Ideal For A Between Trains Beer - Three Times!
On this trip, late October 2013, I was simply changing trains here at Antwerpen Central on the way from Oostende to the Hoek van Holland for my overnight ferry. I was in no particular rush and so stopped off for what turned out to be an excellent noodle lunch at Bai Wei in the city's Chinatown which is just across the square from the railway station.
After lunch I still had about 40 minutes before my train onwards to Roosendaal which wasn't really enough time to do anything too constructive - I get distracted too easily and lose track of time. So I was forced to search out a suitable bar for a quick beer.
Pub Breda, on a side street just off the square in front of the station, looked ideal for the task. And so it proved.
Despite being close to the station this is very much a locals pub but perfectly welcoming and with a pleasant laid-back buzz. It's also the cheapest bar I've found in Antwerp so far at 1.85 euros for a beer.
I duly ordered and sat outside to watch the world go by for the twenty minutes, or so, I had to spare - I might have had a cigarette or two as well.
Having finished my beer I popped my glass back to the bar, thanked the rather attractive blond barmaid (or maybe landlady) and bade my farewells. I was still well ahead of the game, with about ten minutes before my train departure but when I got to the main hall the noticeboard was showing my train as delayed by 30 minutes. It was after the weekend of heavy storms and I'd known that maybe there would be delays and so I wasn't too fussed. That was me back where I'd started after finishing lunch. So what's a guy to do?
Yep! Back to Breda (the pub that is not the town) where I got a raised eyebrow from the barmaid. "Late train." I explained, with my best Belgian shrug.
Second beer duly enjoyed, empty glass returned, another fare-thee-well and back to the station, once again with what I thought was ten minutes to spare. Not to be. The electronic board is now informing me that the train is running 20 minutes late - which meant it was departing NOW!
I don't rush unless I have to but if I'd made an extra ten seconds going down the escalators I could've caught it - the doors literally closed in front of my face as I arrived on the platform.
Such is life. Checking the time for the next train it's shown as running on schedule. That meant I had another 40 minutes to hang - HA! Getting back to pub I was greeted like a regular.
"The train, he is gone!" Which brought laughs all round as I did my best bird-flying-away hand-gesture.
"One more beer?"
"I suppose so." As if someone was twisting my arm painfully behind my back.
Third beer enjoyed with a little banter with the locals out on the terrace. Upon my returning my glass the barmaid looked at her watch and asked, "Will we see you again soon?"
"If you do, I'll be looking for a room for the night...?" A question I sort-of-jokingly left hanging.
Back to the station and booger. The next train to Roosendaal is departing on time, platform 21 and I've got almost ten minutes to navigate the 30 second journey down the escalators.
I was very tempted to just miss it...Related to:
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
Taxi to the airport.
If your staying in 'Antwerp' and you need to get
to 'Brussels national airport' - the one that is
really in Brussels , Zaventem and not Brussels
south Charleroi , then you got a lot of options during
daytime. The train for instance or the zaventem
bus that stops on the 'dekeyserlei'.
BUT if your airplane leaves early...what do you
do then. When a charter leaves at 6 you need
to be in the airport at 4 in the morning.
We considered taking one of those airport
hotels...but that was quit expensive.
The best sollution we found is ordering a
taxi. We found ANTWERP-TAX. that has a
steady price , even during nighttime.
For 55 euro they'll pick you up in Antwerp city
and bring you in about 45 minutes to the
airport. (price march 2005).
If you call them please let them advice you on
how long it takes. We ordered a couple of
days in advance and the taxidriver was
perfect in time.
THEIR WEBSITE AND NUMBER CAN BE FOUND HERE!
03 238 38 38
Usa a taxi
When you're in Antwerp and (for any reason) you prefer not to take the public transport (which is unavailable anyway between 01:00 and 05:00), you can consider taking a taxi. You'll find out that most professional taxi-companies have cortious drivers that know their way around.
Taxi's have tow tarifs: 'I' is for in the city, 'II' is for outside town. (the second one will charge you double, as the price to drive back to the city is included as well.)Make sure that, when travelling in the city-centre, the fare is 'I'
public transport in the old days
In the old days the tram was cruising through Antwerp. For the people waiting for the tram there were shelters to keep dry. This is the oldest waiting shelter in Antwerp. In 1906, the first one was placed in the streets of Antwerp.
'De konijnenpijp' is the word the
Antwerpenaars use for the 'waaslandtunnel'.
This tunnel was innaugurated by royal
presence in 1933 and was the first
connection with the left bank by car. In that
time this small tube was quit enough for the
transport .'konijnenpijp' is the dutch word for
Therefor I'm also proud to tell you that
Antwerp had the first daily file , traffic jam in
Belgium at this historical place...
