Going out in Antwerp
As locals in the beloved city of Antwerp, we know the best places for a good party! Be sure to check out the following places during your stay and you might see us there ;-)
1. Café d'Anvers
Verversrui 15, Red Light District, Antwerp, 2000
Friday and Saturday 11pm - 7.30am
Telephone: 00 32 (0) 3 226 3870
Café by name but not by nature since you're not going to get coffees and croissants at this cutting edge house club. The top club in the city if not in the country, Café d'Anvers is the symbol of the city's celebrated club scene and a favorite hang-out for house and techno freaks who want to party. Once a church, then a cinema, a warehouse and a ball room, the cavern-like interior is part sci-fi fantasy, part lush bordello. The interior designers did a magnificent job creating an outrageous and flashy ambiance. The balcony above the dance floor commands a great view. Some nights are reserved for special themes so keep an eye open for the flyers or call the club in advance. Admission varies depending on the night and type of party. Sure, it's pricey, but you're paying for fine drinks served at three bars stocking everything from Flemish beer to flaming margaritas. 800 people every weekend night can' t be wrong. An unforgettable place in the middle of the red light district. Free entrance on Thursdays.
2. Café local
Waalse Kaai 25, 2000, Antwerp
Telephone: 0032 (0) 3 238 50 04
Dance Café Local is one of the most luxurious Dance sites of Antwerp. The tasteful interior brings back Cuban memories from the first half of the 20th century. The dancing has its location on Waalse Kaai, a neighbourhood where restaurants, dancings, museums, antique and art-shops go hand in hand. On Thursdays (free entrance!) the DJs will give you the time of your life and make you dance on RnB, dance and disco. On Fridays and Saturdays (student) clubs or companies throw big parties. If you are a salsa-merengue lover, you've got to go to the salsa evenings and experience "el ritmo caliente".
3. Red and Blue
Lange Schipperskapelstraat 13, Red Light District, Antwerp, 2000
Saturday 11pm -7am
Telephone: 0032 (0) 3 213 05 55
Located not far from Café d'Anvers, it is tempting to do both clubs on the same evening. Some say Red and Blue is the best gay club in Flanders. On Saturday nights, the club is packed with good looking and playful guys. The music here is top-notch and sexy dancers show off on the stage. Doors open at 11pm, but don't expect much action before 1am. The atmosphere is great, and the crowd sometimes naughty but generally civilized. Red & Blue on Saturday nights is strictly men only and no girl friends are allowed. Check out for the Studio 54 nights!
On Thursdays free entrance for students (We love Thursdays)!
Lange Brilstraat 12, 2000, Antwerp
Telephone: 0032 (0) 3 234 02 57
One club for different party nights with different themes. Every Thursday night there's Cinée Soirée with the better party-trash music, mixed by famous DJ's. Every Saturday black dance grooves on Couleurs d'Anvers night hosted by national and international DJ's. This club is also the place to be for a lot of student parties
Antwerp is a fine place to drink - and Belgian beer is the best in the world ;-)))
There are many bars in the city centre. Some of them regularly feature live music, and on sunny evenings, the pavement cafe - bars on Groenplaats and Handschoenmarkt make delightful places to watch the world go by. Opening hours are flexible, with many places only closing when the last customers leave - say 2 or 3 am - and almost all of the bars are open daily. The most favourite local beer, incidentally, is De Koninck, drunk by the "bolleke", a big, round glass. Almost all the interesting pubs are in the old city.
Antwerp's pubs have survived better than those in many large Belgian towns – especially those in the South, like Luik, totally controlled by Interbrew. Most of the pubs in the city centre have remained a good deal of character and been spared the rude renovations that have struck Belgium like a plague.
In Belgium prices are quoted "all inclusive" in bars and restaurants. No additional tipping necessary but tips can be given if you want to reward exceptional service.
Antwerp is home to the De Koninck brewery and this beer, "bolleke" as Antwerp people call it, is found on draught in most pubs. Unlike the rest of Belgium, where pils is king, the standard beer here is a pale ale. And very pleasant it is, too. It could be self deception, but this beer tastes best in its home city. Every visitor should try at least a bolleke or two. Beer prices are very reasonable. De Koninck and witbier are seen as ordinary draught beers here and priced accordingly: they are barely more expensive than pils.
