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Never one to scrimp on style, Antwerp’s established itself as Belgium’s capital of cool. A stroll south down Nationalestraat towards the chi-chi Lambermontplaats square takes in iconic shops, foodie-friendly hotels and the best new boutiques on the block. Leave plenty of time for a good browse: there’s much more to this port city than the cutting-edge digs of the Antwerp Six.

  • Dries Van Noten

    Nationalestraat 16, 2000

    The Antwerp Six veteran’s domed 19th-century HQ vies for attention with eye-catching clothes. They’re ultra-patterned, perfect for peacocking and still the quintessence of Belgian style after more than three decades in the business.


  • Wouters & Hendrix

    Steenhouwersvest 52, 2000

    A real insider brand, with roots stretching back to the city’s famous fashion academy. Some 70 collections of surreal, arty jewels have referenced everything from old-school jewellery boxes to New York’s decadent nightlife and bemusing ‘technofossils’.

  • Akaso

    Nationalestraat 15-17, 2000

    The paint has barely dried on the Brussels label’s new Antwerp store. Clothes and accessories come with prints created in tandem with Ethiopia’s Kara tribe, renowned for their body painting. The bags inspired by scarification are very cool.

  • MOMU

    Nationalestraat 28, 2000

    The fashion museum is closed for renovation until 2020, but you can still visit its excellent bookshop Copyright. MOMU runs fashion walks on the first Saturday of the month, including a rare glimpse into its archive.

  • Fin du Jour

    Nationalestraat 37, 2000

    Every cult beauty and fragrance label you know graces the shelves of this new store, launched by two savvy young Flemish entrepreneurs. Discover under-the-radar brands such as Oskia, Lola James Harper and Ouai.

  • Divers

    Volkstraat 9, 2000

    This vegan café is Instagram gold with its whitewashed walls and Ibiza styling. On the menu, you’ll find superfood smoothie bowls, kombucha and plain old avocado on toast, plus adaptogen-spiked ‘self-love’ lattes.

  • Enes

    Volkstraat 58, 2000

    Interiors guru Gert Voorjans’ maximalist décor is not to be missed (check out those stiletto-shaped chairs). The city’s hottest new concept store also rocks a patio bar and spot-on fashion and lifestyle wares.

  • Hotel Pilar

    Leopold de Waelplaats 34, 2000

    This multi-tasking new hotel is set on the main square in ‘t Zuid. Share eclectic small plates in the airy, upscale ground-floor eatery, peruse beautiful objects in the shop or bed down in the stylishly stripped-back rooms.

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Infants can travel for free on an adult’s lap and just need a passport. You can only take one infant per adult.

Image credits: © Stany Dederen; © Stany Dederen; © Kurt de Wit; © Wouters & Hendrix; © Nicolas Schimp; © Stany Dederen; © Fin du Jour; © David Plas; © Enes; © Hotel Pilar; © Eurostar; © Tomas Kubes- Visit Flanders; © Jonathan Ramael; © Shutterstock