Antwerp is Belgium’s second city. But what it has to offer is in no way less than Brussels. It’s actually really underrated. With its fascinating museums, art galleries, vintage shopping opportunities, and a pulsing nightlife, it’s becoming a major draw card for tourists.

But with so many areas to choose from, it can be difficult choosing a base. If you’re wondering where to stay in Antwerp for one night, we’ve got you covered!

Continue reading to find the best areas to stay in Antwerp for families, nightlife seekers, and budget-conscious travelers.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Antwerp

IN A HURRY? HERE’S MY TOP NEIGHBORHOOD FOR FIRST TIMERS:

FIRST TIME IN ANTWERP

Antwerp Old Town

The Old Town, also known as the Historical Center, is one of the best places in Antwerp to stay if you’re visiting for the first time.

Places to visit:
  • Browse the art galleries along Vlaeykensgang
  • Explore the city’s underworld at De Ruien
  • Go shopping along Mier, the main pedestrian shopping street

Where to Stay in Antwerp

Wondering where to stay in Antwerp? Here are our top three recommendations for the best places to stay in Antwerp:

Best Hostel in Antwerp: Antwerp City Hostel

Antwerp City Hostel has an enviable location within a 12th-century historic building on the main market square. Take your pick of modern rooms and shared dorms sleeping five to 20 people. Facilities include a games room, communal kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and free daily breakfast.

Sometimes the best way to experience a destination is from a good dorm room with good people. Book one of these sweet hostels in Antwerp and get ready for the time of your life!

Best Airbnb in Antwerp: Beautiful authentic apartment

Set within a historic building in the center of Old Town, this charming one-bedroom corner apartment has excellent city views from a private balcony. Book here and you’ll enjoy free underground parking and a free welcome cappuccino from the trendy coffee bar on the ground floor.

Best Hotel in Antwerp: Antwerp Hotel National

Located within the trendy fashion district, this hotel is one of the best places in Antwerp to stay. It’s just a short walk from Meir shopping street! Guests can choose from modern rooms for two to four people. They come complete with a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi.

Antwerp Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN ANTWERP
Antwerp Old Town, Antwerp
FIRST TIME IN ANTWERP

Antwerp Old Town

The Old Town, also known as the Historical Center, is one of the best places in Antwerp to stay if you’re visiting for the first time.

ON A BUDGET
Central Station, Antwerp
ON A BUDGET

Central Station

Wondering where to stay in Antwerp on a budget? The area around Central Station offers plenty of affordable things to do and places to stay. Plus, it’s home to Chinatown – a one-street wonder with cheap souvenirs and restaurants.

NIGHTLIFE
shutterstock-antwerp-south
NIGHTLIFE

Het Zuid

Wondering where to stay in Antwerp for nightlife? Het Zuid, also known as the South, is one of the vibiest neighborhoods in the city.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
flickr-antwerp-museum
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Sint Andries

Sint Andries, also known as Saint Andrew’s District, is one of the best areas to stay in Antwerp – particularly for fashionistas.

FOR FAMILIES
antwerp-giraffe
FOR FAMILIES

Zurenborg

Wondering where to stay in Antwerp with kids? You’re in luck. Zurenborg is a beautiful neighborhood with its villagey atmosphere and residential feel. Because of its location further outside of the city center, this district offers much more space than any of Antwerp’s other neighborhoods.

Antwerp is the second-largest city in Belgium. It offers at least eight different neighborhoods, each with its own mystery and charm. You’ll find no shortage of history and culture and a vibrant atmosphere wherever you stay.

Antwerp’s character-filled districts offer everything from affordable hostels to luxurious apartments set within historic buildings. With such variety, how much you spend on your Antwerp accommodation is completely up to you.

If you’re visiting Antwerp for your first time and you’re wanting to experience the essence of the city, we’d suggest staying in the Old Town or Sint Andries neighborhoods. They offer plenty of art galleries, architecture and museums to explore, but prepare to fork out a bit more for the central location.

More budget-conscious travelers may feel more at ease booking around the Central Station. Just a bit outside of the historic center, the hotels and hostels here are more affordable. Yet the station still provides rapid transport to anywhere else in the city whenever you need it.

