Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

South Side Walking Tour (Self Guided), Antwerp

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.
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South Side Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: South Side Walking Tour
Guide Location: Belgium » Antwerp (See other walking tours in Antwerp)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Author: mary
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Hollandse Synagoge
  • Five Continents
  • Royal Museum of Fine Art
  • Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp
  • Waterpoort
  • New Palace of Justice
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Hollandse Synagoge

1) Hollandse Synagoge

Standing poignantly and blending in perfect harmony with its backdrop of mighty Gothic cathedrals and ornate churches is the Hollandse Synangoge. Boasting an ornate Moorish architecture, the synagogue is a must visit when in Antwerp.

The Hollandse Synagoge or the Dutch Synagogue, also known as the Synagogue Shomré Hadas, was the first large synagogue to be built in Antwerp. According to historical records, Antwerp had a thriving Jewish population ever since the early 13th century. Although not in a large numbers, the Jews played a vital role in the diamond trade of the region. During the 19th century, with increasing political and religious prosecution, Antwerp received many Jews from Holland and neighboring countries.

Built by the direct descendants of Jews that came from Holland, it is no surprise, why the synagogue was thus named. Although the Synagogue may be quite young in comparison to the other structures in the city, it has surely borne the scars of time. Being constantly targeted during the Second World War, the Synagogue suffered serious damage under the Nazi bombing. Despite all the damages, the Hollandse Synagoge stands proudly showing little or no scars at all. This is all thanks to city authorities and the local Jewish community.
2
Five Continents

2) Five Continents

Antwerp is truly the haven for those who love to spend hours admiring architecture, where one can not only browse through numerous stylized building reflecting distinct styles but also learn to become a clever critic. Another popular name among the architecturally rich neighborhood that adds character to the city’s skyline is the Five Continents. Just a stone throw away from the famous Main Synagogue in Bouwmeesterstraat, the Five Continents is an interesting complex consisting of four houses designed in the Art Nouveau style.

Built in 1901, the Five Continents are one of the best examples of the Art Nouveau designs. With the houses having the characteristic layered yellow brick, use of vibrant curved lines that is a typical trait of an Art Nouveau design and the elaborate detailing and decorations, Five Continents is a place you cannot afford to miss at all. When constructed, the Five Continents comprised of a complex of four houses, however, there are only three that stand today.

Although the architecture may attract many to the Five Continents, the most unique feature that is associated with this complex is the ship’s bow that protrudes out. This unique feature that went from being an eye sore, to one that is taken pride in was commissioned by P. Rouis, a ship builder.
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Royal Museum of Fine Art

3) Royal Museum of Fine Art (must see)

Located in the Zuid District of Antwerp is one of the most splendid buildings of the city, the Royal Museum of Fine Art. Home to a grand collection of some of the finest works of Flemish painters, if you love visiting Museum, this one should definitely make it to your list of places worth seeing in Antwerp. Home to the finest collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and other forms of art, from the Flemish Golden Era, the Museum exhibits artists like Boetius à Bolswert, Frans Floris, Jan Van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens, Quentin Matsys, Erasmus Quellinus II, and Appelmans. Apart from the fact that the Royal Museum is homes some of the most valuable paintings of the region, the building itself is well worth the attention and time. Designed and built by Antwerp architects, Jacob Winders and Frans van Dijk, the Royal Museum was actually designed to replace a previous Museum that was razed by fire. Great efforts were made for the new museum to stand at par with the one that previously stood and it took a good six years till the city of Antwerp got its Royal Museum. Built with respect to the Neo- Classic style of Architecture, the Museum till date is considered one of the best looking buildings in the city.

Editor's Note: The museum is closed for renovation until the end of 2019.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp

4) Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp (must see)

From the era of celebrating Flemish Baroque painters to appreciating contemporary modern art in different media, one can witness the progression of art through the ages in Antwerp. And if you are an art fanatic, look no further, Antwerp has something for every art lover.

The Museum of Modern Art is a much celebrated and cherished museum in Antwerp. Founded in 1985, the Museum is housed in an old granary that was redesigned by Michel Grandsard. Noted for providing a platform for upcoming and amateur artists, the Museum of Modern Art is one of the most reputed museums in Belgium. Attracting well established international artists from all over the world the Museum has become one of the most famous spots for tourists who are keen art admirers.

Displaying a permanent and their much loved temporary collection, artists showcase their art, in all sorts of media, right from canvas to audio, films and photographs here. Along with having a spectacular gallery comprising of some groundbreaking art, the Museum also has a library with a vast collection of books for reference and general reading. And after admiring the works and exhibits at the Museum, how about a hot cup of coffee at the cozy little café, where you can further ponder about which artwork intrigued you more. And if you want to take back a memory or two with you, you can stop at the gift store that offers a variety of souvenirs and keep sakes.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 11 am - 6 pm; Thursday: 11 am - 9 pm
5
Waterpoort

5) Waterpoort

The Waterpoort or the Water Gate, also known as the Walking Gate is an elegant 15th century arch that stands in the Gillisplaats square in the southern neighborhood of Antwerp. Designed by P.P. Rubens, the construction of the gate was commissioned by the Spanish in honor of King Phillip IV.

Originally known as the Porta Regia, the role of the Waterpoort changed constantly throughout history. From serving as a part of the city’s defense wall to standing as an elegant memento of the city’s glorious past, the structure has done it all. Ever since its inception, the Waterpoort has served as a part of the city wall and has given access to the river bank, which is also where it gets its name from.

With the redevelopment of the city’s quay in the 19th century, the location of the Waterpoort had to be shifted. It was moved towards the south facing the riverfront at the Sint-Jansvliet. However, this place was not destined for the gate and it had to be temporarily stored in the municipal depot for five years since it acted as an hindrance during the construction of the pedestrian tunnel under the Scheldt. The Waterpoort was finally installed in the Gillisplaats, where it stands even today.
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New Palace of Justice

6) New Palace of Justice

During the 1980s, in order to improve the efficiency of the judicial offices in the city of Antwerp, the Ministry of Justice took a decision to centralize them. In the year 1990, the site of a former railway station called the Zuidstation, which was razed over 25 years ago, was selected as the home for the New Palace of Justice. The design submitted by Richard Rogers firm was approved in 1999 and construction began in 2001.

The New Palace consists of 6 large courthouses and 26 other smaller courts. Each of the large courts has a large sail-like roof made of interconnected quadrants. Six long wings spread out of the Central Hall called, the Bolivarplaats which has a vast glass roof, a symbol of the transparency of the judicial system. The butterfly-like wings house different offices and courts and have smaller scaled roofs. Glass has been used extensively for this structure, which allows plenty of natural light into the building. Also, the complex uses natural ventilation, heat restricting measures and collects rainwater for watering its gardens making it the city’s first environment friendly building. Irrespective of its achievements in terms of architecture, the building is just five stories tall and does not even attempt to disparage its neighbors.

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.
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
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 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
Museums Tour

Museums Tour

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.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 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 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