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advance booking? hotels and attractions

Long Island NY
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advance booking? hotels and attractions

I will be in Europe next August and am just starting to think about the big picture for the trip. For now I want to uncover any must-do things that either require advance booking or are only a once a week occurrence. Let me know if you can think of any.

Also, is it possible to keep a flexible itinerary and only book lodging a few days in advance as we head towards Brussels from Amsterdam.

We are experienced off the beaten path travelers with 2 young teens if that helps. This is our first time in Paris.

Dublin
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1. Re: advance booking? hotels and attractions

Hotel rooms in Brussels can be hard to find during trade conferences and EU events, so you need to book ahead.

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: advance booking? hotels and attractions

If you need some flexibility, I would book lodging that can be guaranteed with a CC. These can usually be cancelled up to a certain date/time prior to arrival or if not cancelled usually incur just a 1 night penalty. Be sure to check the T&C's before you book. The standard is one night before arrival, but this can change depending on location, time of year, special events, etc. If you book an advance purchase prepaid hotel, these are normally paid in full at time of booking and are non-refundable.

Long Island NY
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3. Re: advance booking? hotels and attractions

Thanks, any idea how best to check on scheduling of confrences and EU events.

Portland, Oregon USA
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4. Re: advance booking? hotels and attractions

Hotel booking websites, such as www.hotel.de or www.hrs.com will alert you when there is a conference that impacts hotel rates. I also like to check www.booking.com and the Accor Hotel chain's website (for Ibis and Etap's)www.accorhotels.com .

Brussels is a "business and government town", so hotel prices are higher during the work days. So, save money by staying in Brussels on the weekends. Amsterdam is a "party town" where hotel prices are higher on the weekends and cheaper during the work week.

If you don't want to book ahead, you can always book rooms at the local tourist offices. In Brussels, it is located at Grand Place. In Amsterdam, I like to use the one by Platform #2 at the Centraal Station. It is usually less crowded than the one out in front of the station and if you have to wait, it has a more comfortable atmosphere.

I used to book rooms through the tourist offices, back in the olden days before the Internet. Now, I always book ahead to save money and to know where I'll be located.

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: advance booking? hotels and attractions

There aren't any trade fairs or EU events in Brussels in AUGUST! It is such a desperate time of year for some local hotels (aimed at visiting officials and business people, not tourists) that they reduce their prices then - as indeed some of them do throughout the year for weekends (generally, Friday and Saturday nights; sometimes Sunday).

Nevertheless, if you have an idea where you would like to stay, it is always worth booking your hotel to avoid disappointment.

I don't know what you mean by "once-a-week" events in Brussels - this is not Vienna, with performing choirboys, horses, etc.. The only museum that could possibly require advance booking is the Magritte Museum in Place Royale (not to be confused with the Magritte House in Jette), but if you do, you can't benefit from the combi ticket covering that plus the Fine Arts museums (ancient and modern), which can only be purchased on the spot. So all depends on how flexible you would be when here, if you want to see that/those particular museum(s).

If you are here in August, the Royal Palace will be open to visitors, however you can't book this (and it's free), you just have to queue if there are a lot of people visiting when you want to. If you do, bear in mind that it closes on Mondays, like most museums.

Long Island NY
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6. Re: advance booking? hotels and attractions

Thank you both. I am getting a better sense of it now. I am accustomed to New York that operates by the same rules as the business city you are describing BUT also has a large tourist side to it as well.

7. Re: advance booking? hotels and attractions

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