on the road again…and a giveaway!

so i know it seems like i just got back in town, but i’m hitting the road again! i had no travel plans this year at all, but a couple of trips kind of fell into my lap, so when opportunity knocks, you kinda just have to go, right!? first, was the house swap with joanna of a cup of jo, and now i’m heading to amsterdam, antwerp and paris for a bit of blog work.

i don’t leave for another week, but i’m gearing up! I’m checking out pia jane bijkerk’s books, paris: made by hand and amsterdam: made by hand, but i’m not very aware of what’s new and great in antwerp, or paris for that matter! it’s been years since I’ve been, so i’m enticing you with a giveaway to get your help!

so, i’m looking for your expert travel advice once again and giving away one of pia’s books! i’m on the hunt for great design and art, home goods and accessories, and of course, a girl’s gotta eat. so, whatcha got for me? what are your favorite spots in these cities? post your comment below and when i return, i will giveaway a copy one of these books – your choice – to the lucky winner. please post by june 17th, and remember to leave a way to reach you!

• photos via pia jane bijkerk.

Comments
76 Responses to “on the road again…and a giveaway!”
  1. Amsterdam is on of my favorite cities ever- The Van Gogh is lovely- I also enjoyed renting a bike and riding around the city- Paris has a hotel called the St. James and they have a library room where you can have a drink- That library is the most beautiful room ever and the hotel itself has some of the best interior design and art ever.
    I am a huge book lover and would LOVE to win one of Pia’s books-

  2. The Latin Quarter in Paris is A-mazing! It hosts a different twist to the typical Parisian cuisine. And as far as Amsterdam goes, you can take tours of the Red Light District which is pretty cool since it’s been a part of the culture for hundreds of years! Enjoy your trip!!

  3. Bonnie says:

    Hi Victoria, I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and must confess I’m already obsessed! I’m buying a house with my boyfriend and I’m itching to start redecorating… your blog provides LOTS of inspiration :)

    You’re so lucky to be heading away! Antwerp is known as the diamond capital of the world. If you have time, you should check out DiamondLand, ‘the largest diamond shop in Antwerp’! I was there a few years ago and I was blown away!

    Enjoy your holidays!

    Bonnie x

  4. Merja says:

    I’m not native to any of these places, but would like to recommend a spot in Paris anyway. If you love tea, you should visit one of Mariage Frères tea salons. Absolute heaven, and in my opinion best teas in the world.

  5. wsake says:

    Hi there, make sure to pay Rose Bakery in Paris a visit – i LOVE it and their AMAZING cookbook, it´s my all time favorite.

    Have a safe trip,

    Anna

  6. Would so love to win one – those books look so pretty!!

    -Carrie Rosalind
    rosalindrevival(at)hotmail(dot)com

  7. josephine says:

    Lucky duck! I took almost that same exact trip (same cities, in that order) a few years ago, except I went to Stockholm first.

    With Pia’s books, you’re set for Amsterdam and Paris. In Antwerp, I really loved a restaurant called Mata Mata & Pili Pili and a chocolate cafe called Gunther Watte.

    Bon voyage!

  8. alex wijnen says:

    Oh, I would so love to win the Amsterdam book!!! We’re going for a visit in September and this would be perfect!

    Not sure about shopping spots but I’m super excited to stay in this B&B in Ghent: http://www.dewaterzooi.be/

    The photos of the place look amazing – a building that’s hundreds of years old, yet decorated with a comfortable, modern vibe.

    From a past trip to Antwerp and Amsterdam, I can recommend the chain Dille & Kamille for fun kitchen accessories. And the best chocolate bars (great gifts to bring back!) are by Café Tasse, which we first found at Dille & Kamille :)

    Have fun!!!

  9. Sarah Jane says:

    Like Eleanor said, the Latin Quarter in Paris is perfect for lunch. When I was there you could get a baguette sandwich, nutella crepe, and a drink for 6 euro at lunch. It was 5 years ago and I still want to go back for that lunch!

