Antwerp, metropolis on a human scale


Antwerp is the largest city in Flanders. It has more diamonds shining in the shops than any other place in the world. The shops in Antwerp almost look like museums. You—almost literally—find a start-up around every corner.

Antwerp offers everything you need to have a good time and it does that in a slightly different way than other cities. What is the secret? The city and its residents are convinced that there is always something newer and better to be found. They don’t follow but create.

Connecting citizens by social marketing

“As the second largest city in Belgium Antwerp tackles huge challenges. With more than half a million inhabitants, the second largest port in Europe and 174 nationalities Antwerp is a dynamic city, constantly on the move. Managing change in our society is essential. We must connect with citizens, entrepreneurs, visitors and students on a more profound level.

Social marketing is a person-centred way of thinking and acting. For a local government it is crucial to influence positive social behaviour. Social marketing can enhance the policy making process and instigate behavioural change.

Our team in The city of Antwerp has run several campaigns in the field of social marketing in the past two years, including a campaign in June preventing sexual harassment. Prior to the campaign the city organised several focus groups to detect the motives and find ways to change the attitude of potential sex offenders. Another example is at the beginning of the school year, every August, the local police and the city raise awareness concerning road security. Other topics are the neatness of public spaces, the use of public transport and the promotion of healthy habits.”

Milan Rutten, Head of Marketing Strategy, City of Antwerp

Torrent of ships and knowledge

Antwerp annually welcomes more than 60,000 inland-navigation and sea-going vessels. They anchor in a seaport located 80 kilometres inland. A unique trump card because that way the hinterland is easily reached. Thanks to the harbour, much knowledge also flows into the city. International researches and specialised maritime training are no exception in Antwerp.

City Hall     Market Square     Port House

Innovative and creative city

Antwerp has always been characterised by its urge for innovation, such as the art of printing that was invented here and the international quality marks for diamonds that originated from the city. Inhabitants of Antwerp want to lead and determine the direction. The conservatory, the research centres, the multimedia Technology programme, the famous fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and many are proof of this. Enterprises in Antwerp also illustrate this. Start-ups pop up like mushrooms here and grow into international successes.

Elzenveld Hotel & Conference Center     Our Lady’s Cathedral     Brabo Statue

Antwerp is notably different

Everything is just a little different in Antwerp. You shop in buildings that elsewhere would be museums, for instance, you can go shopping in the Stadsfeestzaal which is completely decorated with gold leaf. And during a museum visit, the collection as well as the setting will knock you off your feet: for example, the ‘Museum aan de Stroom’ (Museum at the River) is most likely the most beautiful outdoor work of art and you can admire the panorama over Antwerp from 60 metres above ground. Every day is different, every day is spectacular. In the city, you find more diamonds in one square kilometre than anywhere in the world. And the most beautiful library in Belgium, the Nottebohmzaal, is Antwerp’s best kept secret. During a walk through the city, you follow an architectural route that some cities can only dream of.

View from left bank     Antwerp Central Station     Elzenveld Hotel & Conference Center

Discover the diversity of Antwerp

The inhabitants of Antwerp like to call their city a metropolis. Though they also like to call it a village, where everyone knows each other. That is not self-evident in the biggest city in Flanders with 174 nationalities and more than 510,000 inhabitants. Nevertheless, Antwerp is a metropolis with a small-town sentiment in which you quickly taste all the styles, colours and flavours.

Find out more





Elzenveld Hotel & Conference Center is our unique venue for ESMC 2018, a converted nunnery hospital in the centre of Antwerp. Delegates will be able to enjoy a true haven of peace, amidst the medieval treasures of the fifteenth-century hospice and the monastic garden, located right in the middle of Antwerp’s historical city center.
Find out more about Elzenveld Hotel & Conference Center 
Elzenveld Hotel & Conference Center
Lange Gasthuisstraat 45
2000 Antwerpen
T (+32)(03)202 77 11
Sat nav: 51.21367, 4.40505
Elzenveld Hotel & Conference Center is a historical landmark and property of OCMW Antwerpen.