Enjoy another Ghost Walk in English -I heard the last one was really fun! Meet at the Lange Wapper statue (Het Steen) for a 90 minute walking tour of the city to hear tales of things that go bump in the Antwerp night for 12,50 pp. Reserve your spot here.
Swaajp Impro are back at BATS little theatre at with guest John Pekkari from Sweden for an evening of “new stories, surprising adventures with intriguing plot twists, sometimes emotional, frequently hilarious, always made up on the spot”.
Tickets: standard €9 / student €6 (+€1 at the door). 8pm start.
There’s a VinoKilo sale at Mercado from 11-6. That means vintage clothing, sold by the kilo rather than by the item. It’s free for the first 100 visitors; thereafter 2 euros in, and promises retro clothing of ‘all brands from streetwear to high end- menswear and womenswear styles from the 60s to the 00s”. Might be a good opportunity to hang out at Mercado Food Hall, which is closing at the end of this month … possibly to re-open at the current venue, or maybe at new premises.
Two markets to choose from today …
Personally, I like Markt van Morgen on the Kloosterstraat, from midday -jewellery, accessories, household design, stationery and always nice if you need a gift that is different from high street offerings. It’s the smaller of the two but relaxed, and a bit off the beaten track.
Nessascityblog’s absolute favourite Antwerp band –Band 110 – are playing Fabrik, starting at 9.30pm. 110 are a three-piece improvisational electro-rock band from Antwerp described thus: “sometimes downtempo and haunting, other times whirring with energy, 110 make atmospheric, trippy instrumental music based around sampled loops”.
If you are a bargain hunter head to your nearest second hand or thrift store (‘Kringwinkel’) -it’s Thrift Store Day; an ideal time to pick up a bargain and keep your carbon footprint a little smaller. The theme is retro and vintage -so if you are keen on old-school furniture, decor, household items, clothes and shoes, today (‘retrodag’) is your day. Each shops has a focus (e.g. musical instruments in Deurne; wooden toys in Merksem) as well as a range of other second hand goods. You can see a list of the participating shops and their locations here.
It’s the Antwerp Urban Trail -the walk is fully subscribed, but you can register for the run right up until the 10th (Saturday). The route takes in some Antwerp landmarks, with participants running inside (through offices and bars!) as well as outside around the city. It starts at Park Spoor Noord (in the shelter) and ends at nearby Park Loods Sport Hall.
Last Day to register for the Antwerp Spring Clean (‘Lentepoets’)-this is a neighbourhood initiative that you can do along with others in your street. The idea is that you clean up your street (doorsteps, doorways, pavements, benches etc) while getting to know your neighbours better. All participants get a lunch box for taking part, and a flower pot with flowers.
The weather looks like it not be too cold but will be showery, on and off all weekend. So don’t forget your brolly.
Are you interested in Street Art in Antwerp? Here are a couple of links which may interest you: firstly this one on Facebook where Street Art enthusiast and expert Tim posts details of guided street art walks (keep a close eye though, as they often get fully booked quite quickly). My young son and I did one a while back and they are very good. I also received an email this week from Streetart360 who featured Antwerp recently in their Antwerp Street Art Guide.
There’s a funfair on Sint-Jansplein -I have no idea how long it will be there. They pop up from time to time and I noticed it, biking back from work today.
Check out this month’s agenda for Colectivo Amorika for March (left). They provide cultural and language activities for Spanish speaking families in the Antwerp area, and those with an interest in understanding Spanish culture and language.
BATS (English speaking theatre in Antwerp) hold their monthly open evening at their Little Theatre and bar on Paardenmarkt. Swing by from 8.30pm to find out about their current program or about getting involved with one of their productions.
It is Slow Art Day – go and take a look at the works on show at Kunst in Huis Antwerpen, Montignystraat 18-20. Kunst In Huis (Art In The Home) acts as an art library. If you register with them you can borrow (or buy) modern artworks for affordable prices.
You can pick up the pace a bit on Saturday night from 9pm at the HAVN Church (Italielei 8) with Zurenborg Beats – sounds provided by DJs from bars around Dageraadplaats. 5 euros in before midnight.
