An old-timey internet café

Most of you are too young to remember this, but in the early years of the twenty-first century there used to be establishments in most cities known as internet cafés or cybercafés. These were places with booths and computers, where tourists and other people who didn’t have their own internet connection could go online, check their e-mails and log in to now-defunct websites such as VirtualTourist.

These internet cafés did a thriving business for about a decade, before people started carrying their own WLAN devices (known in some countries as Wi-Fi).

Antwerp’s last internet café

When I was in Antwerp in August 2012 there was still one internet café in operation, namely this one at the corner of Van Maerlantstraat and Goudbloemstraat.

My photos in this post are from 2012. I revised the text in 2020.

See more posts on Antwerp, Belgium.

8 thoughts on “An old-timey internet café”

  1. We still have some very small ones in our neighborhood, probably do more Internet calling but they have monitors too. I remember well the big ones back in the day in Munich when I used to log onto VT to keep up with everything.

  2. I remember making frequent trips to internet cafes to search material for college assignments. The manager use to note log-in time in his diary and users had to pay for 30 minutes, hourly etc. It was expensive and with limited budget most of us used it moderately.

    The cafes had CRT monitors with wired keyboards, cabinet CPU’s, mouse pads and floppy disk.

    Now majority of us have personal Wi Fi connection at home with unlimited internet and 4G data packs on mobile devices.
    It sometimes leads to ‘Tech Stress’.

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