The 5 best independent bookshops Antwerp

De Groene Waterman

Wolstraat 7
Central Antwerp
+32 (0)3 232 93 94

A beautiful bookshop with a mysterious name (The Green Waterman) that no one seems able to explain. Most books are in Dutch, but it has some English fiction, including Flemish literature in translation. They also stock Believer, Mc-Sweeny’s and indeed anything with Dave Eggers’ name attached. Children’s books are kept in a room at the back.


Nationalestraat 28
Central Antwerp
+ 32 (0)3 232 94 16

Here is a seriously stylish bookshop designed by the Antwerp architect Vincent Van Duysen in 2000. Located in the same building as the fashion museum, it has a striking interior with white walls, black bookshelves and two low tables piled with gorgeous art and architecture books.

't Stad Leest

Steenhouwersvest 16
Central Antwerp
+32 (0)3 233 08 80

This spacious, independent bookshop opened in an Antwerp townhouse in 2011. It stocks beautiful Taschen art books, cookbooks and children’s fiction. It also has Moleskine notebooks, quirky games and unusual postcards.

Alta Via

Nassaustraat 29
Het Eilandje
+32 (0)3 293 87 33

Here is a bookshop in the docks quarter where you can equip yourself for a globetrotting adventure. As well as a large stock of travel guides, it sells hiking maps, illuminated globes and trekking equipment. The furniture was made using recycled wooden crates.

Fomu Shop

Waalsekaai 47
Het Zuid
+32 (0)3 242 93 22

The shop in the photography museum has an inspiring collection of photo books and exhibition catalogues from all over the world. It also sells photo magazines, postcards and Polaroid accessories made by The Impossible Project.

part of 40 places to shop

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Antwerp