Antwerp Shopping Capital

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Antwerp, where shopping is at its best


Antwerp, fashion central

Numerous designers have made sure that Antwerp has gathered world fame in fashion. The most important among them are the Antwerp six, graduated from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The story begins when a group of young Belgian designers draw their work to London for the British Designers Show. They draw the attention of British fashion journalists who name them the Antwerp six. Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee, Dirk Van Saene, Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten and later joined by Margiela were seen as a revolutionary force. They are internationally acclaimed by renowned fashion journalists and magazines and, according to experts, determined the style of the 1990s. Most of them lived and worked in Antwerp afterwards and have their headquarters in our city. Partially because of them, Antwerp has become a fashion town known internationally.

The city center is divided into several shopping areas that offer something for everyone. Below we give you an overview of the main shopping streets.

Most stores are open from Monday till Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. On Friday most major chains are open until 19:00. Recently, every first Sunday of the month, you can also shop for shopping between 10 am – 6 pm.

De Meir

The car-free walking boulevard, where most major retail chains have an outlet. The amazing and impressive rococo buildings of the 18th and 19th century give a prestigious impression. The Meir also features the “stadsfeestzaal”. This building has recently been restored to a beautiful and exclusive shopping center. In short, the Meir is the hotspot for every shopaholic.

De Nationalestraat

Here is the heart of the Antwerp Fashion scene. In the Nationalestraat and the surrounding streets you will find the major international names and Antwerp designers. Also the Fashion Museum (MoMu), the renowned Antwerp Fashion Academy and the Flanders Fashion Institute can be found here. Do not forget about the Lombardenvest and the Steenhouwersvest. Both side streets of the Nationalestraat are popular with international names and ex-fashion academics.

De Kammenstraat

The street for the real hipsters among us! Besides boutiques you will also find some alternative shops, second-hand shops and the big denim brands here. The street is hip and trendy among youth and is also considered as the street for the punks and goths.

De Wilde zee

Five traffic-free streets form the atmospheric district De Wilde Zee. Here you will find exclusive shops, trendy brands, as well as exclusive delicacies. First and foremost, the street is indispensable for the real fashionistas. Here you will find the best clothes boutiques, shoe stores and makeup brands.

Foodies are also spoiled here by the presence of delicious pastries and sweets. Here you will find bakery Goossens, also called the most authentic bakery in Antwerp. A tiny bakery where people queue outside because there is so little space inside. Be sure to go to Désiré de Lille and taste delicious waffles, smoutebollen (Belgium’s take on dognuts) and lacquemants. In addition, there is also a famous fish shop and you can taste the real Belgium fries by top chef Sergio Herman. In short, a walhalla for real foodies.

Tip: Do not forget to walk past ‘Den Deugeniet’ with his bare ass. This is the little nephew of the famous Manneke Pis.

Huidevetterstraat

In the Huidevetterstraat you will find Italian brands such as Patrizia Pepe and Pinko and also large chains such as Zara and Massimo Duti have a branch here. The street is close to the Meir and the Wilde Zee and so easiest to be combined during your shopping trip.

Latin Quarter

Also known as the theater district to the public, due to the presence of the Bourla and the city theater. The most exclusive boutiques, antique and specialty stores can be found here. This area is very classy due to its presence of the botanical garden. The Schuttershofstraat is the nicest street where one luxury brand is housed after another. The Leopoldstraat on the other hand is the street for the antique lovers.

Kloosterstraat

Here you will find antique, vintage and used, as well as trendy design and clothing stores. The Kloosterstraat is the perfect street for hours to snuggle and get unique pieces. These shops are always open on Sunday.

Hoogstraat

The car-free Hoogstraat on a stone’s throw from Hotel O Kathedral is renowned for its unique shops where you can go every day. On Sundays this is the main shopping street.

Grand Bazar shoppingcenter

Groenplaats with the Grand Bazar shopping center. Here you will find everything from electronics to lingerie. Here are about fifty shops housed under one roof. Perfect for shopping on a rainy day.

Markets in Antwerp

Every week there are also some markets that are worth a visit. You should certainly not miss the bustling market on the theater square. Every saturday and sunday the stalls are displayed here and the square with its cozy foodtrucks also serves as a meeting place for young and old.

Below is a brief overview of the most interesting tourist markets:

 

What When Where
Vrijdagmarkt Every friday Vrijdagmarkt 9u-13u Second hand and antiques
Exotic market Every Saturday Oudevaartplaats, Theatherplein and surrounding area 9u-16u Food market
“Vogelenmarkt” Every Sunday Oudevaartplaats, Theatherplein and surrounding area 8u- 13u (14u during summertime) Originally for livestock, still some birds for sale, clothing and trinkest
Antiques market Every Saturday Lijnwaadmarkt 9u-17u Antiques
Antiques market Every Sunday Sint-Jansvliet 9u-17u Antiques
Lambermontmartre Every last Sunday of the month (May till September) Leopold de Waelplaats 12u-17u Art fair
Book market Every third Sunday of the month (March till october) De Koninckplein 10u-17u Book market with music