CNS 2017 Antwerp: Social activities


Welcome reception

The welcome reception will be organised in the evening of the first day of the conference. Snacks, finger food, appetisers, and drinks will be prepared and served prepared at the entrance hall of the Aula Rector Dhanis (see the map). 


CNS Party

In the evening of the July 17 (Monday), 8:30 PM - 00:30 AM, a social party with music and drinks will be offered. Attendees will enjoy social interactions with other participants during the event. The party takes place in the HAVN CHURCH (; in Italïelei n. 8, B-2000 Antwerpen). The building was originally used as a Catholic church, built in late Gothic style during the 16th century. It became seized by the Reformed in the 17th century. Today, it is no longer a church and it used as a party- and ballroom, where night parties, banquets and weddings are celebrated.

Participant will receive a voucher for free drinks (beer, wine or soda) for the entire duration of the party. Cava and ‘strong’ Belgian beer will be served during the first hour and a half of the event. Note that neither (finger) food nor snacks will be served on site.

From the meeting venue, it takes ~10min (750m) on foot, while from the "Centraal" railway station it takes 16 min on foot, of 12-15 min by public transportation (i.e. bus n. 720, 730, 770, 771, 776 from Rooseveltplaats Bus Station, direction Antwerpen Sint-Jansplein; or tram n. 12 from Centraal Station, direction Antwerpen Richard). Here is the location of the event on Google Maps.



On July 18th, we will prepare the banquet in the evening at the Elzenveld seminar centre. Dinner and wine will be served to the attendees who registered with the option of banquet included. If you haven't already purchased a ticket during registration, you can add one to your registration, although there is a limited number of seats available. The banquet ticket will cost $50 per meeting participant. 

