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Antwerp Central Station closed

I have a pretty general itinerary already sketched out which included a regional train ride from Brussels to Amsterdam to hop off at Antwerp for the afternoon and walk around. There is scheduled engineering work to happen that day and the train will only stop in Antwerp-Berchem.

  1. From what I can tell it will add a 20-30 minute walk to get to Central station - is it worth the extra time/inconvenience to still stop in Antwerp on the way?

  2. Do you think Central station will be open to walk into or closed completely?

  3. Is Thalys a better option and just skip Antwerp?


Posted by
4654 posts

Antwerp Central is not very close to the nicest areas of Antwerp town centre on foot, so I'd have suggested using trams to get somewhere else anyway. The area near Berchem station in the direction of the town centre, around the street called Cogels-Osylai, has some of the best art nouveau townhouses in Belgium, so if you only want to stroll around for a couple of hours I'd say it's better than Antwerp Central. Alternatively depending on how much time and luggage you have you could get a tram nearer to the Cathedral.

Posted by
4684 posts

You can walk from Berchem through Cogels-Osy Lei to Draakplaats tram station, which will take you direct to Centraal Station plaza. Lovely townhouses the whole 1/4 mile walk. Your tram direction goes away from Cogels-Osy.

Posted by
1453 posts

Antwerp is certainly worth a stop. From Antwerpen-Berchem you can take a tram or bus to Groenplaats, close to the cathedral needing some 10 minutes. You have to buy a seperate “De Lijn” ticket for that and luggage can be stored in one of the lockers at the station. The tram Tim suggests from Draakplaats stops at Antwerpen-Centraal and later Melkmarkt, also close to the cathedral.

The Thalys stops at Antwerpen too and has it’s own track deep in the basement of Antwerpen-Centraal, likely the scheduled work will not effect it’s schedule. Think it will effect those of local trains, making use of that you have to get out at Antwerpen-Berchem. However verify this before buying tickets. Going with the Thalys from Brussels to Amsterdam you can’t hop off like you can do with local trains and continue later with the same ticket. As the seats for highspeed trains are reserved you have to buy seperate tickets, so one for Brussels-Antwerp and Antwerp-Amsterdam.

I support the idea too walking through Cogels-Osylei and adjacent streets of the Zurenborg district. You can hang around there a half hour or a bit more if you like. But no to miss to my opinion remains the gothic Cathedral of Our Lady and Grote Markt, the Diamant District next to Antwerpen-Centraal is special too.

Posted by
2662 posts

I enjoyed Antwerp, but feel the main sites (cathedral of Our Lady and Grotesque Markt) can be seen in a half day. A couple off-the-wall sites are the all wooden escalator by St. Anna’s pedestrian tunnel and the Het Bootje art nouveau building. If you have heard of the Camino de Santiago, you’ll find signs of it (brass seashells embedded in the sidewalk) in Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp. There’s also the Nello & Patrasche cartoon character statue by the cathedral.

Posted by
4684 posts

There are a lot more gemstone sights in Antwerp: The "boat house" art deco building behind the KMSKA, a related Rudolf Steiner School building in the other direction from KMSKA, little Catholic chapels that have been jammed with daily worshippers for a hundred years, Desire de Lille waffles, the old Synagogue exterior, Burie chocolates, Bakkerij Goossens with a line of locals all day long, the tiny Museum Mayer van den Bergh (whose name you can see on the wall at the deconsecrated church and concert hall AMUZ from when he worshipped there, the tiny downtown botanical garden, the massive outdoor sculpture garden Middelheim Museum, as well as modern failures like the Police Headquarters building and the Theater Square. This is a tiny list from a very rich destination.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency in Rick's books, and on this board, to reduce cities to what you can see in a half-day with your backpack in a train station locker. There's more to every city than that. If you prefer Brussels to Antwerp that's fine. But you can't reduce Antwerp to a quick glance.