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: 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: 14th, 15th & 16th June

Friday

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Atlas op het plein is an event organised by Atlas, integratie & inburgering Antwerpen, which provides help, support and information for those arriving from other countries to settle in Antwerp. Atlas op het Plein is a chance to socialise with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, and to have a good time: there will be a conversation café, music, workshops and child-friendly activities -starts at 4pm.

Jazz fans – check out this free Jazz Bar Tour: eleven Antwerp bars offering live Jazz music across the course of the evening. Most are in the Sint Andries area of the city, but some are a little further afield, however I think with a little planning, the walking distance is not too great, and a bike would make this even easier.

This week’s addition to the Antwerp summer bar scene can be found at Plein Publiek where they open their Congé Summer bar from 5pm.

Saturday

62307314_560860957653533_2036524160045285376_oThere’s a lot going on in the Dam area of Antwerp:-

You can come and enjoy some Basketball on Damplein …

Or browse local fresh produce at Kraakvers Farmers’ Market

or join in the Trottinettenkoers (fun bike race) and neighbourhood street party.

Back in the town centre Beerlovers Bar (de Coninkplein) turns three. Lovers of Belgian and craft beer should head to Beerlovers Bar 3rd birthday.

And if you didn’t get enough Jazz at the Friday night event, there’s a mini-jazz festival starting at 6pm in Borgerhout, hosted by Madame Fortuna VZW.

On Groenplaats, look out for vintage trams, music and vintage costume (from 1pm) as the tram museum prepares to open to the public tomorrow (see Sunday). The re-opening will also be celebrated at the Zomerfeest Groenenhoek 2019 neighbourhood party which is nearby the new museum, from 11am.

Sunday

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images courtesy of Kleur je Oma

Kleur je Oma is an event that’s a little further away than those I usually include, but what is not to like about this great idea? It’s an art project for anyone who has a beloved grandparent who is gone but not forgotten. You can submit a photo of your grandparent (Oma or Opa) to the project which makes colouring pages of your picture. You can email the photo to foto@kleurjeoma.be or attend the event (from 2pm -5pm) in Park Sorghvliedt and bring your picture with you. The images and stories will become part of an exhibition, taking place in July. The event is the brainchild of artist Elske van Lonkhuyzen, and Antwerp’s very own city poet Maud van Hauwaert.

Strip en Boekenplein takes place on de Conninckplein as is usual for the third Sunday of the month. Cheap books and graphic novels for all lovers of book browsing.

Thanks to Stephanie for getting in touch to let me know that on Sunday the Vlaams Tram en Autobus Museum in Berchem (pic below, courtesy of VlaTAM Facebook page) is reopening (following a period of closure for rennovation) at 2pm. On Sundays throughout July, vintage trams will be riding between Groenplaats and the museum at 1.45pm, 3pm, 4.15pm and 5pm.

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Markt van Morgen with it’s local, cheerful selection of creatives offering fashion, jewellery, stationery and accessories for sale is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm.

The weather should become nicer after a drizzly week at times -top temps of 22 degrees, though there could still be showers on Saturday.

Miscellaneous

On Monday on Nessascityblog I am publishing a guest post by Jon Kemp who has experience of various different language courses available to those who wish to learn Dutch in Antwerp. Don’t forget to check in if you think it’s time to brush up on your Dutch language skills -there will be tips about how and where to find a course that’s right for you.

Sinksenfoor has opened at Park Spoor Oost! The traditional Antwerp fair will be open daily until the 7th July.

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 19.28.55It’s show time at BATS VZW! don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual Variety Showhow via their website -this year’s extravaganza is a riot of colour and fun, and there are still a few tickets available (particularly for Sunday night).

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in early 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: 10th, 11th & 12th May

 

Friday

There’s a good choice of Antwerp places and events where you could kick off your weekend this Friday evening:

Another summer bar opens up today at midday: Bocadero at Waagnatie, by the River Schelde.

And for another option for drinks by the river, head to Flying Pig on Steenplein, where they are starting their summer season from 5pm, with wine, summer cocktails, DJs and street-food.

