The City of Antwerp (pop. 500,000) is not only the world’s number one diamond distribution centre, but also the second most important port of Europe (and number 4 on the world list) with a yearly turnover of some 160 million tons of goods. Over 150.000 people earn their living in maritime related businesses.
Antwerp is known worldwide as a cosy art city with a beautiful historical centre. During the past decade the city became famous for it’s must-see-must-shop fashion district that evolved around ‘The Antwerp Six’ (Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee en Dirk Bikkembergs).
But the most important aspect of Antwerp is it’s safety and it’s high standard of living, reflected by the presence of a myriad of good restaurants, lounges and pubs. Pedestrian zones and good public transport link the centre (with Our Lady’s Cathedral and a renaissance City Hall) with the more trendy areas around the Museum of Fine Arts (Rubens, Van Dyck) and the dense shopping area between the city centre and the magnificent Central Station.