To do / Visit

Do you have a few days to spare? Why not visit Antwerp, Belgium, or some of the neighbouring countries? Here's some possible things to do and places to visit:

Antwerp is one of Belgium's major cities, and it is globally known for its fashion industry, diamond industry, and for its international port (the second largest in Europe). It has a rich history dating back to pre-Roman times, and many historical buildings still demonstrate the wealth the city once enjoyed, primarily in the Medieval and Renaissance age. These and many other facets are reflected in Antwerp's many museums and must-sees. Here are some suggestions:

  • the city centre is riddled with historical buildings and places, such as the Cathedral of Our Lady, the "Boekentoren" (Europe's first skyscraper), the Central Station, and the "Grote Markt" with its many Guildhouses.
  • a number of museums highlighting historical or cultural aspects of the city can be found within the city, such as DIVA (the diamond museum), MOMU (the fashion museum), MAS (a museum dedicated to the city's history), and Red Star Line (dedicated to the shipping company that transported millions of people back and forth to the US).
  • the city offers much to see, do, and experience, for example the Zoo, the Beguinage, the Underpass (walk under the river Schelde), comic strip walls, major fashion brand stores, and so forth.
  • given the conference's theme, you might be interested in what Antwerp has to offer in terms of music. Many (mainly Western) music genres can be heard in venues across the city, for example in deSingel (mostly classical and jazz), TRIX (mostly rock and pop), De Roma (all genres), and jazz bars such as De Muze and De Hopper.

More information can be found on the city's tourist site.

Belgium is a small country with a well-organized public transportation system. From Antwerp, most other major Belgian cities are a short (> 2h.) train ride away, often direct. Check the national rail operator for details. Some cities worth exploring are:

  • Bruges (UNESCO World Heritage, a 'medieval' city)
  • Brussels (Belgium's capital)
  • Ghent (a major Flemish city)
  • Liège (a major Walloon city)

Europe is only a train- or busride away. From Antwerp or Brussels, direct connections take you to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Köln, Frankfurt, Vienna, and beyond. Check the national rail operator for details on international connections, or use private bus operators such as Flixbus.

Enjoy your time at the conference and beyond!