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Cycling in Antwerp: Discovering Belgium’s Historic Port City with Kids

By Monica Buck

Antwerp, Belgium’s vibrant port city, is a fantastic destination for cycling families. With its rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and impressive cycling infrastructure, Antwerp offers unique attractions and activities that make exploring the city by bike a delight.

Cycle along the Scheldt River promenade

The Scheldt River promenade offers a scenic and traffic-free cycling route along the water’s edge. Families can enjoy the fresh air and picturesque views of the river while riding past historic landmarks like the Steen Castle. The promenade is also home to several playgrounds and parks, making it a perfect route for families with young children.

Explore the Zoo Antwerpen

Zoo Antwerpen, located right in the heart of the city, is one of the oldest and most beautiful zoos in Europe. Families can easily cycle to the zoo and spend the day exploring its diverse animal exhibits and lush gardens. The zoo’s central location makes it a convenient stop on your cycling tour, and secure bike parking is available at the entrance.

Cycle through the vibrant Zurenborg district

Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Zurenborg. © Profimedia

The Zurenborg district is known for its stunning Art Nouveau and eclectic architecture. Families can enjoy a leisurely ride through the streets of this charming neighborhood, admiring the ornate facades and decorative details of the historic buildings. The district is also home to Dageraadplaats, a lively square with cafes and playgrounds, perfect for a family break.

Visit the Red Star Line Museum

The Red Star Line Museum offers a unique glimpse into Antwerp’s history as a departure point for European emigrants heading to America. Located in the old harbor district, the museum tells the stories of millions of people who passed through Antwerp in search of a better life. Families can cycle to the museum and explore its interactive exhibits, which are both educational and engaging for all ages.

Enjoy the tranquility of Middelheim Park

Middelheim Park is a unique open-air museum and sculpture park, offering a perfect blend of art and nature. Families can cycle through the park’s extensive paths, discovering contemporary sculptures and installations set amidst beautiful greenery. The park also features picnic areas and a playground, making it an ideal spot for a family outing.

Explore the Antwerp Central Station

Anntwerp Central station
The area around the station is also bustling with shops and cafes, providing plenty of options for a snack or a meal. © Profimedia

Antwerp Central Station is not just a transportation hub; it’s also an architectural masterpiece. Families can cycle to this stunning building, often referred to as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. Take some time to explore the station’s impressive interior and learn about its history. The area around the station is also bustling with shops and cafes, providing plenty of options for a snack or a meal.

Visit the Eilandje district

The Eilandje district, once a forgotten part of the city, has been revitalized into a trendy neighborhood with a maritime vibe. Families can cycle through the area, visiting attractions such as the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) and the Port House, a striking modern building designed by architect Zaha Hadid. The district’s docks and waterfront cafes offer plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Discover Antwerp’s hidden gems

For families looking to explore beyond the usual tourist spots, Antwerp offers plenty of hidden gems accessible by bike. Visit the Beguinage, a peaceful enclave with charming medieval houses and gardens. Cycle to the Lessius College, where you can admire the beautifully restored courtyard and historic architecture.

Antwerp’s combination of historical landmarks, cultural attractions, and family-friendly initiatives make it an ideal destination for a cycling adventure. So, hop on your bikes and embark on a memorable journey through this captivating Belgian city!