The 10 Best Museums in Antwerp

Antwerp, a city renowned for its diamond district and vibrant fashion scene, also boasts a treasure trove of cultural gems that often fly under the radar. Among these, the city’s museums stand out, offering a glimpse into both its glittering past and innovative present. Whether you’re a history buff, an art aficionado, or simply looking for an enriching way to spend the day, Antwerp’s museums cater to all.

One such institution is the Rubenshuis, the former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens, one of the most influential artists of the Baroque era. Walking through its rooms, you can’t help but feel a connection to the master himself, as if his creative spirit lingers in the air.

1. Rubenshuis: A Baroque Master’s Abode

Imagine stepping back into the 17th century, where grandeur meets creativity. The Rubenshuis is more than just a museum; it’s a journey into the life of Rubens. Here, original works by the master adorn the walls, and the lush garden offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city streets.

2. Museum Plantin-Moretus: A UNESCO Heritage Site

For those with a penchant for history, the Museum Plantin-Moretus is a must-visit. This UNESCO-listed site celebrates the world of printing and publishing. With its ancient presses and an impressive collection of manuscripts, it’s a bibliophile’s dream come true.

3. MAS: Museum Aan de Stroom

Overlooking the river, MAS stands tall as a beacon of modernity. Its exhibitions are as diverse as Antwerp itself, spanning from the city’s maritime history to contemporary art. The building’s design is a work of art in itself, with a rooftop offering panoramic views that will take your breath away.

4. Red Star Line Museum

Delve into the poignant tales of emigrants who journeyed to the New World aboard the Red Star Line. This museum tells a universal story of seeking better lives, a narrative that resonates with many even today. It’s a moving tribute to the human spirit’s resilience.

5. M HKA: Museum of Contemporary Art

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! M HKA is a hub for contemporary visual arts, film, and sculptures. With its finger on the pulse of the latest trends, it’s a place where you can witness the cutting edge of creativity.

6. Fashion Museum Antwerp (MoMu)

Fashionistas will be in their element at MoMu, where fashion is both history and innovation. The museum’s dynamic exhibitions showcase everything from avant-garde designers to the evolution of style.

7. Diamond Museum

Antwerp and diamonds are synonymous, and the Diamond Museum sparkles with tales of this precious stone. Discover the journey from mine to masterpiece, and even witness skilled artisans at work.

8. Museum Mayer van den Bergh

Step into the world of a collector extraordinaire at the Museum Mayer Van den Bergh. This intimate museum houses an eclectic mix of art and artifacts, reflecting the passion of its namesake.

9. The Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum

Located within the historic harbor district, this museum celebrates the work of Eugeen Van Mieghem, an artist who captured the essence of port life in the early 20th century. His poignant works offer a window into the soul of Antwerp.

10. The De Reede Museum

Art lovers with a taste for graphic works will find The De Reede Museum enthralling. Dedicated to engravings and drawings, it features masters like Goya, Munch, and Rops, ensuring a visually stunning experience.


  • What’s the best way to purchase tickets for these museums?
    Most museums in Antwerp offer online ticketing options, which I highly recommend for convenience and to avoid queues.
  • Are there any combined passes for multiple museums?
    Yes, the Antwerp City Card includes access to several museums and is a great way to save money if you’re planning to visit multiple sites.
  • Can you recommend a good time to visit these museums?
    Weekdays are usually less crowded than weekends. Also, keep an eye out for late evening openings, which often come with a more relaxed vibe.

In conclusion, Antwerp’s museums are as varied and fascinating as the city itself. From the Baroque brilliance of the Rubenshuis to the contemporary cool of M HKA, there’s a museum to match every interest. These institutions not only showcase Antwerp’s rich history and culture but also its role as a beacon of modernity and innovation. Whether you’re marveling at the intricate craftsmanship of diamond cutting or pondering the avant-garde twists of contemporary fashion, you’re sure to leave with a deeper appreciation for this multifaceted city. So next time you’re in Antwerp, make sure to carve out time for these top ten museums – they’re the jewels in the city’s crown.

Kurby Team

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