Why go to Antwerp?
This trendy, fashionable Belgian port is known for its diamonds
Antwerp's weather can change rapidly; some tourist attractions close early
Of Brussels, Brugge, Ghent and Antwerp, the last is the least touristy
Antwerp Cruise Port Facilities?
Wandelteras Zuid is downtown, giving you easy access to Grote Markt (the main square), the Cathedral and other attractions in the historic center.
Kattendijkdok and Willemdok are close to MAS, the iconic new city museum rising up high and clad in red Indian tiles. It's located between the Willemdok and Bonapartedok. (Hanzestedenplaats 1; 32-3-338-4434; open from 10 a.m. Tuesday to Sunday) This area also has some of the best fashion houses and a few interesting restaurants. A Red Star Museum, commemorating the European emigrants who boarded ship in Antwerp for the United States, will open in September 2013. From these Napoleonic docks, it's a 20-minute walk to the tourist attractions around Grote Markt, but it's best to take a taxi.
Good to Know?
Belgium's position on the North Sea coast means the weather can change rapidly. Pack an umbrella and sunglasses, and be prepared to use both.
Check on the times tourist sites close before setting off. The Cathedral closes at 3 p.m., and last admission at the Rubens House is at 4:30 p.m.
On Foot: The city center is easily walkable, from the main cruise dock on the western edge of town to Central Station and the Diamond District in the east.
By Taxi: Taxis line up at the cruise terminal and other marked locations around the city, particularly near busy squares and train stations. Look for the orange "taxi" signs. You can also call Antwerp-Taxi at 32-3-238-3838.
By Public Transportation: Antwerp has both buses and trams. Buy single rides direct from the driver, or purchase a 24-hour card in advance or onboard. Advance tickets (a lijnkaart of ten) are available from the tourist office on Grote Markt.
By Car: Auto Europe (888-223-5555), Avis (800-331-1212) and Europcar (877-940-6900) have rental locations downtown.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The local currency is the euro, which you can get out of various ATM's throughout the city. The BNP Paribas Fortis Bank on the corner of Melkmarkt and Lijnwaadmarkt is convenient to Grote Markt and the Cathedral. There is a Western Union on the corner of Hoogstraat and Suikerruistraat.
For up-to-the-minute conversions, visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com.
The official language is Flemish, a variant of Dutch. Most shopkeepers and waiters speak a range of languages, including English. Use French and you may be politely ignored.
Where You're Docked?
Larger ships dock along the Wandelteras Zuid, which is only a 10-minute walk along Hoogstraat to Grote Markt, the city center. Cabs line up outside the terminal.
Smaller ships dock at Kattendijkdok or Willemdok, both about a 15- to 20-minute walk (through the Red Light District) from the city center. Your ship's reception staff can call a taxi if you don't wish that pleasure.