If you are an RAFC fan you probably don’t need to be told that today the club and its entourage will be making its way through the town and to the Bosuil stadium as it marks its return to the Belgian first division after 13 years, with a victory parade. This begins at 10.45 on Grote Markt.
You are spoiled for choice today if you like to rummage. Here are your second-hand market options:
If you are in the old town, swing by Steegsken 6 for a small garage sale which is well worth a visit -throughout April, on Sundays from 11 -6pm. I picked up some nice shades and a new Converse bag there last weekend, for an absolute steal …
Fleamarket and second hand goods on Sint Jansplein from 9am, and at Kinepolis from 10am
And they are freecycling ( a ‘geefplein’) at Costa Sint Andries from 11am where the motto is ‘you give what you can; you take what you need” -bring your own unwanted goods to donate to others who can use them.
Also on Sint Jansplein -last day of the funfair.
For a quieter Sunday afternoon (2pm -6pm), you can take part in a guided walk for free through Berchem (from E.Rijckaertplein at the entrance to Berchem Station) courtesy of Natuurpunt and learn about the trees that grow in this area. Pre-registration is preferred via email@example.com
Hurrah! Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat again from 12 -6pm, and they are 10 years old this year. This market offers clothing, jewellery, accessories, stationery and household goods made by local creatives. There are always snacks and drinks available, and it is a great place to pick up a special card or gift that you won’t find in the high street
(pic courtesy of Markt van Morgen).
The weather is set to be dry, mild and cloudy on Friday and Saturday, but will get quite a bit warmer and sunnier on Sunday, with a possible top temp of 20 degrees.
You may have noticed a huge inflatable dinosaur on Astridplein. For three euros you can enter “The Beast” …
If you have kids aged 7-13 on their Easter break and needing to fill their days, they can do so at Speel -O-Rama for just 2 euros per day from Monday 10th April -Thursday 13 April (inclusive) 10am-4.30pm over at Kiel. There’s a swimming pool there, so make sure they take their swim things and a towel.
Biking again: if you have a bike needing fixed come to Kavka’s Fietskeuken (Bike Kitchen). You can get it fixed by learning how to do bike repairs.It’s free and starts at 7, and Bar Cour summer bar is in the same venue and open until 10pm.
SKRÄP brings us today’s second hand market in Harmonie Park from 9am -8pm. There’s a summer bar in this park too (De Living) and this is SKRÄP’s last market for this year. There’s also one on St Jansplein from 9am.
And the local art market, Lambermonmartre, is at KMSKA (fine arts museum) on the Leopold de Waelplaats from midday, where you can also enjoy drinks, music from a gypsy swing band (les Baptistes) and snacks.
Also for culture vultures, Antwerp will be part of the Flanders Culture Market which takes place each year across various venues, but you will see much of it if you make your way down Meir from the station. The Cultuurmarkt van Vlaanderen which through performances and information stands enables you to explore a range of cultural programmes for the coming year. The programme is very extensive, and there are a range of theatres and museums opening their doors to be part of this event too. If you have kids, look for information, stands and activities with a fly symbol: kids under 12 can follow a route (vliegroute) which enables them to collect points by taking part in creative and fun activities. They can exchange these for a free gift.
Also for kids if you haven’t taken them yet, be aware that today is the last day of Sportopia at Parkloods, Park Spoor Noord. #redballproject will also be in PSN today.
… And there’s a Vintage market at Bocadero. [UPDATE: this event may be cancelled. I am checking and will try to update again soon, but I am getting no response to my enquiry]
Temperatures are going to continue high, after a toasty week, but might fall off a bit on Sunday. Possible summer storminess late Saturday afternoon. Mostly sunny!
Find all the locations mentioned here on the Google Map for this post.
If you have been pining for more big screen football since the end of the Euros Cargo Summer Bar will be showing the World Cup qualifiers Belgium games, starting with Belgium- Spain on the 1st September (Thursday).
Belgian schools go back next week (Thursday) so expect roads and bike paths to be busier.
