Antwerp is a great day trip to make when you are in Brussels. It is the second largest city in Belgium! Tip: There are a few museums and restaurants that are closed on Mondays so I would try visiting a different day instead.
After arriving in the airport, we took the IC (Intercity) train to Antwerp. Once you arrive in Antwerp, you can store your luggage in the Antwerp Central station lockers. The station is very pretty and reminds me of the NYC Grand Central Station.
We tried some waffles at a cafe for lunch before joining Viva’s Walking Tour. Our tour guide was Sarah and she was very informative and enthusiastic about Antwerp. She shared a lot of myths and stories behind a lot of the monuments that we saw.
My favorite story was of Roman soldier Silvius Brabo and the giant Antigoon. Antigoon lived on the Scheldt, the river of Antwerp. Since Antwerp is a port city, there are many ships that passed through. Antigoon charged a high toll for ships to pass and if people did not pay, he would chop off their hands. Brabo decided to battle Antigoon and defeated him, chopping off his hand and throwing it into the river. The hand then became a symbol of Antwerp.
After the walking tour, we wanted to try the famous fries shop at the other end of the St Anna Pedestrian Tunnel but we found out that it was closed on Mondays. Instead we went to Frituur Number One, which still had really good fries!
We stopped by Restaurant De Bomma (Grandma’s) for dinner. It is a homey place with pictures on the walls. We ordered seafood but it would have probably been better to order soup or something more hearty since it was also cold outside.