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Crowded in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands?

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We're planning, at the last minute, a trip to the Benelux countries (due to resolution of job insecurity issues). Because of various factors like kids, until now, being in year-round school, we haven't traveled to Europe in the summer for years; we've had the luxury of travelling in mid-Sept to Oct. and in late May.

So now we'd be travelling at the end of July and the beginning of August.

Because we're interested in history and art, we'll probably focus on the cities, but with some time in the countryside (visiting castles and the like). We're not beach people.

Can anyone give me a practical feel for what the crowds are like in those cities and countries at that time of year, and planning advice? I would assume that Amsterdam would be better during the week than on the weekend. Is the same true of Bruges or Brussels? Are all the restaurants all full up, or only some? Do we need to reserve museums tickets all in advance, or only the "biggies?" Any other crowd issues to consider (hotels, I know; I'll start tracking those down as soon as we figure out the itinerary)?

And lastly, do those countries shut down in August like France and Italy do?

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