfeest

Your Rommelmarkt this weekend comes courtesy of SNITT and Goegekregen and takes place along the Singel from 9-6.

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Permeke Library

Secondhand goodies can also be found at the monthly Strip -en- boekenplein (second hand books, comics, graphic novels and more) on De Coninckplein just in front of Antwerp’s Permeke Library, from 10am -4pm.

Sunday is also a good day to head to FOMU if you have kids to entertain. They offer special activities for children as part of their Zomerse Zondagen.

The weather is likely to remain somewhat cloudy and overcast this weekend, but nonetheless dry and warm with top temperatures around 23- 24 degrees.

 

Miscellaneous

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)


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The Big Fat Summer Post 2018

bfsp2018

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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