How it's become 1 of my favourite cities & why it's a must visit city:
Let's take a break from Paris. I love you Paree but let's turn the spotlight somewhere else for a moment shall we.
If you've been following my blog for a while now then you may have read this post where I made a brief summary of why I was in Antwerp and what life was like in the city.
Now I am back in England after 5 months in Belgium and the most terrible journey of my life and I don't even know where to begin. My time and experiences there were just so precious to me that I really do not know how to put it to words. But here I am to try and explain to you how Antwerp became one of my favourite cities and why I think it's a must visit city.
I fell in love with Antwerp for many reasons, one of them being that the city is beautiful. I remember the very first time I stepped foot in the city, I took the train and as soon as I got out and onto the train station I was awed by how beautiful it was. Later on I found out that it was within the top most beautiful train stations in the world.
But it's not only the train station, the City Centre is even more beautiful with the architectural perfection of the Town Hall, the Cathedral and all the buildings surrounding the area. It's all very picturesque and typical Belgian.
I mentioned too in that blog post how the city is also boasting with the top high street stores and being the gal that I am, it became one more reason for me to love this place. But behold as it's not your typical high street too because of course it also has to be in style.
The main high street is called the 'Mier' and is basically the street that connects the Town Hall to the Central Station and the street lined with your top high street picks from the likes of: River Island, Forever 21, Zara, H&M and many more.
And of course you'll find designer shops too and not very far from the Meir either (very convenient for you shopaholics).
Another aspect of this city that made me love it is how geographically perfect it's location is. It's by the border of Netherlands which makes it so effortless to just pack your bags and go country hopping to Holland. But what's even more effortless than going to Holland is going to other cities in Belgium itself, Ghent, Brugge, Mechelen, Brussels and many more; these are just a few more cities that can easily be accessed with the train, bus or just a few hours drive.
Then there's Germany and France that one can visit too with the international trains or by just driving a few hours. Antwerp also has it's own airport and it's small so main flights are still taken from Brussels but it has regular flights to London and this year they're adding more destinations like: Hamburg, Milan, Barcelona and a few more.
It's no secret that Belgium is the chocolate capital of the world but maybe you didn't know that they are also the inventors of 'French fries' (don't be fooled by the name, not everything culinary related came from the French, apparently) and also that they have over 1,400 different types of beer (and yes, all of them Belgian) and trust me when I say that the Belgians love their beer because they really do.
If you love a good drink, if you love your beer and if you love trying out new things then that's why you have to visit Antwerp.
But it's not only about the beer or chocolates or the location or how pretty the city is. It's also about the people I met and my experiences in this city.
I came to the city not knowing anyone but my fellow schoolmate who was also in the program but I left knowing more people than I can count with my 10 fingers.
And sure I met most of them because of our program, because of working with them, because of living in the same building as them but some of them I just met randomly (admittedly during nights out) and honestly it's so easy to make friends and meet new people here. There's a lot of young 'uns as I've mentioned before, the city is boasting with students so all you have to do is go out and mingle.
And like every place, the city also has it's own hidden gems. From those beautiful buildings I would have never known existed if I didn't go past it on the way to work, to those places one just stumbles upon whilst exploring the city.
And there is really much more and I do regret and slightly resent myself for not taking advantage more of my free days and exploring the city more because there really is more to see, more to try and more to experience.
But it's not all bad, it's actually the contrary. Antwerp became one of my favourite cities most importantly because it's the city I made so many new experiences in. It's the city that holds those memories and also the city where I learnt so much about myself.
In summary, I had the best 5 months of my life living in this beautiful city. Yes, I may be biased when I say that you should visit the city 'cause I lived there for 5 months and called it my home but honestly let the pictures speak for itself. Antwerp is beautiful and if beauty doesn't do it for you then let the chocolates or beer or even both reel you in.
Wait, did I mention there's diamonds too?
P.S. I will be doing a guide...actually more of what I loved in Antwerp kinda guide so stay tuned. xo