Best Museums in Antwerp

The most interesting museums in Antwerp to visit

Antwerp is considered by tourists to be the unofficial cultural capital of Belgium. Unlike business Brussels, many museums, historical and natural attractions are concentrated here. Before planning a trip, it is recommended to study them: location, description, operating modes, entrance ticket price. So you can visit the truly interesting sights of Antwerp and its suburbs.

Overview of Antwerp Museums

The economic and cultural historical development has left its mark on the museums of the city. There are unique collections of paintings, sculptures, other types of modern and classical art. Most of the museums in Antwerp are located in different parts of the city, which makes them difficult to visit. To solve this problem, we offer you a description of the most interesting and significant collections.

Plantin-Moretus Museum

In the 14th century, the city became the ancestor of industrial printing. The first printing company appeared in 1555, and consisted of 16 printing presses, which made it possible to produce not only Bibles, but also secular literature. Well-known customers of the printed edition are JustLipsius, Peter Paul Rubens, Simon Steven. The peculiarity of this historical landmark of Antwerp is the industrial printing of literature, art and visual works of that time.

Plantin-Moretus Museum

After the decline in 1876, the building of the Antwerp printing house was sold to the city government along with all the equipment and machines. And almost immediately, a year later, the Plantin-Moretus Museum opens. It existed in its original form until 1944, when part of the building was destroyed as a result of a German missile hit.

Interesting facts about Antwerp Printing Museum:

  • It is located in the city center, on the Freidachmarkt square. This is a three-story house, which is visible from all sides of the square.
  • Inside you can see a collection of printing presses, books, a collection of fonts, about 600 manuscripts and other interesting exhibits. A separate exposition is occupied by paintings by Rubens.
  • The museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00. The day off is Monday.
  • The cost of the entrance ticket is from 6 Euro.

You can get to this Antwerp attraction by buses number 34, 291 or 295 to the Antwerpen stop Sint-Jansvliet. Tram tracks lead to the museum; to use this type of public transport, you need to take tram number 3, 5, 9 or 15. Landmark – stop Antwerpen Premetrostation Groenplaats. The alternative is to walk or drive your own or rented car. But in the latter case, you will have to look for a parking space for a long time.

M.A.S. Museum

A typical example of a modern approach to creating a new concept of museum work is the MAS Museum, or Museumaande Stroom. It was built on the site of an old Hanseatic house, which belonged to German merchants. However, since the 17th century, the building began to be used as a military barracks, and in 1893 it was badly damaged due to a large-scale fire. Therefore, in 1999, the city government created a competition for the construction of a new landmark of Antwerp – the Museum of Shipping and Arts.

M.A.S. Museum


The winner was the project of the architectural bureau Neutelings Riedijk. The peculiarity of the building concept was the materials used and the architecture. The facade is made of red sandstone, which was brought from India. In the central part there is a large screw tower. There are several closed spiral staircases on the facade. The main expositions are located in the spacious halls of the Antwerp River Museum. For decoration, household items of fishermen and merchants were used – gear, nets. But the main feature is the image of the hand of the national Belgian hero – Sylvius Brabo.

Things to know before visiting Museumaande Stroom:

  • Due to the peculiarities of the architecture, natural light is only available on the spiral staircase.
  • The outside staircase functions as an observation deck even when this Antwerp museum is closed.
  • The city embankment is located next to the building. This makes it possible to combine a walk with a visit to the sights of the city.
  • Before viewing the expositions, it is recommended to take an information brochure to familiarize yourself with the funds.

This landmark of Antwerp contains fine art objects, relics related to the development of river and sea shipping. The collection is replenished at the expense of public and private funds. There are many archaeological finds – jewelry, utensils, crafts.

Rocox Museum

One of the first creators of an art museum in Antwerp was Mayor Nicolas Rocox. He lived in the city from 1560 to 1640. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, he bought 2 houses located on the Kaiserstraat. After significant architectural changes, they were combined into one building. Nicholas Rocox collected a large collection of works of art, furniture, statues. However, after his death, he left no heirs, as a result of which the future Rokox Museum in Antwerp would be sold to Franz van Simpelwerth.

Rocox Museum


The new owner of the mansion made a restoration of the facade, restoring the unique Renaissance style. Since then, a memorable date of completion of work has remained on the building – 1715. Already in the 20th century, the building was renovated – several galleries and new expositions appeared. In 1970, the architectural landmark was acquired by Kreditbank. His leadership initiated the creation of the Rocox Museum in Antwerp.

Interesting facts about the attraction:

  • The main exposition touches on the history of the city XVII
  • The collections of the Antwerp Museum include paintings by Rubens, Joachim Patinir and other European artists.
  • The layout of the building is ordinary, residential, which creates home comfort while watching.
  • The opening took place relatively recently, in 1977.

