Antwerp is a fun city to visit with plenty of action by day and night with something to suit everybody! If you are visiting the city in the summer, one fun event not to miss takes place on the first Saturday in August. All of the city’s museums and galleries remain open until late evening, with free entrance. Everybody tries to squeeze visits to as many as possible into their evening! Watch out for posters advertising the various cultural events and performances taking place or pick up a copy of This is Antwerp or Weekup for full information.
Time to have a look at the top 10 things to do in Antwerp at night. Here you go:
1. Begin your evening at sunset
What better place to watch the sunset over Linkeroever than from the spacious roof terrace of MAS (Museum Aan de Stroom)? The terrace offers a 360º view of the city and is open until midnight during the summer. There is free entrance to the roof terrace, so you can relax and see the sun sink and then watch as the city becomes a myriad of twinkling lights.
2. Try one of the new pubs
At one time, the Grote Markt was the focus for the city’s nightlife but slowly the focus moved to the suburbs. A big reincarnation is currently taking place in Grote Markt with some exciting new bars opening their doors. If on the other hand, you love the Belgian beer, head for Kulminator, just a few blocks to the south of Grote Markt. This bar has about 800 different Belgian beers in stock – many of them aged versions that are almost impossible to track down.
3. Or one in a really attractive area
Zurenborg is a really attractive part of Antwerp with wide streets and houses with lovely facades. Dageraadplaats is its large central square which is lined with pubs and restaurants – many with tables spilling onto the square. If you enjoy live music, you might well find a really good singer or band performing in one of the pubs.
4. Be trendy
It is cool to be in Eilandje – the Old Port area, to the north of the city – with its cobbled streets and huge old warehouses. There are some really good pubs and restaurants in Eilandje, with keen prices as they are popular with the city’s large student population.
5. Rub shoulders with artists and actors
The pubs and bars in Mechelseplein attract those with a creative spirit as well as many students and the surprising news is that most of the bars are open until 06.00 – so don’t plan an early morning start!
6. Enjoy good jazz
The most popular jazz venue in the city is the multi-level Jazzcafé which is an attractively decorated café by day and great jazz venue by night. The live performances start at 10.00 p.m. but get there early as it is really popular. Performers range from seasoned professionals to newbies covering every genre of jazz. Café Hopper is a similar venue with more than 20 years of jazz history. It is particularly popular with locals on a Sunday evening when there is live jazz with musicians from all over the world. Both venues offer the perfect combination – good jazz and great Belgian beer!
7. Go classical
The beautiful Queen Elisabeth Hall is the home of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (which until recently was called De Filharmonie van Antwerpen). The orchestra was formed in 1955 and has an excellent program of classical music throughout the year.
8. A night at the theatre
The Bourla Theatre is a beautiful neoclassical building that is one of the country’s most important historic buildings. If you think it looks impressive from the outside, inside it is simply stunning with seating for more than 800 people. The theatre is home to the Het Toneelhuis theatre company.
9. Fun at De Roma
This lovely cinema is a multi-venue with cinema, dancing and music concerts – there is always a variety of things taking place so never a dull moment.
10. Enjoy a stylish cocktail
The trendy place to enjoy a cocktail is Paters Vaetje. This delightful place has a great atmosphere created by the lovely large polished wood bar, the rows of shimmering glasses behind and the old framed posters and photographs on the wall.