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Amsterdam & Brussels in Feb 03, any tips?

Amsterdam & Brussels in Feb 03, any tips?

Old Jan 6th, 2003, 07:07 AM
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Amsterdam & Brussels in Feb 03, any tips?

Hi everyone. I'm going to the Netherlands during Presidents week in Feb. I'm staying at the Hotel Inntel in Amsterdam for 3 nights, taking the Thalys to Brussels and staying at the Bedford Hotel there for 3 nights. I booked this trip through Go-Today.com (first time using them) because it was a great deal. My plans are loose at this point, although I'm currently reading some guidebooks and planning an itinerary. The main thing I want to do over there is visit the best museums and kind of have an "art vacation". Sleep late, eat nicely, walk a lot and spend a lot of time gazing at paintings I can't see here. I'm most interested in the Dutch masters school (Vermeer and Rembrandt especially, and will make a trip to the Van Gogh museum also). So, if anyone has stayed at either of the hotels mentioned I'd love to hear your comments, and if anyone knows good places to eat (btw I'm vegetarian) or shop please post. Your comments are most appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Old Jan 6th, 2003, 07:26 AM
Eye Spy
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Junebug, I hope you can visit the Rijksmuseum several times. It's lovely and very centrally located. www.rijksmuseum.nl (check opening times). Also, if you have time, take the train to the Hague (Den Haag) -- it's a quick trip, can be done in one day. There you should try to visit both the Mauritshuis (www.mauritshuis.nl) and the fairly unknown to tourists Panorama Mesdag which is a very huge canvas and a delight to see: www.panorama-mesdag.nl.

Other interesting museums in Amsterdam are: Ons Lieve Heer op Zolder (a 17-century hidden Catholic church built into a townhouse on the canal -- very interesting) and the old weigh house (De Waag) -- there are some nice canvases in there as well. You might also wish to visit the Amsterdams Historisch Museum. If you enter the Begijnhof via the old orphanage from the Kalverstraat, there is an entrance through a public gallery with huge canvases of various 17-century Dutch guilds. This accessible pedestrian wing is part of the Amsterdams Historisch Museum and they are interesting canvases to look at if you don't want to go into the museum itself.

Holland is very easy to make daytrips to other cities because the train system is excellent. You can check train times at www.ns.nl (all websites I've listed have English language options, naturally). And in Holland, you don't have to worry about speaking English. Everyone does so you don't have to ask if they speak English in the first place.

Have a lovely trip!
Old Jan 6th, 2003, 07:51 AM
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Eye Spy, thank you so much! The Rijksmuseum was first on my list and I'm planning to make it the centerpiece of this trip. I've printed your other suggestions and will definitely work them into my plans, I appreciate your help so much! Thanks again.
Old Jan 6th, 2003, 08:53 AM
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Go to Rembrandt's house in Amsterdam. It was wonderful to me. Not crowded at all and I stood in his studio alone.

Do a day trip from Brussels to Brugge to see the Michaelangelo there.
Old Jan 6th, 2003, 08:58 AM
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I would spend more time in Amsterdam (& maybe day-trip from there). There is not much in Brussels & a day is certainly ample time to take it in. You may consider Delft, Rotterdam & though a good distance away Maastricht.
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