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Antwerp is Belgium’s second largest city, after Brussels, and offers a host of exciting aspects for an enjoyable gaycation. It is frequently referred to as the country’s capital of cool thanks to its strong fashion industry, quaint cobbled laneways full of cafés, and plenty of diverse entertainment options. While the city is not as gay as Brussels, you can still find a host of different gay bars and clubs to keep you dancing well into the night.
Positioned on the River Scheldt, Antwerp is a port city that offers a Flemish Renaissance architecture. With a population of roughly 500,000 people, Belgian’s second city knows how to show gay travelers a good time. Visit in early August, and you’ll get to experience the city’s annual pride. First taking place in 2008, Antwerp Pride has become a popular event which includes parties, special events, and a lively pride parade which travels through the city streets each year.
If you can’t make Antwerp Pride, you can still get your fix of gay partying in Antwerp thanks to the city’s plethora of gay bars and gay clubs. Make a beeline for iconic Boots if you are looking for one of the best gay nights in town. Opened in 1983, the six-floor leather/fetish bar does the local community proud, and even attracts men from neighboring countries including Germany and France. Alternatively, Cargo Club is a popular choice for LGBTQ party punters, and is located in the heart of Antwerp’s vibrant Red Light District. Themed nights are the thing here, and you can expect anything from disco nights to live DJ sets.
In addition to Antwerp’s vibrant gay scene, the city offers a range of cultural activities to keep you busy by day. Kick-start your morning with a coffee in the beautiful Grote Markt square, which bears much resemblance to Brussels’ Grand Place. Then get ready to drop some serious coin at some of the designer boutiques lining the streets of the Antwerp Zuid and Sint-Andries neighborhoods. Antwerp is also renowned for its stately Gothic cathedral, Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp. Just 40 minutes by train from Brussels, Antwerp is a great alternative to Brussels for your next gaycation to Belgium.
Once you’ve had your dose of the gay scene in Antwerp, retreat to your gay accommodation and catch up on a little R&R. With misterb&b, you can find the ideal gay accommodation in Antwerp. Traveling with friends? Opt for an entire apartment, and enjoy the luxury of having your own place to call home. Alternatively, if you are traveling solo, why not stay with a local misterb&b host and get all the inside gay tips to Belgium’s second city? Otherwise if a gay hotel is more your thing, feel free to check out our curated list of hotels for Antwerp.