Outdoor activity and Tourist Information

  • Rubenshuis+32 (0)3 201 1555. Wapper 9-11. The house of painter Peter Paul Rubens (a Baroque painter) is now a museum of his life and artwork. Entrance fee: €8, under 26 and older 65 €6. Free audio guide (recommended). Bring light earphones to plug in to the audio guide. 
  • Museum Plantin-Moretus+32 (0)3 221 1450 or +32 (0)3 221 1451. The home of 16th century bookbinder and printer Christoffel Plantin. Regarded as one of the finest museums dedicated to printing in the world. Its extensive collections of important books and printing presses along with its role in spearheading the technology of printing have seen it added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Antwerp Zoo (here) — One of the oldest zoos in the world, with over 4000 animals and lots of 19th century design and architecture.
  • Cathedral of Our Lady (here), (Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal). One of the most impressive and largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, built in 1351 it stands over 400 ft tall. It also houses some of Rubens' most famous paintings. Entrance fee (2015): Adult: 6 euros, Concession (student/senior): 4 euros, Audio guide: 2 euros.
  • Saint Paul's Church, (Pauluskerk). A beautiful mixed gothic and baroque church formerly part of a nunnery. Noted for its Calvary monument. It is a short distance north of the Grote Markt on Zwartzustersstraat.
  • Carolus Borromeus Church — Unlike the cathedral, this is a Baroque church. With a safe and minimal exterior, you would not know the beautiful decorations (done by Rubens' studio) are inside. Located on the picturesque square Conscienceplein.
  • Central StationEven if not arriving or leaving by train the station is well worth a visit. Platforms are on three levels, all constructed beneath the very impressive original structure. 
  • City Hall/Old Market Square, (Stadhuis/Grote Markt). This is the historical centre of town. The market square is surrounded by the typical medieval guild houses you can find in most Flemish historical towns. The city hall is designed in special architectural style with a combination between Gothic and early Renaissance. This style is almost exclusively found in this region of Europe.
  • Museum Vleeshuis (here) — Literally, this is the "Meat house". It was built as the guild hall for the butchers. Every day tonnes of meat switched owners here. The building is famous for the original masonry and is made to resemble stacks of bacon (switching between white stones and red bricks). It now houses a museum, of which the main part comprises a musical instrument collection, including some examples of old harpsichords built by the local Ruckers family.
  • Het Steen (The Stone) — This is a rather small castle, with a medieval foundation upon which new structures were built until the 19th century. It lies on the banks of the river Schelde, where it used to function as a city fortification. Until recently it was the site of the naval museum, of which only the open-air part can still be seen there. The main collection has moved to the new MAS museum. The inside of Het Steen is now closed until a new function is found for the place. It is the starting point of the Wandelterrassen, a scenic boardwalk with a cafe/restaurant at either end.
  • MAS | Museum aan de Stroom (here) - Antwerp's newest and largest museum was built to gather together the collections of many smaller museums that were scattered around the city. It's main theme is "Antwerp is the world". You can visit the building for free and go to the rooftop, which offers a very wide view accross Antwerp. Visiting the museum collections itself costs about €5, possibly more for special exhibits.
  • Boerentoren (Farmers' tower) — Now called "KBC-tower" after the company that owns it, this skyscraper (97m) in the historical center of town is said to be the oldest one on the European continent. It was built at the beginning of the 1930s. It is located at the end of the Meir shopping street. There is an observation deck on the 25th floor with fantastic views over the city and the nearby Cathedral, but that is now closed to the general public. The tower is renowned for its typical art-deco ornaments. The term skyscraper is a little bit irrelevant if you compare it to buildings that were erected on the American Continent (e.g. the Empire State Building in New York, built in the same period, measures 381m).
  • Bourla theatre — 19th century neo-classicist theatre building. Charming from the outside and even nicer if you manage to get in for a theater show or a concert. It houses a spectacular pastry salon inside the large cupola above the theater itself. Great place to have tea with cake or waffles, of course.
  • Red Light District — Like other cities such as Amsterdam and Hamburg, Antwerp also has its own red light district which at the Verversrui and surrounding streets. Even if you have no intention of partaking in the festivities, it is worth strolling through to catch a glimpse the atmosphere. Though illegal by law, the city of Antwerp decided to tolerate prostitution in these particular streets, and installed a permanent police presence to assure safety of the workers and to repel other criminal activity often tied to this industry - expect to see police patrols. The immediately surrounding area is poor and you might stumble into beggars and drunks. While few of these are particularly hostile, they can be bothersome and should be ignored.
  • Diamond District — This is the district to the southwest of the central station. As the name already indicates, this is an area where you will find countless jewellery shops, as well as the Antwerp Diamond Exchange, arguably the most important financial centre of the world's diamond industry. The district is also interesting from an ethnic and cultural perspective, since the diamond industry is dominated by the Jewish community of Antwerp - though the influency of Indian merchants is rapidly increasing. 
  • Aquatopia (here) — Reasonable aquarium in the basement of the Astrid Park Plaza hotel, tickets also available from the Zoo.
  • The hidden street Vlaeykensgang, which connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt and Pelgrimsstraat. It is a real street, but only accessible through unassuming medieval front doors in the streets. The medieval equivalent of a gated community. It now houses nice, but informal restaurants and chic, discrete flats. Easiest to enter through a porch in the Hoogstraat.
  • The Antwerp Ruien, the remnants of the old network of waterways that used to criss-cross the city in late medieval times, now located beneath the streets whose names end in "...rui". You can take a guided tour of the "underground city of Antwerp" [27]
  • The Begijnhof (beguinage) (here) — Not as well-known or as large as similar structures in e.g. Leuven or Bruges, but still worth a detour. A sort of medieval monastery for women. The well-kept gardens are great photo opportunities.
  • The Jewish Quarter (Joodse wijk), Antwerp has a sizeable Jewish population (about 15,000 people), many of them Hasidic Orthodox. Antwerp is one of the main Jewish Centres in the world with the beautiful 'Van Den Nest' and 'Bouwmeester' synagogues.
  • Extra City Kunsthal (here) - ECK is an art space for contemporary visual arts, based in an old bottling factory. Its shows are mostly experimental, but always intriguing.
  • Middelheimmuseum (here)
  • Red Star Line Museum (here).
  • Museum Mayer van den Bergh (here).