Meanwhile, there’s an evening market in Borgerhout, starting at 4pm on the Gitschotellei, Borgerhout. Open until 9pm

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Saturday

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It’s the Twintig Achttien (2018) Festival on the Konijnenwei (pic right) from midday until midnight: music, bands and DJs will be performing over the 12 hours of this free festival, which is also kid-friendly and will offer spaces and activities for children.

Antwerp Museum the Letterenhuis, is an exhibition space and archive housing Flanders’ largest literature collection (texts, pictures, documents, manuscripts, letters, magazines and other publications relevant to the history of Flemish texts and publishing from the last 200 years).

Today in various locations close to the Letterenhuis, a Letterenhuisfestival is taking place for the third time, bringing together writers, poets, artists, musicians and story-tellers. See the hyperlink and in particular the Programmakrant to find out what is going on, for free between 2pm and 6pm in this neighbourhood.

Fans of the Permeke’s monthly secondhand book market will be pleased to lean that as part of the Letterenhuisfestival, there will be an extra bookmarket on the Conscienceplein from 2pm.

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Antwerp’s farmers’ market – Kraakvers– takes places on the Sint Andriesplaats, from 10am- 3pm. Definitely check out this market if you are one of the many people who would like to eat more locally sourced food and products.

Sunday

Markt van Morgen returns to the Kloosterstraat (Antwerpen-Zuid) today from midday until 6pm, with it’s local, cheerful selection of creatives offering fashion, jewellery, stationery and accessories for sale.

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Dageraadplaats

A rommelmarkt is taking place on the Dageraadplaats today too, from 9am- 6pm. A nice chance to check out this relaxed, kid-friendly, pretty local square in the Zurenborg area if you don’t already know it.

Come and enjoy the Damse Pijl (bike races) on the Damplein from midday. This used to be part of the Damsefeesten, but is now a separate event in its own right -you can also register on the page if you would like to take part in one of the three events.

The weather will be mild (13- 14 degrees) with the possibility of showers on Friday and Saturday. Sunday will be a little brighter and dryer.

Miscellaneous

Guest post on Monday! read the story of Sylwia, from Poland who has made Antwerp her home since 1996.

If you’re a runner enthused by the Antwerp 10 Miles at the end of April, you may want to sign up for the annual Silver Run but be warned -this is no ordinary run: it consists of running up and down 1-3 tower blocks. Think you’re up to it? You can register here.

Why not have a look at this exhibition on Markgravelei? Offering painting, graphic work, ceramics, photography and jewellery, it’s hosted by Collegium Artificium which promotes the work of artists of various disciplines in the area. It’s on until 12th May. Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 20.51.36

Featured Photo (summer drink) by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Other photos courtesy of Twintigachttien (festival goers) and Antwerpse markthandelaars vereniging  (evening market publicity poster)

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This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th July

If you live in or close to the centre, you don’t need to go far for a full weekend of entertainment this weekend. Feesten in het Stadspark is a free event in the Stadspark over both days. There’s food, drink, kids entertainment, live music, performances and dancing to be had. On Sunday, things kick off quite early with a big second hand market from Goegekregen (from 9am).

The hot weather is going to continue, so there is nothing to spoil your fun at this event: as ever don’t forget water-bottles, sun hats, shades and plenty of sunscreen for the whole family, especially kids.

Here is your GOOGLE MAP for this weekend!

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There’s a huge second hand market on Sint Jansplein from 10am -6pm.

 

 

Sunday

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Hungry? head to Brilliant Foodies at Felix Pakhuis (this is near MAAS museum, Eilandje). Felix Pakhuis is a beautiful venue for this free multicultural food event. In addition to the amazing food, there will be live music, diamond and jewelry workshops and fun activities for the whole family. Brilliant Foodies is hosted by Diamonds and Antwerp.

Another really nice part of the Zomer van Antwerpen is the “Muziek in de Wijk” events, which bring local bands to the local squares and parks of the city. This weekend on Sunday Muziek in de Wijk is on Krugerplein from 2.30pm with the main program beginning at 4pm.

Miscellaneous

On Wednesday 11th July Vlaanderen Feest will be held on Grote Markt with a busy party program that starts at midday. This is a fun local event, and definitely one to enjoy if you are recently arrived and want to enjoy an authentic part of Antwerp cultural life. You can read about why this is celebrated as an important day for Flanders here.
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Have you noticed the life-sized statues of zoo animals (pic right) around the town? These commemorate 175 years of Antwerp Zoo. Happy birthday, Antwerp Zoo!