Families, on the other hand, will find a host of places to suit them in Antwerp. But for a quieter area with more space, Zurenborg should be your go-to neighborhood.

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5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Antwerp

Trying to decide where to stay in Antwerp for one night? Let’s take a more in-depth look at the five best neighborhoods to stay in Antwerp.

#1 Antwerp Old Town – Where to Stay in Antwerp for Your First Time

The Old Town, also known as the Historical Center, is one of the best places in Antwerp to stay if you’re visiting for the first time.

While its undeniably one of Antwerp’s most touristy neighborhoods, it’s for good reason. The district offers all of the charms of the city bursting with Renaissance architecture, medieval history, folklore, and culture. Think historic buildings, museums, jazz bars, shopping opportunities, and a gorgeous old market square.

Antwerp Old Town, Antwerp

What we love about the Old Town is its central location. However, expect to pay a little more when you stay in this neighborhood – it’s one of the best areas to stay in Antwerp because many of the hotels and hostels are located within historic buildings.

Things to See and Do in Antwerp Old Town

– Visit Grote Markt (the Great Market Square) and see the Renaissance City Hall and the guildhalls of Sint-Joris and de Valk

– Browse the art galleries along Vlaeykensgang

– Visit the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp, home to famous Rubens art, such as the Elevation of the Cross and Descent from the Cross

– Explore the Meat House Museum (Vleeshuis), once a guildhall for butchers in the 1500s

– Admire the oldest printing presses in the world at Plantin-Moretus Museum, the former home, and studio of Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus. Don’t miss the gardens – they’re a UNESCO World Heritage Site

– Explore the city’s underworld at De Ruien

– See the castle of Het Steen, built in the early middle ages, Antwerp’s oldest building, home to the Maritime History Museum and the Museum of Archaeology

– Go shopping along Mier, the main pedestrian shopping street

– Don’t miss the Christmas market and ice rink at the main market square in winter!

Best Hostel in Antwerp Old Town: Antwerp City Hostel

Set within a 12th-century monumental building on the Grote Markt, the heart of the medieval district, you won’t find a better location than Antwerp City Hostel.

Guests have a choice of private rooms and shared dorms that sleep five to 20 people. Facilities include a games room, communal kitchen, luggage storage, and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Best Airbnb in Antwerp Old Town: Beautiful authentic apartment

Located in a stunning historic building in the heart of Antwerp, this lovely corner apartment is a perfect choice for couples visiting for the first time. You’ll have easy to anywhere in the city and excellent views from a private balcony.

Perks include a free welcome cappuccino from the trendy coffee bar on the ground floor and free underground parking.

Best Hotel in Antwerp Old Town: Hotel Postiljon

Situated right in the main square and overlooking the beautiful cathedral, this hotel offers budget double rooms with shared or private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi and a complimentary buffet breakfast are included in the rate. Meir shopping street and a tram stop are within walking distance.

#2 Central Station – Where to Stay in Antwerp on a Budget

Wondering where to stay in Antwerp on a budget? The area around Central Station offers plenty of affordable things to do and places to stay. Plus, it’s home to Chinatown – a one-street wonder with cheap souvenirs and restaurants.

Close by, you’ll find museums, parks, zoos, diamond workshops, and art galleries – all of which you can explore without breaking the bank.

Central Station, Antwerp

If you’d prefer to explore further afield, its close location to Central Station puts you in easy reach of anything in the city. Built between 1895 and 1905, the station itself has some impressive architecture which is well worth taking a look at.

Things to See and Do in Central Station

– Explore the Antwerp Zoo, one of Europe’s oldest and most famous zoos – home to 950 different species and 5,000 animals

– Have an affordable picnic lunch at Stadspark

– Go window shopping in the Diamond District, also known as the Diamond Square Mile, where you’ll find diamond grinding shops, exhibitions and showrooms

– Indulge in retail therapy along Mier shopping street

– Stop for a beer at Beerlover’s Bar or Bier Central

– Get cultural at Antwerp Opera or the Theater Elckerlyc

– Explore the University District, home Saint James’s Church (one of the largest churches in Antwerp)

– Have an affordable meal at one of the main Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, located between Central Station and the University District

– Browse the books at the House of Literature

– Admire the personal art collection at Rockox House, the home of the 17th-century mayor, Nicolaas Rockox

Best Hostel in Central Station: The Ash

Save your money for the important things when you stay at this budget-friendly hostel. You’ll enjoy clean beds in your choice of private room or dorm, a communal kitchen, sociable common room, and a games area. Not to mention a garden and library! Plus, extra perks include free walking tours and free Wi-Fi.

