“Vintage-chic suites and apartments for 2-4, overlooking Vrijdagmarkt and its Friday flea market in central Antwerp”
If you want more space and freedom than you’ll find in Antwerp’s super-styled boutique hotels, the feel of living in the city on a square where everybody knows everybody else and gossip thrives in the café on the corner, this is just the ticket. Each apartment has 2 double bedrooms and the suites sleep 2. All are a great base for exploring the city.
- Great central yet quiet location, close to the Fashion District
- Fun flea-market styling and lots of living space
- Modern marble bathrooms, with tubs, showers, toiletries and bathrobes
- The details are fun: perhaps a vinyl record player and eclectic records or shelves of Wallpaper* guides (carefully annotated by Karen) and pink-haired trolls under bell jars
- Very Antwerp, and good value for the location
- Please note that these apartments and suites are new, and we have not yet visited them. Our original review was written about Karin's old apartments, which we stayed in and loved, and Karin promises us these new ones are similar but bigger. The photos are new
- No free parking nearby
- There's no elevator in the building, but there is a comfortable staircase
- Children under 12 aren't allowed as noise carries easily; the apartments are a great base for families with teenagers, though
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Suites & Apartments
- 2 suites and 2 apartments for 2-4
- Restaurants nearby; the apartments are self-catering
- Ages 12+ only
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Bicycles Available
There are 2 apartments for 2-4 - one on the first floor, one on the third - and 2 suites for 2 (both on the second floor). In all of them, you can expect quirky, retro decor details: a small wooden sledge used as a clothes hanger; a shining Alessi lemon squeezer on a shelf; annotated Wallpaper* guides where the owner has deleted old institutions and added her own personal favourites; a large cowskin hide; wild, pink-haired trolls under bell jars. These are things that you will love or hate; I’m proud to declare myself as a lover, not a hater.
In the apartments, you get a large, airy living area with a TV, DVD player and iPod dock, opening into the kitchen, which has a table and chairs and all mod cons. There are 2 double bedrooms (in the 3rd floor apartment, one can be set up with separate beds), and one brown marble bathroom with a tub and shower, plus a separate WC.
The 2 suites have the same level of comfort and style, but about half the space, with an integrated sitting area, and no kitchen. Bathrooms come with powerful rain showers and Molton Brown products.
In all but the cheapest suite, you'll find large windows which let the light flood through, with a view of the square and the floodlit Plantin & Moretus museum at night.
- Central heating
- DVD player
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
The apartments have full kitchens with a hob, oven, sink, kettle, coffee machine and stylish retro-chic cups and saucers. They are well-equipped if you’re planning on staying for a week or even longer, and basic ingredients are provided in a welcome hamper (oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, coffee, teabags). For groceries, there are a couple of supermarkets an easy walk from the square.
If you're staying in a suite (which share a basic kitchenette, not suitable for cooking) or want to eat out, there are numerous places to choose. Karin recommends Roscam, the small café in the square, and otherwise you can take your pick from cones of chips covered with thick mayonnaise in the Groenplaats nearby, to fine Italian dining at Renaissance on Nationalestraat.
Foodie adventures abound in the city, whether you want to eat at a designer location like MAS (the Museum an der Stroom, the city’s finest modern art gallery), or at hipster cafés in the Zuid district. A particularly interesting place to dine is the home restaurant Carrods, where the owner opens her doors to all comers for a fixed rate. Book in advance.
- Restaurants nearby
- Welcome hamper in the apartments
- Flex your Amex: Antwerp has great shopping (design, interiors, books, art and fashion) and the apartments are close to the Fashion District. Diane Von Furstenberg, Dries Van Noten, Anna Heylen and Paul Smith are all nearby
- Explore the city’s glittering past at the Diamond Museum. Sure, it’s a bit touristy, but the displays of diamonds are amazing
- Don't miss the open-air Middleheim museum, a fantastic contemporary sculpture park just outside the city with bespoke pieces from luminaries like Ai Weiwei
- MuKHA, in the Zuid district, is a modern art mecca and contains works from the 1970s and beyond
- MAS (the Museum an der Stroom) is very popular, an extraordinary building with a collection of modern art, mixed with a story of the city and its port. There is a lovely café, too
- Indulge in Belgium's classic gourmet delights: buy frites with mayo at Groenplaats, wander on for waffles, then treat yourself to a beautiful box of chocolates from one of Antwerp's many chocolatiers
- Visit Rubens' House: the painter’s former residence has been turned into a museum of his life
- Hire a bike on the street and head to Grote Markt to see the gold-tipped merchant houses and the famous town hall
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
Children aged 12+ are welcome and this would be a good place for families with teenagers.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Each apartment sleeps 2-4 in 2 bedrooms. There are no particular amenities beyond the kitchen, though.
The apartments are set on Vrijdagmarkt, just off Nationalestraat close to the Fashion District of Antwerp, in northern Belgium. The best way to get here is by train and taxi.
Antwerp is the closest airport. It's a small international hub but very convenient, only 10km from the apartments. Alternatively, Brussels is a big international hub with regular daily flights from cities across the UK and Europe, and international arrivals from around the world (sometimes routed via Amsterdam, Paris or London). It is a 25-minute drive from here to Antwerp via the ring road. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
A taxi from Antwerp airport cost €15 in 2012. From Brussels it's around €70. It's an easy drive if you want to hire a car.
The best way to reach Antwerp is by train from Europe, or via the Eurostar from London (change in Brussels); Central Station is the nearest one. If travelling from the UK by Eurostar, rail travel around Belgium is often included in the price. The station is about half an hour away on foot, less by taxi or tram.
We recommend a car if you’re planning to explore Belgium; you don’t need one if you’re just coming to Antwerp for a short break. If you want to hire a car, see our car rental recommendations. Once you reach the city, beware of cyclists and trams. There is a large car park behind Nationalestraat which is the most convenient for the apartments, charged per day, or alternatively you could park on the road in a metered space.
Antwerp is navigable on foot, preferable if you want to browse interiors and clothes shops and stop for frequent cups of coffee. The Villo system where you hire bikes by the hour is also popular here - it’s a good way to see the city - or you can easily jump on a tram or bus.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Belgium and getting around
- Antwerp 10.0 km ANR
- Brussels International 44.0 km BRU
- Beach 100.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km