Also from the zoo: every evening on the Flamingo Plein  (zoo entrance) live music and -yes, you guessed it – a summer bar, between 5pm -7.30pm. A perfect summer after-work for when you step off the train -until 23rd September.

 

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bumper summer post coming on the 11th July

The Big Fat Summer Post is coming out on the 11th July, while I take a break for about a month for my own summer holidays, and to enable me to get out and enjoy some of the events and places I blog about!

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!

Recently I have shared guest posts from Timo: Five Places to Read & Relax in Antwerp and Sonny: Take Five With Sonny Dhanowa.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 29th, 30th June, & 1st July

zomerbar2018entranceIt’s going to be a roasty- toasty weekend with temperatures possibly reaching 30 degrees, so don’t forget your shades, sunscreen, water-bottle and of course sunscreen and hats for the smalls.

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP!

It’s a great weekend for shoppers; if you are not keen on shopping now is the time to escape from it all at the main summer bar of Zomer van Antwerp which is now open (every day from 14h) until the 2nd September, by the Schelde on Sloepenweg.

Friday

Costa Sint Andries are holding Pleinfestijn at 3.30 pm to launch a program of sport activities taking place on the square until 16th August. There will be yoga, salsa, zumba, basketball and sport for kids, showcased for free to take part in, alongside information about future classes and activities.

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Critical Mass hold a holiday edition of their monthly bike ride, assembling as usual on Theaterplein at 6pm.  Bring a snack and/ or sandwiches with you (as well as your bike, of course) as after an hour’s leisurely cycling, the ride will finish at Park Spoor Noord for a picnic.

Saturday

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If you are a parent or carer for children aged 6-12, you may be familiar with the kids’ workshops and activities which have been held at Cafe Het Steen (my kids have all enjoyed spending time there over the years). These have moved to a new venue further along the river on the Drogendokkenweg, which is opening today (festivities will also continue on Sunday) and is called STORMKOP. A program of events for children aged 6-12 (similar to activities which previously took place at Het Steen) will get underway this summer.

There’s late night Summer shopping until 8pm on Meir…

…. after which you could head to London Calling at Magiq Spiegeltent  for free! starts at 10pm.

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Grote Markt

Sunday
…shopping continues, as it’s first Sunday of the month, so Antwerp is open for Shopping Sunday, round the centre of town (Meir, Stadsfeestzaal) but if you want to get away from the busiest areas to something a little more relaxed and local, head for the shops and cafés on the lovely Kloosterstraat.

Swan Market (jewellery, food trucks, live music, clothes, accessories, stationery) is on Groote Markt from 11am – 6pm

Miscellaneous

Nessascityblog got a lovely new header pic this weekend to coincide with the publication of a special post about Sonny Dhanowa of Casa de Sonny -if you haven’t seen it take a look, and get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com to share your own Antwerp story.

Thanks to Critical Mass, London Calling & Stormkop for additional images.

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PRIDE weekend: August 11th, 12th & 13th

This weekend Pride is the main event! There is too much on to list all events here, but the Antwerp Pride page has all the deets. They also have a Facebook page too. 2017 is a special year: Antwerp Pride turns ten! Already underway, and coinciding with Pride, is the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival – their Facebook Page is also very helpful in keeping you up-to-date with their many events. 

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Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend.

Friday

You could start your Pride weekend on Theaterplein at Roof of Love from 3pm …

Alternatively Apereau are serving drinks from 5pm at Hangar 26/ 27 on the Rijnkaai

Saturday

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It’s Pride parade day! The Parade starts at 2pm and follows a route from the south, then along the river, thusly: Vlaamse Kaai (start) – Verschansingsstraat – Leopold De Waelplaats – Karel Rogierstraat – Marnixplaats – Scheldestraat – Scheldekaaien – Sint-Pietersvliet (end). The end of the route is right near Steenplein which is where the Pride Party will be happening from 4pm. This is free -there will be 2 stages with DJs, drinks and food. This is usually a busy, noisy and fun party.

Bos Uitstap is a day festival at Noord Kasteel Oost which only costs a fiver for a ticket (10 if you want the BBQ too).

