The 5 most inspiring museums in Antwerp

1) Hofkamer

Not many people have ever seen inside the intriguing 18th-century Hofkamer. Forgotten for many years, this remarkable rococo building has a ballroom on the ground floor with a magnificent painted ceiling illustrating The Gods on Mount Olympus and a curious bookcase toilet on the first floor lined with fake volumes made from leather and wood.

windows and painted ceiling at the Hofkamer in Antwerp

2) FoMu

Once a warehouse, now a photography museum where you can see works by some of the world’s greatest photographers. The film museum and Café UFO are in the same building, while the museum shop is a good place to browse for books, postcards and vintage cameras.

Photobook Belge exhibition FoMu

3) Vleeshuis

An inspiring museum of musical instruments where you wander around with a digital player and headphones listening to strange instruments from the past. You might hear bagpipe music from the time of Bruegel or a virginal built in an Antwerp workshop.

Vleeshuis museum in Antwerp

4) Plantin-Moretus Museum

The rooms of this beautiful Renaissance building are filled with relics of the Plantin-Moretus publishing house, including cases of lead type, old books and detailed maps. One of Europe’s most beautiful museums, it tells the story of printing at a time when Antwerp was at the heart of the global economy.

Plantin-Moretus-Museum

5) De Poorterswoning

The mediaeval beer cellar De Pelgrom is hardly a secret, but the private museum upstairs is barely known. Here you find rooms furnished in 15th-century style with old cooking pots and a caged parrot. The owner offers a lively guided tour. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 pm to 6.30 pm.

a room at the Poorterswoning

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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Antwerp reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Antwerp's best-kept secrets.

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