Antwerp’s Het Zuid neighborhood was first built in 1875 but went into decline after the Second World War. Recently revived in the mid-1980s, Het Zuid is now one of the city’s trendiest districts. Visitors can find a wide array of things to do, from checking out one of the many art galleries to dining at chic restaurants and exploring the sights.
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is located in Antwerp’s Het Zuid and is regarded as one of Belgium’s most important art museums. Situated inside an old grain store, the museum houses an extensive collection of contemporary art from Belgium’s most famous artists, as well as international artists. Additionally, the museum has a large library and a cinema screening different art films throughout the year. Make sure to check their website for what’s playing and the for their current art exhibits beforehand, and these change regularly month-to-month.
Museum of Modern Art, Leuvenstraat 32, Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 260 99 99
In addition to Het Zuid’s eclectic art scene, the neighborhood also offers visitors a musical atmosphere. Pro Arte bvba is a small shop in Het Zuid that is packed full of different kinds of string instruments, from violins to harps. The store is known across Europe for being one of the most exceptional instrument shops as they stock unique and rare pieces. Even if guests are not musically inclined, the shop is still worth visit as it is a real sight to see.
Pro Are bvba, Geuzenstraat 19, Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 216 99 28
Galerie Van Campen & Rochtus
Galerie Van Campen & Rochtus is an extremely well-known art gallery in the Het Zuid area. The gallery has been open since 2002 and has since provided the Het Zuid neighborhood with beautiful paintings, sculptures and photography. These art pieces are from around the world, making for a dynamic collection that rarely fails to impress. Occasionally, the gallery also puts on special art exhibits and shows, which they announce on their website beforehand. The gallery is so popular that it has doubled in size since it first opened in order to accommodate its growing collections and crowds of visitors.
Take a lunch or dinner break from Antwerp’s Het Zuid’s art scene with some Japanese cuisine at Fuji-San. Fuji-San is a small restaurant offering authentic Japanese fare. This casual and unassuming sushi bar serves some of the best sushi in Het Zuid. Start with the gyoza appetizer or seaweed salad. For the entrée, order any of their sashimi, as Fuji-San’s fish is known for being the freshest around town.
Fuji-San, Waalsekaai 36, Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 216 27 53
Fotomuseum Antwerpen – FOMU
Fotomuseum Antwerpen, otherwise known as FOMU, is another of Het Zuid’s fantastic art museums. FOMU focuses on photography. Their eclectic exhibitions include both modern and historical photography and the museum does not have a permanent collection on display. Instead, the museum offers frequently changing exhibitions that showcase the work of both local and international artists alike.
FOMU, Waalsekaai 47, Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 242 93 00
Now a cultural center hosting a variety of different social organizations, artists, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Zuiderpershuis is another of Zuid’s historical buildings. Built in 1883, the cultural center is considered a local monument. The building is closely tied to the history of both Antwerp and the Het Zuid neighborhood itself, as it has followed its past from an industrial center to an art hub and cultural powerhouse. The venue hosts many different events and shows throughout the year – so check ahead to see what’s on.
Zuiderpershuis, Timmerwerfstraat 40, Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 248 70 77
Steen en Been
Steen en Been is a small boutique with multiple oddities for sale, including fossils and minerals, shells and corals, small taxidermy pieces and handcrafted boxes and ethnic artifacts. Visitors feel as though they are at one with nature in this shop, where all the novel and eclectic items make for interesting gifts, especially since the store offers charming gift wrapping to boot!
Steen en been, Volkstraat 59, Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 237 25 22
Run by Belgian chef, Olivier de Vinck, Kommilfoo is one of Het Zuid’s most luxurious restaurants. Kommilfoo has one Michelin star and is well known for its creative and meticulously-presented food. Here, the dishes are both imaginative and delectable. Everyday, the chef creates a new four-course specials menu, making use of all-new and cutting-edge molecular cooking techniques to finish the flavors off.
Kommilfoo, Vlaamsekaai 17, Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 237 30 00
Located in the center of Antwerp’s Het Zuid, Waterpoort is one of the neighborhood’s most recognized monuments. Originally known as Porta Regia, it was built in 1624 when the city was under Spanish rule. Initially, the Waterpoort was part of a much larger defensive wall that surrounded the city and gave locals access to the riverbank. Today, the Waterpoort serves as a monument for the history of the city and is one of the oldest remaining structures in the Zuid neighborhood as a whole.
Waterpoort, Antwerpen Belgium
By Alana Tabak
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