Antwerp Pubs - Our all time favourites
1. DE PROF
Corner Vekestraat and Grote Kauwenberg
This is the home bar of ESN. Most of our activities will be organized in this cosy pub. Wim is our great bartender
2. IRISH TIMES PUB
A typical Irish Pub where we will do some of our activities as well! A lot of sports matches are shown in here.
3. HET ELFDE GEBOD
Translated in Flemish as the 11th Commandment, which, judging from the nightly scene in here, means eat, drink and be merry. The decor is gorgeous, gaudy, pseudo-religious artifacts, you'll find statues of angels, pictures of Christ and various church memorabilia on the walls. Expect interesting locals to be propping up the bar, among them gorgeous young artists and weird eccentrics. Arty, hearty and full of fun - it beats the other ten commandments.
Once it was the home pub of ESN, today it is still a pub to enjoy if you want to experience a night of fun, dancing and cheap beer. It is also the home pub of one of our befriended student clubs, Wikings. Every week (like at De Prof) they have a special theme party, so feel free to join in on the fun if you don’t know where to go.
This pub rarely closes before 4 a.m. so you can still go for a drink even if all the other pubs are closed.
5. PATERS VAETJE
Located right next to the Antwerp cathedral you can find Paters Vaetje. It is a typical Belgian brown pub with a wide selection of Belgian and international beers. If you can’t find it here, you won’t find it anywhere else in Antwerp. Furthermore, it is a very nice pub to stay when the sun is shining. You can sit outside and enjoy the sun (and your drinks) while having a good view of the cathedral. Here’s a challenge: while staying in Antwerp, try to drink each beer on their menu at least once. You won’t regret it.
6. CELTIC IRELAND
Like most pubs nowadays, this one not only offers a wide range of beers but also good food. Lots of wooden furniture and the trimmings, candle-lit tables and the obvious Irish attributes create a great atmosphere. The bartenders have Guinness and other Irish ales on draught. Quite a few Irish whiskies are also on hand. Typical Irish dishes such as Irish lamb stew are on the menu.
7. DE MUZE
The Muze is the place to be if you like live jazz music: almost every evening there's a concert. The mood of this unique pub in the old centre of Antwerp attracts a happy crowd of all ages. With its bare brick walls, large counter and intricate architecture, this old building radiates a charming warmth that few pubs have. Many Antwerp artists come here to muse upon the spectacle and have a few good beers, for example draught Grimbergen Trappist beer, to help them along. The owners also serve various hot and cold snacks.
8. DE NEGEN VATEN
In the early evening De Negen Vaten is a trendy cafe that serves food. An extensive list of tapas and some typical Spanish dishes (paella, gambas, sardines) set the tone. But from around ten the premises becomes an increasingly happier drinking spot revolving around the theme of Spain, and where Spanish sparkling wines and local Antwerp beers go hand in hand. Sangria, Malaga, Sherry, Porto and other specialties are poured from nine barrels. And after midnight the atmosphere reaches a crescendo because then there is dancing to salsa, merengue and flamenco music. An ideal spot if you cherish your Spanish or South American holiday or home memories.
9. ‘T WAAGSTUK
Another great brown pub with a wide selection of (mostly heavy) beers. ‘T Waagstuk is a particularly good place if you want to have some peace and quiet. It is never noisy and never completely full so it’s an ideal spot for a good conversation or even if you want to study but don’t feel about doing it at home. In summer, you can sit outside and enjoy the weather, they have a small courtyard and a larger terrace at Stadswaag square.
10. VIA VIA
Via Via is a traveller’s pub for all you people who enjoy travelling and dreaming about exotic destinations. Not only can you meet people here, you can also book a trip or just sit down with a coffee and read a travel brochure. They also have a selection of meals, including tapas and pastas. The chili con carne here is particularly good.
11. DEN ECHO
Lange Nieuwstraat 9
Den Echo is a typical student pub with good music and beers for very attractive prices. This is the home of three or four student clubs, so if you ever want to meet Antwerp students, this is the place to go. Every week they have special offers, like reductions on buying cocktails and the typical “buy one, get one for free” - actions.
Den Echo is also one of our favourite stops when organising a pub crawl. Only one thing to watch out for: the tram.
12. POOL PLANET
This groovy, loungy place has everything for the demanding student. Every schoolday free omelette breakfast for students, Wednesday cheap spaghetti day, high speed internet, a bottle of wine for your birthday and dozens of pool-and snooker tables.