Take a train from or into this grand train station or simply admire the Belle Époque architecture and atmosphere of this historic transport center. Antwerp Central Station was known as the "railway cathedral" for decades and a 2010 renovation has added a modern twist to its 19th century design with its new lower deck. Two layers below ground, trains passing between Brussels and Amsterdam let off their passengers amidst modern, polished architecture. Meanwhile on the top track, regional Belgian trains run to the Flanders region's most romantic cities, Ghent and Bruges, from platforms surrounded by marble halls, columns, and steel-framed glass.
Antwerp's main train station
It's worth taking a few moments to appreciate Antwerp Central Station for its beauty as well as its efficiency. Visitors to Antwerp are instantly awed by the city once they arrive at the station designed by Louis Delacenserie. The train station's glass-covered platforms, stone walls, and gigantic dome are sure to impress. Along with the Port of Antwerp, the station connects Antwerp to the rest of Europe and has played a major role in Antwerp's trading past.
The station was erected during Belgium's railway heydays and, between 1895 and 1905, the original wooden edition was replaced with the magnificent structure we see today. Louis Delacenserie, the Bruges city architect, took the reigns to design the stone-clad neo-Renaissance terminus in which the ticket hall still resides today. The waiting room hall, with its marble floors and impressive dome, is sometimes used today to host events and concerts. The station has undergone additions and renovations over the years. After World War II, the station required repair, while another award-winning nine year refurbishment and expansion project finished in 2009. That same year, the American magazine Newsweek judged Antwerp Central to be the world's 4th greatest train station and in 2014, the British-American website Mashable named it as the most beautiful railway station in the world.
A visit to the station
As suggested by the name, the station is located at the heart of Antwerp, close to Antwerp Zoo and the City Park, and not far from the Royal Palace and the popular museums and monuments. Agatha Christie fans will be interested to learn that Central Station was chosen as the filming location for "The Chocolate Box" episode of Agatha Christie's "Poirot" TV series. Nearby, lovers of all things precious and shiny will love browsing the array of glistening diamonds in the Diamond District.