Antwerp is often overlooked by travellers, caught between the large capital Brussels to the south, the highly enticing Amsterdam further north, and the tourist-meccas of Ghent and Bruges to the west.

Nevertheless, it’s wonderful place to visit, with beautiful buildings, great restaurants and a much more down-to-earth feel than its neighbours. There’s plenty to do; a look through the enormous Cathedral of Our Lady, wandering around the many diamond shops south of Centraal Station … or for the really offbeat, take a walk through the art deco St. Anna tunnel, a pedestrian tunnel under the river.

The New York times has an article on Antwerp’s Kloosterstraat, a long stretch of cafes, antique shops and restaurants.

Antwerp is on the mainline railway between Brussels and Amsterdam. Trains from Brussels depart every 10-15 minutes, and take approximately 50 minutes; from Amsterdam, Thalys and IC trains depart half-hourly and take just over two hours.

There are also lines from Bruges, via Ghent, and Liege via Hasselt.

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