District Guide: Antwerp South, Antwerp
seen by Paulien Riemis, content creator
Even though Paulien wasn’t born in Antwerp, she couldn’t imagine living in another city, having moved to the Belgian town seven years ago. The small cobblestone streets, the grand historic buildings and the cozy, buzzing terraces at night not only saw her falling in love, but also buying a house where she now resides with her boyfriend and her Persian cat. It’s an oasis of peace in her hectic life as an all-round creative mind: when she decided to create Polienne.com, her blog, she could only have imagined all the beautiful adventures that lay in store for her. Today Paulien is a digital content creator focusing on style, travel and interior inspiration who gives offline workshops and, from time to time, even designs fashion pieces and jewelry.
”The Neubau district in my town is Antwerp South because of the eclectic mix of shopping, dining and experiencing radiates fun, creativity and liveliness.”
How do you spend a Saturday in your neighborhood? I always sleep in — no, I am not a morning person — cuddle with our cat and sometimes treat myself to brunch at Tinsel. Around noon, I usually go to the market at Theaterplein with my boyfriend and our friends, where we always hang out at the little stand that sells homemade shrimp croquettes and rosé wine. A recommendation for sunny Saturdays! In the afternoon I like to shop or stroll through the antique stores at Kloosterstraat. As my boyfriend is a great cook, I have my own mini restaurant at home, but we do like to go for drinks at Vitrin or Barbossa afterwards.
3. Kloosterstraat | Kloosterstraat, 2000 Antwerp
4. Vitrin | Marnixplaats 14, 2000 Antwerp
5. Caffè Barbossa | Sint-Jorispoort 2, 2000 Antwerp, @caffe_barbossa
If you are looking for a serene spot to take a step back from the busy city life, go to Buchbar: these guys sell coffee and books. Sit down, relax and have a delicious Belgian-made cappuccino.
6. Buchbar | Scheldestraat 79, 2000 Antwerp, @buchbar
Innovative, organic and healthy, that’s what Native’s vegetable-based meals are all about. If you don’t have time for a full lunch or dinner, at least try their delicious homemade lemonade or cocktails! Oh, and make sure to do a quick talk with the owner, as his passion is seriously contagious.
Why does your job perfectly match your city? My job exists of so many different aspects and so does the city! A huge advantage is that when I sometimes work during the weekends, I can still enjoy my days off on Monday and Tuesday by lounging in one of the many coffee bars Antwerp has to offer. You can turn everyday into a weekend in this city.
8. My urban oasis is the (small but pretty) Botanical garden. Leopoldstraat 24, 2000 Antwerp
10. The most photogenic place of the city is Volkstraat a cobble stone street with lots of cute shops. Volkstraat, 2000 Antwerp
Where do you get inspired? I get inspired when I people watch or go shopping at unusual stores with my friends. They always see things differently than me which can be a great eye-opener or an unexpected inspiration boost.
The urban all-round fashion, deco and food concept store Juttu has a clear mission: get local initiatives out there into the big wide world. Which is probably the reason why they’re located on Antwerp’s biggest shopping street.
I like many of the interior shops in Antwerp, but Rewind’s honest story and careful selection makes it just that little bit more special. It’s my favorite place for beautiful table setting and unique gifts for friends.
They describe themselves as eco-minimalists and that’s exactly what the Stanley/Stella store radiates. Experience a whole new way of shopping by choosing your favorite piece, grabbing a drink and literally watch it being printed.
Episode is my number one shop for on-point vintage clothing and accessories that are still affordable! Even my boyfriend always manages to find the perfect denim jacket or second-hand sneakers here.
Do you have one funny memory in particular that will forever be associated with Antwerp South? My best friend and I used to always work out together at the same gym and would afterwards choose a different sunny terrace in the South of Antwerp to drink red wine and ruin all the work we’d done… amazing times!
15. When you want to hear the best live tunes go to Jazz Café Hopper. Leopold de Waelstraat 2, 2000 Antwerp
16. When the sun sets, it’s best to be besides Scheldt river.