If you don't want to limit yourself to visiting one or more museums in Antwerp and would also like to experience the real Antwerp, then the city's many beautiful squares are perfect for you! Folk markets, lively terraces, and vibrant events—the squares of Antwerp form the beating heart of the city's public space.
This square, with a spacious underground parking garage within walking distance of Het Steen and Lange Wapper, is perhaps the most famous in the city. Enjoy the view of the numerous surrounding architectural gems, take a photo of the famous Brabo Fountain, and relax on one of the many terraces around the square.
Throughout the year, a wide range of events take place here, such as the Rubens Markets and the Bollekesfeest city festival. The Grote Markt of Antwerp has always been the heart of the city for centuries!
When visiting Antwerp, you will inevitably find yourself at Groenplaats sooner or later. Due to its central location, the residents of Antwerp also use Groenplaats as a practical meeting point.
Similar to the Grote Markt, this square also has an underground parking garage. Moreover, various public transport routes intersect here, making it the central gateway to the shopping district, the historical center, and the Antwerp fashion district. Here, you can enjoy the sun on a bench and take a beautiful photo of the cathedral, which offers a perfect view from Groenplaats.
Named after the Belgian author Hendrik Conscience, this square is loved for its Mediterranean atmosphere. The magnificent Baroque Carolus Borromeus Church and the Heritage Library with its impressive content are definitely worth a visit, both for their interior and exterior architecture. Take the opportunity to look at the ground and search for the figures formed by the cobblestones.
Enjoy the diverse local and international audience that visits this square or opt for an authentic café experience in one of the charming bars on and around Conscienceplein.
Operaplein is the city's most recently renovated square. All car traffic goes underground here, so you can easily walk from Antwerp Central Station to the bustling city center. Don't don't rush too much, however, because the Operaplein offers you a great view of the beautiful architecture of the famous shopping street the Meir, the Central Station and, as the name suggests, the Antwerp Opera.
One of Antwerp's most authentic markets takes place on this square every Friday. Do you wish to refresh your interior with a vintage or antique bargain? Then a visit to the Vrijdagmarkt cannot be missing from your schedule!
In addition to the cozy cafes, stop by the Plantin-Moretus Museum. This magnificent museum is not only a Unesco World Heritage Site, but in a distant past it was also the home of Christopher Plantin, the man who took book printing from Antwerp to the next level. Be pleasantly surprised by lead letters and some of the oldest printing presses in the world, and fully immerse yourself in an intriguing history.
The name probably rings a bell already: this square just a stone's throw from the Rubens House is the heart of Antwerp's theater district. Buy a ticket for a musical or concert at the Stadsschouwburg or treat your eyeballs to a smaller theater production at Het Paleis. The famous Arenbergschouwburg is also nearby.
As you will see, Theaterplein is also very popular with skaters who have to give way on weekends to Antwerp's two most popular markets: the Exotic Market and the Vogelenmarkt.
Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Exotic Market goes on at Theaterplein. From oysters to champagne and Moroccan specialties, for locals this market is synonymous with enjoyment and socializing at the many food stalls. Moreover, you can buy a lot of products at this market to further pamper yourself at home.
The Bird Market is probably the best known and one of the oldest markets in the city. It takes place every Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm. You can find flowers, textiles, hamsters, rabbits and ornamental birds, among other things.
In the heart of the historic centre, in the shadow of the majestic cathedral, lies Handschoenmarkt. The heritage of the name of this small triangular square lies in its history. It was once home to the largest glove market in the region.
A visit to the square will give you the chance to find out more about Nello and Patrache and to visit Notre-Dame Cathedral. You can also take advantage of the many cafés, bars and restaurants to be found here
Each district in Antwerp boasts several squares that will enchant you with their authentic atmosphere. While we have provided tips for some of the most popular squares in Antwerp above, don't hesitate to embark on your own exploration.
Antwerp is home to numerous smaller squares where you can enjoy a delightful experience. Use your smartphone or an old-fashioned city map and set off on an adventure!
For example, visit Mechelseplein, where locals gather at cafés or head to the legendary De Studio for a night of dancing. Another charming option is Sint-Andriesplaats, located in the heart of the vibrant Sint-Andries district, with its cozy terraces and popular playground. Make sure to stop by Regine Beerplein in the Groen Kwartier. This square has been transformed into a creative hub with a cozy coffee bar, fantastic restaurants, and lush rooftop gardens.
If you're a culinary enthusiast, you'll be delighted to know that the Michelin-starred restaurant The Jane is just around the corner. Don't miss a visit to Astridplein, located near Antwerp Zoo, which is definitely worth a visit!
Book a room today at one of our B&B HOTELS in Antwerp. Both our B&B HOTEL Antwerpen Centrum and B&B HOTEL Antwerpen Zuid are within walking distance of the lively Antwerpen Plein Publiek, a popular event venue, allowing you easy access to the various squares in the city. You'll quickly discover that there is so much to do in Antwerp!