Excellent Antwerp Shopping is the reason many visit our city. One of the many titles that Antwerp proudly used in the 16th century was de "triomfelycke coopstad", which roughly translates as "the city renowned for shopping". Today this tittle is still accurate.
Here is an elementary guide for all kinds of shopping. From markets and malls to brand boutiques, antiques, ethnic specialities, fashion, chocolate and diamond shops.
The main Antwerp shopping street is Meir, but most of the shops on this busy thoroughfare are international chain stores.
Mainly in the area around Nationalestraat, including Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter van Beirendonck and Marina Yee. The most prestigious venue is Het Modepaleis (9), at No 16 (00 32 3470 2510); 10am-6.30pm daily except Sunday. Since 1989, this grand former outfitter's has been the flagship store of Dries Van Noten, one of several local designers who have put Antwerp on the international fashion map. Prices in the window start at €70 for a stylish T-shirt, and climb rapidly.
Schutterhofstraat is also good for fashionistas. For urban streetwear, try Kammenstraat, St Antoniusstraat and Nationalstraat. Kammenstraat is best for younger fashion, especially Fish & Chips (10) at Nos 36-38 (00 32 3227 0824; www.fishandchips.be); 10am-6.30pm daily except Sunday.
Leopoldstraat is good for antiques. Go to Volkstraat for lighting, home decor and Art Nouveau. Kloosterstraat is a good place to hunt for bric-a-brac.
Foodies should visit Kaashandel Vervloet (28 Wiegstraat, 03 233 3729), run by master cheese buyer Luc Wouters.
Chocolate lovers should try one of the Famous Chocolate Shops. Burie, at Korte Gasthuisstraat 3, is arguably one of the best of the many chocolate shops here.
Galerie De Zwarte Panter
Within an area of less than one square kilometre you can find around 1,500 diamond companies and four diamond exchanges.
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