One of the most unique romantic European travel destinations are Belgium holidays. Belgium's second largest city, Antwerp, is my husbands home town and he knows all about the excellent spots for a romantic weekend getaway, cozy restaurants, stunning art galleries and museums and exclusive hotels.
Antwerp was named one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2009, as chosen by editors of Lonely Planet. It is famous for Chocolate, Jenevers, and a special selection of Belgian beers. In addition Antwerp is the world Diamond Center, the home town of Rubens and the famous Antwerp 6 Fashion Designers. It has striking architecture, 3 Michelin star restaurants and is the mecca of shopping in during any Belgium holidays. This city has everything you could hope for if you want a romantic weekend break.
Here you will find out about Antwerp and ...
• Tips on diamond rings and engagement proposals
• Antwerp's famous romantic boutique hotels
• Best places to shop for chocolate on valentines and any other day
• 3 sites in Antwerp that are on the Unesco's World Heritage List
• Unique and romantic places to go on a date
• Exclusive and romantic restaurants in Antwerp for a dinner for 2
Antwerp Belgium holidays: Diamonds
Antwerp is the perfect engagement travel destinations in europe - a beautiful, enchanting city. We were married and honeymooned in the US but this is where we combined a romantic break finding my engagement ring and our wedding rings.
Antwerp is well known as the world diamond centre, trading 85% of the world’s production in rough diamonds and 55% of the polished variety globally. This makes it cheaper, yet more magical, to buy the jewel here than anywhere else, and it’s no surprise Diamond Land, the largest showroom in Antwerp, is a major attraction for soon-to-be engaged couples hoping to come home with an extra-special souvenir of their trip.
If you're thinking of proposing, one establishment that recognizes the popularity and importance of the choice and purchase of a once in a lifetime engagement ring is Diamondland, which sells loose stones and ready-made jewelery, and custom made pieces. Most of their customers are in contact with the company for some time in advance, discussing their requirements and prices. A date and time is then arranged, allowing the company to have all relevant stones and designs ready for the visit.
Diamondland incorporates a workshop where customers can see the best diamond polishers, setters and a goldsmith at work, transforming undistinguished stones into objects of glittering beauty. Guided tours are offered demonstrating production and explaining the four Cs " carat, colour, clarity and cut " which determine a diamond's value.
Romantic tips for engagement proposals: Antwerp's leading hotels have joined up with Diamondland, Antwerp’s largest diamond showroom to offer an exclusive diamond engagement and wedding anniversary ring special. Diamondland offers a complementary night in one of Antwerp's romantic hotels after you purchase your engagement or wedding anniversary ring.
Belgium holidays: Romantic getaway accommodation in Antwerp
De Witte Lelie (the White Lily - color of traditional wedding dresses) This 10- room romantic boutique hotel is made up of three 17th-century step- gabled houses.
00 32 3 226 1966
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Designer Bed and Breakfast have taken off in recent times as locals convert homes into cutting-edge accommodation to keep abreast with the Antwerp's image.
Boulevard Leopold - a Classic designer B&B
Bert Verschueren & Vincent Defontaines Boulevard Leopold Belgielei 135 Antwerpen +32 486 675 838 http://www.boulevard-leopold.be
A 19th century Bed and Breakfast house in the middle of the Jewish Quarter of Antwerp between the Albert park and the famous City Park. The house dating from 1890 and respected by its previous owners reflects a minimalist, lived trough atmosphere and is adapted to contemporary needs without losing its personality.
M0851 - A unique place to stay opposite the Fashion Museum in Antwerp.
In the heart of the old city and located in the most up and coming fashion street of Belgium. The shops of Dries Van Noten, Diane Von Furstenberg, Filippa K, Yamamoto and Paul Smith are in the neighborhood. Good restaurants and cozy cafés are within a short walking distance. The guestrooms in this fancy Bed and Breakfast offer privacy, peace and quiet, and every imaginable creature comfort.
A B&B in an distinctive 19th century Art Nouveau townhouse in a quiet neighborhood, the perfect base for people who like the trendy Zuid district, or want to visit the historic city center or prefer to venture outside Antwerp's city limits.
Antwerp Belgium holidays: Chocolate
Belgium is also synonymous with seduction by chocolate. Belgians have been making the world's finest chocolate for well over a century and locals simply regard good chocolate as an everyday part of like.
Every Belgian City of any size has divine chocolate shops.
From local bakeries and supermarkets delis, to chain stores and top-notch chocolateries ( chocolate shops), hundred of chocolate producers produce for the domestic market, tough only a handful have gone international, such as the elephant emblazoned Cote d'Or , or the US owned Godiva, and the Seashell-shaped Guylian.
The finest of the finest, the best of the very best! No superlative can describe the chocolate combination they have. Recently they expanded to the country of the rising sun (Japan) where they are also extremely successful.
They have a delightful tasting room where you can sample small dishes, delicious cakes and pastries.
Gossens makes one of the best and Famous Chocolate in Belgium. Drawing on several decades of experience, Master-Confectioner Goossens has become a household name in the Belgian chocolate industry.
Belgium holidays: There are 3 sites in Antwerp that are on the Unesco's World Heritage List...
Belfrie tower of Our Lady Cathedral
The Cathedral is the largest Gothic church in the Low Countries. It was finished in 1521 after about 170 years of construction. The interior is mostly Baroque and a few of Rubens most known paintings are adorning the walls. Among them are the Raising and the Descent of the Cross - cultural heritage of a worldwide scale.
