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Grote Markt

Spend an hour or two people watching beneath 16th-century buildings in Antwerp’s cultural heart.

Take a seat in a cafe along the Grote Markt and enjoy a rich hot chocolate or a cool Belgian beer as you watch the comings and goings of Antwerp’s historical center. The  city’s main square is surrounded by 16th-century architecture, with the impressive Brabo Fountain at its heart. Locals come to enjoy the many cafes, shops and restaurants that line the square. 

The City Hall dominates the western side of the Grote Markt. It was built in 1565 and remains a fine example of Renaissance architecture, with elements of both Flemish and Italian style. Note the red brick arches of the ground floor, which were once filled with dozens of small shops. Above this, two rows of Ionic columns give the building a more Roman feel.

In the center of the square is the towering green statue of Brabo, Antwerp’s most famous mythical figure. It is said that Brabo slayed the giant who charged excessive tolls to those wanting to enter the city by water. The statue depicts him throwing the giant’s hand into the river Scheldte. 

Surrounding the square are the attractive Guild Houses, which date back to the early 16th century. The original houses were destroyed by fire. The buildings you see today are the result of a 19th-century renovation, which explains the lavish decorations on the facades. Look for the golden statues on the roofs of several of the houses. 

Stop for a tasting in a boutique chocolate shop or enjoy a lunch of mussels washed down with an artisan beer. As the sun goes down and the buildings are lit up, the square takes on a romantic feel, perfect for a stroll or an intimate meal. 

Those visiting in December can browse for presents or souvenirs at the annual Christmas markets. Winter also sees the installation of an ice rink in the square. Rent a pair of skates and glide beneath the many shuttered windows of some of the town’s oldest buildings. 

The square is open all year. It’s within walking distance of many of Antwerp’s major attractions. There’s no fee to enter.


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Best Lodging Options Near Antwerp Market Square

See all 251 Properties near Antwerp Market Square
Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp ¥11,095
Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp

Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp

Koningin Astridplein 7, Antwerp
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Statiekwartier, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Queen Elizabeth Hall, Queen Astrid Square, and De Keyserlei. Antwerp Zoo and Flemish Opera are also within 10 minutes. Antwerp Central Station is only a 2-minute walk and Antwerpen East Station is 25 minutes.

    Hampton by Hilton Antwerp Central Station ¥10,159
    Hampton by Hilton Antwerp Central Station

    Hampton by Hilton Antwerp Central Station

    Pelikaanstraat 10-16, Antwerp, BE
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Statiekwartier, this hotel is steps from De Keyserlei, Century Center, and Queen Astrid Square. Antwerp Zoo and Queen Elizabeth Hall are also within 5 minutes. Antwerp Central Station is only a 2-minute walk and Antwerpen East Station is 24 minutes.

      Hilton Antwerp Old Town ¥13,471
      Hilton Antwerp Old Town

      Hilton Antwerp Old Town

      Groenplaats 32, Antwerp
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Historisch centrum, this hotel is steps from Green Square, Farmers' Tower, and Cathedral of Our Lady. Antwerp Market Square and Plantin-Moretus Museum are also within 10 minutes. Antwerp Central Station is 19 minutes by foot.

        Century Hotel Antwerpen ¥5,146
        Century Hotel Antwerpen

        Century Hotel Antwerpen

        Pelikaanstraat 20, Antwerp
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Statiekwartier, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Antwerp Zoo and Rubens House. Cathedral of Our Lady and Antwerp Market Square are also within 1 mi (2 km). Antwerp Central Station is only a 2-minute walk and Antwerpen East Station is 24 minutes.

          PREMIER SUITES PLUS Antwerp ¥10,159
          PREMIER SUITES PLUS Antwerp

          PREMIER SUITES PLUS Antwerp

          Appelmansstraat 25/31, Antwerp, Antwerp
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Antwerp, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of De Keyserlei and Antwerp Zoo. Rubens House and Museum Mayer van den Bergh are also within 1 mi (2 km). Antwerp Central Station is 5 minutes by foot and Antwerpen East Station is 26 minutes.

            Hotel Rubens - Grote Markt ¥15,279
            Hotel Rubens - Grote Markt

            Hotel Rubens - Grote Markt

            Oude Beurs 29, Antwerp
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Historisch centrum, this hotel is steps from Antwerp Market Square, Butcher's Hall, and Cathedral of Our Lady. Antwerp City Hall and Red Light District Antwerp are also within 5 minutes. Antwerp Central Station is 18 minutes by foot.

              Leopold Hotel Antwerp ¥8,543
              Leopold Hotel Antwerp

              Leopold Hotel Antwerp

              Quinten Matsijslei 25, Antwerp
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Antwerp, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Antwerp City Park, Rubens House, and Antwerp Zoo. Museum Mayer van den Bergh and ModeMuseum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Antwerp Central Station is 11 minutes by foot and Antwerpen East Station is 23 minutes.

                Banks ¥10,034
                Banks

                Banks

                Steenhouwersvest 55, Antwerp
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Historisch centrum, this hotel is steps from Antwerp Flea Market, Plantin-Moretus Museum, and ModeMuseum. Cathedral of Our Lady and Antwerp Market Square are also within 10 minutes. Antwerp Central Station is 21 minutes by foot and Antwerp-South Station is 29 minutes.