An epicenter for high, avant-garde fashion, Antwerp's also known for its expansive, intricate and gloriously labyrinthine markets. In winter there's the Christmas Market in December and once a year, on August 15, the Rubens Market transports shoppers back to the 15th Century as medieval merchants strive to live up to the Baroque lifestyle of its nominal father, Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens.
If you can't get there those specific times, here are five almost weekly markets for you to get down on, just like Antwerpens.
1. Vrijdagmarkt: For over four centuries, since 1547, Antwerpens and their admirers have flocked to Vrijdagmarkt every Friday (Vrijdagmarkt translates to Friday market) to auction off second-hand goods. From antique furniture and books to vintage clothing and jewelry, Vrijdagmarkt has it all, every Friday morning, every week, for everyone.
2. Lijnwaadmarkt: Located in Antwerp's historic center, this weekly Saturday flea market is sure to offer chotchke-seeking tourists a rare, authentic find. Prices are little more expensive than at some other markets, but the one-of-a-kind wares available here are worth the extra Euros.
3. Sint-Jansvliet: Sint-Jansvliet has quite the personality. It's a basketball court most of the week but on Sundays from 9-5pm it transforms into a wonderful, beloved antique market that was from 1933-1959 called Kleine Tunnelplaats after the pedestrian tunnel that runs alongside it, but Antwerpens demanded the old name be revived, and so it was done.
(Vrijdagmarkt, back in the day.)
4. Vogelenmarkt: Sint-Jansvliet has some competition from 8am-1pm on Sunday, when the "bird market" spreads its wings to showcase flowers, fabrics, antiques, exotic birds and pets at Theaterplein Square in Oudevaartplaats.
5. Exotic International Market: Though it doesn't have as striking a name as Vogelenmarkt, this straight-forwardly named Saturday bazaar, also at Oudevaartplaats, features not only local, native Belgian products, but also spices, beads, fabrics, cheeses, nuts and fishes from Turkey, Morocco and various far-flung lands.
6. Bio Market: The greenest of the green descend on Falconplein in the Red Light District to buy up the most eco-friendly products around at this weekly Sunday (8am-4pm) event.