This northern Flanders city of half a million residents was once the richest city in Europe — or as locals boast with pride, the “New York of the 16th century.” In 1986, The Antwerp Six, a group of avant-garde classmates from Belgium’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, burst onto the scene, heralding the return of Antwerp to the world stage. Antwerp’s late-20th-century cultural renaissance reignited the city’s nocturnal landscape with a surfeit of Michelin-starred restaurants, chic lounges, nightclubs and, of course, the requisite Absinthbar.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
BRUSSELS From a 10th-century fortress town to a modern metropolis, the Brussels of today is the capital of Belgium, the de facto capital of the European Union and home to 1.1 million inhabitants. And that’s not nearly all. The city, dubbed “European Village,” is way more than just chocolates and beer. It’s a center of international politics, home to many E.U. institutions and the headquarters of NATO. To boot, there’s a lot to see and do in the bilingual (Dutch and French) city of Brussels.