Editors recommend: summer hotspots in Antwerp

Editors recommend: summer hotspots in Antwerp

Jealous of your friends’ holiday stories on Instagram? The Azores or Albania might be beyond your student wallet, but not to worry: in beautiful Antwerp, you can experience the holiday feeling for less money. The editors recommend five summer hotspots in the city where you can picnic, meet up with friends and sunbathe. Story on Instagram check!

1. Jelle’s favourite: Beguinage

City campus people already know the ‘Begijnhof’: this is the hidden gem of the student area. The Beguinage was home to Beguines from the 16th to the 20th century. As you stroll through its picturesque streets, you can feel Antwerp’s rich history and soak up its spiritual atmosphere. Where the streets meet, there is a courtyard with an orchard. This is where you wanna be.

“I often sit in Begijnhof with my friends. It is our favourite place to unwind and enjoy each other’s company, without the hustle and bustle of a café. The most picturesque spot in the student area!”

Avoid music boxes or crates of wine in the Beguinage, this is the ideal place for quiet and cosy activities. Think a cute picnic, a book club, good chillings and maybe even a jamming sesh. Whatever you choose, the Beguinage will undoubtedly become your regular chill-out spot this summer!

2. David’s choice: Green Quarter

Another piece of history: did you know that the Green Quarter is the reincarnation of the old Military Hospital? This quarter is a project with new, affordable housing and more attention to greenery in the city. We love to see it! So in the ‘Groen Kwartier’, as we call it, you can enjoy a modern but fun neighbourhood. Need some inspiration? In this urban jungle, there is a grass square around every corner for chilling out. What also makes this neighbourhood attractive are its many sustainable and creative businesses: think coffee bars, bakeries and concept stores. PAKT is also worth a visit: this is an old warehouse that was transformed into a vibrant hub with cafés, workshops and a rooftop terrace. Groen Kwartier is the place to be. David from our editorial team thinks so too:

“The Groen Kwartier really feels like you’re not in the busy city, but in a unique neighbourhood where people meet in the squares. In summer, this really is a vibrant area and I can definitely recommend the squares for a picnic!”

3. Anna’s choice: Park Spoor Noord

This gigantic park is perhaps one of Antwerp’s most underrated parks. In summer, you’ll see children playing by the fountain, young people chilling out in large groups and older people taking a stroll among the greenery. Park Spoor Noord really is the shit. Whatever your plans, anything is possible in this park. A big picnic, group sports… All crazy ideas are welcome, like outdoor painting with your friends or sunbathing like you were at the beach. In summer, there are often events here too, which makes it even more fun. That’s why it’s also editorial member Anna’s favourite chill spot:

“In Park Spoor Noord, I could spend a whole day with my friends! You can skate, go for a drink, just lie in the sun… This park is also so big that in summer it seems like the whole city comes together here. I love it!”

Park Spoor Noord, with its mega large grass square, is also ideal for large groups. So if your birthday is in summer, you’ve already found your party venue!

4. Ilana’s favourite: gedempte Zuiderdokken

Zuidpark is the brand new concept of Gedempte Zuiderdokken. So it’s about time to explore it! Zuidpark is an elongated park parallel to the Scheldt bank. It now has much more greenery, cosy benches, sports fields and a quiet garden! Editorial board member Ilana recommends this place to every young Antwerp resident:

“The works have only just been finished, but I can totally picture it already: a warm summer evening, big group of friends, chilling together on those round benches... You can always alternate with a walk along the Scheldt.”

Get inspired by the many possibilities of the Zuidpark this summer, like Ilana. Of all the options on the list, this one is the most evening-proof. Want to sit outside with your friends until the early hours and not worry about noise? This is your spot: the Zuidpark is completely surrounded by restaurants and shops, so no neighbours to complain. Let yourself go!

5. Flamingo spotting with Julia at Flamingoplein

It couldn’t be more central: this cute little square is located behind Antwerp Central Station at the entrance to the Zoo. This entrance square is open to everyone: you don’t need to buy a ticket to the Zoo to enjoy the sun, the company, and – of course – the flamingos here. For Julia, that is the main reason for coming here to chill out:

“I’m a really big animal lover, but I don’t have a subscription to the zoo. Between the sounds of the flamingos, I can really come to myself. I sometimes come here alone, but also sometimes with friends. This fun square is my go-to chill spot in summer!”

Did you know that an outdoor summer bar is also held here? It’s called the ‘Zoo-mer’ bar and it’s an annual summer bar with stalls, music and good food. Flamingo Square is not suitable for a picnic, but you can get a free taste of the zoo as well as quality time with your friends. See this summer through rose-coloured glasses!