Zoo_antwerpenAntwerp, center of the world’s diamond trade, is a “brilliant” city for children. Here are some fun things to do with kids in this wonderful Belgian city.

1. Antwerp Zoo – Built in 1843, this zoo is active in the preservation and breeding of endangered species. One of Europe’s oldest zoos, its beautiful buildings and gardens have been declared monuments.

2. Aquatopia –35 aquariums and more than 250 species of marine life and animals can be found at this sea life attraction in the center of Antwerp. There are also regular shark, manta ray or piranha feedings and the chance to get up close and personal with a snake.

3. Pirate’s Island – A renovated warehouse that has been turned into a pirate ship complete with slides, ropes and treasure hunts and is the country’s biggest indoor playground.

4. Middelheim Sculpture Museum – The 27 acre open-air museum is a few minutes outside of the city, but with a collection of more than 200 sculptures, a Louis XVI style castle and a playground and petting zoo, it is well worth the trip.

5. Police Tower and museum –Antwerp is famous for its architourism and the Police Tower is a design landmark that locals either love to hate or hate to love. Regardless of your opinion of the buildings beauty, or lack thereof, the museum on the 12th floor (visits by appointment only) offers impressive views of the city.

Also, not to miss in Antwerp: frites at Frituur No. 1 (1 Hoogstraat, Antwerp), Belgian waffles from Desiree de Lille and Del Rey chocolate!