Through the years, Antwerp shopping has become a real experience! The city is not only famous because of its diamonds jewellery, lace or chocolate. The fashion scene and the ‘Antwerp Six’ designers have a strong influence over boutiques and stores, that are gathered in streets, lined with a mix of medieval, Baroque, Renaissance and modern architecture. Whether you are looking for a unique designer piece or a local experience at the biggest Belgian shopping street – the Meir – Antwerp is a shopaholics paradise for all who love to shop in style!
The diamond district
The diamond district is one of the most visited areas in the city. Sparkling stones in different shapes and sizes that let you dream about queens and kings. Here you can discover the most precious diamonds and diamond galleries.
Shopping tip: Diamondland – curious? Take a look at their online diamond collection!
The Antwerp Six
Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee: they all refer to the Antwerp Six, a group of avant garde fashion designers who graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the beginning of the eighties. The designers gained a reputation all over the world and put Antwerp on the fashion map. Now you can find their designers pieces in unique boutiques all over the city. Other Belgian contemporaries were inspired and became influentials themselves. Martin Margiela, who has a beautiful shop in Antwerp is one of our favourites.
Shopping tip: the area around Nationalestraat (Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Bereindonck,…)
Car-free shopping! The Meir is the longest Antwerp shopping streets where you will find beautiful architecture along the sidewalks. Don’t forget to look at the Rococo buildings while you are choosing the shop you want to enter. This area is home to international chains and popular stores. It’s busy, but has its charm.
Shopping tip: also explore the streets around the Meir: Schuttershofstraat is perfect for fashionasta’s who like high-end brands, while Kammenstraat is the perfect spot for young hipsters.
The Stadsfeestzaal is a recently renovated shopping centre between Hopland and Meir. Before a fire destroyed the building in 2000, it was an event hall for different locations. Now, it is the most beautiful shopping centre of the Benelux: you will feel like a queen in the former ballroom that breaths history. Put in on your to do list!
Lace and chocolate
When you say ‘Belgium’, people immediately think about chocolate and lace. Here you will find handmade pieces as well as machine-made products. If you want to buy a real Belgian souvenir, choose for unique handmade lace! The best Belgian chocolate brands are Wittamer, Leonidas, Nihoul or Neuhaus. Specialised stores are located all over the city.
Shopping tip: Burie – Korte Gasthuisstraat 3
Not into shopping? You can combine you shopping trip with a visit to different museums, like the Fashion Museum or art gallery. Visiting Antwerp is a worthwile experience!