About Antwerp

History teaches us that Antwerp is a strategic port city known for shipping and a lucrative diamond trade — once considered the very centre of world commerce.

Yet dig deeper to discover why Antwerp is a hidden gem.

Antwerp is the capital of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of Belgium, with a population of 500,000 people. Its cultural heritage is shaped by the River Scheldt — including the Old Town (where INMA conference venue Antwerp Hilton is situated).

Belgium's largest city is home to world-class gastronomy, avant-garde fashion, deep-rooted cultural and historical institutions, and unique window shopping:

  • Dining: Plan an intimate dinner at one of Antwerp's 12 Michelin star restaurants (most per capita in the world). Yet leave room for the serendipity of a family-owned restaurant down a small, quiet side street.
  • Beer: Belgium's national treasurer, beer, is everywhere — with eye-popping selections and varieties. Test the limits of beer possibilities a few blocks from the Antwerp Hilton where the Kulminator is a mom-and-pop owned cozy beer establishment nestled in a quiet neighbourhood.
  • Nightlife: Walk through the narrow streets of Old Town with boutiques, bijou bars, and nightlife that would shame larger cities.
  • Shopping and fashion: Shop for hours at unique-to-Antwerp shops whose street windows are a portal to creativity and fashion.
  • Diamonds: And, yes, there are diamonds. In fact, nearly half of the world's polished diamonds and 80% of its rough diamonds go through Antwerp.

All of this in a city of a half million people? That's what makes Antwerp unique. In this bundle of creativity, only steps from the Antwerp Hilton, is a city largely undisturbed by tourism — an authentic venue with personal and professional (media) twists galore.

Join INMA in Antwerp, and see why the locals fall in love.

INMA social venues:
2 sides of Antwerp

Antwerp's diversity of tastes will be on full display as INMA European News Media Conference delegates will enjoy — much like the country's news brands — a taste of the quality and a taste of the popular. Our opening reception Wednesday evening will be to Royal Museum of Fine Art (also known as KMSKA), and our Thursday evening dinner will be at the Antwerp Brewing Company. Here is why you'll love both evenings:

10 reasons to attend the KMSKA during the INMA Diamond Welcome Reception:

  1. Flemish masters: The KMSKA is home to countless Flemish masters: many of the art works on show were “made in Flanders.”
  2. 111 masterpieces: No fewer than 111 works in the collection are on the Flemish government’s official masterpiece list.
  3. Global artists: Top international names like Fouquet, Titian, Alechinsky, Modigliani, Rodin, and Chagall have a global appeal.
  4. Modern art pioneers: The world’s largest collections of work by James Ensor and Rik Wouters put the KMSKA on the map as the home of modern art pioneers and of revolutionary art.
  5. New museum building: With its thrilling symbiosis between the powerful new volume and the historic galleries, the new museum building is an architectural gem.
  6. Conservation studio: The KMSKA is one of the few Flemish museums with a conservation studio of its own.
  7. Research institution: The KMSKA is an internationally renowned research institution.
  8. New talent: With the Artists in Residence programme and cross-overs with the wider cultural sector, the KMSKA has emerged as a breeding ground for outstanding new talent.
  9. Museum Garden: The Museum Garden is a gallery in its own right: a green oasis which brings local people together and offers a tranquil haven in this lively district.
  10. A diamond for you? A chance to collect a diamond in your glass! You will have to be there to find out how ... and why.

The nearly lost secret behind the INMA barbecue dinner at Antwerp Brewing Company

So, where does Antwerp fit in the grand history of Belgian beers?

During our Thursday evening dinner at the Antwerp Brewing Company (Antwerpse Brouw Compagnie), get a taste of the story behind the beer.

Antwerp Brewing Company is a small, local brewery in the heart of Antwerp.

While the brewery is a little over a decade old, today it aims to recapture what almost became the lost glory of a style of beer that dates to the year 1500. Back then, there were around 200 breweries in Antwerp – with a style called “Seefbier” emerging as the city breweries’ calling card.

Seefbier becomes the beer style of the city and the most popular beer of Antwerp. The beer is nicknamed the “working man’s champagne.”

As 20th century wars strip the breweries of their copper kettles, not only does the beer disappear, but so does the famous recipe.

The Seefbier recipe ultimately is rediscovered after nearly a century – city archives, conversations with old brewers, and preservation societies.

In 2012, the Antwerp Seefbier is brought back to life by Johan and Karen Van Dyck with the launch of the Antwerp Brewing Company.

At the Thursday evening barbecue dinner at Antwerp Brewing Company, taste the nearly-lost Seefbier that is Antwerp’s pride.

Tom’s Top 5 restaurants

We asked Antwerp native and INMA Europe Division Manager Tom Corbett for his favourite Antwerp restaurants in a city known for its gastronomy. Here are his recommendations:


At PLANTn they are passionate about bringing plant-based food around the clock. You can have breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. In this unique and relaxing bistro setting, Michelin-starred chef Bart De Pooter brings together the season's finest ingredients from its farm and local producers. Packed with flavour, the menu offers a choice of appetizers to share, healthy bowls, lush burgers, delicious desserts, and mouthwatering signature pancakes. The restaurant is also located in the beautiful building of the Sapphire House hotel next to the Handelsbeurs.


Probably the best classic French cuisine at the best prices in town. Be sure to reserve a table or come early, as this small restaurant has limited places. 


Like the port of Antwerp receives goods from all around the globe, Pazzo's kitchen is open for a diversity of culinary influences: French, Italian, and Japanese. They cook the best of each, but at the same time respect traditional values as well. That's why you will find preparations with butter and olive oil, goose liver and tempura, risotto and curry, carpaccio, sashimi, and truffles. Pazzo defines itself as a wine restaurant, a place where wine meets food. If you’re a wine aficionado, this is the restaurant for you. 

De 7 Schaken

Go here for typical Belgian dishes such as Flemish stew, vol-au-vent, steak tartaar, and Ballekes in tomato sauce. All served with the famous Belgian chips (fries) and chicory (endive).


Fish-lovers rejoice! Fiskebar is the place for you. Fresh, sustainable and pure flavours in a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Fiskebar works exclusively with European fish and shellfish. The restaurant has elegant plates, seasonal local organic vegetables, and an extensive wine list.

Earl’s ode to Antwerp

INMA has intersected with Antwerp many times through the years – notably via INMA CEO Earl J. Wilkinson. Read why Antwerp is a special city to Earl and learn a few pro tips how to navigate and digest the host city of the INMA Media Innovation Week. Click here to read the article.





Questions? Contact INMA

Tom Corbett

Head of European Division
Antwerp, Belgium
Dutch, English
Tel.: +32 486 37 13 36

E-Mail me