ANTWERP ANTWERPEN, ANVERS

ANTWERP (ANTWERPEN, ANVERS)

Don’t even bother asking for a menu at Taverne Koekoek O, Langestr. 38-40, because they only do one thing: perfectly spiced, divine rotisserie chicken. (Half- chicken 4.90. Open 24hr.)

Home to the Golden Age master painter Rubens, Antwerp (pop. 450,000) is dis tinctly cosmopolitan. Its main street, the Meir, showcases trendy clothing, dia mond jewelry, and delectable chocolate.

TRANSPORTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Trains go from Berchem Station to: Amsterdam (2hr. 24); Brussels (lhr. 6); and Rotterdam (lhr. 16). To get from Berchem station to the tourist office, Grote Markt 15, take tram #8 (all trams 1) to Groenplaats. ( 232 01 03; www.visitantwerpen.be. Open M-Sa 9am-6pm, Su 9am-5pm). Postal Code: 2000.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND FOOD. To get to Bed & Breakfast 26, Pel- grimsstr. 26, from Groenpl. take Reyndersstr. away from Hilton, and turn right onto Pelgirmsstr.; it’s the third building on left. Beautiful rooms, appealing showers, and a personable owner. (42 83 69. M: Groenpl. Breakfast included.

Reserve in advance. Singles 25, with private bath 35; doubles 5060.) The New International Youth Hotel and Hostel 0, Provinciestr. 256, is a 15min. walk from the train station, on the comer of De Boeystr. and Provinciestr. Or, take tram #2 or 15 to Plantin, follow Plantin de Moretus under the bridge, and turn right on Baron Joostensstr. left on Van Den Nestlei, and right on De Boeystr.

Rooms are clean and carpeted, ( 230 05 22. Breakfast included. Sheets 3.50.

No lockout. Dorms 14; singles 29; doubles 44-55; quads 71-85.) To get to the conveniently located Scoutel O, Stoomstr. 3, from Centraal station, turn left on Pelikaanstr. take first left under bridge; once through, the entrance is on the right. ( 226 46 06; www.wksm.be. Breakfast and sheets included. Reception daily 8am-7pm. Singles 27, under-26 25; doubles 4439; quads 7162.) Far ther from the center is ieugdherberg Op-Sinjoorke (HI) 0, Eric Sasselaan 2. From Groenplaats, take tram #2 (dir.: Hoboken) to Bouwcentrum. From the tram stop, walk toward the fountain, take a left, and follow the yellow signs. ( 238 02 73; www.vjh.be. Breakfast included. Reception 7am-10am, 4pm-midnight. Lock out 10am-4pm. Dorms 13; doubles 18. Nonmembers add 3.) You can camp near the Jeugdherberg Op-Sinjoorke at the well-kept Sted. Kamp Vogelzangan O.

Follow the directions above to Bouwcentrum-, when you get off the tram, walk away from the fountain, and take the first left; the campground is on the left. i (Max. stay 28 days. Open Apr.-Sept. 3. 2.50 per person, 1 per car; 1.25 per I tent. Electricity 2.50. No credit cards.) The Grote Markt and Groenplaats are sur- rounded by numerous restaurants. Suikerrui, off Grote Markt, is the street for BjjjH those seeking seafood. For hearty pizza (4.50-10) and friendly, multilingual ser- BJ9 Vj vice just off Groenpl. visit Pizzeria Ristorante Da Giovanni 0. Jan Blomstr. 8. ;-K’\

(Open daily llam-lam. 20% student discount.) Spaghettiworld , Oude Koorn- markt 3, has funky decor and a large selection of large, inexpensive pasta dishes.

(Pasta 7-12. Open Su 4-1 lpm, Tu-F 7am-llpm. Sa noon-1 lpm.) The GB super- I market is off Groenpl. (Open M-Th and Sa 8:30am-8pm. F 8:30am-9pm.)

SIGHTS AND NIGHTLIFE OF ANTWERP

Many ofAntweip’s best sights are free. Its main I street, the Meir, is great for window shopping. In the city’s historic center, the Cathedral of Our Lady, Groenpl. 21, boasts a magnificent Gothic tower and Rubens’s Descent from the Cross. (Open M-F 10am-5pm, Sa 10am-3pm, Su l-4pm. 2.)

Nearby, the dignified Renaissance Stadhuis (City Hall) is well worth visiting.

(Tours by request only s 220 80 20. 0.75.) Take tram #11 to see the fanciful and eclectic Golden Age mansions lining the Cogels Osylei.

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