Antwerp Travel Guides

Transport in Antwerp: A Guide to Getting Around the City

Discover Antwerp with our guide to navigating the city using public transport.


Antwerp, a city that effortlessly blends history with modernity, is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Whether we’re marvelling at its medieval architecture or indulging in its vibrant fashion scene, getting around efficiently can make all the difference in our experience. From trams and buses to bikes and boats, Antwerp offers a variety of transport options that cater to every traveller’s needs.

Navigating Antwerp doesn’t have to be daunting. With a bit of planning and some insider tips, we can uncover the best ways to explore its charming streets and hidden corners.

Exploring Antwerp: A Guide to Getting Around

Public Transport

Antwerp’s public transport system, operated by De Lijn, includes buses and trams. Buses and trams run frequently throughout the city, making it easy to reach key attractions, such as the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Antwerp Zoo. We suggest buying a day pass, which offers unlimited travel on buses and trams for 24 hours. Single-ride tickets are available, but day passes often provide better value for those intending to explore multiple sites.


Cycling is popular in Antwerp, with well-maintained bike lanes and numerous bike rental options. Velo Antwerpen, the city’s bike-sharing scheme, boasts over 300 stations, making bikes readily accessible. We recommend downloading the Velo Antwerpen app, which allows users to locate nearby bikes and docking stations. Cycling offers a scenic way to experience the city’s medieval architecture, such as the Het Steen castle and MAS Museum. More at


Antwerp’s compact city centre makes walking an enjoyable way to explore. Major landmarks, like Grote Markt and Plantin-Moretus Museum, are within close proximity. Walking also allows us to discover hidden gems, such as quaint cafés and boutique shops. We advise purchasing a detailed city map or downloading a navigation app for easier exploration. Walking tours are another great way to learn about the city’s history and vibrant culture.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing

Taxis and ride-sharing services, like Uber, are available in Antwerp but tend to be more expensive than public transport. They offer a convenient option, especially for late-night travel or when carrying heavy luggage. We encourage using apps to book these services, ensuring price transparency and easy navigation. Taxi ranks are located at key points, such as Antwerp Central Station and Grote Markt.

Car Rentals

Car rentals are available for those wanting to explore beyond the city centre. Several rental agencies operate in Antwerp, offering various vehicle options. It’s essential to be aware of traffic regulations and parking rules. Many streets have restricted access for vehicles, and parking can be limited. Using car rentals is best suited for day trips to nearby areas like Mechelen or Ghent.

Essential Tips for Navigating Antwerp

Using Public Transport Effectively

Antwerp’s public transport system includes buses, trams and trains. For the best value, buy a day pass which offers unlimited travel throughout the city. These passes can be purchased at any station or online for added convenience. Validating tickets before boarding avoids fines.

Trams cover major landmarks, making them ideal for tourists. Key tram lines include Line 4 (Hoboken-Silsburg) and Line 7 (Mortsel-Eilandje). Buses reach areas where trams don’t go, with routes connecting suburbs and surrounding regions. For suburban travel, trains operated by the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB/NMBS) provide efficient service.

During peak hours, trams and buses can be crowded. Plan trips during off-peak times for a more comfortable journey. Use Antwerps Mobiliteitsbedrijf (MOB) website or apps like De Lijn and SNCB/NMBS for real-time updates and route planning.

Here’s an informative video explaining the Antwerp Tram system;

Renting Bikes and Scooters

Biking offers a scenic and eco-friendly way to navigate Antwerp. The city supports this with an extensive network of bike lanes. Velo, Antwerp’s bike-sharing scheme, provides easy access to bicycles across hundreds of stations. For a small fee, short trips (under 30 minutes) are often cheaper than public transport. Subscribers benefit from unlimited access.

Scooters are another convenient option, especially for those covering shorter distances. Electric scooter companies like Lime and Bird provide app-based rentals. Adhere to local regulations including speed limits and designated parking zones.

Cycling maps are available at tourist information centres and online. These maps highlight routes and points of interest, ensuring a seamless experience. Always use designated lanes and wear helmets for safety, especially on busier roads.

Top Attractions Accessible by Public Transport

Historic Districts and Landmarks

Antwerp’s historic districts and landmarks are easily reachable using public transport. The iconic Antwerp Central Station, a gem of railway architecture, lies in the city centre. Trams and buses connect this area to other historic sites. For instance, route 15 takes visitors to the Cathedral of Our Lady, housing works by Rubens. Tram 7 runs to Grote Markt, surrounded by 16th-century guildhalls.