  10. Emily says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to those places… I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time. Love the books.

    Have a lovely vacation!

  11. Charlotte says:

    On a recent family vacation to Paris, we stayed in the Latin Quarter at Grandes Ecoles (http://www.hotel-grandes-ecoles.com/) and loved it! We walked everywhere and breakfasted on the Rue Mouffetard several mornings. Ah, to go back again!

  12. The only place i’ve been in any of these cities is the Charles De Gaulle airport, but it was quite lovely. ; )

  13. Natalie says:

    I am a girl who really enjoys my food and I must say if you are in Paris, I cannot recommend Le Timbre more highly. It is a MUST! It is charming, not too expensive and the food is beyond. Every single one of us at the table had amazing dishes (both main courses and desserts), and we all ordered different things. Here’s the site: http://www.restaurantletimbre.com/. Have fun!

  14. Ambyr says:

    Great images! I’m jealous of your cool travels.

    xoxo
    http://www.thewrittenrunway.com

  15. Theresa says:

    I have only been to Paris, but the trip out to Versailles is an absolute must – it isn’t that far by train. If you go, Marie Antoinette’s gardens are amazing, more amazing than any palace. The cottages and gardens will take your breath away.

  16. Susan says:

    I’m sure you’ll receive many excellent suggestions (in fact, you already have). But one thing I would say, is if you’re going to do any museums, concerts, etc. buy online from http://www.fnactickets.com/. It’s huge help.

    I love the books. Keeping fingers crossed.:)

  17. Domaine de Lintillac is my fave secret dinner spot in Paris… some of the best food I’ve ever had, cheap, and all locals. For an indulgant lunch, go to Le Comptoir, have the roasted mustard chicken and the pot de creme for dessert! Also don’t miss the Rodin museum, especially on a nice day, macarons from La Duree, and coffee at Cefe de Flore for the people watching :)

  18. corinne says:

    what a great gift !! woudn’t mind to win it ;)
    Have a great time in our old Europe :)

  19. lesley says:

    i’ve never been to amsterdam but i’m dying to go… lucky you!

    paris is one of my favorite cities… if you’re hungry, make sure to grab a bite to go from l’as du fallafel on rue des rosiers. literally the best falafel in the world, and it’s dirt cheap! also swing by gerard mulot in the 6eme on rue de seine… delicious macarons, pastries, bread… anything baked there is amazing!

    if you’re looking for a cool place to shop for home decor and design objects, check out fleux on rue sainte croix de la bretonnerie in the marais. also check out sabre in saint-germain-des-pres for fun, colorful cutlery and other kitchen wares.

    hope you have a wonderful trip!

    xoxo,
    lesley

    315thomas [at] gmail.com

  20. dana says:

    The Frozen Fountain store in Amsterdam is a can’t miss retail stop. We were there 7 years ago and still talk about how amazing it is:
    http://www.frozenfountain.nl/

  21. Char says:

    In Paris, go to the catacombs! http://charsinthecity.blogspot.com/2008/06/catacombs.html if you dare… Very interesting and different, and a great escape from the heat if you are visiting in the height of summer.

  22. Angie Mac says:

    Oh lucky you!

    One of my very favorite stores in Paris is Simrane at 25 rue Bonaparte (they have another one next door at 23 rue Bonaparte) in the 6th district. They use beautiful textiles to make clothes and home linens. I bought one of their tunics and I wish I had bought 10 of them. It is the perfect blend of casual and dressy – and so comfy. I get compliments every time I wear it.

    They also carry several light fabric bags – one of them is longish (I think for bread maybe???) but ideal for quick stops at the Farmer’s Market. Prices are very reasonable…love, love this place.

    Of course the Flea Market is a must … if only you had a big pickup you could fill and drive back to SF!

    Safe Travels…….