The collection of paintings and other works of art in the Rocox Museum is small. 1.5-2 hours is enough to view all the expositions. But if you are a true connoisseur of the history of art of the 17th century, you can come here more than once to really get to know the features of each painting by famous authors.

Red Star Line – Migration Museum

Antwerp is one of the oldest port cities in Europe. It was through these sea gates that a large wave of emigration to the New World – North America – passed in 19-20. Various shipping companies offered passenger transportation services, but the largest company was Red Star Line, which still exists. Paying tribute to its past, the company’s management decided in 2013 to open an emigration museum in Antwerp.

Red Star Line – Migration Museum


In the collection you can see the personal belongings of emigrants of those times – clothes, shoes, household items. A separate exposition is photographs of emigrants. Here are collected photographs from different eras, which allows you to see how European emigration has changed. Banks and bottles with ointments, perfumes, paints are especially popular. In some, the specific smell that the ships of those times were impregnated with has been preserved.

In one of the halls of the RedStarLine emigration museum in Antwerp, enthusiasts collected family archives of people who moved to the USA from Europe on the steamships of this company. This will make it possible to form an objective opinion about the people of that era, their aspirations and hopes.

Rubens Museum

Rubens’ name is inextricably linked with Antwerp, his birthplace and the city in which he created most of his masterpieces. One of them was a house that was built according to the design of the Master in 1630. The peculiarity of the future Antwerp Museum lies in its unique architecture. At the time of construction, it attracted the attention of not only visitors, but also local residents.

Rubens Museum

Things to know before visiting the Rubens house:

  • The official address is Wapper 9-11, 2000 Antwerpen.
  • Opening hours – from 9:00 to 17:00, day off on Monday.
  • The cost of visiting is from 10 Euro. You can order group or individual tours.
  • To familiarize yourself with the expositions and the collection of works, it is recommended to purchase an information brochure.

The Rubens Museum in Antwerp opened relatively recently, in 1946. Prior to this, the building was restored, the foundations for future collections of paintings, expositions describing the life of the artist were created. Now the museum is a branch of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

Diamond Museum

For more than 500 years, Antwerp has been a center for the evaluation and sale of rough and polished diamonds. More than 50% of the world turnover of these precious stones passes through the city’s exchanges and private companies. Therefore, the opening of the Diamond Museum in Antwerp was a matter of time. The first visitors saw the world of diamonds in May 2018. In addition to precious stones, here you can see unique jewelry akin to works of art. Each collection is accompanied by a description of the history of a particular product or stone, which allows you to take a fresh look at it.

Diamond Museum

The main halls of the DIVA Diamond Museum in Antwerp:

  • Here is the history of the jewelry past of the city. Diamonds instruct standard precious metals – gold, silver, platinum. There are unique products made of stone, minerals and even coconut shells.
  • In this exposition you can get acquainted with the processes of processing silver, platinum, gold. In addition to standard technologies, unique ancient and modern ways of creating jewelry are described.
  • International Trade Would you like to learn more about the Antwerp diamond and gem trade? Visit the International Trade Room, where you can find ancient agreements on the sale and purchase of diamonds, systems for assessing their value.
  • Dining Room. Cutlery occupies a special place in the collection of this Antwerp museum. Unique forks, spoons, plates and glasses encrusted with precious stones will make you feel like you’re at a royal reception.

The expositions are located at DIVA, Antwerp home of Diamonds – Suikerrui 17-19, 2000, the building is located near the Grote Markt, in the city center. The entrance ticket costs from 7 Euro for children and from 10 Euro for adults. The museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00, closed on Wednesday. You can get to it by public transport or walk if you have settled in a hotel in the city center.

Van Art Museum den Berg

In the middle of the 19th century, the famous Belgian collector of antiques and works of art lived in Antwerp – Mayer van den Berg. She did not initiate the creation of the museum in Antwerp, his mother, Henriette, did this after the death of her son. After 3 years, a new building in the Gothic style was opened in the city, which housed the main pearls of the Mayer van collection. den Berg. In the collection you can see the works of masters from Belgium, Germany, Flanders.

Van Art Museum den Berg

What is recommended to see in the museum:

  • Artwork by Pieter Breigl the Elder. These are the most famous paintings – “Twelve Proverbs” and “Crazy Greta”.
  • Abstract, which was created for the Portuguese living in the 15th century in Antwerp. It includes 1412 pages of illustrations.
  • Icons dedicated to Christmas, Resurrection and Saint Christopher.

The building is located in the city center and can be easily distinguished from other houses in Antwerp by its Gothic style. The museum is open from 9:00 to 18:00, closed on Mondays. Despite the interesting collection of artworks, it has one drawback – the expositions are almost never updated.