Antwerp Central Station
Antwerp Central Station

Use bus route 34 to reach the Plantin-Moretus Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing rare manuscripts and printing presses. To visit the Zurenborg district, known for its Art Nouveau houses, take tram 11 or bus 32.

Museums and Art Galleries

Antwerp boasts numerous museums and art galleries, all accessible via public transport. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, housing a vast collection of Flemish masterpieces, links easily with tram routes 4 and 8. Bus 17 connects to the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), offering insights into the city’s history and culture.

The Rubenshuis, Peter Paul Rubens’ former residence, lies near tram routes 4 and 7. For contemporary art enthusiasts, MUHKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp) can be accessed through tram route 4 or bus route 13. The Red Star Line Museum, narrating the story of European emigrants, connects via tram route 7.

Recommended Routes for First-Time Visitors

Scenic Walks and Bike Paths

The River Scheldt Promenade offers a picturesque walk. Starting from Steen Castle, visitors can follow the river, enjoying views of the water and passing notable landmarks like the MAS Museum. The Eilandje district is ideal for cyclists, featuring dedicated bike lanes and a scenic route around the docks. The Antwerp Ring Road provides another popular bike path, connecting several parks and green spaces such as Stadspark and Rivierenhof.

The Meir Shopping Street, beginning at Antwerp Central Station and ending at the Cathedral of Our Lady, provides another scenic walk. This route allows visitors to experience historic architecture, boutique shops, and street performances. The Quays and their surrounding pedestrian pathways offer stunning views of the river and the city’s skyline.

Public Transport Itineraries

For those preferring public transport, the No. 2 tram route offers a convenient introduction to Antwerp. Starting at Hoboken, passengers can visit key attractions like the Market Square and the Cathedral of Our Lady. The No. 5 tram takes visitors from Wijnegem Shopping Centre to Linkeroever, passing the MAS Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MUHKA) along the way.

Bus routes 17 and 22 are perfect for those wishing to see the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the Rubenshuis. The bus 30 circulates between Antwerp Central Station and Berchem, offering stops close to Zoo Antwerpen and the Antwerp City Park. For a comprehensive cultural experience, the No. 9 tram connects the historic centre with the Antwerp Expo.

The Antwerp Metro provides an efficient way to explore the city. The PreMetro tunnels connect major tram lines and offer quick access to the central district. Metro stations like Astrid, Diamant, and Groenplaats allow easy transfer to other modes of transport, covering major tourist hotspots such as the Central Station and the Cathedral of Our Lady.

Dining on the Move: Antwerp’s Best Eats Near Transit Stops

Street Food and Markets

Antwerp offers an array of street food and markets that cater to tourists and locals alike. Near the Groenplaats tram stop, visitors can find ‘De Groenplaats Market,’ which operates every Saturday. Stalls here serve Belgian waffles, fresh seafood, and local cheeses. Nearby Groenplaats, there are stands offering savoury bites like ‘frites’ and ‘stoofvlees.’ The area around the Antwerp Central Station hosts various food trucks, conveniently located for quick bites. Popular options include ‘ongezonde frietjes’ and gourmet sandwiches. The ‘Antwerp Friday Market’ at Theaterplein also features diverse food stalls selling everything from Turkish kebabs to Vietnamese pho. Roaming the market allows for sampling multiple local and international treats.

Cafés and Restaurants with Local Flavour

Cafés and restaurants near transit stops offer authentic Belgian cuisine. Close to the Meir Shopping Street, ‘Café Kleine Lieskens’ serves traditional mussels and Flemish stew. It’s a short walk from the Meir Metro stop, making it a convenient dining option. Near the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, ‘Brasserie Rubenshof’ offers dishes like ‘witloof’ in ham and ‘koninginnehapje,’ located just minutes from the bus stop for routes 17 and 22. For a more upscale experience, ‘The Jane’ near the Berchem Station provides a blend of contemporary and traditional dishes. These venues not only showcase local flavours but are also conveniently accessible from various public transport points.


Antwerp’s blend of historical charm and modern convenience makes it an ideal destination for travellers. With an efficient public transport system, exploring the city’s rich cultural and culinary offerings is both easy and enjoyable. Whether you’re wandering through Market Square, admiring art at the Cathedral of Our Lady, or savouring Belgian cuisine at local cafes and upscale restaurants, your journey through Antwerp promises to be unforgettable. So hop on a tram, bus, or train and let Antwerp’s vibrant streets and hidden gems reveal themselves to you.