I was really happy last week to share the events of two readers who contacted me with details of events they were involved in. Please let me know if you are doing something that could be featured here. The main requirements for inclusion are that it is around Antwerp centre (I don’t have specific parameters but tend to include things that I could get to from the centre by bike in roughly 5- 10 minutes max) and that it is low-budget or free. Make contact via the social networks below, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello! It’s going to be a bit of a brisk round-up this week as we are enjoying spending time with visitors from the UK and our summer holidays have begun. Next month also, there will be a reduced service when I am away on holiday, but I am planning to write a post which lists the most important links for the summer season.
Note that a couple of events listed here (Ramblas, Bierpassie and Barrio Latino) take place on both Saturday and Sunday.
Flying Pig at Het Steen was a cool start to the weekend a couple of weeks back. The Second Edition of Flying Pig is at Napoleonkaai (near MAS museum) and kicks off at 5.
For Beer lovers, head straight to Groenplaats for the start of Bierpassieweekend at 5pm. All beers 2 euros (pay with jetons). Bierpassie continues on Saturday and Sunday.
And for cyclists, it’s a party edition of Critical Mass -assemble with your bike on Theaterplein at 6pm; the ride will conclude with drinks and music at Moorkensplein Borgerhout.
Mechelsepleinfeesten (see below) is also already underway for Friday.
Its the Mechelsepleinfeesten this weekend from 4pm – 11pm each day, promising food trucks, music, performances and more.
A similar event takes place on Falconplein, but with an emphasis on international food and music: Ramblas starts at 10am both Saturday and Sunday with four music stages, and food and drink from a variety of different countries. And in a similar vein, but with an emphasis on dance is Barrio Latino on the Paardenmarkt
Dubieus Design is a retro/ vintage design market that has previously taken place in Winkelhaak but this weekend, heads for Born In Antwerp (Kattendijkdok) starting at midday.
KOPLAND is a new co-working space on Amerikalei which will be open to the public today, with displays, an open atelier, music and catering -from 2pm -9pm (image courtesy of KOPLAND).
And HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY BATS Antwerp! Head along to their bithday BBQ at the Little Theater on Paardenmarkt at 2pm. It’s 5 euros in for non-members, and a great chance to find out more about English speaking theatre in Antwerp. It’s a dress-up party with the theme of a film from 1956: Around The World In Eighty Days. (image: Pixabay)
The first Lambermontmartre was spoiled by rainy weather last month. Let’s hope it stays dry this Sunday, when it is back on Leopold de Waelplaats (that’s in front of the fine art museum – KMSKA) this Sunday from midday. As well as the chance to see and buy a variety of works by local artist, there is food and drink available, and a chance for kids to paint too.
If you have kids to amuse then this free performance at 3 at Ramblas on Falconplein for kids aged 3+ might be fun!
Friday might see some showers, but Saturday and Sunday are due to be warm and dry, if not sunny, with temperatures of 21 deg. and above. (pic: Pixabay)
Check out Nessascityblog Instagram page with pictures from last weekend of Swan Market, Boekenplein, Goegekregen at Born In Antwerp and fans enjoying football at An Sibhin and on Groenplaats. And of course the blog can also be found on Twitter and Pinterest.
Thursday is Ascension Day (‘Hemelvaartsdag’ in Dutch) with Belgian schools also taking Friday off to make a long weekend. There is going to be a big fleamarket on Theaterplein, one from Skrap on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken (10am -10pm) and a fabric market on Groenplaats.
Also worth knowing is that another summer bar –Bar Gloed -has just opened. The kitchen is open from 9am -9pm daily. It’s on the 4th floor of The Antwerp Tower.
(A night club -Klub Goud- will be opening on the 21st floor soon …)
There are a couple of events which take place over all four days:
Antwerpen Proeft is a food and drink festival at Waagnatie which is near Eilandje. You can get tickets per day, or for all four days. It takes place inside the events venue, but also outside at Bocadero, – a summer bar at this location, which opens officially next weekend on the 13th.
Another four day event is the Zeezichtfeesten on Dageraadplaats, with performances and activities for all ages.
