Usually people go to Bruges after Brussels, but we chose Antwerp instead, not because it's the second largest city or the biggest port in Belgium (we actually didn't know that). We were there to pay tribute to one of the most important cities to fashion. There had been Antwerp Six and there is Raf Simons. We wanted to see the place where it all started.
Antwerp's old town is small and most people live outside the old cobbled district. On our way to site-seeing, there are quite some lovely, modern shops. (not comparable to Copenhagen though)
The city uses a lot of bricks and the most prominent brick-red architecture is the MAS museum. Opened in 2011, MAS is a 10-storey complex that redefines the idea of a museum-gallery. Floors are spiraled around big-idea themes using a barrage of media, from old master paintings through tribal artefacts to video installations.
The exhibitions are mainly about the pain of WWII. Even if that's not your interest, MAS is still worth climbing for its panorama view of Antwerp.
After MAS, we run into a vivid food hall (so much like Brooklyn <3) and wandered in the city till dusk. It's rare that we didn't put up a itinerary, but after all, site-seeing wasn't our point anyway. We simply felt obligated to check in to the city; other things could be random.
No question asked.