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Antwerp

Getting around

Public transport

A good network of buses, trams and a premetro (a tram that runs underground for part of its journey) is run by De Lijn (070 220 200; www.delijn.be in Flemish). Free public transport maps covering the city centre are available from De Lijn ticket and information kiosks – the most useful are located at the premetro stations Diamant (below Centraal Station), Groenplaats and on Franklin Rooseveltplaats. These kiosks are generally open 8am to 4pm weekdays (also 9am to noon Saturday at Groenplaats).

Both stad (city) and streek (regional) buses leave from one of the city’s main bus hubs, Franklin Rooseveltplaats and Koningin Astridplein. Make sure you know in which direction you’re heading. As many bus (and tram) routes start at one side of the city and finish on the other, it’s possible to be on the right-numbered bus (or tram) but travelling in the wrong direction.

The tram network is well established with routes as far out as Hoboken, Deurne and Mortsel.

The tiny, two-line premetro simply consists of above-ground trams that dive underground. Handy premetro trams include 2, 3, 5 and 15, which run underground along the main drag – Diamant (under Centraal Station) to Groenplaats – before continuing under the Scheldt River to surface on the Linkeroever.

The same tickets can be used for buses, trams and premetro. A single ticket (valid for one hour) bought at De Lijn’s information office costs €1.20 (or €1.50 on the bus), a dagpas (day ticket) is €5 (€6 on the bus) and a 10-journey lijnkaart (network card) is €8 (€10 on the bus). Public transport generally runs from about 6am to midnight. There’s also a nachtlijn (night bus) service on weekends.

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Car & motorcycle

A great place to park is on the covered riverside quay (in the Zuiderterras hangar) near the city centre. The northern section is for paid parking but the southern end (and all the open-air parking next to it) is free. The entrance is opposite Fortuinstraat. There’s also free parking in ’t Zuid on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken, the square between Vlaamsekaai and Waalsekaai. From here, it’s a 15- to 20-minute walk to the Grote Markt. Alternatively buses 6 and 34 go to Steenplein near the Grote Markt, and bus 23 runs to Franklin Rooseveltplaats.

The easiest central parking garage to access is the 24-hour underground car park at Groenplaats.

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Local transport

Taxi

Taxis wait at Groenplaats, outside Centraal Station and on Koningin Astridplein. Otherwise call Antwerp Taxi (03 238 38 38). An extra €2.50 is added to fares between 10pm and 6am.

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Bicycle

Antwerp is cycle friendly. Motorists are used to throngs of cyclists and, although there aren’t heaps of cycle paths, the city can be safely navigated by bike. Be aware of trams and their slippery tracks, and ensure you double lock your bike as theft is common.

In summer bikes can be hired from Rent A Bike (03 290 49 62; www.antwerpbikes.be in Flemish & French; Lijnwaadmarkt 6;9am-6pm), a new outfit barnacled to the side of the cathedral, from €6/8.50 per half-/full day. Note, full-day rental here means 24 hours.

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