BATS have their regular opening evening on the first Friday of every month from 8.30pm. Go and join them at their theatre bar if you would like to find out more about being involved in English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp.
Grand Bazar is open for Mother’s Day treats and offers from 13.30 -5.30pm (also on Saturday)
Another edition of Handgemaakt (handmade) market in Kavka (on the Oudaan, opposite the big police station building) from 1pm -6pm. Free entry. I got some very pretty little pieces of jewellery here as Christmas gifts at the end of last year. Get a last minute Mother’s Day gift with a difference (see Sunday).
There’s a record fair at the bar Bato Batu on Lange Nieuwstraat, 12 -6pm, and MARTA (farmers’ market) takes place on Kattendijkdok between 9 and 4. MARTA is going to be a regular fixture on the first Saturday of each month.
Sunday is Mother’s Day in Belgium and in various countries around the world (not to be confused with the specifically Antwerp Mother’s Day on August 15th each year. Because we like to be different).
Bouger bouger is a nice neighbourhood event in Borgerhout on the Krugerplein food drink, DJs, a fleamarket and lots of space to play for kids.
Did you know that the roadworks on the Leien have unearthed a section of the Antwerp city wall built by the Spanish in the 16th?
On Sunday between 11 and 5pm you can go and see it (on the corner where Maria-Theresialei meets Frankrijklei).
There’s a Markt van Morgen from midday on Kloosterstraat -a market for local designers and creatives selling art, jewellery and accessories. There will also be food and DJs. Should you perchance have neglected to buy mum a gift, this would be a good place to put that right.
SKETCH is back, in Plein Publiek -its mission is to engage everyone in drawing and it provides the materials for you to join in, and local artists to inspire you. Even if you don’t want to draw you can come and watch the artists sketch and have a drink.
It’s the final chance to be involved in the Coming World Remember Me project at CWRM @ Het Steen where you can make a sculpture out of clay to honour one of the Belgian fallen of World War One. These sculptures will form an installation in Ypres which will be opened in 2018. Each one will incorporate a dog tag with the name of a soldier. You will be provided with the dog tag.
The weather is promising to be great -no, really, it is! No showers forecast this weekend, and a possible max of 25 degrees on Saturday, so get out and enjoy all the outside events without packing a bunch of raincoats and umbrellas. It might even be time to break out the sunscreen – especially for kids. Have a sunny weekend! (image from Pixabay)
Regular readers may have noticed that I frequently feature flea-markets on my blog posts. (or “Rommelmarkten” in Dutch). I enjoy going to these markets -they are often sociable places to hang out, with snacks or drinks also on sale, or take place in a communal space like a local square. I believe that buying second hand, trading hand-me-downs with friends and borrowing are ways in which we can keep costs down and simultaneously reduce our carbon footprint. I often buy second hand clothes for myself and my kids, and I love to get a bag of hand-me-downs, from parents of bigger kids, rather than buy new. Here is a brief guide to some of the second- hand shops in Antwerp, as well as some suggestions about recycling and donating your own used items. Rommelmarkten.be lists secondhand markets all over Belgium and this site enables you to search by location and date.
Oxfam has two shops in Antwerp. One is at Quellinstraat 28 (off Keyserlei) and sells second-hand books. It is open from 10 -6 on Mondays to Saturdays and most (but not all books are in Dutch). The other Oxfam store is not a second hand store -it’s a “Wereld winkel” (world shop) and sells goods produced by people in developing countries, often as part of Oxfam initiatives. There is a wide range of Fair Trade goods, and environmentally- friendly products such as those made by Ecover. Talking of books, don’t forget the Permeke Library on de Coninckplein (just through China Town) for borrowing books and DVDs. De Slegte on Wapper also sells (and will buy) second hand and antiquarian books.
My favourite second-hand shop is the “Kringwinkel” (recycling shop) at Sint-Jorispoort 29. It is really big and has four floors of second hand items, always in good condition. I have bought clothes, furniture and baby items at the Sint -Jorispoort Kringwinkel. It also sells toys, jewellery, kitchen and baby items. As well as buying from here, they will receive your used items at the front desk. For larger items, you can call them and they will take away your sofa or cupboard for free, if you arrange a time with them.
