Belgium trip - Antwerp and Mechelen - March 2023
Hello and welcome to some of the highlights of my trip to Belgium in March 2023 Day 1 - 6 March 2023 Taking the tram from my hotel in Antwerp to the city centre Diamant station has a direct link to Antwerp's Central Station Centraal Station deserves a visit of its own Bright, spacious and beautiful too I came back here the next day so will have more footage of the station The exterior of the station is impressive too Time for a stroll This is Meir, Antwerp's main shopping street Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal) Antwerp's Gothic Cathedral It contains a number of works by Rubens It's located just off Grote Markt Here we can find the Stadhuis (City Hall) What's this? Where's he going? It's the entrance to the Sint-Annatunnel The wooden escalators make it quite unique - they date from the 1930s The tunnel cross the Scheldt river, is over 30 metres underground and over 570 metres long It's a cloudy day but from this side of the river there are nice views of the city Antwerp's tram network is really efficient and is almost like a subway, lots of underground stations Time for lunch I came to De Broers van Julienne A cozy and bright interior I ordered artichoke croquettes - delicious! It was quiet enough on a Monday - just the way I like it! Antwerp's streetscape is very interesting I think you can see this architectural style in other parts of Belgium too Each building is different and unique but there is still a sense of cohesion Because it was Monday, not many museums were open But luckily the Royal Museum of Fine Arts was open It contains works by Rubens, Van Eyck as well as many others As you can see, the building itself is beautiful I think you could spend the whole day here if you wanted Time for a quick coffee in Le Pain Quotidien opposite the museum More interesting streets Just to warn you that this street features a lot of streets ... and trams! St. Charles Borromeo Church And then a quick visit to the beguinage (begijnhof) These buildings were the homes of beguines - lay religious women who lived together in a community I finished the day in Café des Arts in Berchem Some nice beers while reading a book A really nice neighbourhood bar to meet friends or spend some time alone Tuesday 7 March 2023 And I'm back in Centraal Station Before I take the train to Mechelen, there was some time to explore the station more Actually there were a lot of delays that morning but the SNCB staff were very helpful and professional You can see how busy the station is The National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS in Dutch, SNCB in French) uses a simple logo for it branding The platforms have good options for coffee too This is a Eurostar train from London passing through on its way to Amsterdam Finally my train arrived and I'm on my way to Mechelen! Unfortunately the weather that day was not great, raining a lot In Mechelen, I started my visit on this boardwalk along the River Dyle (Dijle) It's a nice introduction to the town and its architecture With the cold and damp weather, I needed a coffee to warm me up Coffice Great for people watching Just what I needed on a day like this! It's both a coffee shop and coworking space The street outside, IJzerenleen, has some beautiful buildings too The street is nice way to walk to Mechelen's Grote Markt and St. Rumbould's Cathedral St. Rumbould's Cathedral
Grote Markt Lots of beautiful little streets and courtyards near the cathedral This is the beguinage, a bit bigger than Antwerp's I was lucky that it was so quiet The use of water and waterways in Mechelen is really impressive Time for lunch! This is the De Vleeshalle A converted market hall that is now a popular dining destination Some prawn croquettes washed down with some beer, of course! I really recommend Mechelen as a day trip - very close to Antwerp and Brussels When I came back to Antwerp, I couldn't resist filming some more streets and buildings Wednesday 8 February 2023 And it's snowing! The cold weather was the perfect excuse for a coffee! Caffénation Roastery and Bar Just what I needed and a lovely ambience too This is Cogels Osylei Probably the pinnacle of Antwerp's eclectic townhouse architecture And even more beautiful in the snow I thought it was a good opportunity to use the slo-mo function on my DJI camera How do you think it turned out? Back on a tram heading towards the city centre A quick stop at the Havenhuis Antwerp Port's headquarters designed by Zaha Hadid The northern part of Antwerp has a lot of redeveloped dockland areas Museum aan de Stroom or MAS It has some wonderful views of the city And finally a visit to FelixAchief - a former warehouse that now houses the city archives So goodbye to Antwerp and Mechelen I really enjoyed my time there - a lot to discover with everything well connected Thanks for watching and see you again soon!