Antwerp and the Northeast

Much of Antwerp's reputation for edgy chic comes from its clothing designers; dedicated followers of fashion consider the city in a league with Milan and Paris, and Antwerp-based couturiers regularly appear in the international glossies. Credit for this development goes to the so-called Antwerp Six (students of Linda Loppa from the class of 1981 at Antwerp's Fashion Academy) and in equal measure to the new wave of talent that has more recently stormed the catwalks. Ready-to-wear by stalwarts Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela, and relative newcomers Raf Simons, Véronique Branquinho, and Wim Neels command high prices. However, in the shopping area south of Groenplaats, prices are less astronomical. And, of course, the Diamantwijk is prime territory for glittering precious stones. Bear in mind that pretty much everything grinds to a halt on most Sundays, but unlike the rest of Belgium, on the first Sunday of the month, retailers' shops doors are miraculously flung open and customers are welcomed inside. In January and July, these special shopping days signal the start of the sales.

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  • 1. Graanmarkt 13

    Meir

    Tucked just off a lovely square in a 19th-century town house, Graanmarkt 13 offers a nicely edited selection of women's clothes, including pieces by local...

    Tucked just off a lovely square in a 19th-century town house, Graanmarkt 13 offers a nicely edited selection of women's clothes, including pieces by local designers Bernadette and Sofie D'Hoore, plus unique ceramics, pottery, and jewelry. Its first floor has something of a shoe fetish, stocking the likes of Mansur Gavriel, K Jacques, and Aeyde; it's also worth a postshopping stop for lunch or dinner at its namesake restaurant downstairs.

    Graanmarkt 13, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-337–7991
  • 2. Ann Demeulemeester

    South of the Center

    Ann Demeulemeester belongs to that golden generation that set the city's couture apart from the rest. She sells her clothes in an elegant corner store...

    Ann Demeulemeester belongs to that golden generation that set the city's couture apart from the rest. She sells her clothes in an elegant corner store across the street from the Royal Museum of fine Arts (KMSKA).

    Leopold de Waelplaats 3, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-216–0133
  • 3. Antiques Market

    Every Sunday, starting from 7 am, Tongeren is invaded by more than 350 vendors and thousands of browsers for its weekly antiques market. The selection...

    Every Sunday, starting from 7 am, Tongeren is invaded by more than 350 vendors and thousands of browsers for its weekly antiques market. The selection of antiques and brocante (vintage goods and collectibles) draws people from all over the country, as well as Germany and the Netherlands. The dealers set up shop in many of the town’s main squares and thoroughfares.

    Maastrichterstraat, Tongeren, Flanders, 3700, Belgium
    0470-824–726
  • 4. Antwerp World Diamond Centre

    Centraal Station

    For advice on buying diamonds at the retail level (and details of the essential four Cs: carat, color, clarity, and cut) you can contact the...

    For advice on buying diamonds at the retail level (and details of the essential four Cs: carat, color, clarity, and cut) you can contact the Antwerp World Diamond Centre Association, which operates under the umbrella of the Antwerp Diamond High Council. Information on its members and a suggested route for exploring the area are included on the website.

    Hoveniersstraat 22, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-222–0511

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed weekends
  • 5. Bakkerij Goossens

    Meir

    Founded in 1884, Bakkerij Goossens is a popular old favorite with locals. Try their classic roggeverdommeke—a rye bread stuffed with raisins....

    Founded in 1884, Bakkerij Goossens is a popular old favorite with locals. Try their classic roggeverdommeke—a rye bread stuffed with raisins.

    Korte Gasthuisstraat 31, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-226–0791
  • 6. Burie

    Sint-Andries

    The traditional handmade confections at this shop include delectable creations like chocolates filled with pear liqueur and white cream, butter cream and Havana rum, and...

    The traditional handmade confections at this shop include delectable creations like chocolates filled with pear liqueur and white cream, butter cream and Havana rum, and whipped cream and marzipan. One-hour guided tours (€20 per person) can also be booked (Monday–Thursday and Saturday), to learn how to make and shape chocolate.

    Nationalestraat 42--44, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-233–1308

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 7. DelRey

    Centraal Station

    This stylish family-run chocolatier and pâtissier has been going since 1949, and remains one of the finest in the city. Its "Chocolate Lounge," next door,...

    This stylish family-run chocolatier and pâtissier has been going since 1949, and remains one of the finest in the city. Its "Chocolate Lounge," next door, also makes for an excellent lunch spot—and needless to say, the desserts are flooring.

    Appelmansstraat 5, Antwerp, Flanders, 2018, Belgium
    03-470--2861
  • 8. Ganterie A. Boon

    Oude Stad

    For a fascinating glimpse of how shopping used to be, stop by Ganterie A. Boon, which stocks old-fashioned leather gloves that appeal to grandparents and...

    For a fascinating glimpse of how shopping used to be, stop by Ganterie A. Boon, which stocks old-fashioned leather gloves that appeal to grandparents and young Antwerp fashionistas. The shop was opened in 1929 and still has the original fittings inside. The retro window display looks like it hasn't been updated since the 1950s.

    Lombardenvest 2, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-232–3387
  • 9. Het Modepaleis: Dries Van Norton

    Oude Stad

    One of the iconic Antwerp Six that turned this city into the couture haven it became, Dries Van Noten collections for men and women can...

    One of the iconic Antwerp Six that turned this city into the couture haven it became, Dries Van Noten collections for men and women can be found in the splendid Modepaleis, a five-story Belle Époque building that he bought in 1989.

