The Top Museums In Antwerp to Visit

Niall McGrade

Antwerp is a city filled to the brim with history. It’s no surprise that there are plenty of fantastic museums in the city; many dealing with the city itself, some on a broader historical or cultural scale. Whatever your interests, there’s a museum for you, and we’ve put together a list of our favourites.

Plantin-Moretus Museum

Museum Plantin-Moretus

The Plantin-Moretus Museum is dedicated to the history of printing, and specifically to Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus. Housed in their former residence and press, it’s a striking reminder of how intricate printing used to be. Plantin Press was one of the focal points of the printed book in the 16th century, so it’s not surprising that the library houses a substantial number of fine works. Between the workshops, the tours of the living spaces, and the walled garden, this museum has a surprising amount to offer.
Opening Hours: 10am-5pm daily
Watch out for: The rare 36-line bible
Vrijdagmarkt 22-23, Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 221 14 50


Peter Paul Rubens was a famous Flemish painter with an extravagant Baroque style. Rubenshuis is his former home and studio, and has since been converted into a museum. The Rubenianum is in a building at the back of the garden, a centre dedicated to the study of his works. The house is vast, with a courtyard, patio, an art room where Rubens housed his collection, and a studio workspace where Rubens created most of his art.
Opening Hours: 10am-5pm Tue-Sun
Watch out for: The self-portrait in the dining room
Wapper 9-11, Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 201 15 55

Rubenshuis interior courtyard


Museum aan de Stroom is a recently opened museum, and by far the largest in Antwerp. It covers the city’s Metropolis, Power, Life and Death, and Antwerp’s history as a port city. A colossal structure by the river, it’s five floors of sandstone looks like a tower of building blocks from a distance. A nice, modern touch is that the exhibits feature QR codes on the wall labels, displaying information in five languages.
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
Watch out for: The Metropolis floor
Hanzestedenplaats 1, Antwerp, Belgium

Museum aan de Stroom


The Vleeshuis is a five hundred year old guild hall in the Gothic style. Vleehuis used to house the Butcher’s guild, and acted as a central meat market. Unusually, the current museum has nothing to do with the building’s history, instead being a collection of musical instruments. Detailing the story of minstrels, and choirs up to more modern concerts and dance, it pays for the entrance fee in sheer novelty alone, with the Aida trumpets and antique instruments being of particular note.
Opening Hours: Tue, Thu-Sun 10am-5pm
Watch out for: Mattau’s glass harp
Vleeshouwersstraat 38, Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 292 61 00

Middelheim Open Air Sculpture Museum

This contemporary art museum is the ideal place to visit on a sunny day. The open-air museum is populated by over 200 sculptures across 30 hectares of park. At the centre of this park sits Middelheim Castle, a renovated mansion which now includes a reception, a café, and a museum shop. The Braem Pavilion is a small, covered area within the park where fragile works are displayed, so be sure not to miss it. The rotation of works changes twice a year, making it ideal for repeat visits.
Opening Hours: Vary by season
Watch out for: Giacomo Manzu’s The Cardinal
Middelheimlaan 61, Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 288 33 60



MoMu houses a strong collection of couture, as well as historical pieces of clothing, focusing on Belgian style. Every six months, MoMu puts together a new exhibition, combining loan pieces with items from their own substantial collection. Generally, these focus on a specific designer or theme, and are real treats for anyone interested in fashion. Belgium may not be well-known as a fashion hotspot, but this has changed in recent years, with several designers du jour coming out of Antwerp itself.
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm
Watch out for: The ever-changing exhibitions
Nationalestraat 28, Antwerp, Belgium, +32 3 470 27 70

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article