Returning with an empty suitcase is simply impossible after a weekend in Antwerp. In the south of the city (or Zuid), you’ll find everything you need (for yourself, and for the little ones). Once you’ve cleared the racks at Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester, and explored the unique selections at boutiques like Renaissance (on Rue Nationale), turn to their miniature counterparts: after all, fashion is no less a religion for the children of Antwerp.
The Most Bohemian: Prinses op de erwt
In the golden triangle of adorable shops (Graaf Van Egmontstraat), you’ll find this boutique, full of colorful, cheerful and whimsical prints for girls of all shapes and sizes. Blouses, dresses, skirts and knits from designers inspired by the 1960s, alongside various accessories, goodies and gifts (to keep for yourself or grab for a friend), including kit bags by Bakker made with Love that are perfect for kids’ birthday parties. You’ll also find some great childcare items, like mosquito nets for babies, packaged in lovely little bags (made by Klamboe Miguelito).
For Kids: Everything! Including a small game room, cartoons and all.
We love the local brands: Aymara, Miss Chips, Morley, Froy&Dind, PetitPan, Pakhuis Oos, Jellycat.
Prinses op de erwt, Graaf Van Egmontstraat 1, 2000 Antwerp.
The Best Spot for Shoes: Limonsoda
Just across the street from the fairytale world of Prinses op de erwt, you’ll find the crisp, clear atmosphere of Limonsoda, the shoe store known for its ultra-sleek and sublime designs for children’s tootsies, as well as adults aged 18-40 (yes, they’re great for us, too!). The creme de la creme of Italian and Spanish brands can be found here – Gallucci, ELI, PéPé, Zecchino d’Oro – and many designs are made exclusively for Limonsoda.
The Greenest: Rewind Kids
Reuse, recycle and rethink creativity and aesthetics: this is the goal of the Belgian designing duo behind Rewind. For more than five years, these enthusiasts of all things beautiful and ecological have been working to find the most talented young designers and creators for their two stores in Antwerp. Their smaller shop allows children to discover the same brands their parents already love, while also offering hand-knit scarves, bamboo dishes and toys made from natural wood and recycled plastics. Continue your shopping excursion at their larger shop, just two blocks away, where you’ll fall in love with their pastel-colored, recycled china vases and hand-painted stools. A must-stop, decor-filled shop.
Rewind Kids, Kloosterstraat 106, 2000 Antwerp.
Rewind Ecodesign, Zuidpool Arsenaal, Riemstraat 27, 2000 Antwerp.
The most stylish: Kids on the Docks
Imagine a three-story concept store, with the best children’s brands, an impeccable collection of baby and nursery products (including strollers and prams to try out), fabulous vintage furniture and linens all under one roof. Welcome to Kids on the Docks. Start by strolling through the ground floor, for children ages 0-12 years old, and grab your favorite pieces from brands like Simple kids, Aymara, Bonpoint, Bonton, Caramel Baby and Child (for soft knit caps), Imps & Elfs Ketiketa, Sweetcase (for pastel and patterned baby wraps) and The Enfantines (for their adorable, little Peter Pan collars).
Kids on the Docks, Vlaamse Kaai 27, 2000 Antwerp
For lunch or a snack break: The Washbar
For anything and everything, from a cup of hot chocolate to brunch, stop by this cozy laundromat/cafe blend and enjoy the inviting aroma of fresh laundry. You’ll most likely find local residents with their laundry baskets here, as well…
Wasbar, Graaf Van Egmontstraat 5, 2000 Antwerp.