A weekend in Antwerp is unthinkable without a visit to the numerous shopping streets. Have you already visited all the popular sights in Antwerp and are you ready to do some shopping? Walk through De Meir first, this is the most famous street, but it is fair to say that there are mainly branches of large chain stores on this street. Antwerp has a lot more to offer in terms of shopping!
For trendy fashion go to the Fashion District which is concentrated around the Nationalestraat. Antwerp has a name as fashion city, thanks to the designers who were trained at the Academy of Fine Arts. In the Nationalestraat and surroundings you will find some shops by Flemish designers, such as Dries van Noten and Walter van Beirendonck. The Serbian sisters Violetta and Vera Pepa have also opened a shop there. In the midst of all this trendy violence, the classic glove shop Boon stands out even more. This shop has a collection of more than 10,000 pairs of gloves! The Fashion Museum on Nationalestraat gives an overview of the developments in fashion. You can try on a famous creation yourself! Near the Nationalestraat you'll find more fashion shops in De Wilde Zee, a neighbourhood with five cosy shopping streets: Korte Gasthuisstraat, de Lombardevest, de Wiegstraat, de Groendalstraat and Schrijnwerkerstraat.
Diamonds have been traded in Antwerp for more than 500 years and more than 50% of the world trade takes place in this city. The area around the Central Station is traditionally the district of diamond sellers. You can find them in the Pelikaanstraat, Vestingstraat, Rijfstraat and Hoveniersstraat. If you want to be sure of quality, you only buy from jewellers who are affiliated with ADJA (Antwerp Diamond and Jewellery Association). At Tourism Antwerp (Grote Markt 13) a brochure is available with the addresses of affiliated jewellers. Diamondland on the Appelmansstraat is a large showroom of more than 1500 jewels and an extensive collection of diamonds. You will see diamond cutters, goldsmiths and diamond setters at work. For a more historical overview of Antwerp as a diamond city go to the DIVA.
You'll also find bread and pastry shops all over Antwerp that sell delightful things, including the delicious Belgian chocolates. The most famous chocolate shop is Goossens on the Isabellalei.
Antwerp's Sunday 'Vogeltjesmarkt' is a household word. It is a large flea market with lots of trinkets and kitsch and occasionally a nice piece of art or antiques. But did you know that a much more authentic market is held on Fridays? You'll find it at the Vrijdagmarkt, not far from the Groenplaats.
Website: MOMU Antwerp (Fashion Museum)
Address: Nationalestraat 28
Opening hours: Sunday to Sunday 10.00-18.00 (every first Thursday of the month until 21.00)
Address: Appelmansstraat 33A
Opening hours: 09.30-17.00
Address: Isabellalei 6
Opening hours: 09.00-18.00
Website: Shopping areas Antwerp
Consult the websites of the places of interest for up-to-date price information and opening hours.