The 6 best spots for a picnic in Antwerp
Are you looking for the perfect spot for a relaxing picnic in Antwerp? We asked our guides to share their favorite locations. They surprised us with six parks that offer an unforgettable picnic experience. Go on, pack your picnic basket!
1/ Den Botaniek
Den Botaniek (Antwerp’s botanical garden) is an absolute must if you love luscious colors and scents. Den Botaniek is a city garden that takes you back to the past. It used to belong to the Sint-Elisabethgasthuis. The hospital grew medicinal herbs in it. Today, it is a public place where you will find as many as 2,000 different plant species neatly marked with nameplates. Lush flowers, graceful fountains, and cushy lawns make Den Botaniek a charming setting for a quiet picnic in the middle of the busy city center.
2/ Park Middelheim
For lovers of art and nature, Park Middelheim is an absolute must-visit. This park houses an impressive collection of contemporary sculptures. Choose a shady spot under one of the majestic trees and get inspired by the combination of art and nature. Listen to the soothing sound of leaves rustling in the wind while birds chirp happily in the background.
3/ Park Den Brandt
Enter a fairytale world at Park Den Brandt, a green gem with beautiful ponds, stately avenues, and picturesque bridges. The park is an idyllic setting for a picnic. Find a spot by the water and enjoy the peace and serenity around you. The rippling sound of the water and the gentle rustling of leaves create a relaxing setting while enjoying the food and drinks in your picnic basket.
4/ Park Spoor Noord
For a vibrant atmosphere, Park Spoor Noord is the place to be. This modern city park has extensive lawns and several play areas, including a fun water play area with fountains for the kids. It makes Park Spoor Noord perfect for families and groups of friends who want to picnic and enjoy each other’s company. From April to September, you can also grab a snack or a drink at the park’s summer bar. The sound of laughing children and the enthusiastic murmur of people creates a cozy ambiance.
Park Belvédère, the newest park at the old dry docks on the Eilandje, offers breathtaking views of the Scheldt. The hexagonal viewpoint with a green zone is very popular with Antwerp residents. They mainly come there to exercise, relax or picnic! Be amazed by Antwerp’s skyline while enjoying a relaxing breeze in peaceful surroundings.
6/ Het Rivierenhof
The Rivierenhof offers everything you need for a successful picnic experience: vast green lawns, beautiful ponds, and breathtaking collection gardens, such as the rose garden, arboretum, pinetum, azalea garden, and Celtic Tree Garden. The Rivierenhof is a play paradise for families with children, with several playgrounds and a maze.
The Rivierenhof organizes regular events like the Rose Festival and Storytelling Festival. In 2023, there will be numerous activities for the park’s 100th anniversary from May to November. And every year from June to September, during OLT Rivierenhof, you can enjoy a whole host of concerts in the enchanting open-air theatre. On the program: rock, reggae & blues, pop, hip hop, and urban. So pick a cozy spot for a picnic or visit the Rivierenhof for one of the many performances.
If you want to explore some of Antwerp’s greenest spots with a guide, we recommend our bike tour “The Parks of Antwerp”. During this 3-hour tour, you will cycle past the beautiful green sites in and around Antwerp. Among others, you will enjoy the trendy Park Spoor Noord, the vast Rivierenhof, and the works of art in Middelheim Park. A local guide will accompany you and tell you about each park’s history and highlights.
Prefer to explore Antwerp’s beautiful parks on your own? No problem! Rent a bike from Antwerp by Bike and explore the city at your own pace. Cycling lets you move quickly from one park to another and explore all the city’s beauty.
All of these parks have free entry unless there are extraordinary events taking place that require admission charges. To find the parks’ opening hours, visit their official websites. While Antwerp has no explicit regulations governing picnics, exhibiting good manners by cleaning up after yourself and refraining from littering is widely valued. Finding public toilets can sometimes be a challenge, but Antwerp recently launched three pilot projects to place additional public restrooms at urban parks and plazas. Once these pilot projects are evaluated, they will determine the next steps for more neighborhood sanitary facilities.