Our annual Christmas market weekend getaway – this year to Antwerp

Its been a while since I’ve published one of those photo posts. You know, the “I’m too lazy to write but look at the cool pictures” kind of post? Well, here’s one. Last weekend me and the missus dropped our daughter at her sister’s and drove off to Antwerp for our annual Christmas market weekend getaway. We both have been there before, but a long-long time ago, so even though Antwerp is only a 100 km drive from Rotterdam, it was quite new to us. There are overwhelming similarities between the two cities – both are a major European harbour, of roughly the same size and with a long common history, having for a long time been part of the same country, and even the language is the same. But despite the many parallels between Rotterdam, our hometown, and Antwerp, we’ve really enjoyed exploring those subtle differences in culture and experience, that make cross-border travel in Europe so much fun. So without further due, here’s Antwerp:

We got SO lucky with the weather!

We got SO lucky with the weather!

A fanfare band playing on the Christmas market

A fanfare band playing on the Christmas market

There was also the regular Sunday market, under the roof of the Stadsschouwburg theatre

There was also the regular Sunday market, under the roof of the Stadsschouwburg theatre

Its not the Netherlands, but they do have an impressive array of bikes

Its not the Netherlands, but they do have an impressive array of bikes

Supreme view from our hotel window

Supreme view from our hotel window

Our stay in Antwerp, Hotel Banks was rather modern and neat in design

Our stay in Antwerp, Hotel Banks was rather modern and neat in design

Yes, leave it to the Jews to sell air (an exhibit from the ‘Sacred Places, Sacred Books’  at the MAS museum)

Yes, leave it to the Jews to sell air (an exhibit from the ‘Sacred Places, Sacred Books’ at the MAS museum)

The centre of Antwerp from the MAS rooftop

The centre of Antwerp from the MAS rooftop

A view of the harbour from the MAS rooftop

A view of the harbour from the MAS rooftop

Belgium is the absurdity capital of Europe, no one is even surprised by having a 9 1/2 th floor here

Belgium is the absurdity capital of Europe, no one is even surprised by having a 9 1/2 th floor here

Liquors are THE Christmas market drink in Antwerp

Liquors are THE Christmas market drink in Antwerp

I can warmly recommend Antwerp and in particular the following places:

  • Hotel Banks – not the cheapest one around, but with excellent facilities and services, including a free bar at the evenings!
  • Daily Roast – excellent coffee.
  • The MAS – Museum Aan de Stroom – a spectacular building with a fascinating variety of exhibitions.
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