“Anne's house is amazing. The interior design is so interesting and Anne obviously has great talent. We loved our stay and her family was very welcoming. Antwerp was an interesting city too. Would love to go back one day. Rachel”
19th C house in the centre of Antwerp
19th C house in the centre of Antwerp
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- 4 Bedrooms
- Sleeps 7
- 2 baths
About our home
OPEN TO OFFERS: If you do not mind living with our youngest son - a kind and helpful university student - you can make an offer for any time of the year, preferably for more than two weeks. We are writers, so always ready to pick up our laptop and go sit down in a different place...
Old house full of books, built in 1886, with ornate plasterwork, wooden flooring, stained glass windows...
The house is large. We can house up to 7 persons sleeping in real beds. It has more rooms than the pictures show. If you are a small party, we may at any point in time open a room or two for a point swap.
Located 400 meters from Antwerp Central Station and the nearest subway entrance, 200 meters from the tram and buses, and 150 meters from the closest bike docking station. Direct train and bus connection to Brussels'
Airport. Ten minutes walk to bus station with express bus Airport.
We are at 20 minutes walking distance from the Antwerp Cathedral, 10 minutes by direct tram.
Antwerp is rather compact. It is fun to walk to the mediaeval city. Bikes are here, but most of the time, when people get here, they decide not to use them, because the walk into the older parts of town is nice. We are in the immediate neighborhood of supermarkets, the subway, nightshops, dozens of little restaurants, coffee & lunch places, cinema (UGC), Zoo, park, Meir (the main shopping street that connects to the smaller boutique area's and the fashion district). We are within walking distance from MAS, Rubens house, Plantin-Moretusmuseum, Cogels-Osylei, the city park, the Opera,.
The house is 19th century. At ground floor level there is an impressive entrance hall leading into interconnecting living room with many period features and original fireplace and equipped kitchen. The kitchen opens onto the green city garden.
The first floor has a master bedroom with king size bed. The window opens to two terraces that overlook the garden. In the front there is a home office/study/library on this level.
The two floors above have another library/study and three bedrooms, with 2 doubles and 2 singles. Two of those bedrooms have their own sink with hot and cold water. From the top floor, you have a nice view over the quarter.
The house has a large bathroom with bath and shower (both with thermostatic water supply) and 2 toilets. There is a laundry room with washer (no dryer, we have lines for drying, for ecological reasons), a television, bikes, wifi, dish washer. The offices have ergonomic chairs and all necessaries to do desk work...
Garage is available. Car also, if swap allows.
In the kitchen, large glass doors open to a sheltered garden which is fully equipped for outdoor dining (no barbecue). The house has many plants inside and outside (or all outside in the summertime). I love to swap with people who will water them, and I will be good at taking care of your plants while we are at your house.
We try to run the house in an ecological way. We have avoided the use of synthetic paints and varnishes. There are sun panels on the roof. Each room as a thermostatic radiator (there is no heating in the hallway, so we keep the doors closed in the winter). All windows are double glass, even the stained glass windows, for comfort and for silence. We use mosquito nets rather than chemical repellents. We try to use soaps that are biodegradable. We appreciate all efforts to keep our house free of chemicals.
Old 19th century neighborhood, great atmosphere, friendly neighbors, very multi-cultural. One of the more trendy areas of Antwerp: where artists and students live. Lots of culture, restaurants and bars within walking distance.
Antwerpen-Centraal train station is in our garden (sort of;-).
With direct trains to Brussels and Ghent (45 min.), Rotterdam (1 h.), Lille (1 h. 20 min.), Amsterdam and Paris (2 h.).
