On this guided walking tour, you’ll get to explore the carefully restored architecture of Antwerp’s medieval historic district, while also trying a variety of the city’s local delicacies. Your guide will lead you to places like the Renaissance town hall, a fountain portraying a whimsical local legend and Grote Markt, a square dating back to the 16th century surrounded by ornate guild houses.
As you make your way through Grote Markt, Het Steen Castle and a couple impressive cathedrals, you’ll make a few stops for tastings. Antwerp is known for food like frites, waffles, artisanal chocolates and Belgian cheese. And no food tour in Belgium would be complete without a beer tasting; your guide will bring you to a local pub where you can quaff a regional beer.
The tour can either be a full day or half-day, depending on your interests, and the food stops can be tailored to your preferences and dietary restrictions.
This walking tour can begin from Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent or Brussels. If you’re coming from outside of Antwerp, you can travel either by private transfer or unaccompanied on a train. The length is flexible, depending on your interests, and your private local guide will combine the city’s historic sites with the local food scene.
For the historical side of things, you’ll see highlights such as Grote Markt, a 16th-century square in the heart of the old city. It boasts an extravagant Renaissance-style city hall with an arcaded ground floor and columns separating the mullioned windows on the higher floors.
In the square you’ll also see rows of ornate guild houses and the Brabo fountain, which features a patinaed statue of a man throwing a giant’s hand. The Antwerp legend says a Roman soldier named Silvius Brabo cut off the hand of a giant who had been doing the same to the boat captains who refused to pay the giant’s tolls on the Scheldt River.
Your guide will then take you to Het Steen, a 13th-century stone castle looming over the banks of the Scheldt. It’s Antwerp’s oldest building and has variously served as a fortress, prison, residence, sawmill, fish depot and museum.
Your tour will also include two of Antwerp’s most impressive places of worship. The Cathedral of Our Lady dates back to 1352, and is the largest Gothic church in Belgium, with a spire reaching 123 m (404 ft) into the sky. It’s also home to renowned artwork, in the form of intricately detailed stained-glass windows by Rubens.
Saint Paul’s Church has a plain-faced stone Gothic façade, though the contrast of the white walls and barrel-vaulted ceilings with the dark wood furnishings and red rugs give the interior a dramatic feel. Outside the church you’ll find a group of 63 life-size statues and nine reliefs that you can explore.
As you explore the city, your guide will bring you to food trucks, fast food restaurants and boutique stores to try some of the local cuisine, such as frites, waffles, artisanal chocolate, Belgian cheeses and filet d’anvers — beef that’s been salted, dried and smoked. You’ll also stop by local bars, where you can get a taste of Belgian beer.
If you’d like to extend the tour to a full-day, you’ll also see sights like the ornate stone Central Station and Meir, a popular pedestrian shopping street. Additionally, the food stops can be changed based on your food preferences or dietary requirements.