My sister and I will be driving from Bruges to Antwerp on a Sunday morning. We will be driving a German rental car. We have read that Central Antwerp is a "Low Emission Zone." Our question is where can we park in Antwerp, leave the car, and take public transportation to Rubenshuis, Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal and possibly the Museum Plantin Moretus. We will then be driving to Aachen. Thank you for any help you can give.
Parking info---- https://www.slimnaarantwerpen.be/en/car-taxi/park-and-ride
For entering the LEZ you have to register your car. If so you can drive to the center and follow the parking signs, they indicate the number of places left. Parking there is quite expensive and as it is Sundaymorning Antwerp attracts numerous visitors from Belgium and the Netherlands coming to the famous “Vogeltjesmarkt”. Have no idea how easy it will be finding a place to park your car close to the center. Finding your way there a GPS is to recommend.
I visit Antwerp once or twice a year and arrive from direction Bruges too and park my car at Linkeroever (Antwerp Scheldt Leftbank) close to the entrance of the St Anna pedestrian tunnel and is in the LEZ. Parking costs €0,70 /hr with a maximum of €7 for a day. You can do the same but only if you have registered your “German” car as it is in the LEZ. Most rental cars are new and the emission shouldn’t be a problem, but contact the rental company about this. You can walk through the tunnel (½hr to Grote Markt) or take the tram/metro from Eeden Metro to the center and get out at Groenplaats or Meir for the Rubenshuis.
In case you haven’t registered your car you can park at P&R Blancefoer – Linkeroever and take the tram from there and is just outside the LEZ. For driving to Blanceflour you can’t enter Antwerp, you have to drive first to Zwijndrecht to avoid the LEZ, leaving Blanceflour you can drive straight to the freeway for driving to Aachen. Use google maps for locating P+R Blanceflour.
Although the St Anna tunnel is actually a bit of a tourist attraction, it is a very long walk for SUV-coddled Americans. And time is involved for the stack of escalators (or is it moving sidewalks) at each end. The advantage is not waiting for a tram/subway car. But Antwerp, unlike American cities, properly funds its transit. I take surface lines when I can, for sightseeing.
It would be helpful to know if you are leaving Antwerp at rush hour for your next destination. You have a small list for a large city.
The park and ride lots are actually good news for you, because Antwerp has so many twisting one-lane and one-way streets. Driving there is not a pleasant experience. Note that downtown parking stalls and aisles are much smaller than at home. My wife used to go to Antwerp several times a year, and she often had to empty the car before pulling into an indoor stall.
The visit will be on a Sunday morning so not so much worry about rush hour. There is also a ferry from St. Anna crossing the Scheldt, have no idea about the schedule but think it's frequent and free too, so a nice form of siteseeing. At the St. Anna tunnel rightbank exit there is every Sunday a fleamarket and the vintage, antique shops of the adjacent Kloosterstraat will be open.
Tim - Those twisting one-way streets are indeed a reason to avoid the center but think nevertheless doable following the parking signs, using a GPS and even being prepared to walk if necessary.