Combining the impressive 17th-century houses of artist Frans Snijders and of Antwerp lawyer, mayor and Rubens-patron Nicolaas Rockox, this recently revamped museum does a superb job of making accessible a fine collection of 16th- and 17th-century masterpieces with a very helpful tablet tour, headphones and two six-minute films.

Artists represented include Van Dyck, Brueghel, Van der Weyden and, yes, Rubens. The last of the 10 rooms allows you to choose which of three pieces of period music to play out with.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Antwerp attractions

1. Keizerskapel

0.05 MILES

Built in 1512 for the cloth-cutters' guild, this underrated little chapel honouring St Anne was given a major Gothic rebuild in the mid-17th century, from…

2. St-Carolus-Borromeuskerk

0.09 MILES

Rubens turned interior designer as part of the team that created this superb 1621 baroque church, designed to give worshippers a very visceral foretaste…

3. Handelsbeurs

0.17 MILES

The beautiful building that served as Antwerp's stock exchange from 1531 to 1997 fell into severe disrepair over two decades, but since 2016 has been…

4. St-Jacobskerk

0.22 MILES

The tomb of Rubens is the reason most visitors come to St-Jacobskerk. Located in a small chapel behind the high altar, the tomb is adorned with Our Lady…

5. Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal

0.23 MILES

Belgium’s finest Gothic cathedral was 169 years in the making (1352–1521). Wherever you wander in Antwerp, its gracious, 123m-high spire has a habit of…

6. St-Pauluskerk

0.26 MILES

Strangely easy to miss despite its towering bulk, this church was consecrated in 1571 as part of a Dominican monastery, and thoroughly rebuilt after a…

7. Grote Markt

0.27 MILES

As is the case with every great Flemish city, Antwerp’s medieval heart is a classic Grote Markt (market square). Here the triangular, pedestrianised space…

8. Rubens Statue

0.27 MILES

Presiding over Groenplaats, with Antwerp's cathedral rising splendidly behind it, this 1840s bronze Rubens statue was sculpted by Borgerhout-born…