Best AirBnB in Central Station: Very Cosy, Diamond Area, Central Park & Opera

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Antwerp on a budget, this AirBnB promises an excellent location just five minutes’ walk from Central Station. Sleeping two to four people, this modern apartment consists of one bedroom, a small kitchenette, and a living room with a sofa bed (on request).

Best Hotel in Central Station: ibis budget Antwerpen Centraal Station

This great-value hotel is just 350 yards from Central Station and within walking distance of Antwerp Zoo and Meir shopping street. Guest rooms include a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and a work desk. Hotel facilities include a 24-hour reception, parking, and an affordable breakfast option.

#3 Het Zuid – Best Places to Stay in Antwerp for Nightlife

Wondering where to stay in Antwerp for nightlife? Het Zuid, also known as the South, is one of the vibiest neighborhoods in the city.

With its trendy restaurants, cafes, and bars located alongside the Sint Andries district with its museums and art galleries, it offers the best of both worlds.

shutterstock-antwerp-south
source: GLF Media (Shutterstock)

Het Zuid is the best neighborhood to stay in Antwerp. But it’s also one of the more expensive – for good reason.

You’ll find vibrant markets, spectacular Art Nouveau architecture, and exciting nightlife venues within easy reach. From buzzing late-night bars to theater shows, you’ll find no shortage of things to do when the sun goes down.

Things to See and Do in Het Zuid

– Head to Café d’Anvers, one of the most popular nightclubs in Antwerp

– Visit FOMU photography museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art

– Stroll the Lambermontmartre open-air art market on Sundays

– Visit the World Culture Centre ‘Zuiderpershuis’

– Start your night off at Bar Bounce, Bar Zar, or Vitrin

– Take advantage of happy hour specials at Bar Burbure

– Taste the popular house gin at Sips Cocktail Bar

– Have drinks on the terrace at Café Baron

– Go shopping in the Latin Quarter

Best Hostel in Het Zuid: Antwerp Hostel

Antwerp Hostel offers a choice of four to 12-bed dorms, perfect for recovering after a night on the town. You’ll have access to a terrace, bar, common room with board games, and tea and coffee making facilities. Free city maps, free Wi-Fi, and a tasty breakfast is included each day of your stay.

Best AirBnB in Het Zuid: Cute Townhouse in Antwerp South

This cozy AirBnB is located on a pretty square in Antwerp Zuid, a neighborhood filled with restaurants, bars, and museums. Sleeping up to four people, the apartment offers two large bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a sunny roof terrace. Tram and bus stops are nearby.

Best Hotel in Het Zuid: Hotel Pilar

Right in the center of the action, Hotel Pilar offers spacious rooms opposite the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. Perks include free parking, free Wi-Fi, extra-long beds, flat-screen TVs, and air con. If you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy a daily breakfast, lunch or dinner at the foodbar.

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#4 Sint Andries – One of the Coolest Places to Stay in Antwerp

Sint Andries, also known as Saint Andrew’s District, is one of the best areas to stay in Antwerp – particularly for fashionistas.

Once known as the Parish of Hardship, the neighborhood is now gentrified and has a lovely laidback village feel to it. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s home to some of the best museums, vintage shops, charming cafes, and art galleries in the city!

flickr-antwerp-museum
source: Fred Romero (Flickr)

Stroll the streets of Sint Andries and take in its historic charms. From the impressive Gothic-style Saint Andrew’s Church to the antique shops and designer boutiques around just about every corner.

If you’re looking for more, the neighboring Het Zuid district has plenty of bars and restaurants to explore further.

