Recently, we at the Astoria Hotel Antwerp have had many guests from around the world coming to stay with us who ask for advice on where to watch the summer sporting events.
There are a number of great pubs in Antwerp which show all the tournaments but our particular favourite is in the Diamond District and only 15 – 20 minutes walk from the hotel, Kelly’s Irish Pub. With 12 plasma TVs and a huge projector screen this is the ultimate sports bar in Antwerp. Kelly’s show all the top sporting events including Premier League matches, the SPL, golf, tennis, Six-Nations rugby and Formula 1. Being an Irish bar they also have the best brews from around Europe with 9 draught beers (including Guinness). For the best seats in the house we recommend getting along early (you can also enjoy happy hour weekdays 4 till 6pm).
During summer months enjoy the sun, the music, the sangria and the delicious flamkuchen on the terrace overlooking the Koning Albertpark at Cargo Zomerbar. The alfresco bar regularly hosts live music acts including upcoming talent and established artists (event listings). During major sporting events they erect a giant screen – we would have loved to see our neighbours win the world cup last week but was not to be but we still had a great time. The park is about 4km away but well served by public transport including nearby Tram Route 3.
One of the cities oldest and most beautiful bars is the Cafe Den Engel (the Angels). Though changed and improved over the centuries, the site dates back to the 15th century when it was the property of a Bruges merchant. Nowadays the friendly staff, led by owner Linda, and local regulars (some of whom have been visiting for years) welcome visitors in a wonderfully convivial atmosphere. The motto of the bar is “until soon” which nicely sums up the laid back style.
De Pelgrom is one of the most historic drinking and eating places in Antwerp. Located in the old town, about 2km from the hotel, the bar has resisted the urge to become a tourist trap and continues to serve excellent food and drink. We love the medieval features which add so much character to the venue.
Belgium is famous for the Jenvers liqueur and at De Vagant you can sample over 200 flavoured varieties! I’m particularly fond of the fruit flavours of this potent drink (but not on a work night!). You might need something to eat and the cafe here serves very good traditional Flemish food.
We hope you enjoyed our Antwerp guide to watching sport and some of the best alternative pubs to sample.