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Museums Tour (Self Guided), Antwerp

Visit the famous home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens and see the works of this unsurpassed master. Admire Northern Renaissance art at Mayer van den Bergh Museum. Discover new depths of 14th century art at the Royal Museum of Fine Art and observe the evolution of fashion at the unique Mode Museum.
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Museums Tour Map

Guide Name: Museums Tour
Guide Location: Belgium » Antwerp (See other walking tours in Antwerp)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: mary
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Plantin-Moretus Museum
  • MoMu - Mode Museum
  • Museum Mayer van den Bergh
  • Rubenshuis
  • Museum aan de Stroom
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Plantin-Moretus Museum

1) Plantin-Moretus Museum (must see)

One of the most fascinating museums one can encounter in Antwerp is the Plantin- Moretus Museum. Home to one of the most prolific printing presses of the 16th and 17th century, the Platin – Moretus Museum is a must visit in Antwerp.

Founded by Christoffel Plantin, a Frenchman who from being a mere bookbinder became the most noted publisher and printer of the Renaissance period, the printing press was one of the key factors in establishing Antwerp as one of Europe’s leading cities with regard to the spread of typography and inventions in printing technology. After its establishment, the printing press saw the involvement of Plantin’s son-in-law, Jan Moretus who played a vital role in bringing newer technologies and inventions to the press after the death of Plantin.

After running successfully for over two centuries the company was sold to the city of Antwerp in 1876. It was not until recently that the Museum was given the title of a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The Museum houses some of the world’s oldest surviving printing presses and some extraordinary tools, dyes and matrices that were in use. However, the most prized possession of the Museum remains the extensive library and antique books that are a century or two old. Also noteworthy are the rich and elaborate interiors and the architecture that speak of the opulence of the Platin- Moretus family.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
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MoMu - Mode Museum

2) MoMu - Mode Museum

Editor's note: MoMu is closed for renovation and will reopen in Autumn 2020.

The MoMu-Mode Museum is yet another museum whose theme is sure to garner lots of interest as well as visitors. A unique museum that is especially dedicated to clothing, apparel and fashion, the MoMu Museum manages to enthrall an ardent fashion critic and follower as well as a fashion atheist. Touching a wide array of subjects, the exhibits manage to provide a unique insight about the cultural and societal influences of clothing and fashion along with historical account of the various changes that were brought about in the world of fashion.

Located perfectly at the heart Antwerp’s fashion destination, the ModeNatie, the Museum is next door to the Flanders Fashion Institute, the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Open since 2002, the Museum is a proud owner of more than 25,000 objects. With exhibits that display the delicate craftsmanship of the region, the Museum also showcases gorgeous garments, exotic fabrics, tools and machines, shoes laces and other accessories that are the key ingredients for a perfect look. Apart from that the Museum also possesses rare antique garments that date back to the 16th century along with contemporary modern apparels. Another unique feature of this splendid museum is its contemporary architecture and interiors. Designed by Belgian architect Marie-José Van Hee, the MoMu Museum is a must visit in Antwerp.
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Museum Mayer van den Bergh

3) Museum Mayer van den Bergh (must see)

The Museum Mayer van den Bergh is actually a personal collection of Fritz Mayer van den Bergh, the man who spent his life collecting exquisite and unique artwork. Bergh belonged to an aristocrat family and was destined for a career in diplomacy. An admirer of art from a very young age, Bergh invested in numerous paintings and sculptures. Sharing his interest was his mother, Henriette van den Bergh, who was also responsible for making the Museum available to the public in 1904.

Housed in the most elegant Neo-Gothic house, the museum boasts a rich collection of Northern Renaissance art, as well as artwork from the Gothic era. One of the main reasons the Museum has gained a lot of popularity is the collection of paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, a Flemish painter and paint maker who was best known for his paintings depicting glimpses into the everyday lives of peasants, and breathtaking landscapes.

In fact, the popularization of Pieter Brueghel the Elder is credited to Bergh who was amongst the first to rediscover and generate interest in the work of the artist. The Museum stands to illustrate the keen appreciation and eye for detail that Bergh had, as each exhibit leaves its visitors yearning for more.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
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Rubenshuis

4) Rubenshuis (must see)

Known for his Counter Reformation portraits, landscapes and paintings, Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a Baroque painter, book illustrator and a diplomat during the early 1600s. The Rubenshuis is a city of Antwerp-owned and curated building that Rubens designed himself and spent most of his lifetime in.

