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Trip List by ockerman

Brussels to Bruges to Amsterdam to Luxembourg (we call it BeNeLux); a Trip Repor

20 Jul 2010  Three girlfriends of a certain age in search of adventure.
3.0 of 5 stars based on 1 vote

9 nights exploring wonderful Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, and Luxembourg

  • 1. Low Country Bound!

    Our European destination was prompted by the occasion of a family wedding in Holland - when we began to research the area these countries seemed like a good collection to visit at one time. We were able to schedule arrival in Belgium and departure from Luxembourg to avoid some backtracking.
    It was easy to find the train station after picking up our luggage in the Brussels airport, however, the elevator was out-of-order so we had to carry our bags up and down stairs to our train (smaller bags are better). Upon arrival at the train station we knew our hotel was only a kilometer away and after getting directions from helpful police we decided to walk...the wrong way. After a round-a-bout uphill tugging heavy bags we saw our hotel like a mirage and made for it. We would recommend a train into town to save a few dollars, but you may want to pick up a taxi for the short ride from the train station to your hotel.

  • 2. Hotel BLOOM!
    Hotel BLOOM!, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels
    Show Prices
    Avg price: $127

    The hotel is located next to the Botanical Gardens, about a 20 minute walk to the Grand Place. For a reasonable charge (and we would have paid much more) they were willing to check us in early, but due to renovation (another theme of the trip) it was a single room and not the double we had booked. The room was bright, modern, clean and well-supplied; as we were a triple they added a rollaway. Housekeeping quickly brought us another converter when one of ours failed to work and our only real disappointment was the lack of an ice machine. Showers and water made new women of us - we set out for lunch in town.

  • 3. Brussels Tourism Center on the Rue Royale
    http://www.brussels.be/artdet.cfm?id=4228

    We just happened upon this tourism center on our walk to lunch. An eager employee showed us around - maybe a bit too helpfully. It was nice to view the diorama of the city and get transportation advice.

  • 4. Musical Instruments Museum (Musee des Instruments de Musique)
    MIM - Musical Instruments Museum, Brussels, Belgium

    I'm sure this is an interesting museum and we saw many folks enjoying the audiotour but we came for lunch in the top-floor restaurant. It has a casual atmosphere and a great view of the city. We were pleased with our orders though unable to translate a request for "gluten-free" items to the staff.

  • 5. BELvue Museum
    http://www.belvue.be/BELvue/index.aspx?LangType=1033

    This museum (5Euros) covers Belgian history and is housed in an 18th century luxury hotel which can feel a bit warm and stuffy on a summer afternoon. We spent about an hour with the audiotour learning some national history.

  • 6. Eglise St-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg

    Our first church of the trip had an interesting history during the French revolution and due to it's proximity to the Royal Palace has benches for the monarchy in the choir stall.

  • 7. Place du Grand Sablon
    Place du Grand Sablon, Brussels, Belgium

    We enjoyed walking around this square, unfortunately we weren't hungry enough for the fabulous Wittamer confections. Beautiful Notre Dame du Sablon, c 1400, is Brabant-Gothic at its best. The church would probably glow after dark with the lights on.

  • 8. Smoods
    SmoodS, Living room, kitchen and music, Brussels, Belgium

    We decided to purchase some snacks for a casual meal in our room but the only place we passed with groceries was the train station - turns out there was a Carrefour store right across the street from our hotel. Later that night we went for drinks in the hotel bar which was uncrowded and rather unique with specially designed sitting areas - and we could get all the ice we wanted there!

  • 9. Lunch in the Madou

    We had so much fun the night before that we slept right through the hotel breakfast. Undeterred, we marched out planning on an early lunch near the Place but as were chatting we turned the wrong way and wound up in an outer neighborhood full of discount clothing stores (think $5 euro dresses) and bustling with local shoppers. A young restauranteur was just opening his sandwich shop so we popped in for what proved to be a fresh, fabulous, and very reasonable casual lunch. We wandered abit more in the neighborhood and then got some help with directions back to the center of town. In retrospect, we felt lucky to have gotten lost and spent time in this neighborhood.

  • 10. St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule)
    St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule), Brussels, Belgium

  • 11. Grand-Place
    Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium

  • 12. Les Galeries Saint Hubert
    Les Galeries Saint Hubert, Brussels, Belgium

  • 13. Rue des Bouchers
    Rue des Bouchers, Brussels, Belgium

  • 14. Eglise St-Nicolas (Church of St. Nicholas)
    Eglise St-Nicolas (Church of St. Nicholas), Brussels, Belgium

  • 15. Manneken Pis
    Manneken Pis, Brussels, Belgium

  • 16. Poechenellekelder
    Poechenellekelder, Brussels, Belgium

  • 17. Flea Market

  • 18. Bruges
    Bruges

  • 19. Number 11 B&B
    Number 11 Exclusive Guesthouse, Bruges

  • 20. Cafe Craenenburg
    http://www.dmcbrugge.be/craenenburg/eng.html