Named after the 19th-century Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience, this beautiful square is dominated by the baroque Carolus Borromeus church and the old city library. It became the first car-free square in Antwerp in 1968 after some local artists closed it off with blocks of industrial ice.
A roundabout on the edge of the Zurenborg district is bisected by a railway viaduct and crossed by tram lines. The cafés on the square have pavement terraces where you can sit on summer evenings while goods trains rumble overhead deep into the night, adding to the somewhat surreal mood.
This cobbled square planted with old trees was once the site of the city’s weigh house. Surrounded by old brick warehouses, it is a sleepy, forgotten spot during the day, but the square slowly comes to life in the evening as the bars open their doors.
This inviting urban square is surrounded by shops, cafés and restaurants. You can watch a basketball game, kick around a football or sit on the terrace of Zeezicht with a glass of La Chouffe. It is worth dropping by after dark to see the artificial starry night created using a network of suspended lights.
This little square can easily be spotted on old maps of Antwerp. You just need to look for the cows, for this was once a cattle market on the edge of the old town. It is now a square with popular cafés where students meet after classes.