Bike tour “Zuid (the South) and Zurenborg”: what to expect
Do you want to see more of Antwerp than just the historic center, but you don’t know how? The best solution is biking with Antwerp By Bike! By bike, you can get to almost every neighborhood of Antwerp in no time.
On our brand new tour, “South and Zurenborg”, you will see the main sights of the neighborhoods South & Zurenborg in 2 hours in a safe and fun way with a local guide.
Cycling along the renewed Scheldt quays
The South is a beautiful neighborhood to explore during your visit to Antwerp. It is a neighborhood full of stately mansions and beautiful squares. We descend along the Scheldt Quays towards the city’s south to get there.
Until recently, the Scheldt Quays served mainly as traffic arteries and parking areas. Now they are being transformed into open recreational spaces. In total, Antwerp will tackle some 6.7 kilometers of quayside zone, seeking tailor-made solutions for the sub-zones to:
(1) Stabilize the historic quay wall.
(2) Make the quay higher and more attractive.
(3) Recreate the public space.
In the zone at Sint-Andries and Zuid, the city has already realized these 3 pillars, which we can admire from close up by bicycle!
Cycling through Nieuw-Zuid, a brand-new, sustainable residential area
Next, the Scheldt quays take us to Nieuw-Zuid, a brand new district furthest south of the city. This district is rising on a former railroad yard and is a showcase of sustainability and innovative technology. By 2025, there should be 2,000 homes. Although construction is still in full swing, the district is already home to a large park and many trendy places.
Eye-catcher of the South: the KMSKA
Then we cycle into the 19th century South. The structure of the district was inspired by Haussmann’s street plan in Paris: wide avenues in a star pattern opening onto a square with a statue or a fountain.
The most beautiful building in the South is, by far, the KMSKA (Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp) on Leopold de Waelplaats. It is one of the most important museums in Belgium. It houses important works of art by grandmasters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Jan van Eyck, Anthony Van Dyck, Hans Memling, and James Ensor.
The museum closed its doors in 2011 for an extensive renovation that transformed four historic courtyards into an additional museum volume. In this way, the KMSKA gained 40% exhibition space. But the existing 19th-century building also received a thorough renovation inside and outside. The facade – with its impressive sculptures – was restored, and the entrance was given a new mosaic. In September 2022, the KMSKA reopened after 11 years of renovation!
Groen Kwartier: a pleasant, car-free residential park
We leave the museum behind and cycle past beautiful mansions toward the neighborhoods Harmonie and Groen Kwartier (Green Quarter). The Green Quarter languished for years as a former Military Hospital. In 2005, the city began redeveloping the site into a car-free living and working space in the middle of town. Today, the Green Quarter is among the hippest culinary neighborhoods in Antwerp, with two-starred restaurants (August & The Jane) less than a hundred meters apart.
Zurenborg: cycling past villas and palaces
After the quiet Green Quarter, it is time to cycle through the streets of Zurenborg. Zurenborg is a chic neighborhood with impressive architecture from the belle époque, the period just before the First World War. The houses there mainly showcase the art nouveau style. This building style shows constructive elements that also serve as decoration at the same time.
Cogels-Osylei: the most beautiful street in Antwerp
In Zurenborg, one street stands out above everything else: the Cogels-Osylei. In the Cogels-Osylei, you admire one magnificent house or mini-palace after another. We slowly cycle past all the buildings and stop at the end of the street. Unfortunately, the narrow streets do not allow us to stop at every house. (If you’re looking for a tour where you go more in-depth, consider a walking tour through Zurenborg with Walking In Antwerp.)
After Zurenborg, we make our way back toward the starting point of our tour via some of Antwerp’s most beautiful and cozy spots, lined with terraces and restaurants.
Book your guided tour through Zuid and Zurenborg now
This tour takes place every Saturday from July to October at 2:30 p.m. in Dutch. We start near the Grote Markt of Antwerp.
You can also book this tour as a private tour any time you wish, guided in English, French, German or Dutch. You can then choose a bike tour of 2 or 3 hours. In case of a 3-hour tour, a drink stop can be included in consultation with the guide.