Old, brown, or historical pubs and taverns, Antwerp
Quinten Matsijs is the oldest bar at Antwerp. The history of the bar dates back to 1565.
It's a coming and going of many tourist here, so have a "Bolleke" or any other drink and explore some more bars.
Dress Code: As you are.
Muze is situated in the heart of the tourist section of Antwerp but also attracts local clientele. While trying to find a seat for my girlfriend and myself I had to go to the bar on the top floor. Aside from a few locals the bar was empty. While asking these people to excuse us so that we may walk past them to take a seat, they ignored our request and pretended we weren't there. When we did attempt to get past them, we were accosted and abused. We were told they would let us pass them when and if they felt like it. They said tourists were not welcome here and they continued to berate and insult us.
The bar staff just stood by watched and did nothing.
We left totally shocked at the treatment
Dress Code: No dress code
Never mind nightlife - Oude Arsenaal is open all afternoon too. A nice friendly family run pub, serving excellent beers. Ask for advice if you're not sure which of the beers will suit you - be adventurous with the gueuze and lambic, or stay safe with some of the wheat beers. Oude Arsenaal isn't far from the Rubenshuis, so once you're sick of the art, come here to relax.
Kulminator is a classic beer café, with a choice of hundreds of beers, often available from various different years. Anyone wishing to get to know Belgian beer will surely be satisfied here. And people who think they don't like beer will be proven wrong if only they're willing to be. I was surprised to see them have Westvleteren 12, probably the most exclusive beer in the world and hardly obtainable ever since an American website elected it best beer in the world. Of course this delicasy doesn't come cheap, but on the whole beers are very reasonably priced. Only; the older the more expensive.
Since it's a little (and a little only) outside the touristic part of the city the place attracts locals and beerlovers only, no bands of British or Dutch drunkards looking for trouble. In the afternoon, which is when I visited, it was a quiet, cosy place, I don't know what it's like at nights. I wasn't too crazy about the classical music in the background, but at least it makes a conversation possible. Closed on Sundays and holidays.
This Irish pub kinda sets the standard for its kind. It's one of my most favorite places to visit in Antwerp. If it isn't for a pint of Kilkenny, then it's for writing some stuff for my books. The interior and the very atmosphere it breathes, it very inspirational. There was even this time when I sat at a table with three other travellers, sharing our stories.
And there's one thing very true: It's incredibly easy to make contact with people here. Must be the flair of the pub itself. :)
Some of the servants speak English, others just Dutch. They are very polite and are more than welcome to help with with any questions about the city you have!
There might be one minor thing, which I (in my own opinion) can find annoying sometimes. Being so close to the border of the Netherlands, there really are a lot of Dutch people going out in this city. No probs there. But they can get very loud and wild after a few drinks. More than in the Dutch cities...
But, furthermore, it's a fantastic pub with an amazing atmosphere!
Dress Code: There ain't no particular dress code for the Celtic Ireland. Just casual, nothing special.
This is an excellent, big café / discotheque for the louder kind of music. Like metal, drum 'n bass, that kind of stuff. Most of the time there are a lot of friendly and social people around there. I mean, like neo-gothic people, or punks, or downright your every-day headbangers. It's all there.
They ask for a small fee at the entrance, and you pay your drinks with tickets, which can be bought at the same entrance.
Dress Code: There's no particular dress code for this metal-bar. I mean, if you would go out in a fuzzy yellow sweater, you'll be quite the eye-catcher there. Oh, and beware, there are blacklights there (if you catch my drift). :)
We came across this interesting old pub accidentally while searching out the St. Charles church. The weather was cold & damp and we were getting hungry. My daughter spotted this place on the way back toward the market. When we entered, it was like coming upon a medieval eatery. Little did we know then that it is the oldest pub in Antwerp. We had some excellent soup, bread and cheese croquettes. The service was excellent and the price was right. It was a very picturesque & had a cozy atmosphere. I read on here that it is quite a lively place at night. Unfortunately, we were not able to verify that!
Dress Code: Casual
(The 11th Commandment)
If you are in the neighbourhood of the cathedral and you want a drink, visit this pub. It has an extraordinary interior. It has an incredible collection of religious statues and icons of all sizes!
Dress Code: Casual
This is the second oldest pub in Antwerp.
It has a large terrace that is very popular with
the locals and a veranda with a huge tv where
people gather together to watch footbal and
But it is especially the inside that is weird.
Time really passes by. Probably the only new
thing here is the expresso machine , they
serve excellent coffee. :-). The local visitors
that can be found here are also not really
living in this century. Just the perfect place to
Have a look at the old floor , the wooden
panneling , the old chairs and tables...drink a
beer tapped from the barrel or order some
cheese as a snack....
Dageraadplaats is the name of the
square where this caf? is located. Here you
are far from the busy 'grote markt'
and 'groenplaats' where the busses with
ZEEZICHT means 'view on the sea' I don't
know how they came up with this name..but
there is absolutely no sea in the area. In
summertime and even when the last
glimpses of sunshine visit Antwerp you can
see a sea of people enjoying the terrace- the
largest in town I think.
The audience is a nice mixture of colors ,
ages and...a laid-back atmosphere.
Inside sit on the old tables and wooden
benches , wooden floors ....
Try the beer of the month , drink a genever
with passionfruit filled till the edge...
O and if you see somebody with a large
hippo , teddy , duck , ...it means the restaurant
upstairs is full (again) and they are waiting to
be picked up.
Dress Code: Whatever fits
My all-time favourite in Antwerp!!
Situated in a medieval cellar, this unique café makes you forget we're living in a modern world. When entering the place, you get a warm welcome: a real fireplace is the first thing that makes you feel at home here. Medieval music, candle-lit interior and appropriately dressed staff make the special atmosphere complete. Not only at night; even during the day, a stop at De Pelgrom is a nice break away from the bustle of the city.
Besides drinks they also serve toasted sandwiches and several snacks, and in the adjoining Restaurant De Groote Gans you can have dinner in style.
P.S.: Before you take the stairs down to the cellar, look left to see a beautiful trompe l'oeil wall painting!
Dress Code: Normal. It's dark down there anyway...
One of Antwerp's most peculiar places to have a drink or a meal is cafe "The 11th Commandement" (Thou shallt not pass by?...), in the shade of the city's cathedral, at the corner of Blauwmoezelstreet and Torfbrug. The cafe is adorned by numerous religious statuettes and murals, in all shapes and sizes. Upstairs is a space with several tables for quite dining , while downstairs the cafe is usually filled to capacity and sparkling with a congenial atmosphere.
Dress Code: No special dress code is required.
Het Elfde Gebod is Dutch for the eleventh commandment. If you go inside this pub you'll understand why they called it this way. There are religious statues and paintings everywhere. It's unique in Antwerp and probably also in Belgium. It's a great atmosphere for having a drink or two.
By the way the 11th commandemant is: Don't walk out of this pub while being sober.
During the VT meeting in february 2004 it was very cold outside. So we went into a pub as much as we could.
The Paeters Vaetje is located next to the cathedral. You can have a bite to eat here or just a drink.
The interior is somewhat special with an artdeco ornament behind the tap.
A very cosy, brown pub in the Zuid Area. People of all ages and social classes gather up here to have a drink. This place is gaining popularity but still has its simple character.
This bar is my favourite in Antwerp! During weekend, this place is open till 4-5AM and they never kick you out!
Open daily from 5PM
Dress Code: No dress code!