WALK YOUR WAY THROUGH ART
Art used to be a high society thing. Times have definitely changed and there is no form of art more social than street art. You can’t own the pieces: they are created in public space for everybody to see, enjoy and love. They are a remembrance of the certainty you should live in the here and now: before you know it, the drawings fade or get covered with tags. But it’s all part of the magic…
Antwerp has a vivid street art scene for you to explore. Let’s start off with a short list of must-sees. Often the most beautiful pieces are overlooked because we’re all too busy going somewhere so try to look around the corner every now and again and who knows what gems you might discover!
AND OFF WE GO…
We’ll take you on a walk (takes about one hour), starting at Park Spoor Noord where you can start the day off with breakfast (try Caravan or Zum!) . You can print out the full walk by visiting http://bit.ly/streetartwalkantwerp. Of course you’re free to switch it up and visit the spots randomly and for those who want to make a day out of it; we’ve added a few hotspots along the way.
(1) Park Spoor Noord
When you arrive at Park Spoor Noord (by Velo for example), after you’ve enjoyed a delicious breakfast, walk into the direction of the big towers at the end of the park. You’ll find rows and rows of bridge pillars covered with graffiti. It’s like a big cake: you think the topping is sweet but wait until you get to the other layers!
Catch a glimpse of the skating ramp while you walk by, heading into the direction of ’t Eilandje. It’s a 15 min walk straight towards and across the Londenbrug. If you need an orientation point: try to get close to the MAS (the big red building). If you have some spare time, go up to the roof to see the magnificent views.
Hotspot n°1After you’ve crossed the bridge but right before you get to the MAS, get yourself a really nice cup of coffee at Broer Bretel (Nassaustraat 7).
When you exit the MAS, continue your path down south, turn right and spot a big mural covering up lost space between two pubs on your left.
Head back to where you came from (towards the MAS) and take the second street to the right. You should cross the busy Oude Leeuwenrui which heads straight to a little square called Falconplein.
Hotspot n°2Viktor (Falconplein 45), an espresso bar and concept gallery showcasing talented creatives is located on this square.
Keep on following the street down as it bends to the right and turns into the Huikstraat. Then take the first street on your left.
Although we went away from the water you’ll still be able to spot whales! Take a peek around the corner and behold a bright artwork that covers the entire side of a house.
And we’re off again for a 15 min walk towards the historic city center. Walk through the Houtenbrug, then go right (Klapdorp). Keep on walking and you’ll see the Cathedral appearing in the distance. Cross the Minderbroedersrui and take the second street on the right (Zirkstraat), followed by the first street on your left (Hofstraat). Now it’s “altijd rechtendeur” like they say in Antwerp: always straight ahead! You’ll cross the Grote Markt (photo opportunity!) and walk straight into the Hoogstraat (shops are open on Sundays!). Keep on going until you reach the two squares at the end of the street.
Hotspot n°3La Chascona (Oever 18) is located on the last square. It’s a small coffee house with a twist. They serve a delicious coffee and cake with the twist being that can buy everything you see!
Gaze upon yet another mural and let your imagination take flight. You can make up your own stories with all the characters.
To continue your walk, pass by the mural and take the first small street on the left (Munstraat).
A few steps later you’ll discover a nice green square (Munthof) where almost all the walls are covered in art as well!
Get to the next location by going back to the Muntstraat and going right, following the Augustijnenstraat. When you reach the Nationalestraat, turn left and take the second street on the right (the street is part of a small square), then immediately go left again.
Hopefully you still have some room left on your camera to take shots of this alley where numerous artists showed off their skills. It’s definitely worth to get lost in details!
Walk all the way through the street and take a left to the Kammenstraat(beware: your pace might slow down when you see all the shops lining up). The end is near: take the second street on your left (Oudaan).
(7) Kavka, Oudaan
Sit down at Kavka’s courtyard and enjoy the last mural of this walk. The text isn’t fully readable anymore which reminds us of the expiration date of street art but luckily we have photographs to remember it in its full glory: “the future can only be understood backwards”.
Text and pictures by Laura.