The Meir, the fashion boutiques, the second hand shops, the gift stores… Antwerp is a shopping Walhalla. Especially during the sale (or as they call it the Solden). Put on some flat comfortable shoes, because Antwerp has a lot of shopping miles to conquer!
The Meir is the most famous shopping street
In the centre of Antwerp, near the beautiful train station you will find the Meir, a big and broad shopping area where you can find al the famous brands. I must admit I don’t find this street that amazing. Why? Because you can go to a Zara or Tommy Hilfiger in almost every big city in Europe. I rather spent my time in the shops that are more unique, but that’s me 😉 . But even for me there are still some reasons to go to the Meir (and the Leysstraat, that it runs into.)
- Karen Millen – Leysstraat 1-5
The Meir has a big Karen Millen shop and I love it, especially during the sale. Then you can shop the designer items at a discount of 50%. Good for you, and good for your wallet.
- Stadsfeestzaal – Meir 78
Stadsfeestzaal is not very famous for it’s mind-blowing shops, but it has one of the most beautiful ceilings in Antwerp. The entire building is decorated with a lot of gold and bling, bling. You get the idea that you are stepping into a palace. Treat yourself to the best cupcake in the world at Momade Cupcakes and feel like a princess, only for a moment. When you take a good look around at all the B-level shops in de Stadsfeestzaal de magic is gone. But hey, the cupcake is worth it!
Get your clothes and accessories here!
When you are looking for unique shops, it’s best to leave the Meir, Leysstraat and Keyserlei behind you. Antwerp has a lot more to offer you!
- TAS – Steenhouwersvest 33
At TAS you can buy real leather quality handbags, travel bags, purses and more. And for a price you will love. Affordable bags in all shapes and sizes. I was really surprised by the price of the leather bags. Normally you pay at least double that amount for such a bag. I bought a bag at TAS over 2 years ago and mine is still in perfect condition. And I use it every day.
- Barcelona – Hoogstraat 42
Barcelona is one of my favourite shops in Antwerp, and a not an easy one to find. That’s because this cute shop is just outside the main shopping area. Barcelona has colourful sweaters, dresses, trousers, shirts and a lot of jewellery. Really a lot. Don’t expect to go in and have a quick look around, there is to much to see 😉
- Fish & Chips – Kammenstraat 18-22
This urban shop is a must visit for everybody who loves sneakers, caps and trendy street wear. While a DJ is playing his tunes you can look for your new outfit. If you like a sporty style and some urban vibes Fish & Chips is definitely the place to be!
The gift of giving…
I like shopping for somebody else almost more than shopping for myself. The following stores are excellent for finding special gifts, books and jewellery.
- Akotee & Akotwee – Melkmarkt 28 & 30
Two small and cheerful stores chockfull of gifts. The red with white dotted shops are hard to miss. Akotee & Akotwee are decorated in the colourful Mexican style. The gifts are all with a twist, nothing ordinary. My favourite thing in the store: the metal plates with funny saying on them.
- ‘t Stad Leest – Steenhouwersvest 16
Books, books, books, and yes more books. I love them, so I really can’t visit Antwerp without stopping here. ‘t Stad Leest is specialized in books that are perfect for giving as a gift, to someone else or to yourself of course. There is a huge children book section, funny instruction books, books about hobbies and beautiful books for the coffee table.
- Mme Bovary – Lijnwaadmarkt 16
Get your festival in a bottle here! What? Just one of the funny things I found in the shop. Just add alcohol and you are ready to go. A good gift to bring to a party. But Mme Bovary has more to offer. One of a kind post cards with funny phrases and pictures, handmade jewellery, original dinner plates and cups and ornaments for your home.
Winter and Summer Sale
The sale/solden in Antwerp is always around the same time. Book your trips in these periods and your sure of some good deals. The winter sale is in January and the summer sale in July.