Nowadays the Kennedy-tunnel is much
larger and was build to take over the function
of the 'konijnenpijp' and it did. The Kennedy
tunnel is now a daily news issue for it's traffic
There is quit a lot public transport in Antwerp.
One problem...the last busses and trams
drive before 1 o'clock. (except a few night
You can find two 'taxi' standing spaces. One
is near the central station and the other is in
front of the postoffice at the 'groenplaats'.
It is quit expensive and even more expensive
BY TRAIN, PLANE, VAR, COACH, BIKE.....
By train, plane, car, coach, bike, boat or....walking, it all depends on where you are from....
For me it is easy, it is only 1 hr's drive from Middelburg in The Netherlands to Antwerp in Belgium;I often go there and feel at home there also because they speak mu Language, Dutch, because till 1843 they were part of the Netherlands......
rent a car, a bike or a boat....take the train....Public transport is reliable, frequent and punctual!
You will enjoy it all......
Your personal chauffeur
Several taxi companies are at your disposal to make sure you'll have a nice stay in Antwerp and will be able to enjoy its many many bars , pubs and restaurants without having to be concerned about your promillage. On the site : (English version) > practical > getting around
You can also take a 'Flandria' boat trip.
There are various possibilities. During an 1 hour trip on the River Scheldt, you have a beautiful view of the city and the river. A visit to the gigantic port area (approx. 2 1/2 hrs) takes you right into the docks where ships are loaded and unloaded. Evening trips with meals are nice if you like to watch the many lights of the harbour (approx. 3 hours).
Information is available from the little boat-shaped Flandria building on the Steenplein.
Ways of going around the city ...
The best way to do some sight-seeing in Antwerp is on foot. A nice walk is from the central station to the Scheldt. First you pass the big shopping street and before you stop at the Scheldt (or fall in) you can walk around in the old city.
You better don't come by car, because it's difficult to find parking space and the parking lots are expensive.
Another nice way to have a look at the old city is by horse and carriage (starting point at Market Square).
Of course it's no problem to take a bus, tram or pre-metro. Taxi's are expensive.
The local 'Deurne' airport is only 5 km from the city centre and has flights from various European cities. The national airport at Zaventem (Brussels) is barely 50 km away and has a direct bus line to Antwerp which takes virtually no time at all.
From Holland you can take a...
From Holland you can take a train from Roosendaal (Holland) to Antwerp.Takes about 35/40 minutes.If you can prove you're under 25 you can get a discount (about 40%).
Don't forget to ask before buying tickets.
From Brussels there's loads a trains as well. Takes about the same time as Holland-Antwerp.
There's also a bus that goes from train station Breda (Holland) directly to city centre Antwerp (1 hour trip).If you fly into Brussels, there's the airport express from Zavemtem (Brussels Airport) to the treinstation in Antwerp. Takes about 45 minutes, cost only 300 belgian francs(single fare).
Best way is either by tram (really cheap) or just walk.
When you come from outside...
When you come from outside Belgium you can use the airplane. There is a (little) airport in the neigboorhood of Antwerp. You can also use the Thalys (the line Brussel-Amsterdam). When you come from for instance Brussels you can go by train, but you have to know that there are big modernisation works in Antwerp's central station like you can see on the picture).
The best way to travel to...
The best way to travel to Antwerp is by train. There are regular international trains passing here (from Amsterdam, Londen, Brussels, Paris...). If you are travelling by car, please notice that parking space is rare and expensive. Our new parking guidance system will lead you to the parking spaces.
Antwerp isn't that big, so you can explore it on foot. Do not take a taxi, they are to expensive. Take the metro or bus instead...
All through Antwerp you can...
All through Antwerp you can use the tram.
These ecological friendly transport takes you to the surrounding cities and communities.
Some of the trams drive on the surface but descent into the Pré-metro when entering the city.
The trams on this pictures are both driving from Mortsel to Antwerp.
Number 15 goes into the Pré-metro.
While his stop is now in Mortsel, within a few years it will be driving through this city and have its final stop at Boechout.
Pity it doesn't go to Lier already.
In the meantime you can take a bus going to Lier (295)
You can pay when you get up, but that is more expensive then when you by a ticket in a local store or in one of the automats in the pré-metro stations.
However, the moment you travel with 3 people or more, it is less expensive if you pay for a group then to use a ticketcard.
Kids under 12 travel free and Belgian seniors as well, they have a special card.
If you need to pay and you don't, you can risk a high penalty.
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