Things to See and Do in Sint Andries

– Visit the Gothic Saint Andrew’s Church

– Explore the local designs at the Markt van Morgen market in the summer months

– Browse the fashion exhibits at the Mode Museum

– Ride the authentic wooden escalators down into St Anna’s Tunnel

– Shop for vintage clothing and designer boutiques at Nationalestraat and Kammenstraat

– Go bargain hunting at Kloosterstraat

Best Hostel in Sint Andries: Antwerp Central Youth Hostel

Located in the center of cool, Antwerp Central Youth Hostel is a sociable and convenient city base. Many fashion, art, and photography museums are located within easy reach. Guests can look forward to free Wi-Fi, free city maps, a common room with board games, and free daily breakfast.

Best Airbnb in Sint Andries: Kloosterstraat apartment Antwerp

You can’t beat staying in the heart of Antwerp’s trendy Kloosterstraat! This modern second-floor apartment sleeps up to four guests with one bedroom with bunk beds, a living room with a double bed, and a bathroom with a rain shower.  A well-equipped kitchen makes this a great choice for self-catering.

Best Hotel in Sint Andries: Antwerp Hotel National

Nestled within Antwerp’s trendy fashion district, this modern hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms for two to four people. Each room comes with a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is available in the restaurant or on the terrace. The hotel is within walking distance of Meir shopping street.

#5 Zurenborg – Best Area in Antwerp to Stay in for Families

Wondering where to stay in Antwerp with kids? You’re in luck. Zurenborg is a beautiful neighborhood with its villagey atmosphere and residential feel. Because of its location further outside of the city center, this district offers much more space than any of Antwerp’s other neighborhoods.

antwerp-giraffe

Zurenborg has plenty of striking Art Nouveau architecture, pretty squares, and neoclassical mansions. It’s an up and coming area and, according to those in the know, the best neighborhood in Antwerp to stay in for families!

Things to See and Do in Zurenborg

– Cycle down the Cogels-Osylei, Waterloostraat, and Transvaalstraat and admire the impressive civil architecture

– Check out the colorful street art along Krugerstraat, Minkelersstraat, and Vlijstraat – great for fun family photos!

– Let the kids loose at the playground or basketball court at Dageraadplaats

– Stop for lunch at Wattman, a laidback café open all day long

– Go for a picnic at nearby Stadspark

– Take the kids to the nearby Antwerp Zoo

Best Hostel in Zurenborg: Bohemian House

Trying to decide where to stay in Antwerp with kids? This affordable hostel in Berchem offers four and six-bed dorms that are suitable for families. Larger 12-bed dorms are also available for solo travelers. Meal packages that include breakfast, lunch, and dinner can also be arranged. Facilities include a bar, BBQ area, outdoor terrace, and free Wi-Fi.

Best AirBnB in Zurenborg: The nature of wood

Sleeping up to four people, this spacious Antwerp accommodation is located in a quiet area. Inside, you’ll find one bedroom with a double bed, a private bathroom, a well-equipped kitchen with a Nespresso machine, and a living room with two single sofa beds. There’s a lockbox for convenient self check-in.

Best Hotel in Zurenborg: Tryp By Wyndham Antwerp

Wondering where to stay in Antwerp for families? This 3-star hotel offers double and triple rooms. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, air con, and a private bathroom with a bath and shower. Other facilities include free Wi-Fi, a bar, and a buffet-style breakfast at an extra cost. Antwerp Zoo is just a 10-minute walk away.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Antwerp

With so many diverse neighborhoods, each offering their own distinct character and charm, it can be hard to lock down just one best neighborhood in Antwerp.

But, if we had to choose, we’d say that the Old Town is the best neighborhood in Antwerp to stay in. Why? Well, it offers epic architecture and a very central location so you can explore close to home or further afield as you see fit.

That being said, if you’re visiting as a family we highly recommend Zurenborg. It’s a more spacious residential suburb that’s a lot quieter than the rest of the central neighborhoods. But it still offers easy access into the city when you seek it.

We hope our Antwerp neighborhood guide has been helpful for planning your trip. If we’ve left anything out, please do let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your feedback!

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