All the best for the New Year!
The press team for the city of Antwerp wishes you all the best for the coming year. In 2023, we received 250 foreign journalists for press trips. And, based on planned activities in the city, we are sure that we can receive at least the same number this year. In 2024, our city has plenty to offer on a culinary and cultural level, and we are also the proud host city for events with an international flavour. But, before we take a glimpse behind the scenes, as proud residents of Antwerp, let's cast our eyes over a few highlights from last year.
Antwerp to host MICHELIN Guide Ceremony for Belgium & Luxemburg
26 February 2024
The 2024 selection of the MICHELIN Guide Belgium and Luxembourg will be unveiled on Monday 26 February at the Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp. The choice of our city for this event is no coincidence. Since the 16th century, Antwerp has been a cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures, ideas, heritage and gastronomy from across the world. Antwerp is well-known for its quality cuisine using local and seasonal products. We also have a wide range of bars and restaurants that excel when it comes to ambiance and cosiness. In 2023, Antwerp was home to no fewer than 17 restaurants with one or more Michelin stars and that's a lot when you consider the modest area we cover.
'Vlaanderens Mooiste' starts in Antwerp
31 March 2024
On 31 March 2024, Antwerp will prepare itself for the start of the Tour of Flanders. The Tour of Flanders, also known as 'Vlaanderens Mooiste' is one of the most important one-day international cycling competitions in the world; a so-called classic. The competition has a rich history and was organised for the first time in 1913. Since 2022, the location of the start has alternated between Antwerp and Bruges. During the last edition, tens of thousands of fans from home and abroad attended the start at the glorious Grote Markt, and this year we are hoping for the same. The best cyclists in the world will follow an even longer route through the city of Antwerp before really fighting it out on Linkeroever (Left Bank).
7 June – 29 September 2024
With COME CLOSER, Middelheim Museum (Antwerp's open-air museum) and art centre De Singel (Antwerp's international art centre) are together exploring the space between sculpture and performance art. This collaboration brings together some 25 artists from home and abroad: sculptures, interactive installations and performances. What they share is this: they alter the traditional relationships between the artist, the artwork and the public. In COME CLOSER, the distance between the three is replaced by an exciting exchange.
This project not only comments on the art of today, but also on our current lives. After all, in the numerous interactions in which we engage every day, we also take on different roles. We are always ourselves but also always a little bit someone else: online or not, among colleagues, with our parents, with friends. It is 'performing' in constant exchange with our environment, and subject to all kinds of factors.
Opening of The Rubens House experience centre and garden
The Rubens House, the city residence of the world-famous Antwerp baroque painter and a brand new reception building, will open in the summer of 2024. The building was designed by Robbrecht en Daem architecten and forms the entrance to the Rubens universe.
The façade is a twirling spectacle of hundreds of little pillars. The building is brimming full of references to Rubens' art, such as the spiral staircases moving upwards, and is construed as two giant bookcases opposite one another. You can visit the immersive experience there, where you will be standing eye-to-eye with Rubens. Towards the rear, you will enter the new Rubens House garden. This Baroque garden shows colour for 365 days a year and is resplendent in any season. With more than 17,000 plants, this makes it a museum hall without a ceiling. Rubens' gardeners, Willem and Jasper, explain everything that happened here in smells and colours.
Would you like to dive further into the 17th century? Then you will be welcome to rummage through the books and manuscripts in the library. Moreover, you will have a wonderful view of Rubens' house and garden there.
The reception building and the garden will be opened with festivities in the summer of 2024. The house where Rubens lived and worked remains closed for renovation.
2024 is the year of Ensor
From September 2024
In 2024, it will be 75 years since artist James Ensor passed away in Ostend, the city where he lived and worked for practically his whole life. We know James Ensor as a pioneer of modern art. A complex personality. And still a source of inspiration today. Along with his birth city of Ostend, Antwerp too – the home base for the largest Ensor collection in the world – remembers this versatile artist. From September 2024, our museums will organise four wide-ranging exhibitions of international allure, spread throughout the city. These will shed light upon his groundbreaking oeuvre in the international context of Ensor's time. And how Ensor, with his language of imagery, remains a source of inspiration for photography, fashion and make-up.
- Ensor's wildest dreams. Beyond impressionism. - KMSKA (28/9/2024 - 19/1/2025).
- States of Imagination - Museum Plantin-Moretus (28/9/2024 - 5/1/2025).
- Cindy Sherman - Anti-Fashion - FOMU (28/9/2024 - 2/2/2025).
- Masquerade, Makeup & Ensor - Fashion Museum (28/9/2024 - 19/1/2025).
Last but not least: Antwerp included in prestigious lists
The leading trade journal Architectural Digest named our city as one of the '24 best places to travel in 2024'. The publication described Antwerp as 'a city where burgeoning designers thrive and the city’s cultural institutions and hotel scene are catching up...'
And we mentioned it last year but are delighted to mention it again: the city of Antwerp has been included in 'The Best Places to Go in Europe in 2024' list from the prestigious travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler. Every year, this magazine – along with its worldwide network of editors – composes a list of the best places to visit. So now Antwerp has the honour of being among the 24 most inspiring travel destinations in the world. Condé Nast Traveler speaks highly of the world's diamond capital as a hidden jewel, with a versatile offering of cultural activities for a weekend of fun.
And with the confidence and swagger for which Antwerp's residents are known, might we suggest that you can find a few ideas in the newsletter you have just read.
Come and discover it all for yourself in Antwerp! Contact us:
Copyright header: Walter Saenen