With RMR events ongoing, some teams are already gearing towards the first Major of 2022; so we thought it was time for you to start preparing for the key CS:GO event in the first half of 2022. That’s why BLIX.GG have put together this quick guide to provide you with everything you’ll need to plan your trip.
The event itself starts on May 9 with The New Challengers stage, followed by The New Legends Stage on May 14. The key event, held in the arena begins on May 19.
The event concludes May 22 — so prepare for a full week of first-class Counter-Strike.
The complete schedule is below:
Venue and commuting
The New Legends Stage (19 – 22 May) will be held in Sportpaleis, located in Schijnpoortweg 119
The venue is in the city centre and fairly well connected with nearby stops for trams #2, #3, #5 and #6, and bus #19 (there are more stops in the vicinity of Sportpaleis if you don’t mind a short walk). Public transportation works great in Antwerp, and you can use the public transportation website to organize your trip around the city.
An added bonus; your ticket for the event is also a valid ticket for public transportation. You can use it on trams and buses in Antwerp operated by De Lijn.
If visiting by car, there are several options for car parking, which cost 5€ per spot. Most of the options depend on the other events in the city and will be available closer to the event start date (please check the official website before the event starts.)
Ticket prices are available online from the official Sportpaleis website.
Prices are as follows:
|Premium Floor Seats
|Thursday and Friday
Both ticket classes provide you with access to the merchandise and partner area, while the premium class provides floor seats close to the stage.
VIP tickets are also available from 195€ per day (which includes a separate entrance to the event, separate seating in the arena, access to the hospitality centre, open bar, snacks) and for 295€ per day you can also get a VIP parking spot, among other amenities.
You can buy your tickets at the venue when the event starts (in which case, tickets cost an extra 2€). For online reservations, you have the choice of receiving your tickets as an e-ticket or as a paper ticket (if you choose paper tickets additional shipping costs will be charged).
As noted on the venue website, you can purchase “cancellation insurance” for each ticket. This will allow you to return your ticket before the event starts and refund you the purchase price in case you are unavailable to attend.
The venue strongly advises against buying tickets on the black market, from third parties or on the street from scalpers, since these practices are illegal in Belgium.
Getting to Antwerp
There is an airport close to Antwerp, however, it is rather small and it is used mostly for chartered flights, operated by TUI Fly (catering mostly to tourist destinations in Europe). If you are travelling via plane, you will probably land in Brussels, which is some 40km from Antwerp.
Further, the best way for travelling from Brussels to Antwerp is by train, which takes around 40 minutes. Based on your arrival in Brussels and other plans, you can organize your trip accordingly (e.g., there is a direct train line from Brussels Airport – to Zaventem to Antwerp). You can use their website; belgiantrain.be to find the one closest to your hotel or Sportpaleis as there are several train stations in both Brussels and Antwerp.
Train tickets are available for purchase 30 days in advance. The price of a one-way ticket is around €15. Ticket price will vary depending on the class (first or second), travel day (during the work week or weekend), and whether you choose a one-way or return ticket.
Important Disclaimer: All information regarding Covid-19 restrictions in Belgium is correct at the time of writing this article. Please seek further information closer to the date of the event and your time of travel
For travellers from certain countries, entry into Belgium is completely forbidden in case you are not fully vaccinated (e.g. USA, Canada, most of South America). Travellers who do not have their main residence in Belgium must arrive with a (i) vaccination Belgium recognizes more vaccines than suggested by the EU, and the full list can be found on the Government website, (ii) test or (iii) recovery certificate (and in some cases a certificate of essential travel).
Even though at a later date no certificate is required, we strongly suggest bringing the appropriate certificate with you on this travel. Brussels airport offers a tool to easily check any restrictions based on your origination country and vaccination status, you can find it on their website.
Currently, Belgium is at code yellow Covid risk, which is the lowest level of the three, due to the lower number of new hospitalizations due to Covid-19. This code means, among other measures, that masks are mandatory only in healthcare and public transport, and there are no curfews or limitations on working hours. Please check for updated information closer to your time of travel.
Accommodation prices vary significantly when considering (i) the length of your stay, (ii) the number of people sharing the accommodation, (iii) desired location and (iv) the timing of reservation. We will give you the approximate figures regarding the cost of accommodation in Antwerp so you can factor this into your planning. Starting from the Airbnb offer - the average price for 3-night rent is around 490€ for units that can house 3 guests, There are also, larger units are available if you're travelling with a group. These range from around 1,000€. Which means if there are 6 of you will pay around for ~170€ each the full 3-day stay.
If Airbnb isn't your thing, there are a number of really nice budget hotels ranging from 220-290€ (for 1 person, all 3 nights) in the city centre with some great picks among international hotel chains (e.g. ibis from Accor and Tryp from Wyndham) and nice-looking apartments. While the above mentioned hotel chails are some of our suggestions, since preferences vary greatly from person to person be sure to pick the accommodation option that fits your budget and travel style.
Of course, if you've got the cash to spend you can seek a higher-end hotel in the city centre — which would cost on average around 400€ for 3 nights. On the other hand, the price for a hostel stay is around 90€ for 3-days.
If you find some time to kill around CS:GO matches, we recommend checking out some of these Antwerp attractions:
- Place (Grote Markt) – Located in the heart of the old town, houses the town hall and numerous guild houses. It was constructed in the 16th century and exhibits paintings depicting the history of Antwerp.
- Antwerp Zoo – regarded by some as one of the finest zoos in Europe.
- Chocolate Nation – Of course, one of the first associations with Belgium is the best chocolate in the world. And where better to learn more about this sweet connection than Chocolate Nation? It's the largest Belgian chocolate museum in the world.
- Plantin-Moretus Museum – The museum exhibits the world's oldest printing presses, books, antiques, etc.
- Red Star Line Museum – Red Star Line was a shipping line that transferred some 3 million people from Europe to America in the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum is dedicated to both the shipping line and people who emigrated.
- Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) – The largest museum in Antwerp located by the river Scheldt, hosting a wide variety of exhibitions and housed in a beautiful red building. Furthermore, the area around MAS hosts a lot of bars and restaurants.
- Port House/Havenhuis– The Port House, or Havenhuis, designed by Zaha Hadid, one of the most famous architects in history. The new building is integrated into the old fire station and is one of the most interesting constructions in Europe.
Bars and restaurants
Finally, no holiday is complete with out the food and drink; we present our list of suggested restaurants and bars for you to check out while you're enjoying Antwerp.
- BAVET– Antwerp’s famous spaghetti restaurant.
- Otomat– A great pizzeria (one of our insider's top picks!)
- Da Giovanni Groenplaats – Another perfect choice for pizza.
- Black Smoke – Speciality barbecue restaurant.
- Piétrain – A restaurant that specializes in meat dishes.
- Le Steak '17 – Another meat-eater option.
- Meat Factory – Our final suggestion for the meat-lovers.
- De Koninck - Antwerp City Brewery – A must-see brewery (in the same building as Black Smoke), making four different beers and offering a tour with beer tasting included.
- Paters Vaetje – A pub offering more than 150 Belgian beers.
- Cocktail bars: (i) Bar Tikila, (ii) Dogma, (iii) Jones & Co, (iv) Bar 11, (v) Brasserie Appelmans.
Generally, prices for ‘normal’ beer (Stella Artois, Carlsberg, Heineken) are around 2€ and special beer (Duvel) between 3.5 and 4.5€. Cocktails are between 8 and 10€.