Touch Antwerp’s cultural heart at the house where the city’s most illustrious son lived and worked. Far from being the stereotypical starving artist in a garret, the artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) amassed a tidy fortune from his light-kissed paintings, which allowed him to build an impressive mansion in 1610 when he was just 33. Today you have to beat off the tourist hordes to file through one gloriously OTT period apartment after another, all richly decorated with fine furniture, marble Roman sculptures, and examples of Rubens’s exquisite portraiture, including one of Anthony van Dyck, who was his pupil. When you’ve fought your way through the house, take a breather in the Renaissance courtyard garden, whose pavilion was recently restored, and reflect on the sumptuous lifestyle of patrician Flemish gentleman in the 17th century.