From Oelegem to Antwerp and back: cycling through nature and the city

BE | | 43.5 km

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Author: Visit Antwerp

3474 views | Public | DutchFrenchGerman

Route description

Antwerp has changed enormously in recent years. Hop on your bike to see first-hand how much it’s changed with to this nice cycling route from Oelegem to Antwerp and back. En route you get to enjoy beautiful nature, cycle on rural roads and along the water. In Antwerp, the possibilities are endless: from discovering architectural gems to visiting museums or enjoying a nice, leisurely lunch on a sunny terrace ... Tip: don’t forget to attach your bicycle bags to your ride. Whether you love good chocolate, enjoy shopping for nice clothes or a good read, there’s always something that will make your heart sing in the city’s many shops.

The route starts in Oelegem, at junction 78, with a relaxing bike ride on the towpath along the Albert Canal. Look to the opposite bank when you arrive at the lock complex in Wijnegem, where taste-maker Axel Vervoordt’s striking Canal site is situated. The old malt house was transformed into a modern residential complex. The section between Wijnegem and Schoten is excellent for boat spotting, because of the many barges that are moored along the quays. In Schoten catch a brief glimpse of the Schoten-Dessel canal, then cycle through the park of Schoten and the Den Deuzeld residential neighbourhood before reaching the border with Antwerp. Next up is Bouckenborgh Park in Merksem. Now cross Bredabaan. Take a minute to admire the street art at Merksem library before cycling through the park. Turn onto Terlindenhofstraat to reach the new bicycle bridge over the Albert Canal. Stop to enjoy the stunning view if you need to. Cycle into Antwerp, through Park Spoor Noord and over Parkbrug, another new bicycle bridge, to arrive in the Eilandje neighbourhood. Here you can really see how Antwerp has changed in recent years. Enjoy the holiday vibe at the marina, walk up to the panoramic roof of the MAS museum or catch your breath on one of the terraces by the water. Now ride up Rijnkaai to reach Steen Castle and Antwerp’s historic centre. Shopping, a drink on a terrace, a nice, leisurely lunch… the possibilities are endless here.

The route now winds its way right through the city. The contrast after cycling through Oelegem and Wijnegem could not be greater, but don't let this deter you. Cycling through Antwerp is quite an experience. The eye-catcher in lively Sint-Jansvliet square is the building of the pedestrian tunnel under the Scheldt. If you do have the time, you should definitely take some time to cycle through the tunnel. The view of Antwerp’s skyline from the other side of the river is jaw-dropping. Cycling enthusiasts should also head to Kleine Markt, where they can pick up some trendy cycling gear from Mark. The perfect place to treat yourself to a present.

From there, bike to Mechelseplein and its many terraces and Stadspark, the city’s central park. Then follow the railway line between Antwerp-Central and Berchem. At Berchem station you cross yet another new bicycle bridge to get to the Ring cycle path. Follow the route to Rivierenhof, which many consider Antwerp’s most beautiful park. Take some time to enjoy nature, have a drink on the castle terrace or visit the petting zoo.

The route continues through the new Groot Schijn Park, where a large swimming pool complex is currently being built. You then arrive in Wijnegem at the Wijnegem Shopping Center, from where you cycle along the beautiful, rural roads of the Beemdkant. 

After the bridge over the E313, you ride past a residential neighbourhood. Next up is a longish section of gravel path. Initially you ride parallel to the E313 motorway services in Ranst where you can test your speed against that of the departing or arriving trucks. You then cycle through a quiet rural area, with meadows, horses, and farms, followed by yet another bridge over the E313. Fortunately, you can soon leave the roar of traffic behind and enjoy the peace and quiet even more. You’ll find yourself back at the Albert Canal where you ride up the towpath again in the direction of the starting point of the route.

Source: Visit Antwerpen

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