If you plan to travel within Belgium by train, make sure to buy a 'tienrittenkaart'. It gives you the right to do ten rides ('tien ritten' means ten rides). If you are under 26 years old, it is 51 euros for ten rides, five euro per ride, to ANY train station in Belgium. That is extremely cheap. If you are older than 26, it is 75 euro, 7,5 euro per ride, still not bad. Brugge is an (indirect) train ride from here of 2 hours, Brussels is 45 minutes from here, Ghent also about the same. You can put several persons on the same tienrittencard. To make it easy for English speakers, it is called 'go-pass' if you are under 26 and 'rail-pass' if you are over 26.
What to do in Antwerp?
Visit the Grote Markt (16th c.), Cathedral (gothic), Groenplaats, 't Zuid, FoMu, M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art), Plantin-Moretus Museum, Rubens House, Rockox Museum, Museum Mayer van den Bergh (Breughel!), Fashion Museum, the MAS, Red Star Line Museum (of emigration), Open Air Sculpture Garden (one of the oldest in Europe), Grand Open Air Market (Saturday/Sunday), Botanic garden, the Zoo (19th c.), the city park, Park Spoor Noord, the art deco pedestrian tunnel (under the river), Henry Conscienceplein (with the baroque Carolus Borromeus Church), the Ruien (late medieval underground sewage system), Bourla Theatre, Schouwburg, Cogels Osy neighborhood (art nouveau streets), and so on. Shopping streets are Meir, Keyserlei, Kammenstraat, Nationale Straat, Huidevetterstraat, Schuttershofstraat, Hopland, Hoogstraat, Kloosterstraat (Antique Street), ...
The house has books and city guides on Antwerp, also historic information and maps.
In Antwerp we have a separated trash disposal. Plastic bottles, metal packaging and drinking cartons need to be recycled. If you're not sure, just ask.
Our medical doctor lives across the street. If you need him, we will contact him for you.
Parking is possible in the neighborhood, 3.75 euro per day, free on Sundays. If we swap while we have the car, you use our garage.
Please note that as the house is four stories over basement level. It may therefore not be suitable for persons with mobility issues - sorry about that...
- Main home
- Cable TV
“Anne and Manu are excellent hosts and their house is wonderful. So is Antwerpen. We had a very nice swap and can recommend the city and house to everyone who enjoyes culture.”
“Myself, my partner and 4 year old daughter recently spent 5 nights at Anne's place in the centre of Antwerp. Anne and her family made us feel really welcome in their lovely home full of books, and had great advice and resources on Antwerp and places to visit. We really enjoyed Antwerp too especially with insiders knowledge! Thanks!”
“Everything was great about this house and about it's super friendly owners. The house is ideally located, walking distance from everywhere. The old renovated house is huge and filled with books, plants and nice furniture. A bit like a castle in the city. The hosts gave us perfect tips about what to do and see in Antwerp: these insider tips beats any guidebook. I recommend this house to everybody!!! Really a 5 star experience!!!”
More about us
- My husband and I are writers. We write essays and fiction. Cornelius finished his Master in European Studies (U of Leuven), Martha finished her Master's in Philosophy and is now going to the U of Chicago, Basil is starting his Bachelor's History (U of Antwerp)
- Our house is very well equipped for anyone who wants to sit down and work. It is also in the eye of the storm: very quiet neighborhood very close to the action.
- We have lots of house exchange experience, all of them extremely positive.
Where is it?
- Buzzy restaurants
- Old 19th century neighborhood, great atmosphere, friendly neighbors, very multi-cultural. One of the more trendy areas of Antwerp: where artists and students live. Lots of culture, restaurants and bars within walking distance. The historic centre is close by as well.
