A bright, sunshine-filled day in Antwerp, Belgium, calls for as much outdoor activities as possible. Cozy cafes, museums, churches, and shopping are for rainy days. Today I went for a run along the water, dined al fresco, explored city squares, and took as many photos as possible before heading out on the last train to Bruges.
Antwerp is home to the second largest port in Europe because of it’s position on the Scheldt River which runs into the North Sea. A four mile run along the water made for some good exercise and some interesting views. Wind turbines line the opposite side of the shore, but the Antwerp Port Building was the best sight of all.
I turned around here and ran back into the historical center, dodging tourists’ photographs in the morning sun. If you are a runner, getting a run in opens up a pedestrian city so much more as you can see more up close and stop whenever you feel like it.
Post-run Salty Sweet (salted caramel) doughnut from Hoeked Doughnuts.It’s hip to be square at this doughnut shop. It was really hard picking out just one doughnut to eat!
Shopping along the side streets of the Sint-Andries neighborhood was more fun than the big box stores and provided some better eating options (including doughnuts!). A while later I stopped at Mint for an outdoor lunch. I ordered a detox salad to go with my beer. Haha! The irony was not lost on me.
But seriously, the water is the same price as the beer (as it is in most of Belgium as well, no tap water allowed!) so you may as well just order a beer!
The rest of the day was spent wandering around the city squares and taking in the last views of Antwerp for me on this trip.
Antwerp was a last minute add-on for me and I’m glad I made the effort to get here and explore. Ghent is still probably my favorite stop in Belgium so far but Antwerp is well worth exploring if you have the time.
Coming soon is all about Bruges, Belgium!
Reader Question: Do you run on vacation? Bike? Do push-ups at your hotel? Or do you take the trip as rest and relaxation time? I definitely split between some exercise and a lot of rest and relaxation!