  23. Iris says:

    Paris is, next to Venice, my favorite city. Never bores me. I would really like to go to http://www.lepetitatelierdeparis.com next time. And don’t skip the Muji store of course…
    Are you perhaps in Amsterdam on the 25th of June and able to come to the Meet the blogger event?
    x Iris

  24. kristin says:

    I just got back from Paris and it is so beautiful -I was sure my head would explode! I definitely 2nd the Rose’s Bakery tip either location -yum and go to the Musee du quai branly- not sure what is inside but outside the wall is 4 or 5 stories covered in plants!! Magnifique!

  25. andrea j. says:

    A few of my absolute favorites in Paris…

    1. L’As du Fallafel in the Marais (34 Rue de Rosiers) wait in the line, it goes fast and the fallafels makes it very worth it!
    2. Cheri Bibi in the 18th (15 Rue Andre del Sarte) super cute, little, hip restaurant with amazing food
    3. Petrelle (34 rue Petrelle) quaint and very typical French. Share the dining room with the restaurant cat and watch the Chef cook in the open kitchen…you feel like you have been welcomed into his home.
    4. lunch at any of the stalls (but especially the Moroccan) at Marche des Enfants Rouges (39 rue de Bretagne.) This little gem is hidden in the Marais and looks very unassuming from the street…don’t miss it!!
    5. Poilane bakery (8 rue de Cherche-Midi

    As well as… strolling around Jardin du Luxembourg on a Sunday afternoon and using bikes (for rent on practically every block) as your main mode of transportation!
    Bon voyage!

  26. Deborah says:

    Fabulous Paris!

    I’ll second Le Musée Rodin, le Musée du Quai Branly
    http://www.quaibranly.fr/ , le petit atelier de paris http://www.lepetitatelierdeparis.com/welcome.html , “Merci”, “Serendipity” (kids design) http://www.serendipity.fr/e-shop, and you might like the tiny Tombeés du Camion http://www.tombeesducamion.com/

    wander, wander and enjoy!

  27. Designs Good says:

    In Antwerp be sure to eat a “Liege” style waffle from a waffle cart–don’t forget, because they’re amazingly delicious! I haven’t been to the other two cities in ages, but I’m sure you can’t go wrong w/food in Paris–they do have the best croissants in the world! Bon voyage!

  28. erica says:

    This may not be what you’re looking for, BUT the place I visited in Amsterdam that had the biggest impact on me was the Anne Frank house. On a lighter note, I loved all of the canals and houseboats and even took a sunset canal cruise!

  29. Tory says:

    Your trip sounds amazing! I went to Paris for the first time last fall and fell in love. It’s so difficult to narrow down all the great things to see and do but here is an attempt. For museums you must go to the Musee de l’Orangerie to see the magnificent Monet waterlilies. For sites you must see Notre Dame at night from across the Seine, it stopped me in my tracks. For eating I recommend A la Biche au Bois. Get the salade perigourdine, I still dream of it.

  30. eli says:

    Oh I live so far from all those wonderful places, and I have never been there! I’ll have to wait for you to come back and show us loads of pics :))
    Have a nice trip!

  31. Dominique says:

    While in Paris you need to visit the Champs Elysées. This avenue is filled with wonderful shops and great restaurants. I really enjoyed visiting the adorable boutiques here while on my trip. Another memorable part about my trip was Père Lachaise Cemetery. I know it sounds weird but it is incredible! Hope this helps! Enjoy your trip it will be a wonderful experience =)

  32. Camila F. says:

    I just came back from Paris and I have two amazing tips: you MUST have breakfast at Angelina (try the Mont Blanc and the amazing hot chocolat) and stop by the cutest patisserie in the world: Chez Bogato. The Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Cinémathèque Française is also unmissable. Have a lovely trip! ♥

    http://www.angelina-paris.fr/
    http://chezbogato.fr/
    http://www.cinematheque.fr/fr/expositions-cinema/kubrick/stanley-kubrick-expositi.html

