Amsterdam and Brugge

Jan 5th, 2009, 08:31 PM
Original Poster
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Amsterdam and Brugge

I'm planning a trip to Europe and need some advice from my friends at Foders...but first, here are a few details:
HNL to LHR on April 27/28
Depart LHR to HNL on May 13
May 4-13 will be in London
April 28 to May 4 Amsterdam and Brugge.
I'm a guy (45 yrs old) traveling by myself; I plan to rely on public transport and (minimal) cabs.
Interests: Museums, breweries, food, history, breweries, live theatre, walking tours, breweries, wineries, distilleries.

Here are my questions:
1. Are there any breweries in Amsterdam?
2. Is there good live theatre in Amdam?
3. Recommendations for a centrally located 3* hotel (is $150 per night do-able?). I need a non-smoking hotel, preferably one that will not push me into a micro-room (aka closet with a bed) because I'm traveling alone.
4. Are there any breweries in Brugge? I know there are several in Brussels, but am not sure if Brussels is worth the hassle (big city, crowds, traffic, etc).
5. Any recommendations for chocolate tours?
6. Recommendations for a centrally located 3* hotel in Brugge (is $150 per night do-able?). Same criteria as Amdam hotel.
7. What kind of impact will the Holiday on May 1 have on my travels? Will one of these cities have more options than the other for things to do?
Kaneohe is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 12:24 AM
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Hi there,

Cant answer all your questions but:

Yes, there is a brewery right in the middle of Bruges (I think its Moon something) and very easy to walk to.

We stayed at in Amsterdam and it was lovely. Right between 2 central canals, could walk everywhere, great breakfast, wonderful host.
jamikins is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 12:48 AM
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THE holiday is April 30 in Amsterdam and throughout Holland, Queen's Day, Koninginnedag in Dutch. Don't expect much except a million people in the streets trying to drain the breweries, free-lance bands, overloaded boats parading through the canals, junk and trinket sales, street food, and I guess that's it. I was there in 2008 and hope to get back this year.

The former Heineken brewery in Amsterdam is now a museum.
spaarne is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 01:36 AM
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May 1st is not a holiday in the Netherlands, as Spaarne says April 30th is a big thing here, particularly in Amsterdam. Only you know whether you would enjoy all the crowds etc. If you decide to be in Amsterdam that day be aware there will be little public transport. Amsterdam is very walkable any way.
Brouwerij het Ij is an excellent small brewery in Amsterdam.
Brouwerij De Prael is a small brewery in Amsterdam. It is on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal.
You can contact them by e-mail - [email protected] to see if they offer tours, or where you can taste their beer.

You will need to book an hotel in Amsterdam asap - it is peak tourist time when you are here, what with Koninginnedag and the tulips.

Boom Chicago is popular with Americans as it is in English. Most other show will be in Dutch which is probably not so enjoyable for you, unless you are fluent in Dutch.

The brewery in Brugge is de Halve Maan 9the half moon) home of Straffe Hendrik beer.
hetismij is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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De Halve Maan Brewery is the only brewery in Brugge that is easily reachable. It offers 1-hr guided tour, and a free glass of beer at the end of the tour.

Otherwise, there are plenty of bars in Brugge for you to sample. We went to 2 when we were there:

1) De Garre - entrance tucked inside a narrow alleyway, along the street that connects Burg & Markt. It's a cozy bar with lots of wood, however, they allow smoking inside.

2) Cambrinus, a bar that boasts over 400 kinds of beer.
This place also serves food, so smoking is prohibited.
yk is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 07:22 AM
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Thanks for the replies and the correction on the Holiday. Any guesses as to what impact the Holiday will have in Brugge?

Spaame and Hetismij: It's very helpful to learn that there's no public transport on April 30; do you know if any museums will be open? what about restaurants?

Jamikins: Thanks for the tip--will check it out.

YK: 400 beers...this could require some time! Thanks!

