In need of a break but low on travel time? No worries—Antwerp is a world city rich in places that inspire that relaxing, fun holiday feeling. Here are just a few examples of destinations that are close to your home– and soon, to your heart.

Experience a bit of colonial history around the corner
This is not your average Bed & Breakfast. Book a room at De Witte Nijl and you will find yourself in an authentic, colonial African atmosphere. This 19th century manor house combines historical artifacts with the comfort of modern living, offering its visitors an interesting look into the past. Situated on a quiet street in Antwerp’s trendy South District, it’s also close to such attractions as the Museum of Modern Art and the antique district.

All pleasures under one roof
Graanmarkt 13 truly has something for everybody. Namely, it’s a restaurant, shop, gallery and apartment, all rolled into one! According to its website, Graanmarkt is the perfect place for anybody interested in art, design, fashion or amazing food, calling it “a haven for those in search of special things with a soul.” You can engage and delight all the senses at this unique destination. Stop by for lunch or dinner, or if you have the time and inclination, book a stay in the luxurious apartment with room for up to six people.

The history of high fashion
While Antwerp is certainly not lacking in art museums, MoMu stands out for being completely dedicated to the art of fashion. Offering two exhibitions per year, visitors are treated to either a study in a particular fashion theme or an introspective of a famous designer. It also displays contemporary student work from the prestigious Flanders Fashion Institute, which is part of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. In the heart of the Fashion District, MoMu is a must-see and a great stop during a shopping trip.

Scandinavia meets Japan in Belgium
Gå Nord is a restaurant with a vision that takes Scandinavian influences and wraps it in the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, or embracing imperfection. This translates into cooking with ingredients native to the region and keeping food simple, yet beautiful. Owners Sven Wille en Nicolaj Kovdal offer their own exclusive wine and crafted cocktails as part of their “do it yourself” approach, and the restaurant is housed in a former industrial building, another nod to Wabi-Sabi.

These are just a few of the remarkable places you can visit in Antwerp, proving that you don’t need to book a plane or drive across the border for a little fun, culture and relaxation. Next time you feel a bit of wanderlust coming on, remember that you can have a wonderful holiday right here at home.

This post is also available in: Dutch French

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