Discounted transport, money-off museum entry, and special offers in not terribly useful shops.
In tourist hot-spots all over the world, city cards are becoming an increasingly popular offering. Often touted as the must-have item for every visitor to tuck neatly between their paper map, passport and foreign currency, they frequently provide very little of real value to the short-term visitor.
In Antwerp however, we found the Antwerp city card to be genuinely useful - and for those keen to get the very best out their short time away, absolutely essential.
What do you get with the Antwerp City Card?
Free Museum Entry
With an abundance of excellent museums and galleries, Antwerp is a real cultural goldmine - you’d be crazy to visit without ticking off at least a few. And whilst in many cities, museum and gallery entries can quickly add up (the average entry is €10 per person), the Antwerp City Card gives free entry to 17 of the city’s best (and all of our favourites including the MAS, Plantin-Moretus, and FoMu).
Not sure where to start? Check out our post on our pick of the city’s museum offerings.
The card also offers tourists free entry to Antwerp's beautiful churches, including the Cathedral of Our Lady (which houses works by Reubens) and usually costs €6 to enter.
One of the great little things about hours of sight-seeing in a new city, is checking your pedometer at the end of the day to realise you’ve definitely walked far enough to deserve dessert. However, having the option to take public transport when you’ve got thirty minutes to get across town before the gallery you really want to visit is about to shut, or jumping on a tram when your feet just can’t carry you anymore is great without worrying if you’ve got enough change in your pocket.
That's why it's a a bonus that, for the duration of your city card, you have free transport on all trams and buses across Antwerp.
Don't worry, you can still have the cake.
Discounted Bike Hire
Spend any time in the city, and you’ll quickly realise that cycling to get from A to B is pretty damn popular in Antwerp. Designated cycle paths and - from what we experienced - very considerate car drivers, mean that it’s a fantastic way to safely see the city, and cover a lot more ground in a short space of time.
The City Card provides discounts with a number of reputable cycle hire companies, whether you’d like to rent for one day or several. Trust us when we say, you'd be crazy NOT to explore this city on two wheels.
The beer of Antwerp, De Koninck, offers a brewery tour and beer tasting for €12 - but it's completely free with the card. Perfect for a day where the weather is a bit rubbish.
A PLETHORA of other (not so useful) discounts
A city card wouldn’t be a city card without a number of offers that you’re probably not going to use. However, whilst we’re unlikely to require a discounted Segway tour, it doesn’t mean somebody isn’t (actually, please don't take a Segway tour!).
Some of the discounts on offer with the Antwerp City Card include 40% off at Cinema Zuid, 20% off a historical city walk, 20% off bicycle tours, and 10% off at select chocolatiers.
Additionally, all these discounts actually come in the form of a little booklet you receive with your card, and you can use these even after your 24-72 hours expires. Handy if you’re actually going to be in town a little longer!
HOW MUCH DOES THE ANTWERP CITY CARD COST?
The cost of the city card is dependent upon how long you’d like it to be valid for, with the option to purchase a 24, 47 or 72 hour pass. A 24 hour city card costs €24 Euro, and a 72 hour card is €40. As any city break worth its salt will visit at least a few museums, a couple of galleries, involve a wander in the churches, plus a few tram journeys across the city, hopefully you agree that it really is decent value for any Antwerp city break.
Cards can be bought in advance via this link.