Antwerp is Belgium’s second-largest city. It has classic European charm, a fun modern vibe, and a wonderful four season allure.
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The summers are warm and sunny, while the winters are frosty and cosy. It’s definitely a year-round destination.
If you’re planning an Antwerp city break, there’s never a bad time to visit. You’ll find something exciting happening each month plus some unique things to do in Antwerp. Whether you’re into music festivals, cultural events, or outdoor exploring, there is always so much happening.
If you’re wondering about the best time to visit Belgium’s exciting port city, you’re in luck. This guide breaks down each month according to the weather, interests and activities.
What to Do in Antwerp | A Seasonal Guide
The best time to visit Antwerp depends on your weather preference. Summer is warm and comfortable with plenty of outdoor festivals.
The winter months are cold but bearable. Like the nearby city of Brussels, Antwerp hosts a beautiful Christmas market in December that will really get you into the holiday spirit.
Spring and Autumn are considerably less touristy and can be a great time to score on cheaper travel and accommodation.
Summer in Antwerp – Weather & Temperature
Antwerp weather during the summer months (June – August) is pleasantly warm. The average temperatures hang out between 20º C and 25º C. July is the hottest month and produces the most rainfall.
Summer is the most popular time for Antwerp tourism. The weather makes outdoor exploration very enjoyable, and the city hosts a multitude of fun festivals.
Things to Do in Antwerp in June
Bierpassie Weekend (Beer Passion weekend) is a celebration of Belgian beer that takes place every June. The Groenplaats, a public square in the heart of the city, hosts around 40 breweries offering 150+ beers.
This is the perfect opportunity for beer connoisseurs to sample the rich palette of Belgian beer flavours. Live music gets the party started, and an overall fun atmosphere permeates the air.
The Grote Markt is another popular public square. Located in the old town, it’s surrounded by beautiful historic guildhalls. Take in the warm Antwerp, Belgium weather as you wander around this buzzing tourist hub.
If you’re a music history fan, make sure to check out the nearby Vleeshuis. This musical instrument museum is housed in a former 16th-century guildhall. Learn about Antwerp’s artistic history and discover a unique collection of antique instruments.
Things to Do in Antwerp in July
Zomer van Antwerpen is a festival that starts in July and carries on into August. This is a lively cultural summer celebration.
It takes place in open-air areas across the city of Antwerp, like parks, public squares and gardens, and on the bank of the Scheldt River.
Enjoy live theatre shows, performances by comedians and artists, and much more. Food tents and bars are also set up to keep you fuelled all day long.
Since July is the wettest month, if you need a rainy day activity, head to the Red Star Line Museum.
This modern institution is interactive and great for all ages. It focuses on the millions of 19th-century emigrants who journeyed from Europe to America.
It raises understanding and empathy for refugees worldwide and is a very important place to visit.
Things to Do in Antwerp in August
Bollekesfeest is an annual 3-day festival that’s held in mid-August. It takes place in and around Grote Markt. It’s a celebration of Antwerp’s beer and food culture, with a spotlight on local products.
The festival owes its name to Bolleke De Koninck, a beer that has been brewed in Antwerp since 1833.
The celebrations have a more modern look and feel, with an upbeat atmosphere. You’ll find lots of local musicians performing throughout the 3 days.
Jazz Middelheim is a jazz summer music festival that takes place every August. It attracts jazz artists and fans from all over the world. For four days, a full calendar of concerts is offered.
This festival is held in Den Brandt Park and promotes a fun family setting.
Autumn in Antwerp – Weather & Temperature
The autumn weather in Antwerp, Belgium starts to cool down the closer you get to winter. September is still comfortable, with an average of 19° C, while November drops down to a chilly 10° C. Sunshine becomes less frequent and rainfall becomes more common.
Because of the weather, tourism tends to be slower. This means you can usually score on some cheaper flight and accommodation prices.
November, in particular, is the least busy month for tourism. If you’re not a fan of crowds, this is a great time to visit.
Things to Do in Antwerp in September
Laundry Day is an all-day dance and music festival that takes place on the first Saturday of September. It started in 1998 and has been held annually ever since. It’s a big party with multiple stages and a wide-ranging lineup of DJs.
Dance to techno, house, electro, dubstep, and much more. If you’re a fan of tunes with a steady beat, this festival is for you.
September is also a good month to take advantage of outdoor exploration before the peak of autumn hits.
Relish the beautiful Belgian weather at Antwerp City Park. With walking paths, ample shaded grassy space, and a large and peaceful lake, it has all the fixings of an outdoor oasis.
Things to Do in Antwerp in October
In the lead up to Halloween, why not visit some of the city’s more unusual sights? And maybe a candy store or two.
Brabo’s Monument in Grote Markt displays a tall statue of a Roman soldier, Silvius Brabo throwing a severed hand.
Water shoots out from several places in the fountain, including the severed hand. As far as European monuments go, this one is quite bizarre and wonderful.
Tunnel Sainte-Anne is a 1930s wooden escalator that lies below the River Scheldt. It acts as a tunnel to connect two sections of the city. This 90-year-old fixture is still in use to this day and is quite the oddity.
Chocolate shops are among the most popular places to visit in Antwerp. For a huge variety that will fulfil all of your chocolate desires, head to The Chocolate Line.
They offer classic and unique flavours. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out bacon or sun-dried tomato chocolate.