It is seldom visited by tourists - Maybe because it’s easy to miss - you’ll have to look for it in the student’s area. The 16th-century Beguinage or Begijnhof was a medieval housing complex for women who devoted themselves to prayer and charitable works, but did not care for the constrains of a convent. The “nuns” no longer live here anymore, but the atmosphere is still very particular.
Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex
This is one of the most exceptional of all museums in Antwerp. Both a home and a shop it chronicles more than 300 years of printing activity. it hosts the oldest surviving print press in the world together with complete sets of dies and matrices. It’s amazing to see that even today, the equipment still could be used. The MOMU has no permanent collection – only changing exhibitions usually creations of temporary fashion designers, especially those who took courses in the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp. The exhibitions are very dynamic, creative and intuitive using various media.
Unique and romantic places to go on a date and enjoy Belgium holidays attractions...
In 2007 the Antwerp Zoo has won a price as the 'most romantic and best preserved 19th century zoo', because of the beautiful garden and old architecture like the Egyptian temple (1856), Bird house, Aquarium, Reptile house, Hippo house and more.
Not as big as the 'Grand Place' of Brussels, but definitely just as grand is the 'Grote Markt' - the market square of Antwerp. It is surrounded by guild houses and the 16th century Stadhuis (City Hall). the 16th century Stadhuis (City Hall). Most of these guild houses are replicas of what used to stand here in the 16th century. Although these are not the original structures, it’s still quite impressive.
Cogels Osylei is the most remarkable street of Belgium and maybe even Europe. You might think you’re walking on a film set they forgot to take down. What you see though is the fin-du-siècle feeling of the 19th century. People that lived here liked to show off their power and wealth.
Antwerp Central Station is the terminal station of the oldest railway line in Belgium and is often referred to as the Rail Road Cathedral of Antwerp. The complex consists of 3 parts: the station building, the metal and glass vault and the elevated rail track.
5 Best Museums to visit on your Belgium holidays:
Antwerp Diamond Museum is the largest diamond museum in the world. Interactive displays showcase mining and cutting processes, and polishing demonstrations take place Saturday afternoons. You can view items dating from the 16th century to the present.
The most impressive Belgium art museum is Royal Museum of Fine Arts, in Antwerp. The museum's permanent collection ( Over 7000 works) is one of the most important collection in Europe. It has unique paintings by Flemish Primitives such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling as well as the work of Quinten Metsijs, the founder of the Antwerp Art School.
The MoMu - Modemuseum Provincie Antwerpen: This is the new, trendy fashion museum housing contemporary fashion and historical collections. The MoMu has already gained international fame for the beautiful, new way of making successful exhibitions.
The Rubens House Museum: Rubens lived here most of his live. This is the place where most of his paintings (around 25000) were created by him and his students. You will see how top class people used to live in the 17th century. You can also admire the office of the master himself as well as the atelier where the actual work was performed.
Provinciaal Museum voor Fotografie - Since recently housed in an old warehouse, the Antwerp Fotomuseum is a real treat. A wide range of national and international photographers and artists exhibit their work in the photo galleries and at exhibitions.
Belgium holidays: Best places to Eat in Antwerp...
Belgium has the highest density of Michelin Star restaurants in Europe. Here are the 3 Michelin restaurants in Antwerp Belgium.
You will find a grand master’s interpretation of the Escoffier cuisine. Real food, real cooking and real taste! The restaurant is in a 16th century building and a host to one of the finest wine cellars in Belgium.
Grote Hondstraat 2 2018 Antwerp 0032 /3 239.90.03
The chef and his wife set up this restaurant in one the coziest areas of Antwerp. Close to the Cogels-Osy lei, they offer you a classical French cuisine in an amazing art nouveau building.
Belgium holidays: romantic restaurants in Antwerp
Pasta (Wine bar)
An Italian restaurants with a french flair and a fantastic selection of international wines. The house is gorgeous and the inside is spacious with great wooden tables. Free live Jazz concerts on Sundays (check timetable)
De Kleine Zavel - a brasserie with a menu that focuses on seafood and has an extensive wine list.
Neuze Neuze, Wijngaardstraat 19 (00 32 3 232 5783), where five tiny houses have been cobbled together to create a split-level restaurant with plenty of nooks and crannies, and offers French-Belgian cuisine.
Troubadour - A fancy restaurant a bit out of the way but you will definitely be happy you made the trip. Fantastic food and service for a surprisingly reasonable price.
Drie Koningenstraat 72
Belgium is at the Crossroads of Europe - its location, between France, Germany and the Netherlands guarantees numerous and budget travel opportunities from cities like Amsterdam, Paris, London, Cologne and Luxembourg.
Near by Destinations:
Belgium holidays from Brussels, Belgium to Antwerp: 23.3 miles
Belgium holidays from Brugge, Belgium to Antwerp: 72.8 miles
Belgium holidays from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Antwerp: 43.8 miles
Belgium holidays from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Antwerp: 77.8 miles
Belgium holidays from Cologne, Germany to Antwerp: 112 miles
Belgium holidays from Luxemburg, Luxelburg to Antwerp: 134 miles
Belgium holidays from Paris, France to Antwerp: 188 miles
Belgium holidays from London, England to Antwerp 197 miles