Antwerp, Belgium

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Antwerp! The fourth Belgian city I have visited, and less than an hour by train from Brussels. My sister was arriving in Antwerp to go to a metal music festival close by, so I used that as a reason to check out what Antwerp has to offer.

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Wandering around Antwerp, I wasn’t as taken by it as I have been by Brussels, Bruges and Ghent. The high street shops were more apparent, and the squares near the cathedral were (unsurprisingly) designed for tourists. But, down the side streets there were plenty of unique cafes, restaurants, and bars to prove Antwerp has its own personality. Including Belgium’s first ever cereal cafe.

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However, there were still plenty of photo opportunities including the strange fountain above, the river, and abundance of rainbow flags for Pride, and the beautiful Belgian architecture.

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Whilst waiting for my sister I decided to stop for a flat white in a cute, small cafe down a quiet street called Teakoff. It had a sign offering free books – which I didn’t pursue but a cafe offering free books is my kind of cafe.

We stopped in a few bars, but the one of note was Billie’s Bier Kafeteria. Billie is notably a dog, who certainly kept a watchful eye on his domain and grudgingly welcomed other dogs. As well as many beers on tap, we also ate traditional Belgian food including Stoofvlees – a Flemish stew, and a meatball casserole. Everywhere we stopped at for beers proved that Belgians know beer – even my sister who insists on craft beer was won over.

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Antwerp, like most Belgian cities, can be done in a day. Of course more time can be spent to truly experience the city, but it’s nice knowing that so many cities are reachable by a day trip in this country.

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