- Cool bars
- Borgerhout, or, 'Boho' as we like to call it ;-) is a young vibrant and multicultural neighbourhood. There are plenty of new, alternative and artistic venues. There are nice and cosy bars and restaurants and bakeries just a few steps away. Borgerhout is also an up and coming neigbourhood for young artists with many art galleries popping up. Apart from this, we will give you a map of Antwerp when you arrive and explain you where the exciting places are, depending on what interests you. We love the Grote Markt, Cathedral, Antique Street, Groenplaats, 't Zuid, FoMu, MoMu, Museum van de Hedendaagse Kunsten, Plantijn Moretius Museum, Modenatie, Kammenstraat, Vrijdagmarkt, Vreemdelingenmarkt, kruidentuintje (botanic garden), MAS, voetgangerstunnel, Linkeroever, Henry Conscienceplein, Toneelhuis, Schouwburg, Cinema Zuid, Cartoons. Shopping streets are Meir, Keyserlei, Kammenstraat, Nationale Straat, Huidevetterstraat, Schuttershofstraat, Hopland, Kloosterstraat,...
- Bit of culture
- Western Europe's Best-kept Secret Nish Gera in Huffington Post 24 feb 2016 A city in the north of Belgium with a population of just over half a million is a place that you may likely not have heard of, since it does not appear that prominently on the more mainstream tourist itineraries. Cities by the sea usually have a lot of character that comes from a flux of trade and people. Antwerp, with its portside location and unique history, is one such city. For starters, eighty percent of the world's traded diamonds pass through here. The centuries old diamond trade is one of the many reasons why this city always seems to be in its golden age. Also, over the course of about six decades before the Second World War, over two and a half million people passed through here on their way to a new life in America, carrying with them countless dreams. Antwerp was the main port of call for the Red Star Line, the shipping company that carried them across the Atlantic. They were seeking their fortunes in the promised lands of North America, landing in Ellis Island in New York, in Boston and Philadelphia and in various ports in Canada. They came from all over Europe, escaping poverty, discrimination, famine and many hundreds of thousands of them making a fortuitous escape before the war began. Many of them were Jews escaping imminent persecution and death. Albert Einstein and Irving Berlin were the two most famous names that followed this same route through Antwerp. The city of Antwerp is where they all gathered, often carrying all their worldly possessions and hopes with them, fearful whether they will pass the required medical examinations to be considered fit enough for the New World. Being diagnosed with Trachoma, an infectious eye disease, for example, meant a definite denial to board the ship. All of this after journeys that often lasted weeks or even months for many who came from far flung places in Eastern Europe. These journeys are now chronicled in the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp. Today, Antwerp is a dynamic and prosperous city with a thriving fashion, design, food, and nightlife scene. It is one of the major hubs of the European fashion scene and is home to the 'Antwerp Six', a group of six avant-garde fashion designers that includes world famous names such as Dries van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester. Since great fashion goes hand in glove with unique design, Antwerp is also home to one of the largest concentrations of design-oriented concept stores, displaying everything from footwear to artisanal home wares. With over seven higher education institutes, it is a city with a lot of young people. Add to that the concerted efforts of the city authorities to promote and incent entrepreneurial ventures, and you get a city pulsating with vigor and energy. As if all of this weren't enough, Antwerp has earned some top accolades for its food scene as well. A restaurant here was recently voted the world's most beautiful restaurant. The Jane, a Michelin-starred gem, is housed in an ex-military hospital chapel transformed into a modern gothic space. You don't have to necessarily splurge to find great food here. And even that café around the corner will serve your coffee and cake in a way that is reminiscent of a time when afternoons were more luxurious. Most bars here serve a range of great beers - you are in Belgium after all! Antwerp was also home to the baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens and his apprentice Anthony Van Dyck. For art history buffs, a visit to the house where Rubens spent twenty-five years painting - The Rubenshuis - is an absolute must. Like a lot of cities in Europe, Antwerp is really well connected by train to major cities like Brussels and Amsterdam. In fact, the central station, with its art deco hall and towering dome, is regularly voted one of the world's most beautiful railway stations. When we tell these Antwerp stories to our friends in the States and elsewhere who have never visited it, we often get bemused looks. And from those that have visited, there is a shared recognition of having discovered a city rich in its past and present. It's refreshing to know that even in this age of rapid global information sharing, there are still some well-kept secrets, which only adds that much wanted spark of serendipity and joy to travel.
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