  33. Alisa Logue says:

    Well, I have been to both Amsterdam and Paris. It was just an 8 hour layover in Amsterdam but I did go to the Anne Frank Museum. That was sobering and heart breaking but I am so greatful to have gone. But just walking on the canals is blissful! I loved the D’Orsay Museum in Paris, and I highly suggest riding the carousel in front of the Eifel Tower and of course Versaille cannot be missed! -Alisa

  34. deborah says:

    You must dine at De Kas in Amsterdam!
    http://www.restaurantdekas.nl/

  35. Sparkie says:

    Collette, 213 RUE SAINT-HONORÉ 75001 PARIS

  36. d r e w says:

    in paris, you can’t miss the british store called habitat. there is one by the samaritaine dept. store on rue du pont neuf near rue du rivoli.

    have a blast! i am really jealous!!!

  37. lily says:

    How exciting !! I am sure you will have so much fun!

    xxLily
    goldandgray.com

  38. maura says:

    http://www.laduree.fr/ Certainly not new. And your can have macaroons nearly everywhere now, but tea at Laduree means Paris to me. I love the window displays most of all. Bon Voyage!

  39. Anna says:

    I just finished the Paris Wife (good book for the plane, if you haven’t already read it), and it made me want to do a Hemingway tour the next time I’m there – some of his favorite haunts were Deux Magots, Cafe de Fiore, Harry’s New York Bar, and the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.

    My favorite Paris restaurant is Le Coupe Chou near the Sorbonne – one the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. Montmartre is a great afternoon of wandering about. And L’hotel (where Oscar Wilde died) is a great place for an afternoon kir. Sadly I’ve never been able to do much shopping when I’m there, but I’m excited to hear what you find!

  40. julie holt says:

    i love paris and have only ever been once but it is forever in my heart and on my list for going back! i am in love with the old fashioned way of wax sealing letters and while i was there, i went to Melodies Graphique 10, rue du Pont Louis Philippe, Paris 4e, tel 01 42 74 57 68. i got my first set of wax and seals there. it is a wonderful tiny paper and supplies shop for these fanciful kinds of things. i hope you have a wonderful trip! i can’t wait to see what inspirations you bring home. safe journey!

  41. Jules says:

    JEALOUS! Since the downward turn of the economy, I’ve only had the funds for one fun trip to San Francisco. I’m now working again, and can’t wait till I save enough money to resume traveling. Until then, I’ll live vicariously through your travels.

  42. Manouck says:

    Hi, I’ve lived for 31 years in Amsterdam so I can give you a lot of tips! Where shall I start?

    Shopping:
    – Albert Cuyp Market
    – The 9 streets (http://www.de9straatjes.nl/uk/)
    – Lady Day (at Hartenstraat)
    – Tea Bar (Haarlemmerstraat)
    – &Klevering (http://www.klevering.nl/)

    Eat & Drink
    – De Bakkerswinkel (http://www.debakkerswinkel.com/)
    – Winkel (for the best dutch applepie)

    Museum
    – FOAM (Museum about photography http://www.foam.org/)
    – Hendrikje (Museum of bags and purses http://www.tassenmuseum.nl/en/home)

    Have fun in Amsterdam! Just stroling is also very nice!

  43. I had my 30th birthday lunch at Le Petit Cler: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Le-Petit-Cler/152924741406389?sk=info

    It’s not fancy, but it’s a lovely bistro.

  44. Pini Piru says:

    Amsterdam: The Jordaan area is still the best place for design, homegoods, art, etc.
    Moooi design on Elandsgracht is great!
    If you are in Amsterdam on a monday, you could visit the Noordermarkt in the Jordaan. Best market in Amsterdam and you have to eat the homemade applepie there at winkel 43:) Don’t forget to have it with whipped cream!
    Another great area to go to is De Pijp, lots of great places there as well.
    Enjoy!

    Liesbeth

  45. Pini Piru says:

    Sorry, typed to fast!
    Moooi is on Westerstraat, not Elandsgracht.
    http://www.moooi.com/collection.html

  46. Kelli says:

    I’m so jealous, Paris is beautiful! I’ve never been to Amsterdam, but I’ve heard great things. Have a great time!

