Take a walk around the Middelheim Museum’s large gardens and browse a superb range of sculptural art. This open-air gallery features works by great 20th-century artists, including Rodin and Henry Moore, as well as more contemporary sculptures. Make sure you visit the superb indoor exhibition space and enjoy a drink in the café situated in the grounds of the restored castle.
Middelheim Museum has its origins in a biannual sculpture festival that began in 1951. Since then, the collection has grown and now encompasses over 400 works of art spread over 74 acres (30 hectares), making it one of the largest and most important collections of its kind in Europe.
Follow the paths around the park and stop to admire the sculptures that catch your eye. Among the highlights in the collection are Polar Bear by French artist François Pompom. Don’t miss the striking Misconceivable, by Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm, which features a crooked boat melting towards the water. Find Rodin’s statue of the famous writer Honoré de Balzac and see why it’s considered an important piece of modern sculpture.
Make sure you visit the indoor exhibition space, the Braem Pavilion. This stylish modern building was designed by famous Belgian architect Renaat Braem and is where the more fragile works in the collection are stored. Admire the elegant fountain out the front.
Visit the adjoining botanical gardens or make your way to the castle in the middle of the park. Enjoy a drink in the café and browse the museum shop, both of which are located within the castle. The shop has a range of books, magazines and souvenirs.
Middelheim Museum is located 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of Antwerp city center. It is easily accessible by train, bus or tram. If you choose to drive, you can park on-site for free. The museum is open every day except Mondays. It is also closed on New Year’s Day, May 1, Ascension Day, November 1 and Christmas Day. Entry is free.