Romance is admittedly the last thing you'd expect in Antwerp
. The city is all about creativity, ranging from its famous diamond industry to its legacy of fine arts and design. People are hustling and bustling here, crafting the most exquisite jewelry pieces, designing the most fascinating fashions, creating interesting modern art, and more. When will people have the time for some romance? Perhaps on the most romantic holiday of the year! If you spend Valentine's Day in Antwerp, you can visit The Rubens House together, go on a foodie tour, shop at the Diamond District, and more.
Visit The Rubens House
Peter Paul Rubens was one of the most prominent Flemish artists and among Antwerp's most famous residents. He even died in the famous Belgian city and you can visit his former residence today. The Rubens House is one of the most beloved museums in the city. It's an entire shrine dedicated to the Flemish master, with all of his former belongings relatively preserved. And of course, there are also his iconic masterpieces on full display. There's a painting of his hanging in practically every room, amping up the romance in what is already a stunning house.
The Rubens House is only one of many great museums in Antwerp
. Art is in the DNA of the city. Though it's more famous for its diamond industry, Antwerp eventually became a major creative hub in Belgium and beyond. As such, the museums here are a great place to start, not to mention perfect for spending Valentine's Day in Antwerp too. Take your beloved to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts to witness Belgium's grand history of art. Museum Mayer van den Bergh is another great option as it houses prominent art collector Fritz Mayer van den Bergh’s collection.
Check Out Chocolate Nation
What is Valentine's Day without any chocolate? Since you're already in Belgium, a country known for its chocolates, among other things, why not spend Valentine's Day in Antwerp surrounded by the beloved treat? Chocolate Nation is another of the city's great museums but one that doesn't focus on art and design. Instead, as its name says, the place is all about the cocoa-enthused confection, detailing its history, showcasing its different forms over the years, and more. Even Willy Wonka will find it impressive, especially with how it delved deep into what chocolate has meant throughout history.
Shop at the Diamond District
Antwerp first became famous as the “diamond capital of the world.” The city boasts the most fabulous stones back in the day, crafted by the finest artisans. Eventually, some of them grew to become the biggest Belgian jewelers
and went on the world stage, but others stayed locally and continued the city's cherished traditions. You'll find the latter in Diamantkwartier, also known as the Diamond District. This is the one neighborhood in Antwerp
where you can shop for the most priceless jewelry pieces, perfect for letting your Valentine know just how much they mean to you!
See The Saint Charles Borromeo Church
Antwerp isn't really known for grand monuments and landmarks, but there's one that you really shouldn't miss: the Saint Charles Borromeo Church. Its Baroque facade will take your breath away, making you feel as if you were whisked away to Spain or Italy, countries known for their massive basilicas. And when you get inside, the intricate interior will leave you breathless. The sculptures are all so detailed, the gilding glimmers against the light, and the paintings will remind you of the city's artistic legacy. When you take your partner here for Valentine's Day, you'll instantly imagine what getting married in such a place would be like.
Stroll Through The Plantentuin
Since Valentine's Day is in winter, you'll probably forego spending time outside on Valentine's Day in Antwerp. Winter in Antwerp can get pretty icy, so much so that you'll barely take off your coat when you're out and about. Don't worry! The city remains beautiful at this time of year too. Just go to the Plantentuin to realize this! It's the botanical garden of Antwerp, complete with a variety of species of flowers and plants. Though it blooms beautifully in spring, it still looks enchanting in winter. It's worth braving the cold to enjoy a nice, scenic stroll on Valentine's Day.
Source: Flickr.com/ Alan Stanton
Go on a Foodie Tour of Antwerp
Antwerp is as good a place to go on a foodie tour as the world's food capitals. It's no Paris or London, sure, but its culinary scene is worth exploring too. And on Valentine's Day, there are many great places to eat in Antwerp
for your dinner date. Try Bourla, for example, which is all about local Belgian dishes and desserts. The Grand Café Den Rooden Hoed, on the other hand, is a more laid-back hotspot that's chill and fairly intimate, perfect for a candlelit dinner for two. And if you're into the organic lifestyle, look no further than Mjams by Mr. Higgins, one of Antwerp's premier vegan places.
Learn How to Make Art Together
Get caught up with Antwerp's creative energy and enroll in an art class with your partner on Valentine's Day. There's something romantic about learning all sorts of things together and in this artistic city, it's all about the arts. You can go on paint and sip classes, join a pottery course, or perhaps just attend art lectures. It's a fun way to spend quality time with each other and to get to know more about your significant other's creativity. Who knows? You might just get bitten by the art bug and move to Antwerp
to become artists yourselves!
You'll have the time of your life when you spend Valentine's Day in Antwerp. The Belgian city may not be known as a romantic destination, but there are still a lot of things couples can do to spend quality time here!