    Nationalestraat 16, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-470–2510
  • 10. Kaas Vervloet

    Meir

    Kaas Vervloet is the best address for regional, award-winning cheeses and other culinary delicacies. Try the Achelse Blauwe....

    Kaas Vervloet is the best address for regional, award-winning cheeses and other culinary delicacies. Try the Achelse Blauwe.

    Wiegstraat 28, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-233–3729
  • 11. Louis

    Louis was one of the first places to sell the work of Antwerp's top designers in the late 1980s. Today, it sells the collections of...

    Louis was one of the first places to sell the work of Antwerp's top designers in the late 1980s. Today, it sells the collections of the city's talent—Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, A. F. Vandervorst, Raf Simons, and more.

    Lombardenstraat 2, 2000, Unknown
    03-232–9872

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 12. Louis

    Oude Stad

    Opened in 1986 to sell clothes by the Antwerp Six, this stalwart of the Antwerp fashion scene is now run by Marjan Eggers, who, as...

    Opened in 1986 to sell clothes by the Antwerp Six, this stalwart of the Antwerp fashion scene is now run by Marjan Eggers, who, as well as stocking it with established names like Ann Demeulemeester, also has one eye on the future, inviting final-year fashion students to exhibit in its window.

    Lombardenstraat 2, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-232--9872
  • 13. Philip's Biscuits

    De Wilde See

    If you're after an edible souvenir from Antwerp, head for the old-fashioned biscuit and cake store Philip's Biscuits. Speculaas (spiced cookies), macaroons (coconut cookies), and...

    If you're after an edible souvenir from Antwerp, head for the old-fashioned biscuit and cake store Philip's Biscuits. Speculaas (spiced cookies), macaroons (coconut cookies), and peperkoek (gingerbread) are best and can be ordered in attractive tins—a good gift alternative to chocolate. There is also a second branch at Oude Kornmarkt 8.

    Korte Gasthuisstraat 39, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-231–2660
  • 14. Stadsfeestzaal

    Meir

    Built in 1908 as an exhibitions and events space, the Stadsfeestzaal was gutted by a major fire in 2000. Now fully restored, it houses a...

    Built in 1908 as an exhibitions and events space, the Stadsfeestzaal was gutted by a major fire in 2000. Now fully restored, it houses a lively shopping mall across 40 shops. Clothing stores include Urban Outfitters, Green Ice, and COS. Even if you're not in the mood for retail therapy, it's worth dropping by just to marvel at the spectacular neoclassical architecture.

    Meir 78, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-202–3100
  • 15. The Chocolate Line

    Meir

    For chocolate filled with unusual flavors like Japanese wasabi, Coca-Cola, or crisp fried onion, head to this self-proclaimed "shock-o-latier." Although you'll undoubtedly have to queue...

    For chocolate filled with unusual flavors like Japanese wasabi, Coca-Cola, or crisp fried onion, head to this self-proclaimed "shock-o-latier." Although you'll undoubtedly have to queue for your chocolates, you should use the time to admire your surroundings: the gilded ceilings and crystal chandelier of the opulent Paleis op de Meir (Palace on the Meir).

    Meir 50, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-206–2030
  • 16. Verso

    Meir

    A longtime presence on the designer-clothing scene, Verso, located in a 16th-century mansion, carries such labels as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Alexander McQueen for...

    A longtime presence on the designer-clothing scene, Verso, located in a 16th-century mansion, carries such labels as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Alexander McQueen for both men and women, along with their accessories and fragrances. There's also a stylish café and martini bar.

    Lange Gasthuisstraat 11, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-226–9292

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 17. Hospital

    The large, two-level store in trendy Het Zuid carries hip international labels for women and men including Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, Jil Sander, and Marlene...

    The large, two-level store in trendy Het Zuid carries hip international labels for women and men including Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, Jil Sander, and Marlene Birger, plus shoes from the likes of Prada and Miu Miu and of-the-moment accessories. Unlike many other Antwerp shops, it's open on Sunday from 1 pm.

    De Burburestraat 4b, 2000, Unknown
    03-311–8980

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. morning; Mon.
  • 18. De Groene Wolk

    Oude Stad | Clothing

    Kids five years old and up can find the latest attire from Marc Jacobs, Max & Lola, and Rare, proving you're never too young to be fashionable. ...

    Kids five years old and up can find the latest attire from Marc Jacobs, Max & Lola, and Rare, proving you're never too young to be fashionable.

    Korte Gasthuisstraat 22, Antwerp, Flanders, 2000, Belgium
    03-234–1847
  • 19. Fish&Chips

    After nearly 20 years in the same building, this well-known streetwear store has moved its retro decor, DJs, snacks, hairdresser's, and designer toys a few...

    After nearly 20 years in the same building, this well-known streetwear store has moved its retro decor, DJs, snacks, hairdresser's, and designer toys a few stores down the road, bringing with them brands like Carhartt, Die For It, Vans, Ben Sherman, Adidas, and many more. It's still achingly hip, just bigger.

    Kammenstraat 18-22, 2000, Unknown
    03-218–2146

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 20. Kaat Tilley

    Oude Stad

    Creations by Belgian designer Kaat Tilley can be found in a pleasant old building where the romantic interior is enhanced with light, feminine clothes in...

    Creations by Belgian designer Kaat Tilley can be found in a pleasant old building where the romantic interior is enhanced with light, feminine clothes in soft fabrics.

    Schuttershofstraat 4, Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium
    03-231–1497

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