Venue, hotels and going out in Mechelen
Mechelen is one of Belgium’s oldest cities and is situated centrally in Flanders. It is located right between Brussels and Antwerp, at only 20 minutes from both.
As one of Belgium’s exemplary cities, Mechelen enjoys the urban cosiness typical of Flanders. Its historic centre is a picturesque pearl. Eyecatcher is Saint-Rumbold’s Cathedral towering over the city with its unique silhouette. Adjacent to it is the main square, Grote Markt, surrounded by the town hall and other 16th and 17th century buildings.
Mechelen has played an important role in the history of Belgium. The city lived its heyday in the 15th and 16th century. In 1507, Margaret of Austria had a palace built in Mechelen (Hof van Savoye) from where she ruled over the Netherlands until her death in 1530. During that time, the city was renowned for its broadcloth production. Today, Mechelen counts four UNESCO World Heritage listings and over 370 heritage buildings.
But enough about culture. Here about the venue, hostels, some restaurants, food places and bars in Mechelen.
The venue of the conference is the Thomas More Journalism School at the Campus De Vest, Zandpoortvest 60, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium.
It is within walking distance from the city centre along the Dyle path.
There are several hotels and B&B’s and even a big hostel in Mechelen next to the conference venue. We do advise you to book sooner rather than later.
Here’s a short list of hotels in Mechelen:
- Holiday Inn Express Mechelen City Center – 3* hotel – Veemarkt 37C, 2800 Mechelen
- Hotel Mercure Mechelen Vé – 4* hotel – Vismarkt 14, 2800 Mechelen
- Novotel Mechelen Centrum, Van Beethovenstraat 1 , 2800 Mechelen
The nearest parkings is ‘Parking Zandpoortvest’. You pay €0,30/hour on Thursday or Friday (from 8 am until 6 pm = max. €3,0/day). In the weekend it’s free.
Address: Zandpoortvest 70, 2800 Mechelen
Drinks in Mechelen can be had at dozens of different places in dozens of different locations, but most people go to the Vismarkt. Located in the centre of town, next to the river Dijle, Vismarkt is a charming square lined with nothing but bars and restaurants. The most popular places at Vismarkt are:
- De Gouden Vis: perfect for talks over a good Belgian beer in an 18th century Art Nouveau-style house; also perfect for late-night dancing – Address: Nauwstraat 7, 2800 Mechelen
- Bar Popular: perfect for cocktail fun and upbeat contemporary music – Address: Vismarkt 1, 2800 Mechelen
- D’Hanekeef: Mechelen’s oldest café and that’s exactly how it feels, too – Address: Keizerstraat 8, 2800 Mechelen
- Kafee Zapoi: a ‘brown bar’ par excellence, as the Belgians like to call them; cosy, democratic and with a lot of character – Address: Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat 115, 2800 Mechelen
Recommendable bars off Veemarkt are:
- Barramundo Lounge: a cosy lounge bar with trendy music and chill-out sofas right under the St. Rumbold’s Cathedral – Address: Steenweg 2, 2800 Mechelen
- Honoloeloe: right at the center of Mechelen, drinks and food in an adventurous atmosphere – Address: Grote Markt 11, 2800 Mechelen
- O’Flach’s: the most popular Irish bar in town – Address: Grote Markt 24, 2800 Mechelen
- Lam’eau, Van Beethovenstraat 8, 2800 Mechelen
- D’Afspraak, Keizerstraat 23, 2800 Mechelen (Affordable)
- Sava, Grote Markt 13, 2800 Mechelen (Tapas)
- Ronda, Vismarkt 10, 2800 Mechelen (Moroccan)
- Via Via, Zandpoortvest 50, 2800 Mechelen (World)
- Pintxos, Nauwstraat 10, 2800 Mechelen (Tapas)
- Graspoort, Begijnenstraat 28, 2800 Mechelen
- Il Cardinale, Sint-Romboutskerkhof 1, 2800 Mechelen (Burgerbar)
- Restaurante Madrid, Lange Schipstraat 4, 2800 Mechelen
- Tapas & Pinchos, Botermarkt 28, 2800 Mechelen