Located on 9, Wapper Street, Rubens purchased this house in 1610 and added a gallery, porch and a large studio in Greco-Roman classic styles and a hint of Italian Renaissance to the structure. Within the walls of this house, Rubens and his students, such as Anthony Van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens, created most of their works. Rubens’ work is categorized by various stages of productivity of his own life. However, all of Rubens’ work that is displayed in the House today came back only after great efforts were put in by the people of Antwerp once it was decided to make the building into a monument in 1937.

The Rubens House is home to paintings such as St. Claire of Assisi, The Annunciation and Adam and Eve made by the great painter himself in addition to the works of other contemporaries of his time. The House also displays various objects of art from the 17th century giving the visitor a peek at the lavish lifestyles of those times. The Renaissance Garden which was renovated in 1993 takes inspiration from Rubens’ paintings and must not be missed.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
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Museum aan de Stroom

5) Museum aan de Stroom (must see)

The Museum aan de Stroom (MAS; Dutch for "Museum at the current") is a museum located in the Eilandje district of Antwerp, Belgium, opened in May 2011. The 60 metre high MAS, was designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architects. The façade is made of Indian red sandstone and curved glass panel construction. The MAS houses 470,000 objects, most of which are kept in storage. The first visitor's gallery is the "visible store", which contains 180,000 items. The main themes of the MAS are Metropolis, Power, Life and Death, and Antwerp's long history as a major international port. The museum is committed to informing the public using new media and has placed QR codes on most objects that link to website information in five languages: English, Dutch, French, German and Spanish. From March to June 2013, an exhibition titled Bonaparte at the Scheldt, was staged at the MAS. The exhibition commemorated Napoleon Bonaparte's involvement with Antwerp from 1803.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm; Last Wednesday of the month open until 7 pm.

Walking Tours in Antwerp, Belgium

Create Your Own Walk in Antwerp

Create Your Own Walk in Antwerp

Creating your own self-guided walk in Antwerp is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Antwerp's Historical Churches Tour

Antwerp's Historical Churches Tour

Admire the unforgettable works of Peter Paul Rubens, Otto van Veen, Jacob de Backer and Marten de Vos at the Cathedral of Our Lady. Feel the spirit of antiquity at Beguinage of Antwerp. Listen to the music of the 18th century organ at St. James' Church and see the 18th century Baroque altar and the pulpit of Jan-Baptist Van Hool and Jan-Frans Van Geel at St. Andrew’s Church.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Antwerp Introduction Walk

Antwerp Introduction Walk

The diamond capital of Europe, Antwerp is a port city on the River Scheldt in Belgium that is otherwise famous for its Flemish Renaissance architecture and close association with the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. All these and other historical facts are duly reflected in this orientation walk, featuring, among other attractions, the landmark Grote Markt in the Old Town, 17th-century...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Antwerp Old City

Antwerp Old City

Visit Pierre Bruno Bourla’s most famous work, the Royal Theater, and witness its extraordinary 19th century architecture. Take a walk in the peaceful oasis of the Botanic Gardens and be sure to see the remarkable Rubens house and admire his famous masterpieces.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Antwerp Shopping Tour

Antwerp Shopping Tour

Antwerp is the best place in Europe to shop for diamonds. Visit the famous Diamond District, or Diamondland, the most beautiful diamond center in the city. Antiquity lovers can find a lot of interesting items on Kloosterstraat. Admire the beauty of Asian markets and restaurants in Antwerp's Chinatown. Follow this unforgettable tour, shop the best stores and have fun!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Deurne Neighbourhood Walk

Deurne Neighbourhood Walk

Visit the Silver Museum at Sterckshof castle to learn more about the art and technology of silver. See the City Hall, enjoy a meal at Rivierenhof Castle, enjoy a game with the Phantoms hockey team and much more in the beautiful neighborhood of Duerne.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
South Side Walking Tour

South Side Walking Tour

Visit Antwerp’s South Side and see Waterpoort, built in honor of King Filip IV. Visit Sint-Walburgiskerk, the place used by Rubens in many of his works. The Royal Museum of Fine Art and the Museum of Modern Art are great places to see the development of art in the region.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles