Belgium: Antwerp – St-Annatunnel and Christmas market


Another Antwerp post today as we had another lovely trip to my favorite Flemish town 🙂

Today I tell you more about the iconic St-Annatunnel, the foot tunnel below the river Schelde, and about the Christmas market.


View on Antwerp as seen from the left bank of the river Schelde.

We parked our car at the left bank of the river Schelde and we decided to go through the St-Annatunnel, which is the foot tunnel below the river Schelde. The tunnel opened in 1933 and the entrance buildings on both sides of the river, have the same, robust 1930’s style. Up until today, a lot of the old features are still used in the tunnel, like the wooden escalators. The tunnel is 572 metres long and it is an easy way to get from the left bank of the river to the historic centre of Antwerp.



St-Annatunnel, Antwerp




Arriving on the right bank, we walked through some cosy streets, passed the Vrijdagmarkt to arrive at the Groenplaats a bit later. In this neighbourhood there are a lot of beautiful shops, a bit different than the usual high streets shops… but so much nicer in my opinion!

I.Ma.Gi.n jewellery in Steenhouwersvest sells beautiful jewels.



The Dries Van Noten shop in Antwerp is situated in this beautiful building in the Nationalestraat
The Akotee shop at the Melkmarkt
XSO shop at the Eiermarkt, selling Issey Miyake and other brands

We had lunch at XO  (mind you… not XSO as mentioned in above photo 🙂 !) on the Melkmarkt. This restaurant/lunchroom offers such a wide variety! Breakfast, lunch, salads,… take your pick!


We walked around this area a bit, browsing in a shop here, doing some window-shopping there and all the time the shadow of the Cathedral was following us. Up until now I have never entered this cathedral before… Isn’t that a shame?! I will put it on my to do list for 2016… I promise! And then I will do another tips ‘n trips post about Antwerp of course 🙂 So for now only some photos of the grand exterior of this building, the largest gothic church in the Low Countries!





We did however end up on the Christmas Market of course… I always find Christmas markets so cosy. I love all the stalls selling their goodies. If you’re still looking for a present, perhaps you’ll find it here! There are a lot of foreign stalls too on the Antwerp Christmas market and of course there are heaps of stalls selling food and drinks…







Above photo of my husband and me was taken by one of the stallholders, who happens to be an old friend of ours. You should check out his Facebook page (Leendert Photography) as he makes fantastic portraits!

To make the fun complete, there is an ice skating rink (on the Groenplaats), a polar mini golfcourse (near Het Steen), a giant wheel, a tubing slide,… And on the Grote Markt, bamboo artist Georges Cuvillier has installed a giant mistletoe! Going to the Christmas market is a fun day out for the entire family!





We went home before it got dark, so the night photos you see in this post are from a couple of years ago. But I wanted to add them as I think they came out really good!

Do you like going to a Christmas market? And have you ever went though the foottunnel underneath the Schelde? Share your thougts in the comments!

Love, Kathleen

Check out this post about the Bollekesfeesten, a summer event in Antwerp.








12 thoughts on “Belgium: Antwerp – St-Annatunnel and Christmas market

  1. These are such beautiful photos! I want to visit Holland even more now! I flew through Amsterdam on my way to America a few days ago but I didn’t have any time to sightsee sadly 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks Gemma! I’m always wondering if I’m putting too many photos in posts like these… but then I think “when someone doesn’t want to see them… they will click away… I post as many photos as I want on my blog” 🙂 The scarf is nice and warm… it’s from HM! Love, Kathleen


    1. We often drive to this foot tunnel (which is only a ten minute drive… if there’s no traffic!) and the go through it to arrive in the historic centre of Antwerp. As we live so nearby we never stayed in Antwerp. It’s a great place though! If you go to Antwerp, make sure to go through the tunnel to watch the view from the right bank! Next Thursday there is another post on Antwerp, so make sure you don’t miss it ! Hope you will have a lovely stay in Belgium 🙂 Love, Kathleen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! Yes we have been planning for awhile and I am very much looking forward to going, we are hoping to stay in Ghent and make our way through the other cities. I am just curious to suggestions about what to do while we are there. I will have to have a look out for next weeks post. Thanks you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ghent is also very beautiful! And Bruges, Brussels and Antwerp of course… And perhaps a seaside resort like Oostende or Knokke? Any of these towns is easy accesible by train!


    1. Aangezien de voetgangerstunnel voor ons tien minuutjes rijden is (als het geen file is…), is dat vaak onze manier om in Antwerpen te geraken… Ik zou er elke keer weer opnieuw foto’s kunnen nemen! Groetjes en bedankt om even op mijn blog langs te komen 🙂 Kathleen


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