The city of Antwerp has an interesting relationship with the diamond trade. Every year, the total worth exceeds 25 billion euro. For centuries, Antwerp has been the world’s most important diamond hub. 84% of the world’s mined diamonds end up in Antwerp. Originally, the diamond trade was entirely in the hands of the Jewish community. In recent years, the diamond trade has attracted more and more Indian diamond traders.
At the centre of the Diamond district, we find Antwerp’s railway station (Centraal Station). Every day, 40000 tourists, students, locals, visitors and commuters pass through. Antwerp’s Central Station is more than a mere railway station. It’s a beautiful monument and a testament to Antwerp’s rich cultural history. In 2014, it was awarded the title “the most beautiful railway station in the world”. So, be sure to take a look at the interior as well. Surrounded by fantastic architecture, you’ll find a lot of shops, bars and more.
If you love animals, the Diamond district is definitely worth a visit. Right next to Antwerp’s Central Station, you’ll find the zoo. The zoo opened its doors on July 21th 1843 and is thus the oldest zoo in Belgium and one of the oldest zoos in the world. After a few hundred metres, on “Astridplein”, we are presented with “Chocolate Nation”. An interactive chocolate experience. After a visit to Chocolate Nation, you will fully understand where Belgium’s fascination with chocolate stems from.
“De Keyserlei” is a large boulevard that connects Central Station to the “Meir”, Antwerp’s most famous shopping street. “De Keyserlei” has a lot to offer. You can browse shops, go to the gym, catch a movie and obviously grab a bite to eat. “De Keyserlei” is home to a broad range of bars; restaurants and eateries. “Granduca” is definitely worth a visit if you are looking for a stylish dining experience. Do you want to try some of Belgium’s finest beers? Drop by “Beer Central”, but remember not to drink and drive.
Do you want to visit the most beautiful railway station in the world and learn more on Antwerp’s rich cultural history? The Diamond district will not disappoint.