After seemingly an endless winter in which the grey sky seemed to hover inches from our heads, summer has finally arrived. Antwerp has a lot of great things going for it already, with super museums, a delicious dining scene, and bustling beer cellars. Now in addition to all that, the city of Antwerp has a great tradition of fun summer bars that pop up from May through to September. The ‘zomerbar’ or summer bars can be found all across Belgium, but it’s my very biased opinion, that the best are found in Antwerp.
There is such a variety of summer bars in Antwerp, some which mimic beaches, or others that are found in former churches. The beauty of Antwerp’s summer bars is discovering them all and spending a beautiful sunny day drinking delicious Belgian beer and soaking up the very rare sunshine.
The 8 Best Summer Bars
- Bar Chapel
Bar Chapel was only ever supposed to last one season. And here we are in year 4, enjoying one of the best summer bars in Antwerp in Bogerhout. Hidden away off Kerkstraat, Bar Chapel was once a former church. The monastery gardens have been transformed into a beautifully decorated outdoor area with plenty of seating. The pastel tones of the garden and its vibrant plants have made Bar Chapel one of the most popular spots to be seen during the summer.
With a series of rotating food trucks and cuisines from around the world, keep an eye on their Instagram page for finding out more information about who will be at the pop-up next.
The creator Sanne has lovingly created year after year an aesthetically pleasing city paradise that draws crowds throughout the summer. This may be the last year of its current location so enjoy Bar Chapel’s final 2022 summer in Antwerp.
May – September 2022
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 16.00 – 23.00
Friday 16.00 – 00.00
Saturday 14.00 – 00.00
Sunday 14.00 – 21.00
- Bar Noord
An institution in Antwerp and Park Spoor Noord – Bar Noord is a hotspot and hive of activity for city dwellers. It’s also a great place to literally cool down when the weather does creep into uncomfortably hot levels.
Its huge interiors mean that even on rubbish weather days (this is summer in Belgium after all) the fun can continue in their huge indoor space. You’ll find Sundays are popular for the brunch crowd, and kids are welcome to celebrate the good weather with lots of activities and events centered around them.
Park Spoor Noord is one of the largest parks in the city of Antwerp. It’s one of the earliest summer bars to open in the city and opened its doors on April 1st, 2022, and will close in late August. Open every day from 11 AM until Midnight.
A small hidden jungle a short distance from the Meir, Koerwoud is a plant lovers’ paradise. Decorated throughout its outdoor setting with plants of all varieties, Koerwoud has a series of events such as movie nights and poetry readings throughout the summer and weekends.
Open from June 24th to August 28th, Koerwoud is a lovely outdoor space that is perfect for anyone looking for a drink after a hard day shopping. You can also purchase the many plants that decorate Koerwoud if one tickles your fancy.
- Bar Paniek
Quirky, cool Bar Paniek is one of the most eclectic summer bars in Antwerp. What resembles an artisan/mechanics/mad scientists lair is one of Antwerps funniest bars that lines the docks in Eilandje. Enjoy a beer whilst looking out onto Antwerp’s latest developments and savour the good vibes all around.
Everyday 11am – 11pm
Just in case you can’t make it to the Belgian coast this year, head to Bocadero instead and experience Antwerp’s largest outdoor terrace. With a superb restaurant, Pampelonne feels as if you are dining in Ibiza or the French Riveria. The weekends are when Bocadero comes alive with sets from DJs and themed nights all summer long.
Bocadero opens its doors from May 20th to late August 2022.
- Cafe Kamyon
Across the river Schelde and overlooking the city of Antwerp, Cafe Kamyon is a summer bar located in a former shipping yard. Cafe Kamyon is a great place for families with Sunday Brunches being popular. You’ll find plenty of snacks, drinks, and stunning views from Cafe Kamyon, as well as fun events throughout the summer. Keep an eye out on their Instagram page for weekly details of events and activities happening.
Cafe Kamyon is open from May 20th, 2022 until late August 2022.
Closed Monday & Tuesday
Open Wednesday – Sunday 14.00 – 22.00/23.00
- People of Sommar
Similiar to Bocadero and located in the same hangers-on Rijnkaai, People of Sommar is an event space that opens up throughout the seasons in different guises. Foodies will delight with a series of pop-up restaurants and collaborations that will make People of Sommar one of the best places to spend an evening in Antwerp.
Operational from June 1st until Mid-September, People of Sommar kicks off their season with collaboration from Maven (one of Antwerp’s top meat restaurants), before being followed by a 3-week pop-up with a restaurant, Cache Paris.
Cocktail lovers and aficionados will delight in premium cocktails crafted by master mixologists. And when the summer season finishes, make sure to check out their winter bar, People of Wintar.
Monday – Friday 17.00 – 00.00
Saturday – Sunday 14.00 – 00.30
- Black Smoke
Easily the best rooftop terrace in Antwerp, Black Smoke is the best BBQ restaurant in the entire city. During the summer months, their roof terrace opens up and hosts parties across the entire weekend. Savour some of the most delicious smoked meats and drinks that accompany them. Exquisite.
As the summer progresses I’ll continue adding more of the summer bars in Antwerp to this list. There are still a few places that haven’t announced whether they are reopening, so keep your eyes peeled.