  47. Lepreux says:

    Hello, i live in Paris and i have a few suggestions for design and Home shopping:
    “Home autour du Monde” 8, rue des Francs Bourgeois Paris 75003 3e arrondissement
    You should go to “Habitat” and/or “Conran Shop” as well, there is several Habitat but the one Conran Shop is by Le Bon Marché as mentioned above (7e arrondissemt).
    You can stroll through rue Saint-Paul from the Seine to rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine in 4e arrondissement , where there is several Antiques-Modern furniture and design shops.
    Here is a link to a cute french blog where you can find some interesting adresses!http://www.cachemireetsoie.fr/adresses-a-paris/#shops

    Have a lovely trip,
    Pauline

  48. keishua says:

    Oh, I would love to help you find some spots but I am I am novice when it comes to international travel. I would sat I’ve always wanted to visit the Shakespeare and Co bookshop.

  49. what a fun trip! I can’t wait to see all your photos when you get back! I think you should have your own book!!! I would love to win one of Pia’s books! I just love her!

    xoxo
    NAt

  50. debra palmer says:

    Victoria,
    I must confess I have never been to either of those places, but the person I am would tell you to go to the Marais..I would say visit the fleamarkets, and any place that is off the beaten path. I absolutely love Pia Jane Bijkerk!!!! I hope to have a chance to win a book!!! Enjoy your travels and post many pics..I live vicariously through your travels!!!!
    best,
    debra

  51. Deb says:

    I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel quite a bit, both personal and for business. I was infected with wanderlust at an early age and seem to have passed it on to at least one of girls. It truly is invigorating, inspiring, and completely delightful..Enjoy!

  52. Jadyn says:

    I see you’ve received a lot of great tips already. One that I really love is the Noordermarkt, on my last two visits I made a point of going there on Monday morning, that’s when they have fabrics as well as great vintage furniture & home accessories. The neighborhood around it is great, lots of cute small shops.

    Another great cafe is De Dwaze Zaken, they have really good food for a good price and the inside has been designed by an artist I know – even the bathrooms are really unique and beautiful.

    http://www.dwazezaken.nl/

    Have a great visit!

  53. How fun to dream about your journey! In Amsterdam I’d try to visit Beadies (http://www.beadies.nl/) an eclectic bead shop for beautiful souvenirs and also Zipper, a huge second hand clothing store in the “nine streets” that has cool clothes arranged by era (50’s-80’s). You are already going to my favorite Paris shop, Laudrees, but also check out the food sellers in Bon Marche dept. store if you have time.

  54. I ♥ Paris!!!
    I hope retourn soon!
    Lovely giveaway!

  55. marcey says:

    I recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam and Paris (with Brussels and Den Haag tossed in). My tips are: 1) buy tickets for Anne Frank online before you leave to avoid the 4 hour wait in line; 2) don’t over book your time in Paris- allow yourself to wander aimlessly and discover what’s around the next corner; 3) Have a pain aux raisin at Cafe la Palette in the 6th in Paris- you’ll feel like a local and will hope, hope, hope that tourists never discover it. Have a glorious time.

  56. ann ladson says:

    i just got back from amsterdam and fell in love. i must figure out how to live there 6 mos. of the year.

    bar you must go to: in de wildeman,

    also, i can’t remember the name of the shop but it is like 3 doors down on prinsengracht right off of browersgracht and he has awesome vintage industrial furniture, and next door is a lovely flower shop.

    the flea market on monday AM at noordemarkt.

    rent a bike and take the free ferry that leaves from behind the train station. it’s the ferry furthest to the right looking across the ij, then follow signs to holysloot, an adorable town.

    we rented a canal boat and stayed on the prinsengracht, it was perfect. if you can’t stay on the water, rent a boat of some sort and putter through the canals

    BUT you must rent a bike, just to have the experience of riding in amsterdam.

    and obviously if you have pia’s book you know the frozen fountain it is a must see, and the store owner is super friendly and chatty.

