We will be taking the train from Delft to Bruges this summer and since we will need to change trains in Antwerp we are thinking about a stopover. We are considering either putting our luggage in the lockers at the train station and doing Rick's self guided city walk or spending one night in the Old Town of Antwerp. Any thoughts on either of these plans?
There's lots to see in Antwerp.
Depending on what you want to visit or see there is plenty for a half day (I haven't seen Rick's walk so don't know where it goes, he didn't used to have either Gent or Antwerpen in the book and I don't have the new book, but I do go to both cities) if that's how much time you want to devote. There's plenty to do if you want to stay overnight, too.
It will depend on what appeals.
Thank you, Nigel. Yes, there does seem a lot to see in Antwerp. (RS new Belgium guidebook devotes 30 pages.) The City Walk begins at the train station and goes past Ruben's house to the Old Town and cathedral and Grote Markt. (Rick also has an additional walk that goes to the riverfront and finally to the old dockyards.)
The City Walk seems ideal if we can store our luggage at the train station and then visit as a day trip. My only hesitancy is that Rick notes that the luggage lockers at the train station are occasionally all in use.
Antwerp merits a stopover. Lots to see there.
Thanks, Andrew. I've added Antwerp as a day trip to my itinerary. Planning on storing our luggage at the train station for the day. Has anyone else tried this?
Friends of ours just loved the printing museum in Antwerp: Museum Plantin-Moretus which is also described in RS 3rd edition Belgium book...so we're going there!
Note that multiple nights in Bruges would permit an easy daytrip to Antwerp (or Gent ... ) if you discover more that you want to see there. I find Antwerp more interesting (if, perhaps, not more beautiful) than Bruges. I won't endorse the sleep-one-night there because the daytrip from Gent or Bruges is so easy by train. (I hate frequent hotel changes.) Do you want to say where you're going from Bruges?
I like Rick's books, but I don't necessarily endorse his Antwerp walk. It has the virtue of saving you research and planning, but you might see some banal sights (like the sterile (opinion) Rubenshuis-I prefer the less crowded Rocoxhuis, one of his patrons) and completely miss something that happens to appeal to you more, but you don't know about. I mean, for example, the MAS museum and roof deck, the St. Anna Pedestrian Tunnel, the Fashion (MODA) museum, Desire de Lille waffles, the Middelheim outdoor sculpture museum (hard to access on a stopover), the Cogels-Osy Lei historic townhouse exteriors (walkable from the second train stop, Berchem), the superb little Meyer Van den Berg museum near the Magdenhuis foundling home which has interiors equal to Rubenshuis, and a lovely garden behind, near the small formal public botanical garden .... The list goes on. Every church in Antwerp is worth visiting, each for different reasons.
Antwerp has even a tiny but lovely beguinage, the modern adjacent buildings are a bit disturbing, nevertheless worth a short visit. Worth is to look around in the vintage and antique shops of Kloosterstraat.
Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions on Antwerp. I already have 4 nights booked in Bruges with a day trip planned to Ghent. Then we are heading to Paris.
At this point, it looks like my choices for Antwerp are either a stopover on my way from Delft to Bruges (storing my luggage at the Antwerp train station) or a day trip to Antwerp from Bruges?