Night at the Museum

  • Museumnacht #thisisantwerp
  • Museumnacht #thisisantwerp
  • Museumnacht #thisisantwerp

In 1942 Edward Hopper created Nighthawks, a painting on which four people dwell in a diner at night time. Anno 2013 nighthawks have plenty of options of spending their time when the sun is down. Once a year they can even go to the museum after regular hours, thanks to Museumnacht. 16 museums in the city centre open from 7 PM to 1 AM and of course there is an after party too.

Now let us get to the best part: when you are younger than 26, the whole night costs you exactly €1! For others the entrance price is €8, which is pretty cheap as well: you get to see all the permanent collections plus all kinds of activities, going from live bands to being read a story by a Belgian author.

This year Museumnacht took place on the first Saturday of August. My sister Helen and I started at the Vleeshuis, where the collection about music in the city was finished off with a 19th century music performance. In the Letterhuis, the place for book worms like me, we were joined by Helen’s boyfriend where we listened to a story by Kristien Hemmerechts. The Flemish author based her short story on a novel by the naturalist writer Stijn Streuvels. The exposition De Modernen is set a few decades later. It is part of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts collection, but while the building is getting a facelift, the Fabiolazaal serves as an attractive alternative. We discovered that you either love or hate modernist art!


Rubenshuis is a classic amongst the museums in Antwerp with the majestic garden as biggest must-see. Our last stop was Kavka, which is not a museum but a youth centre for parties, workshops and until the 27th of August the expo DFF Diamond Friends Forever resides here. The unique aspect of this exhibition is that it is made by and for young people. It is fun and interactive plus on August 11 you can visit DFF and have a royal breakfast for only €6! All info here.


We have only been to a small segment of the museums that participated in Museumnacht, luckily the wrist band functions as a free ticket for one museum after the event. Moreover, many museums in Antwerp only cost €1 for -26 year olds, so it certainly is a good idea to plan a cultural trip when you are in our city!


Text and pictures by Tine