  57. Oh you have so many wonderful suggestions! Bittersweet jealousy abounds for me at the moment:) I noticed Antwerp is a little behind in the comments, so I got in touch with a more well-traveled relative of mine, who suggested Antwerps Kantwinkeltje near the cathedral.
    She’s quite a few years wiser than most of us, and while I’ve never been, I still trust her opinion with my whole heart.
    Enjoy yourself – I will be living vicariously through your posts . . .

  58. toris says:

    Not so much Antwerp tips so far, so lets give it a go:

    shopping
    http://www.ra13.be/
    http://www.ateliersolarshop.blogspot.com/
    http://www.babybeluga.be
    Nationalestraat/Kammenstraat is the fashionstreet with Dries van Noten etc.
    Kloosterstraat is the stylish antiques street

    nice places to visit are:
    – conscienceplein, beautiful quiet square with a baroque church with elements designed by Rubens. If you’re there you can have a nice lunch in jam http://www.bezoekjam.be
    – I can imagine you would like to see the modemuseum: http://www.momu.be/
    and if you’re there you should definitely visit this bookshop
    http://www.copyrightbookshop.be
    – antwerp is completely under the spell of the MAS, our newest museum. If you’re short on time, the collection isn’t a must, but the view on top of the building is fantastic, free and open until midnight!

    eat out:
    nice biological-vegetarian place to eat is http://www.debroersvanjulienne.be/
    the area around the museum of fine arts http://www.kmska.be is filled with restaurants and cafés
    drink coffee in http://www.caffenation.be/

  59. Carla says:

    In Paris:

    Musee Gustave Moreau – quite small, very personal

    Le Fumoir – terrific restaurant near the Louvre
    Cafe Marly – book for an outside table

    Amsterdam:

    Van Soest – Amsterdam
    Utrechtsestraat 143
    http://www.vansoest-amsterdam.nl/
    delicious dutch chocolates, also yummy yum gelato all made on premises. fab packaging too.

    Kom – Utrechtsestraat 129 1017 VM Amsterdam

    nice homewares store, plus nearby, there are a few nifty furniture stores (midcentury modern etc).

  60. hanna says:

    I wish I had some advice, but I haven’t been to either of these places. I’d love to, though!

  61. Jane says:

    Hi Victoria, I noticed your name on the meettheblogger Amsterdam list on facebook. Will you actually be there? I’d be thrilled to meet you! I guess you will have lots of offers but let me know if you need a guide in Amsterdam;-)

  62. Heather says:

    These books look so inspiring! Wish I could be going to Paris this summer!

  63. Ingrid says:

    Every time I go to Paris, I have crêpes aux pommes et au caramel salé at Breizh Café in the Marais, there’s just nothing comparable. Also, make sure to check out La Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marché – nothing, not even the Harrod’s food court tops their selection of amazing food!
    I went to Amsterdam last month, it’s such a beautiful city. I especially loved the quiet Jordaan neighbourhood, where we stayed – so pretty! Just take a walk around there, have a seat in one of the cafés or even on a bench in front of a private house – that way, we got to know quite some super friendly Dutch people. Also, I had the best burger ever at Burgermeester!
    Have a wonderful trip!

  64. Emily says:

    i haven’t actually been to either of these cities but whenever i travel somewhere new, i love to get a drink at an outdoor cafe and just sit and people watch. it’s a great way to check out the city through it’s citizens and slow me down in a hectic travel schedule!

  65. Margarita says:

    ohhh lucky you!! are you going to the bloggers event in Amsterdam? http://www.urbanstylevibes.com/p/meet-blogger-amsterdam.html I would love to go but have other priorities in London. Enjoy your trip to Europe!!

  66. Kelly says:

    I was in Amsterdam in September, and the architecture and charm of the city is inspiring. The beer is pretty great too.