Cuberdon candy, also known as ‘neuzen’ (noses) is another popular sweet in Belgium. These sweets are somewhat hard on the outside with a sweet gooey centre. They come in flavours like raspberry, apple, strawberry, lemon and blueberry. You’ll find them in most Belgian chocolate shops.
Things to Do in Antwerp in November
The holidays are right around the corner, and Antwerp is a great place to do some Christmas shopping.
Considering Belgium weather in November can get a bit chilly, you might want to stick to indoor Antwerp, Belgium points of interest.
Meir Shopping Street is Belgium’s most popular shopping street. With more than 300 stores, you’ll find plenty of options.
There is a great mix of high-end and budget-friendly retailers. When you need to rest your feet, visit one of the dozens of cafes or restaurants.
For some holiday sparkle, the Diamond District is THE place to go for jewellery. Antwerp is known as the ‘City of Diamonds’, and diamond shops are in no short supply. Whatever type of jewellery you’re after, you’ll definitely find it here.
Winter in Antwerp – Weather & Temperature
If you’re a fan of cold weather, winter in Antwerp can be quite cosy. It snows and rains a fair amount, so packing warm clothing is a must.
December is a magical time. The whole city gets into the Christmas spirit and holiday decorations can be seen around every corner. The daytime temperatures reach about 7° C, and freezing temperatures can occur overnight.
January produces the coldest weather that Antwerp will throw at you, with an average high of 6° C. February experiences similar temperatures, with slightly less rain.
Things to Do in Antwerp in December
December in Antwerp is a very festive time, and there’s no better place to get into the holiday spirit than Grote Markt. Each year, this large public square transforms into a fairytale-like Christmas market.
You’ll find over 100 stalls selling stocking stuffers, holiday decorations, festive food and drinks, and more.
There’s even an ice skating rink in front of the City Hall. If you’re visiting Antwerp with children, the Winterfoor Funfair is a Christmas themed attraction geared towards kids. It features fun rides, circus acts, and plenty of sweet treats.
Things to Do in Antwerp in January
Since the weather in January is rather glum, indoor Antwerp attractions are a great way to fill your time. The city has a long list of museums that cater to all travellers.
Museum aan de Stroom is among the most popular. This super modern institution focuses on art, culture, and history in Antwerp, as well as other parts of the world. Each floor focuses on different exhibitions.
The permanent collection contains about 500,000 pieces, including pre-Columbian America artefacts and exhibits on the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp.
The Rubens House, another fantastic museum, is the former home of Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens. His 17th-century residence is open to the public and showcases his work along with his contemporaries. Admire beautiful paintings and sculptures from Classical artists.
Things to Do in Antwerp in February
February temperatures are still on the chilly side. Warm-up with a cold beer from Paters Vaetje. This is one of Antwerp’s coolest pubs. It features a huge selection of Belgian beer and a cosy ambience.
The pub is located right next to the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp. This beautiful Gothic cathedral contains paintings from Peter Paul Rubens. Completed in 1521, it’s been a symbol of Antwerp for quite some time.
Antwerp’s main train station is another must-see. It’s one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world.
You can compare the architecture to one of Europe’s grand cathedrals, it’s that impressive. The main hall features a tall domed ceiling, a long stone staircase, and a giant clock.
Spring in Antwerp – Weather & Temperature
In Spring, Antwerp sightseeing is very enjoyable. The hordes of summer tourists are yet to arrive and the temperatures start to rise following winter.
March can still be a bit nippy, with an average of around 11° C. But by May it has usually warmed up to a nice 18° C.
Things to Do in Antwerp in March
The frost of winter slowly starts to fade in March, but it’s still a great month for warm and comforting activities.
Visit Chocolate Nation, a museum dedicated to Belgian chocolate. Explore the role of chocolate in the country’s culture. Learn all the steps of chocolate production with fun exhibits and presentations.
A food tour of Antwerp is another way to learn more about the city’s culinary delights. Pass historic sites in the old town as you stop in at six food tasting spots. Indulge in sweet treats, like waffles and chocolate, as well as some savoury staples, like chips with mayo.
Things to Do in Antwerp in April
Considering April produces comfortable temperatures and infrequent rainfall, taking a tour can be a great activity.
You can’t go wrong with a walking tour of Antwerp. There’s no better way to discover this Belgian city than with a local. You’ll get a better feel for the layout, and can ask your guide plenty of questions.
If you’re keen for an active outing, a bike tour of Antwerp is a great way to sightsee. Travel to some of the top highlights while getting a bit of exercise. And, since April isn’t considered a touristy month, you won’t have to worry about dodging other visitors.
Things to Do in Antwerp in May
The Botanic Gardens are a lovely spot to enjoy the warm May weather. Relax in a setting of 2000 beautiful and exotic plant species.
You can pack a picnic, take a quiet stroll, or sit on a bench and admire nature. The gardens are open every day and entrance is free.
Antwerpen Proeft (Taste of Antwerp) is an annual food festival held each May. It’s one of the top culinary festivals in the country and features professional chefs from all over Belgium. Taste traditional dishes as well as international cuisine including Italian, Japanese and pan-African.
Final Thoughts on Antwerp Things to Do Each Month
Belgium’s weather year-round is very enjoyable, and in Antwerp, this is especially true. No matter what month you visit, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
And if the weather happens to catch you off guard, there are so many indoor attractions to take advantage of.
And, because each month offers something slightly different, you could visit Antwerp multiple times and see the city through a new lens each time.
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