Het Eilandje, or “The Little Island,” is essentially Antwerp’s prime gentrification example. In the past decade, the harbor area has gone from scruffy maritime wasteland to foodie haven and museum central. Ask any local what prompted the change, and they’ll most likely point you to the MAS, a remarkable sandstone-colored construction by Dutch firm Neutelings Riedijk Architects. Its seemingly endless wavy windows, sea-themed exhibits, and the water basin in which it sits radiate an ocean-loving vibe that’s essential to Antwerp’s identity. From the laying of its first stone in 2006, savvy undertakings such as espresso bar Broer Bretel and pumping station-turned-restaurant Het Pomphuis saw the hidden potential of the docklands region and became huge players in its revival. Today, the district boasts waterfront cafés, lofts and another successful museum, The Red Star Line, dedicated to the eponymous Antwerp cruiser company and the millions of emigrants it carried overseas.