WANDERLUST; Antwerp

Antwerp seems to have greedily taken all the culture that Brussels was entitled to – and everyone who visits is so grateful for this.

As with all old European cities, the centre square – Grote Markt – is absolutely beautiful, but also brimming with tourists so the immediately surrounding area doesn’t give much of a glimpse into the every day life of Antwerpians!

Antwerp is brimming with stylish babes of all ages and you can feel the fashion buzz in the air when you walk around the Latin Quarter.

I went to the Mode (fashion) Museum and saw the ‘Knitwear in Fashion’ exhibition, as well as pieces from students of the nearby Royal Academy Antwerp fashion school.

My favourite Antwerp discovery was Bar Choq; which only serves drinks and nibbles and is very relaxed. It first sparked my interest when walking along as they had soy milk (a rare find in Belgium) and then I saw another customer drinking some kind of pink drink with mint in it which I became obsessed with.

I spent many hours in Bar Choq reading, reflecting and writing.

I hung out mainly with an English couple; Meg and Graeme. We also hung out with a guy who works in the Isle of Mann and Yen; a translator from Hong Kong.

On Sunday afternoon when walking along we came across a bar called Die Kleine Hedonist. It was playing soul music – Graeme’s favourite – so we spent the next few hours drinking dense Belgium beer and having the perfect chilled out Sunday evening. We spoke with the owner, who only opened the bar four months ago, and found out they also have bands and DJ’s play and host Ted events.

I stayed at Abhostel in the Moroccan area. It feels quite similar to the Coburg end of Sydney Road, with a lot of delicious kebab and grocery stores and tram lines running down the centre of the street. The hostel building was preciously a chocolate factory, and the family who run it are so passionate about making the hostel a comfortable, fun and enjoyable environment. My favourite features were the rooftop and super comfortable beds – the best I have ever had in a hostel.

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