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For something a bit different, how about this Open Air Chess Tournament on Groenplaats (near the Rubens Statue) from 10am -18.30.

 

From 10am there is the regular fleamarket on Sint Jansplein -I like this one. It’s very diverse and Sint Jansplein is a sociable neighbourhood square, with a playground.

From 7pm until 11pm it is in Antwerp Night of The Churches in Antwerp: 25 churches in the Antwerp area will open their doors for free expos, music, bell ringing and guided tours. Twelve of these are close to the centre of the city and can be seen on this map.

Sunday

Yoyogi (part of ZvA) is back for Sundays in August -not just yoga, but music, games, workshops and other activities are on offer for free between 2- 7pm on the green at Rivierenhof.

Pride’s closing festival will be on Grote Markt from 1.30pm with music and live bands (including Army of Lovers) until 6.30pm. It might be advisable to get to Grote Markt on time if you are keen to attend, as the square will be closed once full.

At 3pm you can get a free guided tour of St Andries Church

Or get away from the city centre and head to Bar Noord (Park Spoor Noord) with Urban Sundayz (music, poetry, spoken word, soul food & DJs)

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Urban Sundayz: free, from 14h -22h- Bar Noord

hetsteenateliersFA reminder for anyone with kids aged 6+ who need to be amused -Het Steen runs workshops each Sunday from 1pm. These are free and you can turn up at any time while they are on (bear in mind that this Sunday the area will be particularly busy because of the Pride Party) and while Belgian school holidays are on (i.e. until 1st September) the workshops will also take place on Saturdays.

The weather looks as though it will be similar to last weekend -cloudy with some sun and warm (but not hot) temperatures of around 20- 22 degrees. Chances of rain are low.

Miscellaneous

In case you missed it – have a read of Sally’s story on last week’s Nessascityblog Guest Post … a fascinating personal story. If you would like to share your story on a guest post, please get in touch: nessascityblog@gmail.com

sportopiaFSportopia is on in Park Spoor Noord (in the Loods building) for kids and teens until the 27th August.

Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city, until October. Last year, my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.

Next Tuesday (15th) is a public holiday. But why? I hear you cry. Well,  it’s a Mother’s Day celebration which is unique to this area. This, from the Wikipedia Mother’s Day page:  “…There are also many people who celebrate Mother’s Day on 15 August instead; these are mostly people around Antwerp, who consider that day (Assumption) the classical Mother’s Day and the observance in May an invention for commercial reasons. It was originally established on that day as the result of a campaign by Frans Van Kuyck, a painter and Alderman from Antwerp”. Many cafés and restaurants will be offering Mother’s Day brunches and lunches, if you want to treat your mum, and there is a Rubensmarkt in the old town (round Suikerrui and along the kaaien by the river, near Steenplein) where the stall holders dress up in 17th century costume.

… And on Wednesdays at Bibfabriek, there are activities for children.

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This weekend: 16th, 17th & 18th June

This weekend the Zomer van Antwerp officially begins! For those who don’t know, this is a program of venues and cultural events (cinema, theatre, circus and music) which are in place until the 3rd September. Many events are free, some are ticketed or have an entry cost. The ZVA website is the go-to place online for information and tickets. The Zomerbar on Sloepenweg is one of the hubs of ZVA and it is an ideal place to hang out for everyone really, as it is a great bar and location, but also has a play area for kids and plenty of sand. There’s also food (or you can bring your own), and an outdoor library. It’s also a place where you can pick up ZVA tickets and info.

location-162102_640Here’s the MAP!

Friday

The ZVA kicks off at the Zomerfabriek at 10pm but doors -and the bar- will be open from 5pm.

Those interesting people down at MAF have a vernissage …

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Saturday

At Bato Batu bar from 1.30- 6pm there’s a second hand vinyl sale in the side-street by the bar.

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… and regular rommelmarkts in Appelstraat, Borgerhout and in Berchem from 8am, for early birds…

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Other than that, Saturday seems a bit quiet -I would take the time to either check out one of the summer bars, or spend the day at Antwerp’s regular Saturday market on Theaterplein, which is much more than a place where you can just pick up your weekly fruit and veg: more and more stands are selling food and drinks for on the spot, and it is making the market an increasingly social place to hang out. There’s a busy cava and seafood stand in front of the theatre, but also worth a visit is a stand with a Spanish flavour, a little further along (usually almost parallel with Belgian Wines) which does decent tapas, or egg rolls for a late breakfast, which you can wash down with wine, coffee or Cava, depending on your levels of bon viveurism (or hangover).