  67. Rhianne says:

    how exciting for you! I’m going to Paris in August so I would love a copy of Paris by Hand :)

  68. Emily Anne says:

    thanks for the chance!

  69. Marja says:

    Don’t forget to visit the KNSM island (former ship yard) when you are in Amsterdam. Pol’s Potten home decoration shop http://www.polspotten.nl is a must-see, always very inspiring and a bit quirky.

  70. Lydia says:

    Cafe Angelina near the Lourve. Perfect place to rest your feet after the museum and indulge in a hot chocolate or mont blanc.

  71. bon voyage! have a marvelous time! lucky you!

  72. Oh, I love all three of those cities! I lived in Belgium and France for a bit, and I’d love to go back someday, but for now I’ll be happy to live through you. You have lots of tips already, so I’ll give you an offbeat one. In a park in Antwerp, there’s a really tall playground slide that goes so fast you get butterflies in your stomach. I found a photo of it here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22380768@N07/2303816161/ Have fun!

  73. Lauren says:

    Hi Victoria,

    We have lived in Antwerp for over 2 years and although we have not done many of the touristy things, we live in a vibrant community (het Zuid) with lots of boutiques and cafes. Antwerp is an amazing city brimming with cutting edge design and fashion. I love when people come to see and experience the city. It is underrated likely because it is not a main destination.

    Antwerp is completely walkable but it is fun and safe to ride bikes here. The city has just unrolled bike rental stations throughout the city in just the past couple of days. Sorry I do not have any info on it yet, it is too new.

    Eating and Drinking
    There are 4 things you must drink while you are here.
    1. De Koninck – it is the only beer brewed in Antwerp and it is pretty good.
    2. Jenever – it is a gin based drink served in shot glasses to be sipped. They sell it in all flavors but the cremes are like drinking melted ice creme with liqueur – Yum! It is a local drink and you cannot get it in the Netherlands.
    3. Lindeman’s Kriek – a cherry beer and it is delicious (but it has to be a Lindeman’s).
    4- Liege waffle. This is the kind that is sold at stands on the street. It is a heavier waffle with large chucks of sugar inside. It is also coated with sugar on the outside. Skip the waffle with cream and go straight for this. You will know it when you smell it.

    Paters Vaetje (looking at the cathedral doors, it is directly to the left. They have a nice selection of beers and Krieks. You must have a Lindeman’s

    De Vagant Reyndersstraat 25
    They have over 200 different jenevers. One of the famous spots in Antwerp.

    Chez Fred Kloosterstraat 83
    We always have a good meal here.They make a good Stoovlees (Belgian stew) with frites. Make a reservation.

    Kartini Oude Koornmarkt 81
    Indonesian is new to me and I love it here. Order the rijsttafel for a sampling of everything. We order it every time. Make a reservation.

    The Eat House
    They have probably the best burger I have ever eaten in my entire life (burger with Stilton and corn relish). It is a British menu and very good to fish and chip or a curry. No reservation needed and right in the center.

    Walk/bike ride
    This is a route that I would recommend taking. I have added a few kids shops. The children’s shops in Belgium are beautiful and are chock full of beautiful dresses and fun things!!

    Start at Grote Market/Cathedral – walk the circle and check out the shops and more touristy area. The main tourist office is also in Grote Markt. Stop by and get a map (it is a pretty good one).
    Akotee: Melkmarkt 28-30 http://www.akotee.be/index.php?page=contact.php
    Oil Cloth items – bike bags, seat covers, etc – are very popular here.

    Head down Hoogstraat towards the south – Grab some frites with mayo at Frituur #1

    Just off to the left at the top of Kloosterstraat is a graffiti park. Sometimes it is worthwhile to take a look.