There are a couple of great places for second- hand clothing in Antwerp. Perhaps best known is Think Twice which has three shops in Antwerp: on the Jezus Straat (off Meir), on Lange Klarenstraat (also off Meir) and on Kammenstraat (towards the old town, off Nationalestraat). The prices are more than you would pay at the Kringloopwinkel or at a flea-market, but the stock is in good condition, well chosen and often pretty hip.
In a similar price range is Episode which also specialises in retro and vintage. It’s a roomy store with space to rummage and plenty of denim if you are looking for jeans, as well as fun fake fur, belts, shades … They are a chain and also have stores in The Netherlands and in Copenhagen.
If you are buying new and have a reasonable budget Today Is A Good Day on Nationalestraat specialises in eco- friendly shoes and clothing, but as you can see from the website, it is not cheap. However, if you have eco-cheques, and want to use them for clothes or shoes, you can spend them here.
A little further down is the same street is Jutka en Riska selling vintage, retro and second hand clothing, accessories and shoes -this is also a bit more hip than a regular charity store and so some prices are a bit higher here. They do sell new clothes from their own label -these are not cheap, but you can get lucky, as they do good reductions. They will buy in your 60s, 80s & 90s clothing and accessories.
If you are looking for labels at second hand prices, cross Astridplein from the station and turn left, where you will find Pardaf on Gemeentestraat. It’s easy to miss and looks like a residence. Inside the rooms are small, but there is a good choice of second hand designer clothes, accessories and bags.
In need of a second hand bike? Try Abakri. They also do bike repairs. Also, if you are going to be living in Antwerp for a limited time, you can buy a bike, return it within a year and get half the cost of the bike back.
Alternatively, there are the now distinctive red and white Antwerp Velos available for a cheap price at lots of handy locations around the city.
Gamers can get second hand games and consoles at Game Mania which also takes your used games for cash or store credit.
Antwerp also has a few independent second hand vinyl stores – a couple of these are located not far from the cathedral, coming away from Grote Markt, such as Fat Kat, The Vinyl Touch and Tune Up (above the International Magazine Store) which are all within a short walk of one another. Across the road from Vinyl Touch, at Wolstraat 1 is In’tProfijtelijkBoeksken (IBP books) which sells second hand books and vinyl.
Head south along Volkstraat to Coffee and Vinyl which -as the name suggests -will provide you with caffeine also. Local artists also exhibit here.
Finally, don’t forget to recycle or donate your own used goods. As previously mentioned, the Kringwinkel will pick up larger goods for you, if you contact them and arrange a time. Clean, usable items which are smaller, can be taken directly to Sint- Jorispoort, or books to Oxfam.
There are a number of selling pages on Facebook like this one or this one in English, but you might like to consider giving things away on Free & Recycled Antwerpen where you can also look at what others are giving away or post if there is something you need that someone else might be glad to get rid of (I once got rid of a bunch of old wood that had been hanging around on my balcony, but which some one else could put to good use). High street store H & M is also accepting used clothes as part of a recycling initiative.
A really good cause in the Antwerp area is Moeders voor Moeders which supports parents and families in need by supplying clothing, baby items & equipment and food to those in need of it. On Thursday and Tuesdays between 9 and 4 you can drop off these items at Helmstraat 91, or on the first Saturday of each month between 10 and midday. They are also keen to receive school bags and equipment for local children who need them, as well as sheets and towels.
Antwerp is pretty good for second hand shopping, in my view. All these stores are just about within walking distance of one another, so it would be easy to plan an afternoon and browse them all. These are just a sample, I know there are some I have missed which I need to explore on Koepoortstraat and a couple more on Nationalestraat too, so I am sure I will have to do some updates to this post….
So here sporting a gold-knit top from Blanco, a skirt from Morgan de Toi, with coat from Miss Selfridge, bag from Mexx (all second hand; total costs approximately 12 euros). The black and white houndstooth bangle was also second hand, but I don’t know where it is from.