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Antwerp is surrounded by a ring road from which expressways shoot off like spokes in a wheel. The city is 48 km (29 miles) north of Brussels on the E19; 60 km (36 miles) northeast of Gent on the E17; 119 km (71 miles) northwest of Liège on the A13.
A car isn't necessary—and is more often than not a burden—when exploring Antwerp's central area. The city's streets may not be quite as busy as those in Brussels, but they're crowded enough to make driving difficult. An ongoing construction project along the connected thoroughfares known as "de Leien" (Italielei, Frankrijklei, and Amerikalei) makes things even more snarly. Avoid rush hours, generally 6:30–9:30 am and 4–7 pm, and keep a sharp eye out for one-way streets and aggressive drivers. Remember that drivers have priority from the right. Street parking is rare but there are several central parking lots, including some near Grote Markt and Groenplaats.
Avis (Plantin en Moretuslei 62, Centraal Station, Antwerp, 2018. 03/218–9496. www.avis.be.)
Budget (Noorderlaan 32, Het Eilandje, Antwerp, 2060. 03/213–7960. www.budget.be.)
Hertz (Antwerp Airport, Antwerp, 2100. 03/239–2921. www.hertz.be.)
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