Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in Antwerp and see the city through the eyes of a local? Well, I’ve been living nearby Antwerp for 5,5 years now – and still learning, so good luck with that one! But, with this month’s blog post, we will help you figure out how to explore Antwerp in a less-touristic way. So saddle up, cowboy. We’re going to take you for a ride!

Lunch or not to lunch?

Of course to lunch. After you’ve started your day with a kick with our breakfast buffet, it’s time to start your day. For lunch, try to skip the famous spots like Groenplaats en Grote Markt. Take a walk down Zuid, the south of Antwerp. For some of the restaurants down there, you will need to leave your “hipster allergies” at home, but there are true gems at Zuid Antwerpen.

Take Barchel for example. For breakfast, brunch and lunch the ideal place. With two locations in Antwerp, they are situated on ideal locations. But ideal for locals, not that much for tourists. You can find Barchel at Jos Smolderenstraat 15, 2000 Antwerpen. Another great place which we can recommend for lunch is Shilling. This bar is serving food from morning to evening. And I can tell you, their club sandwiches are amazing. You can order a side dish of fries with it, or just enjoy the sandwich as it comes. And, they also have a great collection of drinks, hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. You can find Shilling at Graaf van Egmontstraat 60, 2000 Antwerpen.

To spend or not to spend your money?

Believe it or not, but people who live in Antwerp also do shopping! From clothes to furniture to groceries. You can find many locals wandering down Meir for their clothing stores, among many others and tourists. But did you try Wijnegem Shopping Center already? At 15 minutes by public transport. Here you can find 200 stores all in one place. Eat, drink… Shop until you drop! You can reach Wijnegem Shopping Center with trams 10 and 5 from the Central Station area.

What I personally always do when visiting a foreign country: visting supermarkets. It’s fun, it’s nice. This way, you’ll be gathered with locals and you can see what they sell in another country. Compare products, prices and find out new products. The two biggest names in Belgium at this moment are Delhaize and Carrefour. Although Dutch supermarkets as Albert Heijn are making its breakthrough in Belgium as well, with their big assortment and low prices. Just outside of Antwerp, in a city called Schoten, you will find the biggest supermarket of Antwerp. Hypermarkt Carrefour Schoten sells everything from groceries to electronics, clothing, toiletries, books, furniture, outlet items and more. Take tram 2 or 3 (dir. Merksem) until the final stop

Can you resist temptation?

Belgium is known for its chocolate, Antwerp is like a chocolate heaven. Many chocolatiers are in Antwerp. Some names are Leonidas, Del Rey and Goossens. The last two are high end and more upscale chocolate stores with exclusive chocolates. Del Rey even has a café and sells chocolate pies in all shapes and tastes. And Goossens diamond shaped chocolates… Hùùù… Can you resist the temptation of chocolate? I’m sure I can’t… Four letters, starts with a B and ends on EER… Next to chocolate, Belgium is also known for its beers. Next to the amazing central and green location of Leopold Hotel Antwerp, its also located on walking distance from the ‘beer heaven’, Bier Central. Bier Central offers you many (read: manymanymanymany…) different kinds of beers to taste. This, together with a delicious snack or meal, what else does a beer lover want? Visit Bier Central during your stay with us, located at De Keyserlei, near the Antwerp-Central main station.

Relax, take it easy

Take a break from the busy city centre and visit Linkeroever. Just on the other side of the Scheldt, you can have a quiet picnic or just a nice walk on the other side of Antwerp. Take the Voetgangerstunnel (Pedestrian Tunnel) with their antique escalators. A unique way of traveling to the other side of Antwerp… And when you get back to Antwerp, visit Barnini at Oude Vaartplaats. Their bagels are delicious and so are their hot drinks!

Now you’re almost set to visit Antwerp like a local.

All you have to do is book a room at the most ideal spot in Antwerp. A central location at a green place. Leopold Hotel Antwerp is the place to be. Book on our own website and get your room € 5.00 cheaper compared to the price on various third party booking engines!

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