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Free things to do in Antwerp


Let’s create your city trip in Antwerp together. We can focus on free hidden gems, secret local spots and the free things to do and visits in Antwerp. These special areas will make your stay in Antwerp much more memorable :).

Ready to unfold the city with us?


In the 16th Century, Antwerp was one of Europe’s richest and most influential cities. This glorious century gave us so many hidden gems. The places that most tourists and even locals never see.


If you want to show off about Antwerp, we have a little story to share with you 😊

The hand is the symbol of Antwerp. But do you know why ?


Antwerp means “ to throw a hand”, in Dutch : Antwerpen = hand werpen.

Long long time ago, a Roman soldier fought a giant who demanded a high toll for each ship entering the harbor of Antwerp. He cut his hand, saved the city from tyranny and allowed Antwerp to become the biggest port. That’s the reason why you can find hand chocolate, hand cookies and hand statues everywhere in the city.



Follow our guide for the free things to do in Antwerp

  • Beguinages / Begijnhof Antwerp : In Belgium and The Netherlands, you will often come across “Beguinages”. As you might know, the beguinages were the home of religious women from the 16th century– not nuns but single women who lived a life dedicated to God but remained open to the world. The Antwerp beguinage consists of with little houses, small alleys, gardens and even a small Church. It is a real oasis in the busy city center of Antwerp. Entrance is free during daytime ( 8-6pm) but no dogs allowed and don’t forget… be quiet 😊
  • Hof van Liere : In the middle of Antwerp University, this place is a gem in a busy city center. Built in the Golden 16th Century, it was home for the Jesuit School, then a military academy, a military hospital, university and then a venue for national and international congresses. The main entrance gate ( Prinsstraat 13) is open during the day. When it’s open, you can enter and take a look around, free of charge. Other entrance ( Grote Kauwenberg Street) is open as well but less often. Let’s see if we’re lucky.
  • Handelsbeurs : build in 1532 during Antwerp’s Golden Age, it was one of the first stock exchange buildings. After being closed and standing empty, the building reopened and is now home to a restaurant, a hotel and even some exhibitions. The entrance to the main hall is free of charge. The rest depends on what’s going on at the moment. Opens only weekends from 10 to 6pm for the moment -> check to plan your city trip here
  • Stadsfeestzaal – City Banquet Hall: It is in the middle of Meir – the most visited shopping street in Belgium. After a fire in 2000, it has been fully restored. Opens daily except Sundays and Public holidays, it is now a shopping center.


Of course, you can also enjoy the most popular and well-known free spots of Antwerp. Don’t forget to take a look inside the Central Station, the last floor of the MAS and the Underpass tunnel and all the spots listed here in our Antwerp bike guide !

Make your stay and unfold the city of Antwerp with us !