Why Antwerp is Perfect for a Family City Break

It’s hard not to get caught up in the bustling energy of this beautiful port city.


Antwerp boasts a breathtaking medieval center and has recently undergone a major facelift, providing more bike paths, green spaces, new museums and a revived riverfront.


It has so much to offer families; it may be hard to squeeze it all into just one weekend. But let’s try, shall we?

Getting around Antwerp is a piece of cake. It’s an easy walk from the central train station to the center of town and the main shopping street De Meir is a large pedestrian street so no worries about letting the little ones run wild. 

Your first stop…

Comics Station:

If the Antwerp train station isn’t jaw-dropping enough (it has been voted one of Europe’s most beautiful buildings) then wait until you get a look at the station’s newest addition: Comics Station.


This indoor fun park is based on Belgium’s most famous comic strip heroes like The Smurfs, Robbedoes, Lucky Luke, De Rode Ridder (The Red Knight) and Suske en Wiske.


Boasting the longest indoor slide in the WORLD, you could easily spend days here and believe me, your kids will want too.


Our whole family enjoyed going from one activity to another and yes, parents are welcome to try out all of the fun as well. There’s a stopwatch so you can race down that slide.  Unfortunately the heavier kids in our family (Dad) won that race. 

Next why not head too…

Antwerp Zoo:

The Zoo, which was built in 1843 and is one of the oldest in Europe, is right next to the train station. The zoo has a good variety of over 5,000 animals and recently added the arrival of a baby elephant.


China Lights:

If you are in Antwerp during the winter months, check out the fabulous China Lights. Located in the Antwerp Zoo, this fairytale-like light show will amaze everyone in your family.


Experience an unforgettable evening with hundreds of huge luminous artworks in the form of colorful animals, flowers and mythical creatures.

Don’t forget to stop by…

RedStar Line Museum

Originally hailing from the United States, this museum was particularly interesting. Two million passengers travelled from Antwerp to North America on board Red Star Line ships, whose port was in Antwerp. The museum focuses on their stories, the ships and the city.

Theater anyone?


Everyone enjoys a good musical and kids are no different.  At the Stadsschouwburg, Broadway is offered to you a little bit closer than New York City.


We enjoyed the production of Little Red Riding Hood- a hilarious rendition of the fairy tale with a modern twist. #DoesEveryoneUseHashtagsNow?

Talk about ending up in the gutter…

Antwerp sewers De Ruien

Although hanging in the city sewers doesn’t sound like a solid choice, you’re kids will have a blast .The part that you can visit with kids is very short, it’s a 10-15 minute boat ride.


The entrance to De Ruien is centrally located close to the Antwerp City Hall. You don’t need to book this short visit (other options are best reserved in advance), so it’s really easy to visit.


- Karyn Gorman and Olav Adami