Located in the northern territories of Belgium, Antwerp is stepping up the pace to become one of the most popular city destinations within Europe as well as a top gay hotspot. Positioned at the upper end of the tidal estuary of the Scheldt, also where Antwerp’s busy port is situated; this is Europe’s gay harbor. You will find a truly mixed bag here. There are plenty of opportunities to excite your cultural interests, as well exhibit your leatherwear as the evening bars and fetish haunts open up to the night.
Antwerp falls within the Dutch-speaking north of Belgium known as Flanders. However one can get along perfectly well using English, as the majority of locals are bilingual. “Diamond City” as it is often referred to, is where some of the world’s finest diamonds are produced. In addition more than 70% of all diamonds in the world are traded here. Naturally, this medieval city would not be complete without the largest Diamond Museum in the world to accompany its sales. A spell-bounding trip around this multi-storied building will leave you with a twinkle in your eye.
“Grote Markt” is a landmark square located in the center of town. This historic setting with magnificent proportions and worn cobblestones continues to roll in the crowds to its many scenic restaurants and coffee shops. Here you can relax and enjoy some local Dutch-French cuisine as you watch the mélange of passers-by. After recharging your batteries, explore the literary highlights of this medieval town using the large tram network. Be sure to visit the famous shopping street, The Meir where there are no less than 10,000 passers by per hour, and is nothing short of being a fashionista’s paradise.
By night, the gay fetish scene here is throbbing. Gay bars and fetish clubs can be found all over town. For an evening shopping experience, visit ‘t Verschil, translated as “The Difference”. This is an undiscovered gem, and sets itself aside from other LGBT bookstores by adding cakes to its retail appeal. Enjoy a cupcake as you browse through the rows of videos, exclusive sex toys and underwear that will turn heads including your own!
Antwerp Gay Pride Festival taking place is August, is a colorful extravaganza of parties and parades. The Official Pride function is held at the spectacular Club La Riva; party central. Another key event to attend is “Mr. Gay World, 2013”. The competition includes a photo challenge and fashion show amongst other feats.
In the not so distant future the renowned “World Outgames” considered the passport of all LGBT sporting events, will be taking place in Antwerp. The games will coincide with Mr. Gay World 2013, creating an orgy of excitement for athletes and spectators. Adding to the mounting appeal of festivities, the January leather festival known as “Leatherpride” is another yearly event catering to Antwerp’s flourishing gay fetish scene. Leather body hugging outfits and accessories are the popular dress code for this rubbery event.