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The evening, however, brings the perfect event for the jazz fan: The Sint- Andries Jazz Bar Tour: five bars, all within easy walking distance of one another, each offering a menu of live jazz, starting at 8, with the last band signing off at midnight. Check the link to plan your route (the venues are all marked on the map with the sax image, left).

 

Sunday

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Swan Market

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am (design, accessories, clothing, food)

… and the usual strip & boekenplein (second hand books and graphic novels) is on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library.

There’s a rommelmarkt (second hand clothes and goods) on  Dageraadplaats from 9am. This is a very nice local square with plenty of cafés, bars and a playground so you can keep an eye on your kids while you have a drink or browse the stands.

Weather forecast: lovely.

Miscellaneous

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Antwerp has a new museum – Museum de Reede which casts a spotlight on the work of Goya, Munch and Rops. It is just opposite Steenplein near the river (Ernest van Dijckkaai 7).

Please note that during July I will be away. As was the case last year, there will be a Big Fat Summer Post (pressing on the 29th June) for the time that I am not here to write weekly posts.

Summer bar Smokey Jo’s Cantina (formerly Smokey Joe’s Garage) at de Koninck  Brewery is another summer bar (also with kids play area) which is now open.

Get your tickets for BATS Variety Show  (this weekend and next weekend) I hear they are selling out fast!

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If you are finding it a challenge to get around the various roadworks in Antwerp these days (especially since the Leien were closed off on the 5th June) then check slimnaarantwerpen.be to help you negotiate your way around town.

Don’t forget that the Sinksenfoor (funfair) is open daily in Park Spoor Oost until 9th July.

And the View on The Zoo ferris wheel (featured pic) is on Astridplein until August.

Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city. Last year, my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.

During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).

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This is actually me

 

Please note that during July I will be away. As was the case last year, there will be a Big Fat Summer Post (pressing on the 29th June) for the time that I am not here to write weekly posts.

 

 

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This weekend: 19th, 20th & 21st May

It’s a busy weekend this weekend. You get a gold star if you can do all of this lot. Here’s the GOOGLE MAP to help you find your way…

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There are two events which takes place over the whole weekend. The first is the opening of Bar Noord (formerly The Cargo Summer Bar) in Park Spoor Noord. After nine years, the bar and is having a re-furb and getting a new name. This part of town has changed and developed greatly over recent years and Bar Noord has stated its intention to strengthen its position as a place for the community and for families, in what is becoming a distinct area of the city. This summer Bar Noord promises more sporting activities and live music than it has in the past, and aims to engage more members of this increasingly diverse, multicultural community. I’m curious to see what that is going to look like, as for my family this location has been the go-to destination when the weather is good during school holidays -it’s a great location. Bar Noord opening party kicks off on Friday at 6pm, with further events on both Saturday and Sunday.

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Antwerp Art Weekend is also on over the whole weekend, from Friday at midday. There is more information on the Antwerp Art website (click on ‘venues’) to see which galleries are participating.Although larger museums are involved, Antwerp Art Weekend is a celebration of the many smaller galleries which display contemporary art around the city. For example, this temporary exhibition at Gallery M146, which opens on Friday evening with a reception.
The best way to work it, is to figure out what you want to see and go by bike from gallery to gallery between midday and 6pm. For night owls, there’s Nacht van de Beeldende Kunst or Night of the Visual Arts, at de Studio on the Saturday, costing a tenner and starting at 9pm.

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Untitled 3 by Michael Laird @ Open Systems, M146. Antwerp Art Weekend

At Antwerp Expo there’s a book & hobby fair. It’s free in, and opening at 10am on all three days.

Friday

Fabrik is a relatively new café venue near Theaterplein. They also offer live sessions on Fridays. This week, the wonderful 110 (a trippy, three piece improvisational electro rock band from the city of Antwerp) will be playing, starting at 9pm. Here’s a sample of what they do!

You can still get tickets for the one and only performance of A Sunburnt Country: a unique celebration of Australian music, dance and literature by Maddi Goodwin at de Singel. Hurry, hurry!

