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Travel Brussels to Antwerp in a Day

Brussels to Antwerp in a Day: Antwerp train station
Visiting Antwerp is one of many easy day trips from Brussels by train. Even if you only have a short layover in Brussels, it is worth considering the train ride to Antwerp. How far is Antwerp from Brussels? Less than one hour by rail. We took the train from Brussels to Antwerp Central Station for the day to see what the city of diamonds has to offer.  The train station in Antwerp was one of the most beautiful train stations we'd seen in Europe. The diamond district is right outside the station and we saw plenty of bling adorning shop signage.
Antwerp in One Day: Copper statue in Old Town Antwerp

Antwerp Sunday Market

Visit Antwerp on a Sunday and explore the Sunday market which presents an impressive array of goods. One section of the market seemed devoted to birds and fowl. We also saw long haired rabbits and tons of guinea pigs. We moved on to a section of the market that featured more food and dress. We opted to try a suiker wafel which had crystallized bits of sugar inside. The market sat just outside the Stadsschouwburg Theater. Fortunately, the sun was shining and we didn't need to pick up a colorful umbrella as we strolled away from the market toward the market square.
Brussels to Antwerp in a day: long hailed rabbits at the Sunday market

Belgian Beer Al Fresco and the Botanical Gardens in Antwerp

We found even more impressive window boxes in Antwerp City. We decided to stop and have a Grimbergen beer al fresco at a curb side cafe. We stopped for a stroll in the Botanical Gardens on Leopoldstraat. Colorful fruits really popped among the green leaves. We passed tropical trees and flowers before rejoining the main road. We passed a shopping mall with stunning statues. We ate lunch in the shadow of a gothic cathedral at Da Giovanni.

Antwerp Grote Markt

Antwerp in one day: Antwerp Grote Markt
Continuing on, we finally reached the market square in Antwerp Old Town with its impressive churches and other facades. We popped into a chocolatier (as you do on a trip to Belgium) on the square for some Antwerp hands. The hands are in honor of Brabo who slayed a giant's hand and threw it into the river.  The name Antwerp means 'to throw hands'. The scene is further immortalized by a lovely fountain on the market square. Golden accents added to the grandeur of the scene. I liked the horse-drawn carriage waiting for its next fare on the square. The Dutch style buildings curved away from the Grote Markt and seemed to lean precariously into the street. We finished our explorations by admiring the finely decorated buildings before heading toward the river for a unique Art Deco experience.

Antwerp's River Scheldt and Antique Elevator

Brussels to Antwerp in one day: Lion on the River Scheldt
We approached Antwerp's River Scheldt and a roaring lion. A series of decorated metal 'mushrooms' used to moor ships were on display on the elevated walkway. It was a lovely day for a walk along the river promenade. The elevated path ran parallel to and then curved over a pedestrian and cyclist path below. Antwerp is unique in that there is an underground tunnel from one side of the river to the other.  It's accessible via an antique escalator or elevator.  We made our way below ground and joined the crowds headed to the other side. We emerged to breathtaking views of the Antwerp's 'skyline'. An interesting wooden statue with giant hands guarded the shore. This side of the river was much more park-like and leafy than the other.  Locals seem to like to come here for a relaxing picnic, bike ride, or stroll. We passed a wet dock with words spelled out at the surface of the water. We relaxed for a bit and then headed back across the river where we emerged into an antiques market.
Antwerp in a day: Decortive boat tie
Our one day in Antwerp was quickly drawing to a close.  We approached the Antwerp railway station and headed down the escalators to the train waiting to whisk us back to Brussels.  Antwerp is definitely an ideal day trip from Brussels by train and I hope we'll be back again sometime on a future visit to Belgium.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Travel Brussels to Antwerp in a Day
Travel Brussels to Antwerp in a Day
Take a day trip from Brussels to Antwerp. Learn about things to do in Antwerp in a day. Explore Antwerp, Belgium in one day.
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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