I believe Antwerp is a beautiful city which is still much underestimated by many. Not only the city itself is worth a visit, but its surrounding is very beautiful too. Because of the many rainy days (yes, finally a positive side on this matter!) and its flat territory, Antwerp hosts many great parks. There are many of them, in all sizes and styles but let me tell you about my favorite ones, the 3 most beautiful parks in Antwerp and surrounding.
The Nachtegalen Park, a few min drive from Antwerp, is a beautiful, large, green spot: many different kind of plants make it a great destination for every season. In winter, all the trees are white and decorated with the most complicated and unique ice patterns. In the spring, flowers and blossoms are popping up from everywhere. In summer, it is incredibly green and moles spring up from everywhere. And in the fall, well make sure to visit it with a large back pack for collecting the many delicious chestnuts. But the main reason for visiting this park, is to make your children happy: one of the largest protected baby open air playground in Belgium, one even larger playground for older children immerse in the green and an hidden bush-playground, totally in the woods. For children it is a dream and it is all set up in a perfect manner: immerse in the green, in the heart of the park away from cars and motorbikes, all surrounded by sand and leaves and near a lovely cafe, De Melkerij where you can have your drink while keeping an eye on the children!
Park Den Brandt is situated right near the Nachtegalen Park (just a few km from Antwerp) and is its quieter brother: large paths, a castle, a lovely pond with ducks and swans and many bridges everywhere. This park is much quieter since there are almost no children (since it does not have a playground) and since there is not a restaurant nor a cafe. The only place that hosts functions is the castle in the middle if the park, but mostly they are inside and will not bother you if you are outside. Park Den Brandt is a lovely, peaceful park, just a short walk from the Nachtegalen park.
Fort 5, in Edigem (a few km from Antwerp) is much more than a park: it is very vast and it will allow you to walk and get lost among its trees; it was a military domain which played a key role during the world war I and II; it is a museum where you can go and visit the many buildings erected during the wars; it is a location where you can host functions; and last but not least, it is a nature reservoir for many types of animals, especially bats. Fort 5 has a lovely playground for children too, a pond full of ducks and birds and many exercising bars where the sporty types can train. It is a truly amazing spot, for walking, biking, playing and meditating.
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