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9 days in Europe, suggestions?

Detroit, Michigan
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9 days in Europe, suggestions?

I am going to be flying into Brussels in August and would like suggestions on an itinerary. I would like to see as much as possible, as it has really been a struggle for me to get over to this area. That, and based on past travels, I enjoy skipping around vs. staying in one place for too long. I find that 1-2 days, depending on the city, is enough for me. That being said, I am considering the following itinerary....

Day 1 - Leave 7:30pm

Day 2 - Arrive 12pm - Brussels

Day 3 - Bruges

Day 4 - Amsterdam

Day 5 - Amsterdam

Day 6 - Paris

Day 7 - Paris

Day 8 - England

Day 9 - England

Day 10 - Leave Brussels 11am

I have a friend who lived in the Netherlands for a couple years and she suggested this itinerary:

Day 1: Leave 7:30pm EST

Day 2-3: Brussles

Day 3: Ghent BEAUTIFUL & on the way to Brugge

Day 3-4: Brugge

Day 4-5: Brugge-Paris (Faster to go there then all the way up to Amsterdam right away)

Day 6-8: Paris-Amsterdam (they have really direct train rides that I believe are pretty cheap in comparison of going from Belgium (you never know but that was always my experience of feeling like getting ripped off to go from Belgium up to Amsterdam)

Day 8-10: Amsterdam-England (Amsterdam has a high speed train around 100 usd to go through entire Netherlands, down through Belgium again and direct to England).

I am likely not going to go to many/if any museums and more interested in walking around the cities, going into cafes/shops and seeing landmarks.

Also, while in England, I would like to take one day to do a day tour of Stonehenge/Bath/Cotswolds. This is, I believe, a 12 hour tour, so would take the full day, but I would prefer seeing the countryside, at this time, over the city itself, so I am aware of the trade off, in regards to that decision.

Thoughts/suggestions?

Fort Worth, Texas
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for Amsterdam
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1. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

makes my head spin..im not one to help you. i go for 9 days..stay in one place and do no daytrips.

Detroit, Michigan
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19 posts
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2. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

Haha, appreciate it, anyways! :)

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

I'd leave Brussels immediately and move right on to Bruges or Ghent that same day. Either Ghent if it's a Thursday, Friday or Saturday with good nightlife; or Bruges first if you arrive on any other day of the week... spend one night in each, then Amsterdam for 2 nights.

Then the rest of your crazy itinerary ;-) (1 extra day in Paris though, at the cost of Brussels)....

Then fly home from London if you can.

Cecilia // Amsterdam

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm

Detroit, Michigan
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4. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

That's the second time I've heard to leave Brussels. Is it that bad of a city? lol

Amsterdam, The...
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5. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

Brussels has a few nice parts here and there, but you need to know where to find them. Inbetween, lots of wide smelly motorways right through the center, urine smelly tunnels to cross those roads, grey buildings, long distances...

If you're short of time, which you are, I'd say don't waste it on trying to find those few nice places in Brussels, but instead spend it in Ghent, Bruges, Amsterdam which are all instantly beautiful, easy on the first-time visitor, and pedestrian-friendly where ever you randomly stray. Ghent also has a medieval castle right in the center.

Paris also has a *lot* more to offer than Brussels, though it is huge and so you will also need to cover ground by metro more than in the three I just mentioned. But even that is fun in Paris. Beautiful metro stations, many of them.

By the way, I like Hotel Audran in Paris, right in the middle of bustling Montmartre, the picturesque Paris you see in the movies (and actually the cafe where the movie Amélie was filmed is just blocks from the hotel). With lovely typical cafes to have your croissant and coffee with a newspaper, right on the doorstep. Only thing is, you must not be the type who minds noise at night. Obviously there are hundreds of hotels in Paris but this was one of the affordable ones in a great area and it also turned out to be clean, and have friendly staff (quite rare in Paris). tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187147-d152080…

Oh - and count on hotel rooms being tiny in Paris, and probably in Amsterdam too. And Bruges too perhaps.

Ghent has a whole chain of great B&B's.

Edited: 07 May 2014, 00:35
Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

That's very helpful, thank you for the information! I will definitely check out the hotel you suggested. As we are trying to squeeze a lot into little time, being as efficient as possible is important. Also, hotel location will be important; we want to stay as cheaply as possible, in the most centralized location as possible, so I will definitely check out your suggestions. Thanks, again!

Amsterdam, The...
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7. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

By the way - Ghent and Bruges are only half an hour apart. But the reason why I am suggesting spending one night in each is:

- Bruges is very very crowded with visitors during the daytime, and understandably so because it's very pretty. In the evening it gets quieter, and also the bridges and little streets look very cute after dark. I liked De Republiek cocktail garden.

- Ghent is also pretty after dark, and has such nice bars and beer cafes, it is really nice to spend an evening there.

Actually the same goes for London, Paris, Amsterdam... all are pretty after dark as well, and I would say, safe enough for walking around, as long as you watch out for pickpockets. Especially London, big as it is, feels surprisingly safer than say, Rotterdam, even for a solo female after dark. In Paris I guess it depends a bit more on the neighborhood but in all of Montmartre I felt fine walking around day or night, even at 5am after going out.

Detroit, Michigan
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8. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

Thanks, again! So helpful! :)

Detroit, Michigan
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9. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

How about this one...Suggestions?

August 22 - Leave Detroit

August 23 - Arrive 12pm, go to Ghent

August 24 - Afternoon in Ghent, leave for Bruges

August 25 - Day in Bruges, leave for Amsterdam

August 25 - Amsterdam

August 26 - Amsterdam (day in Utrecht)

August 27 - Amsterdam

August 28 - Leave for Paris early am, Paris

August 29 - Paris

August 30 - Day in Paris, leave for Brussels in pm

August 31 - Leave Brussels for 11am flight

10. Re: 9 days in Europe, suggestions?

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