Herentals is a city of about 28,000 inhabitants (2021) in the province of Antwerp, Belgium. Herentals is often overlooked by many international tourists, but can make an interesting day out from Antwerp or Mechelen. The town is located in the eastern part of the province, southeast of the regional capital city of Antwerp and north of Leuven.
- 1 Herentals Tourism Office, Grote Markt 35, ☏ . Tuesday-Friday: 09:00 - 12:00 and 13:30 - 16:00. Saturday: 10:00-14:00. Closed on Mondays. The official government operated tourism office will be happy to help you with all your questions.
Herentals is connected by rail to a number of major Belgian cities, including cities like Antwerp, Mechelen, Turnhout and Lier. The connection to Antwerp is especially good, from which any other destination within Belgium can easily be reached. To plan your trip, you can consult the website of NMBS, the national railway company, for national and international travels. The 1 Herentals Railway station. is fairly close to the city centre, only some 10 minutes in walking distance.
- From Antwerp: 30 to 40 minutes
- From Mechelen: 35 minutes
- From Lier: 15 minutes
The Flemish national bus company, De Lijn, operates bus lines to Herentals from Mechelen, Lier, Turnhout and other neighbouring towns. For more information regarding different timetables (only available in Dutch): https://www.delijn.be[dead link].
There are several public parkings available in Herentals. One of them is even located on the main square, right below the belfry. Except on Friday (market day) a nice place to park is in the 2 Augustijnenlaan. .
The public transport company De Lijn[dead link] runs bus lines through Herentals.
The best method to discover the centre of Herentals is on foot. Most places of interest are in the centre of the city and lay only a couple of minutes from each other.
- 1 Belfry and Cloth Hall. The Cloth Hall of Herentals is a classical cloth hall from the Middle Ages. The accompanying tower was a belfry. Today it contains a carillon with 49 bells. It is one of 56 belfries in Belgium and France that have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- 2 Church of Saint Waltrude. The largest and main church of Herentals located in the town centre. The church tower dates back to the 14th century.
- 3 Beguinage. The Herentalse Beguinage is one of the oldest beguinages of the old duchy of Brabant. It was founded in 1266. During the Eighty Years' War, the court was demolished and re-established in 1590 on the Burchtstraat. The beguinage consists of a single street, along which a park is located, containing a beguinage church. Only a few of its houses have been restored. There is a small Beguinage Museum which can be visited on the first Sunday of the month from May till September between 14:00 and 17:00.
- 4 Collection Hugo Voeten - Art Center, ☏ , email@example.com. This modern exhibition space houses over 2000 modern art pieces. Most of the works are from Belgian artists, however a special part is dedicated to Bulgarian art from the second half of the 20th century. €12.
- 5 Beguinage Church (Church of St. Catherine). Construction of the church began in 1599 and was completed in 1614. The church is enclosed by a former graveyard. Most of the original church paintings are kept in the Beguinage Museum. The church has polychrome wooden statues from the 16th to the 19th century,
- 6 Besloten Hof, Nonnenstraat 12. A monastery building from 1693. The chapel was built in 1855, after the original Gothic chapel was demolished in the 18th century. The sisters provided education, including at the primary school. In 2005, the last sister to serve as a teacher retired. In 2006 there were still 46 sisters, most of whom were of old age. The sisters from surrounding monasteries, such as Arendonk and Olen, all came to Herentals, after which the original monasteries were closed.
- 7 Bovenpoort, Bovenrij. This former city gate dates back to the 14th century. It's one of the few remaining parts of the town's city ramparts. The original gate was destroyed and rebuilt many times. The current gate with the present day looks is the result of major restoration works conducted in 1772.
- 8 Zandpoort. Just like the Bovenpoort the Zandpoort is one of the remaining gates that surrounded the town of Herentals and protected the town from invaders. The Zandpoort gate dates back to the 13th century.
- 9 Castle La Paige. A fine little castle built in the 1890s. The surrounding park makes a nice place for a leisurely stroll.
- Bobbejaanland. One of the largest theme parks in Belgium is only a few kilometres away from Herentals.
- 1 Speculaasje Heyns, Bovenrij 50, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. This bakery is famous for their shortcrust biscuits locally called speculaas. The shop doesn't accept payment cards as of 2022.
Herentals is a small town and establishments for evening drinking are limited. However, there are a few places which can be visited while staying overnight in Herentals.
- 1 Club Human, Grote Markt 16, ☏ . A pub on the main square.
- 1 Hotel De Zalm, Grote Markt 21, ☏ . A three-star hotel in the centre of Herentals, opposite the Cloth Hall and UNESCO-listed belfry.
- 2 Hotel Karmel, ☏ , email@example.com. The 27 rooms of this four-star hotel are located in a converted former monastery of Carmelite Nuns right on the main square of Herentals. Guests can use the hotel's swimming pool and sauna.
- Antwerp — second largest city of Belgium with a thriving diamond, shopping and fashion scene.
- Mechelen — compact historical city between the major cities of Antwerp and Brussels.
- Leuven — a historical city and Belgium's largest academic center, close to Brussels.