Kaneohe is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 10:04 AM
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To clarify: May 1st is a big deal in the neighboring countries, like in Belgium where - like in most countries - May 1 is the day of the workers, "Labour Day" if you will.

In Belgium and France and Germany and elsewhere there are rallies and parades, unionized worker get the day off, public transport is sketchy at times. The Netherlands are a curious exception to that, and it so happens that the Queen's Birthday is celebrated a day before, so that helps to take the shine of May 1.

You asked about theatre - it's mostly in Dutch, of course, and the theater season is winding down in May. But in Amsterdam you might like the comedy club called Boom Chicago - see
DalaiLlama is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 10:27 AM
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The museums in Amsterdam are open on April 30th. But you will be missing out on a lot if you spend your whole day in museums that day, assuming you can even get to them. There are limited trains on April 30th, plenty in the morning and a variable quantity later in the day depending on how crowded it gets. If it is too crowded the trains don't run in to Centraal station.
May 1st isn't a holiday in NL but it is in Belgium. Apart from Koninginnedag and new year's day the Dutch only get religious holidays off - Christmas, Easter, Ascension Day and Whitsun. Oh and when they fall on a weekend it's just tough we don't get another day off instead .
hetismij is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Could recommend the Adorns Hotel in Brugge - very comfortable, excellent service, affordable and on a scenic canal.
Lily is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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I won the 4 star Crown Plaza in Brugge on Priceline for $85/night for a mid-March stay. Trip Advisor reviews are nearly all good and the location (right on the main square) seems good for our short trip.
lennyba is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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As both Brugge and AMS are on my "short" list - enjoying this thread. Jaminkins - that b&b looks lovely!
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Well, as long as you're going to be in Belgium and you like beer, you might try to get to the place that makes possibly the best beer in the world.

It's about a 45 minute drive from Brugge. There's probably bus service.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Brugge is not the proper spelling of that city in English, unless you also want to spell cities like Warsaw, Vienna, Venice, Moscow and Lisbon as the locals spell it.
kerouac is online now  
Jan 6th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Is the proper English spelling French?
lennyba is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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Yes, the proper English spelling for reasons best known to themselves (probably because it's easier to pronounce) is the French spelling Bruges.
However lots of people here refer to Milano or whatever and since we all know what is meant by Brugge I don't see what the problem is wilth referring to it as such. It is after all a Flemish city.
People also refer to Den haag instead of the Hague, and Vlissingen instaed of Flushing, and I don't hear Kerouc complaining about those.
hetismij is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Now you do.
kerouac is online now  
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:59 AM
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I don't know of any law that says English speakers can't use one of the other spellings of a city name. At least there isn't any such law in the USA that I can find.

I just don't have time to keep track of which spelling of Brugge, Bruges, etc. is the American English version, or the British English version, or the French version, or the Japanese version, or the Flemish version, or whatever.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 04:59 AM
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In years gone by one could visit the Heineken brewery, have a nice tour and then some samples. I had breakfast there many times in my youth!

That brewery is no longer
producing but the building
in now the "Heineken Experience".

Here's a site with all kinds of beer, pub and brewery info:

Hotel in Amsterdam? We stayed at the Moevenpick 2 summers ago and ended up liking it very much. The whole place is non smoking and the rooms decent clean and very modern. I see people
often get it via Priceline bids for the $120 USD range which is a bargain.

ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 05:56 AM
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Rufus, everybody can call the cities whatever they want, but there is more than one person who might get a blank look here if they said they were going from Kobenhavn to Wien with a stop in Praha before flying to Dimashq.
kerouac is online now  
Jan 7th, 2009, 07:32 AM
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But Brugge and Bruges are so similar only real dunces would be flummoxed IMO

not quite the same as Wien and Vienna or Kobenhavn with Copenhagen, etc.

How about Ghent - i guess you would say we should write it Ghent and not Gent? (Or 'Gand' in French).
PalenQ is offline  

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