We’re in lockdown but that doesn’t mean never going outside again. So when the sun’s out (or at the very least it’s not raining), get your cozy sweater on and some comfy walking shoes and grab your camera.
We’re going to tell you all about the sights of Antwerp city that you need to see. Got a cool shot of Antwerp? Tag us in @heylivetheworld and #heylivetheworld. We’d love to see it!
Some Art Nouveau gems
You’ve probably heard of Cogels Osylei, but have you strolled the neighbouring streets as well? Plenty of little streets with tucked-away gems here. The Golden Triangle is three streets (Cogels Osylei, Transvaalstraat & Waterloostraat) that all have drop dead gorgeous quirky, beautiful Art Nouveau houses.
These three streets have about 170 houses together that are protected by the government because they’re that pretty. If you’re looking for pretty houses to photograph , try out The Golden Triangle.
It’s easy enough to go outside, throw on headphones, and walk wherever. But that can get boring. The Golden Triangle will keep you present in the moment by serving you up art. Art lovers need not despair about the galleries closing, get inspired by some Art Nouveau. In case you didn’t know, Art Nouveau is inspired by nature, so you’re in an urban spot with a natural twist.
Sound too artsy for you? No worries, it’s just a cool, pretty place to have a walk about while picking up a coffee or taking your kids to as it's sure to turn a few heads.
Tip: pick up a coffee or a treat at nearby places before or after your walk (Walvis, Rush Rush or Domestic Bakery are sure to tickle your fancy).
Bridge to the other side
It’s easy to miss this but check it out if you haven’t already. Park Spoor Noord has a unique 67m bridge that’s pretty impressive when you’re walking or cycling through it, you’ll feel *very briefly* very metropolitan.. Go in when it’s sunny and you’re in for a treat - you’ll see patterns from the sun rays all along the bridge. This makes it a great photo spot on sunny days in the city.
Wander over to the rest of Park Spoor Noord to lounge on the grass and soak up that last bit of vitamin D. If you’re looking to get active, there’s tons of space in Park Spoor Noord’s grass fields, walking and biking paths. There’s also a skate park if that’s more your thing. Either way, you’re sure to get some fun photos here.
The bridge takes you from the park over to “Het Eilandje” aka the north part of Antwerp. Note the bridge itself is only for cyclists and pedestrians. Cross the bridge over to the other side of the city for even more things to see.
See the diamond of Antwerp
One spot every photographer can’t miss is the Havenhuis (Harbour House) of Antwerp. From Havenhuis, get classic panoramic photos of the Antwerp harbour. Zoom out your lens for a bigger picture of the city. Known for its diamond-like shape, Havenhuis is a stunning example of geometrical architecture by British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.
Photographer Dylan Calluy got a fresh take on Antwerp by dropping by the Havenhuis after a rainy day in the city. Turns out that when it rains, it pours creativity.
Get a fresh take on Antwerp by changing up the angles and positioning. Got a cool shot of Havenhuis you want to share? Don’t forget to tag us in @heylivetheworld and #heylivetheworld
Hear the whispers of the city
Antwerp is filled with weird and wonderful things that aren’t totally obvious at first sight. Everyone in Antwerp knows about the MAS. It’s one of those popular photo spots, you know? Maybe, as you were walking by, you saw the human-like sculptures climbing up a warehouse opposite the MAS. Those quirky sculptures are by Belgian artist Daisy Boman and are known as The Whisperer. You could just walk on by, take a quick photo, and enjoy a more unique look of Antwerp.
But why stop there? The thing is The Whisperer isn’t a regular sculpture. It’s kinda interactive. Push the button on the sculpture on the docks and you’ll hear a message. There’s a unique message each month and you never really know what you’re going to hear.
Wanna share your fresh take of the city with someone else? Drop them a message using the Whisperer app. Your personal message can only be heard by them at the sculpture by the docks. Use it to send a loved one a reminder of how much you care when you’re apart in lockdown.
Or use it to send your friends on a wild goose chase. We won’t judge.
The funky architecture of Felix Archive
There’s not many photo spots you won’t have seen already on Instagram. Felix Archive is one you might’ve missed. After snapping a photo of The Whisperer, keep walking along the harbour and as always you’ll pass by a bunch of warehouses. Felix Archive might look like a regular warehouse at first sight, but take a fresh look inside.
On the inside, the warehouse has a really cool indoor street. Take a walk down the cobbled path and don’t forget to look up to the super high glass ceiling. We haven’t seen another spot like this in the city. Felix Archive is that unique because it used to be a warehouse for storing all the stuff we love (coffee, wine, beer hops) but is now used for the city archives.
Photographers and architecture nerds will all love it here. But, really, everyone should take a peek at Felix Archive to get a fresh look at the city.
Amazing graffiti art in Berchem
Since all the art galleries are closed in lockdown, options for art lovers are super limited. Thankfully there’s art outdoors too. Sometimes you can walk through the city streets everyday and still miss things. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk over to the Berchem district for all the amazing graffiti street art.
Antwerp has tons of hidden art that you’ve probably never seen before. On this free 11km walk in Berchem, you’ll get to see art from all over the world by exploring the streets. The thing about street art is that new stuff is always being added. You don’t have to wait for a new gallery exhibition!
There’s a free online guide to help you out if you wanna capture all the photos you can. Or you can go exploring on your own. You never know what hidden gems you might find.
Great views at the city beach
There’s no better time to take a drive to the beach to get out of the city. It’s just that everyone has had the same idea. Instead of going to one of the bigger beaches, you might be better off going to Saint Anna. Look, you can’t dive into the water here since the waters can get dangerous. But it’s not like you’d enjoy jumping into the water in winter anyways. Nope, go to the beach to take some chill photos instead.
The view from Saint Anna's is great whenever you go, since you can see across the river to the Port House of Antwerp and the MAS. When it’s sunny the diamond of the city looks as shiny as ever.
If you can, head over to the beach when the sun is almost down to get a good view of the sunset. Don’t forget to tag us in it too!
Getting weird & wacky at the botanical gardens
Lots of us have already explored Plantentuin or at least have heard about it. Still, it’s worth popping the green oasis for a quick walk when you can.
Look, some of us bought puppies in lockdown. Some of us bought plants. Some of us (not naming names) may not be good plant parents. We all know we come here to live out the plant aesthetic without any of the effort, but you might not know all the weird stuff about it.
We’re not exactly sure why, but there’s a sculpture of a guy walking into the grass by the fountain. No joke. It looks like the dude just decided to walk into the soil. The dude’s head literally looks like it’s popping up from the ground. Like, mood. We can already see the meme potential. Like the Whisperer, it’ll give you a whole new take on Antwerp and looks good on camera too.