‘Een terraske doen’ for the internationals
After a prolonged lockdown of 6 months, the catering industry is finally able to open its doors again. Mark the 8th of may in your calendar because this day, one of the most important Flemish national sports will restart again. “Yay! So are we finally able to physically get in shape again?” Well, it’s actually not really a sport…but it is known as one of the most important summer-activities in Antwerpen. Or as we like to call it “een terraske doen”. Huh? What kind of sport is this and what does it even mean?! Don’t worry! Below, we will guide you easily through the actual meaning and operation of “een terraske doen”.
WHAT IS IT?
Although the saying itself sounds difficult, it’s not the case at all regarding the activity. On the contrary: ‘een terraske doen’ is all about relaxing, enjoying the weather and catching up with some friends or even meet new people! What is the purpose? It’s simple, first you and your friends should look for a nice bar with terrace, preferably in the sun. Second, you sit down on the terrace and order your favorite drink. Thirdly, you enjoy the nice weather and company.
In Flanders it’s common to refer to it ironically as a sport. This is because often, when the weather is sunny, a “terraske doen” becomes an alternative pub crawl, in which one group of people goes from terrace to terrace. Ordering different drinks and discovering new places. When a certain city has the reputation of having nice terraces, you can be sure that a great amount of people will be motivated to discover this certain city during the summer. Even when it’s raining or when it’s relatively cold, Belgians will find a way to enjoy a good ‘terraske’, sitting outside under the parasol or radiant heather with a blanket.
SO AFTER A LONG LOCKDOWN…
You, as a newbie in the city, will finally be able to learn and experience this wonderful (traditional) activity. Terraskes doen is also a perfect way to discover Antwerpen in a unique, different way. Maybe, if you search well enough, you will find hidden spots that even locals didn’t know about!
In these times, terraces must of course be corona-proof. Therefore, it’s important to keep the corona-measures in mind when doing “a terraske”. This way, a maximum of 4 people may be seated at one table. Customers must wear a mouthmask when entering the indoor-area of the bar (when you have to use the bathroom for example) but may take it off when sitting outside. The opening hours of terraces are also limited from 8 AM to 10 PM. It is important to consider your safety at all times! If you are not sure what exactly the corona-measures entail, make sure to check it here.
WHERE CAN I FIND IT?
Almost anywhere in Antwerp! But Antwerp is relatively big, so the quest to the perfect terrace can be a bit overwhelming. To make the pursuit more easy for you, we summed up our five favorite places to enjoy a nice ‘terraske’:
- Mechelseplein: right in the center of Antwerp, you can find the square called ‘Mechelseplein’ surrounded with loads of nice bars and restaurants. It is also known as the square with a high cultural content. This is because cultural centre ‘De Studio’ is located right in the middle of Mechelseplein. Besides the studio, you can find multiple bars such as Korsakov, Kapitein Zeppos and Hypotalamus.
- Marnixplaats: Towards the south of Antwerp, you will find a square that cannot be ignored due the large statue (called: ‘Schelde Vrij’) right in the middle of the crossing. Marnixplaats is all about a cosy atmosphere and good company. You can find multiple bars and restaurants such as Baron, Fiskebar, Vitrin and The Soul.
- Ossenmarkt: A square that is more known among the young students, is the ossenmarkt. Located right next to the University city campus. Although it is a small hidden square, it does have its added value. After all, the bars take students into account with their cheap student-prices. You can find multiple cafes such as Kassa 4, De Salamander and Barracuda.
- Het Eilandje: In modern part of Antwerp, you will find the hip area called ‘Het Eilandje’. One of the most well-known monuments on the island is undoubtedly ‘het MAS’ (museum aan de stroom). het MAS is surrounded by numerous cozy bars and restaurants such as café STORM, Batavier and Cordoba.
- Dageraadplaats: Dageraadplaats, located in district Zurenborg, is a multicultural social meeting place. On sunny days, Dageraadplaats can seem like one large terrace due to all the closely connected restaurants and bars. The square’s highlight is definitely the artificial starry sky, which is LED lightning placed on a web. You can find multiple cafes such as Moeskop, Bar Salon and Zeezicht.