Antwerp is a large city in Belgium that has many characteristic qualities: the kind, helpful people, the booming diamond trade, the signature delicious food, and low-key sort of lifestyle.
The new and old facets of Belgian culture come together and make a very special type of place.
If you've been on the lookout for a vacation destination that's low-stress and easy-going, look into Antwerp.
Just don't forget your passport.
US passport services are available online to help you get started.
Services regarding passports have recently made a switch to the internet.
These easy-to-use sites handle things like passport applications and rush passport renewal.
The steps are easy: fill out an application, select a delivery date, and then you can continue with your planning.
This means significantly less planning stress.
The historical aspect of Antwerp is tremendous, and you'll definitely never be without something to do.
Rubenshuis, The Rubens House, is the historical home of the artistic master.
The walls are still decorated with a lot of his art.
Het Steen - "The Stone" - is an ancient castle that was constructed around 1220-1225, making it Belgium's oldest building.
Now it houses a small naval museum.
Also, at the foot of this building is the start of the scenic boardwalk, Wandelterrassen.
Boerentoren, the Farmer's Tower is regarded as Europe's first skyscraper.
On the twenty-fifth floor of this tower is an observation deck where you can get an awesome birds' eye view of Antwerp.
In the middle of the historical district of Antwerp, you can find City Hall and Old Market Square.
City Hall is a very special building with it's unique mixture of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, a mixture found almost exclusively in this building.
Around the Square are Medieval houses that look like something straight out of a story book - it really is enough to make you feel like you've stepped back in time.
In 1351, The Cathedral of our Lady was built.
Standing more than four hundred feet tall, it is one of the largest Gothic Cathedrals in North Europe.
Any historical town is perfect for ghost hunting, so if you're the type that craves a little bit of the supernatural, be sure to book a tour or go exploring on your own if you can.
Antwerp is full of surprises - like the little hidden street Vlaeykensgang, a street that hides behind a pair of big Medieval doors.
Go out and see if you can discover it.
The Port of Antwerp is another interesting place to visit.
It is the biggest port in Europe, and one of the biggest in the world.
Lots of Belgian history and culture awaits you at the Port, and there are tours available to give you an in-depth look at the significance of this mighty trading hub.