Antwerp is a major destination of Belgium in the region of Flanders. The overwhelming friendliness of the people of Antwerp and their innate penchant for good food and good living, combined with their low stress lifestyle, makes it a desirable and relaxing place to visit. Renowned for being the “world’s leading diamond city”, more than 70% of all diamonds are traded in Antwerp. The Diamond Market is the hub of the economic section in Belgium. Here it is, our list of the museums in Antwerp that you should visit.

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In the 16th century, Antwerp was one of the most important financial centres of the world, where traders from all over Europe and Asia sold and bought their goods. Now with a population of 506,225 (2012), it is the second largest city in Belgium, after Brussels, and it has a major European port.

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Due to its long and culturally rich history, the city of Antwerp houses many interesting historical buildings from different historical periods, as well as a lot of interesting museums. Recently it has become a trendy city, attracting a lot of Flemish and foreign artists, writers, intellectuals, and actors. This is reflected in the city’s many trendy bars and shops. Antwerp is a city with many faces. While it may not be as historically preserved as other Flemish medieval cities, like Bruges or Ghent, it is a very dynamic city, offering a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life.

And that’s precisely the historical heritage we want to recommend with the top 5 museums you should visit in Antwerp:

1 – Museum Aan de Stroom – The MAS. A must-see.

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The MAS is more than a museum. It also includes a Visible Storage, a museum square, contemporary art, a well-thought architecture, …

The MAS is a ground-breaking museum that tells the story of the people, the past, present and future of the city of Antwerp and the world.

The MAS | Museum aan de Stroom – a landmark on the boundary between the city and the port – is a ground-breaking museum that tells the story of people with diverse mentalities who came from a multitude of backgrounds.

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Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

2 – Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen a.k.a Museum of Modern Art

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The museum holds a permanent collection of contemporary art from Belgian and international artists, an arthouse cinema and an extensive library of books on contemporary art. The architect responsible for the creation of the museum from an old grain storage space (1987) was Michel Grandsard who also designed the extension of the museum (1997).

Located at: Leuvenstraat 32,
2000 Antwerpen, België

3 – Museum Mayer van den Bergh

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The Museum Mayer van den Bergh evolved from a private museum into the municipal museum it is today. It is still the gem it once was.

Museum Mayer van den Bergh is built around the collection of one man, and that is still its essence, its strength and its attraction. Even so, in the course of more than a century, a lot has changed, behind the scenes as well.

What to see there?
A house full of art

The Museum Mayer van den Bergh was the first museum in the world to be built around a single collection – with a special focus on Bruegel.
Masterpieces

An overview of the most impressive works of art in the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, accompanied by some more background and context, historical, technical and art history.

Collection on the road

Items from our collection travel the world. We regularly receive requests from museums at home and abroad to borrow works from the museum.

Lange Gasthuisstraat 19, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

4 – MoMu – The Fashion Museum

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The Fashion Museum is sheltered  in the ModeNatie in the Nationalestraat. ModeNatie accommodates several partners: the Fashion Museum, the Flanders Fashion Institute and the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen.

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From the beginning the MoMu has opted for a dynamic approach that exceeds the static character of the average museum. No fixed arrangement of the own collection but varying thematic exhibitions on one specific designer or a fashion-related subject, that show a selection of pieces from the collection alongside pieces on loan. The starting point for each new exhibition is an overall concept, focussing not merely on clothing but on an entire context: the designer’s various sources of inspiration, links with other art disciplines, and so on. No static glass cases, but a dynamic room that is tailored to the needs of each exhibition. This vitality is the very strength of the Antwerp Fashion Museum.

Architecture

The Fashion Museum is sheltered  in the ModeNatie in the Nationalestraat. ModeNatie accommodates several partners: the Fashion Museum, the Flanders Fashion Institute and the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen.

From the beginning the MoMu has opted for a dynamic approach that exceeds the static character of the average museum. No fixed arrangement of the own collection but varying thematic exhibitions on one specific designer or a fashion-related subject, that show a selection of pieces from the collection alongside pieces on loan. The starting point for each new exhibition is an overall concept, focussing not merely on clothing but on an entire context: the designer’s various sources of inspiration, links with other art disciplines, and so on. No static glass cases, but a dynamic room that is tailored to the needs of each exhibition. This vitality is the very strength of the Antwerp Fashion Museum.

The building in which ModeNatie is housed, goes back to the 19th century and was originally designed as a storehouse for the men’s and children’s clothing company New England.

Nationalestraat 28, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

5 – Royal Museum of Fine Arts

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The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp is a museum in Antwerp, Belgium, founded in 1810, houses a collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries. This collection is representative of the artistic production and the taste of art enthusiasts in Antwerp, Belgium and the Northern and Southern Netherlands since the 15th century. The museum is closed for renovation until the end of 2017.

The neoclassical building housing the collection is one of the primary landmarks of the Zuid district of Antwerp. The majestic building was designed by Jacob Winders (1849–1936) and Frans van Dijk (1853-1839), built beginning in 1884, opened in 1890, and completed in 1894. Sculpture on the building includes two bronze figures of Fame with horse-drawn chariots by sculptor Thomas Vincotte, and seven rondel medallions of artists that include Boetius à Bolswert, Frans Floris, Jan Van Eyck, Peter Paul Rubens, Quentin Matsys, Erasmus Quellinus II, and Appelmans, separated by four monumental sculptures representing Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, and Graphics.

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