    On Kloosterstraat, make stops at
    Ra Kloosterstraat 13:concept store http://www.ra13.be/
    Hot and Cold Kloosterstraat 66:to see what kinds of sexual statues they have in the window.
    Your Kloosterstraat 90 and Noe by Your Kloosterstraat 84: concept store and shoe store- http://your-antwerp.com/

    Diversion: Rewind Riemstraat 27 and Moooi Riemstraat 31: http://www.moooi.com/ http://www.rewinddesign.be/home.html I am so lucky to be able to look in their windows everyday since we live across the street

    Getting back on track,
    Five Fridays. Kloosterstraat 181 http://www.fivefridays.be/
    Princess and the Pea Graaf Von Egmontstraat 1 and Kloosterstraat: great kids shop
    Then continue down Vlaamsekaai to:
    Kids on the Docks. Vlaamsekaai 27: another awesome kids shop.
    Make a left on Museumstraat to:
    Mat Riks.Museumstraat 18-22 http://www.matriks.be/
    Continue down the straat to the Art Museum. Stop for a drink at any one of the cafes to the far right or far left of the museum.

    Diversion:Atelier Assemble:Leopold De Waelstraat 30 http://atelierassemble.be/ I just bought one of these dresses for my daughter and it is beautiful!!

    Now heading back towards the cathedral, head down Volkstraat towards Nationalestraat. This is considered the Mode straat or fashion street with many boutiques that make Antwerp famous. You will see:
    Ann Demeulemeetser Leopolds De Waelplaats (across from the art museum)
    Fresh 34 Volkstraat 34
    Fred De La Bretonniere Nationalestraat 139 : boots to die for. http://www.bretoniere.nl/index.php?pagina=bretoniere_collecties_dames_2009&sectie=collecties&lang=NL#thumbnails
    Juljia: Nationalestraat 118 a wonderful fabric and yarn shop http://julijasshop.blogspot.com/
    Jutka&Riska Nationalestraat 87: http://www.jutkaenriska.nl/index.php
    Lila Grace:Nationalestraat 83 http://lilagraceantwerp.com/
    Sissy Boy http://www.sissy-boy.nl/
    Dries Van Noten:Nationalestraat 16 http://www.driesvannoten.be/

    This is also where the Fashion Museum is:
    Mode Museum – Nationalestraat 28
    There is a knitwear exhibition there now.

    There are so many other shops along this route. These are just some of my faves.

    There are many more shops around The Lombardenvest (close to the end of this route) and then all along the Meir. Lombardenvest have a few nice shops like Sienna Lombardenvest 56.The shops around The Meir are big named shops that you will likely know.

    Here is a great site (also for all of your destinations): http://www.spottedbylocals.com/antwerp/

    Not sure the exact dates you will be here, but Beer Passion Weekend is June 24-26 in Groenplaats. Definitely worth a stop to taste test some regional beers. It is a big party weekend because it is normally Gay Pride weekend and the end of the student exams.

    I do not have much experience in Amsterdam but we did eat at a very good restaurant.
    Haesje Claes Spruistraat 275: we had the traditional Dutch dish stampot. Sooo Good!!
    We were also sent to a cafe for a slice of apple pie by a friend of ours who is a local. I don’t have the name of the cafe, but it is next to the church on Noorder Market #34. It is a strange place with carpets on the tables, but the apple pie was good.

    Have fun!

  74. E. says:

    Hi,

    Great to hear that you’re coming our way. I have lived in Antwerp most of my adult life and it’s a beautiful -relatively small- city. You already got some great tips above about the south (het Zuid) of the city, which is still the most touristy and ‘hippest’ part of town.

    If you want to discover some other parts of Antwerp and you love (art nouveau) architecture, I strongly advise you pay a visit to the Zurenborg-quarter. It is located near the Berchem-train station and it is a charming neighbourhood where I lived many many years ago (before it was hip :-) You’ll find many cosy café’s and restaurants at the Dageraadplaats and Tramplaats. You can also visit what is considered to be Antwerp’s most beautiful street (architecturally) : COGELS OSYLEI.

    This neighbourhood is easily reached by public transport and really worth a small detour.

  75. victoria says:

    thank you everyone, your tips have been fantastic!

    e. – yes I went to cog els osyle and it was wonderful!

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