Fabrik
Fabrik

 

Saturday

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If you have musical children, head to the Antwerp International School for this special children’s performance of The Magic Flute at 2pm.

Borgerrio is a free, colourful, carnival-style festival that takes place along the Turnhoutsebaan from 2.30, when it begins with a parade. Check the full program for the food, stalls, and other entertainment that will be on offer.

Runners – head to the Rivierenhof for the park runs starting at 2pm. There are 300m (14h) and 800m (14.15h) races for kids, which are free;  and then 5km (14.30h) and 10km (15.30h) races for adults, costing 5 euros. If you have not already registered, you can do so there from 12, before the runs begin.

Sunday

It’s the third Sunday of the month, so as usual, there will be a second hand book and comics market in front of the Permeke Library from 10am; on this occasion accompanied by a piano marathon.

Food, live music, DJs and a flea market taking place for Bouger Bouger #11 on Krugerplein between 10am and 5pm.

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There’s a Re: set Closet sale at Het Eiland from 10am- 5.30pm

And Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am.

The weather this weekend is predicted to be warm and dry (around 18-19 degrees), so not as hot as temperatures enjoyed earlier this week. It could be cloudy a times, and there is a chance of rain -particularly on Friday.

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A Sunburnt Country: Friday at de Singel

Miscellaneous

AkaartF2During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).

Runners again -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down towerblocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

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This Weekend: 28th, 29th & 30th April & May Day.

Here is THE GOOGLE MAP for this weekend

Friday

It’s the start of Antwerpen Proeft a yearly foodie event, at Waagnatie (Eilandje). Tickets start at 7 euros (or there are other multi and combi tickets) and include a welcome drink.  Under 15s go free and the event is advertised as kid-friendly. Restaurants, food trucks and chefs will be offering signature dishes and cooking demonstration over the weekend (continues until Monday).

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There’s a picnic between midday and 2pm organised by Broederlijke Delen. Bring your picnic to Theaterplein. You will also be able to buy warm and cold drinks there.

Critical Mass also assembles at Theaterplein at 6pm as usual -join them for an hour’s evening biking around the city.

Saturday

 

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Bar Paniek, Kattendijkdok

If you spent a goodly proportion of last summer sloping around Bar Paniek and the Kattendijkdok, you will be pleased to hear that it is re-opening this weekend, with an event hosted by artist collective Time Circus starting Saturday at 11am, which -as anyone who regularly goes to the market knows- is a perfectly respectable time to start drinking.

Over in Koning Albert Park, there is also a start-the-summer vibe happening with Park Festival 2017.  Offering urban and ethnic music, art, and food, Park Festival is a free-entry event starting at 1pm.

 

Round off the day at Bar Venetië where London Calling celebrates its second birthday. It’s a mere 6 euros in if you tag yourself and your friends on the Facebook event page. Starts at 10pm.

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Sunday

Swan Market (Dutch/ Belgian Lifestyle market, offering handmade goods & fashion, as well as jewellery, kids items, food, accessories) returns to Antwerp and will be on Grote Markt from 11-  5pm

And the garage sale at Steegsken 6 continues; Sundays throughout April (11am- 6pm) until May 7th.

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It’s going to get warmer this weekend on Sunday and Monday, with temperatures going up to 17 or 18 degrees, although there could be some showers on Monday. Saturday should be dry, but not quite so warm (around 14 degrees, max).

Miscellaneous

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Monday is Labour Day (International Workers’ Day) -a public holiday. Shops will be closed, so head to Park Spoor Noord (shelter)  for a large covered second-hand market hosted by SNITT and Goegekregen.  There is one on the Veemarkt too, also starting at 9am.

Labour Day will also be celebrated on Grote Markt from 1pm with performances and entertainment for kids. The parade will go through the old town beforehand, having gathered at Leopold De Waelplaats from 10am, departing at 11.

Brocantwerpen has started: on the last Wednesday of the month, until the end of September, from 10 -6pm. Bric-a-brac, accessories, clothes and furnithings for sale on the Grote Markt.

And thanks to the reader who provided the info in the comments, re: MUHKA re-opening this weekend (MUHKA is the modern art gallery on the kaaien).

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