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First time in Benelux

USA
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First time in Benelux

I will be in Belgium for 4 days and then in Amsterdam for 4 days. I plan on spending two full days in Brussels, one day in Bruges, one day in Luxembourg City (with Brussels as my base for each) and then 4 days in Amsterdam. I will also have two young children with me, but I don't need to see or do anything child-specific (like children museums, etc.). I have a few questions about the trip:

1) 2 days in Brussels - is it worth it or should I split it up and spend a day in Antwerp or Ghent?

2) Bruges - I heard that it is nice to spend a night there, but I was wondering if a day is enough to get a real feel for the city without it being overnight.

3) Luxembourg City - my online research shows me that it is a 2:40 train ride from Brussels, but a 2 hour drive. Is the drive scenic and is it worth seeing that city for a day? From the pictures, it looks beautiful.

4) Amsterdam - is 4 days a good amount of time to spend there? If I had to take one or two day trips, where would be worthwhile and would it be too much of an opportunity cost to spend that time away from Amsterdam?

5) What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Brussels and Amsterdam, taking into account walking distances, affordability, etc.? I have looked on Trip Advisor for suggestions but am all ears for any particular recommendations.

Thanks much!

The Hague, The...
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1. Re: First time in Benelux

One day or even just a few hours is enough for Brussels, many people think.

Bruges is a MUST-SEE, I would stay at least 1 night, or 2

Luxemburg is a nice city, but in my memory not as special as Bruges.

You could do Ghent instead.

In the Netherlands there's so much more than Amsterdam .

Delft has canals and Delft-blue pottery , my city The Hague has nice sights children will like, such as www.madurodam.nl

and www.panorama-mesdag.nl is a large round painting.

If you have a car you could include Delft and The Hague, and also very special are the windwills of www.kinderdijk.nl near Rotterdam but that's for when you have a car.

and en-route from Bruges you could take the scenic route over the islands of Zeeland province.

Amsterdam has lots to see, worth 3 days. If you like art, the newly re-opened Rijksmueum attracts hords of visitors,.Today's newspaper says yesterday the 1 millionth since openng in March, so it is crowded, so best come early.

North of Amsterdam there's Zaanse Schans, Marken, Enkhuizen .

You'll have to study a guide book of the Benelux .

In Amsterdam everything within the canal belt is great . You can bid on www.priceline.com , name your own price, areas 2 and 3, I got a 4-star by bidding just 56 $, so double for 2 rooms

Edited: 23 August 2013, 11:17
Brussels, Belgium
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2. Re: First time in Benelux

1) and 2) It's entirely up to you to decide what is "worth it" for you. Some people (dis)like some places and others (dis)like others so you will not be able to tell from their preferences what YOU would prefer. However as regards necessity or otherwise of staying overnight, the last train back from Brugge to Brussels is at 23:05 arr. (Bruxelles-Central 00:09.

3) The motorway and the railway line essentially follow the same route. I don't consider it to be scenic, myself, and I don't like Luxembourg City; but that doesn't mean you won't.

4) Nothing to do with the forum for BELGIUM, see tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g188590-i60-Amster…

5) If you have already looked at previous questions and answers in the forum for Belgium, you will know that for people doing day trips from Brussels by train, I always recommend staying near Gare centrale, to reduce time spent getting to and from the station (especially if this would be at local commuting times). You will also know I have listed the hotels in the area dozens of times. While these range from cheap (e.g. Moon) to expensive (e.g. Méridien), many hotels in Brussels are aimed at business travellers, not tourists, and quite a few of them therefore drop their prices at weekends: so you need to research prices for your particular dates.

Again, for advice on Amsterdam you need to ask in a different forum, or read the information already there.

The Hague, The...
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3. Re: First time in Benelux

qaminari, first of all it is wonderful you answer so many questions !!!!.

secondly, the OP also asked in The Netherlands forum, but I don't think it's so bad to ask for all Benelux here. We used to be ONE country in the past.

Brussels, Belgium
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4. Re: First time in Benelux

So when people put questions about Spa-Francorchamps in the forum for the Netherlands I take it you will be happy to answer them. I certainly won't be looking there!

On the basis of having been part of the same country in the past, people could ask for/put information in the forum for Spain (or Germany, for that matter!) about Amsterdam or Brussels, and in the forum for the UK about Dublin, New York or Sydney....

Great idea (I don't think).

Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: First time in Benelux

I think a Benelux question is ok I means Belgium isn't really a proper country more a compromise of 1800s but anyway I think the main areas of Brussels are worth viewing but as the other posters say Bruges is a must see and deserves some time to wander and Ghent to has more charm than Brussels in many ways.

Four days in Amsterdam I think will be about right for what it seems your trip is before and for me a day trip to Luxembourg is a good way of seeing what it is about if not getting a full feel for it.

Don't worry about the other rude posters the people of the Netherlands and the Flanders region are amongst the friendliest I've met in Europe.

Have a great trip

6. Re: First time in Benelux

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