Jul 7th, 2009, 06:50 AM
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My wife & I are planning to go to Amsterdam & then Belgium from Aug. 29 to Sept 6. We have not finalized our plans but we were thinking of flying into Amsterdam, stay 3 nights at the Hotel Pulitzer & then go to Belgium. Not certain if we should go to Bruges or Brussels. We would like to stay in one location in Belgium & then take a train for day trips. We will leave from Brussels. We could also start in Brussels & end in Amsterdam. Where would it be better to spend a week-end. Any input would be appreciate. Thank you
tex13 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 07:08 AM
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Just my 2 cents:

1) Brussels is far cheaper to stay during the weekend than weekdays. Hotels cut their rates by as much as 50% on weekends due to the lack of business travelers.

2) Bruges will be a zoo on weekends, with lots of tourists.

Having said all that, I would either:
1) Stay in Bruges the entire time you're in Belgium. It is a lovely town, and even lovelier at night and early morning when the daytrippers haven't descended on the town yet. We spent 3 nights in Bruges last fall and there was plenty of things to see and do there for 2-3 full days. One of the day we rode bicycles to Damme and then around the countryside.

2) Split your time between Brussels and Bruges. Perhaps 2 nights in Brussels (so you can spend 1 day there and take a day trip to Antwerp), and 2 nights in Bruges.

Feel free to take a look at my trip report from last fall. Here's the Belgium section:
yk is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Personally I'd add at least one more night in Amsterdam so you can explore outside the city too. Remember that on days one and two you may well suffer from jet lag (assuming you are coming from the US) which will eat into your time in the city.

Visit Antwerp on the way to Brussels and stay in Brussels. The European parliament will still be in recess then so hotels will be cheaper.
hetismij is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 03:50 PM
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Thank you for your help. We are staying an extra night in Amsterdam as you advised. Your trip report was very informative. Just changed plans & will be arriving in Brussels & leaving to go back to the US from Amsterdam. Do you know how long it will take to get to Bruges from the airport by train?
tex13 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 03:59 PM
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Hi tex13, it's about a one-hour ride from Brussels to Bruges. I'm pretty sure you have to take the train from Brussels Airport to any of the 3 main train stations in Brussels first, before you can transfer to the train for Bruges. The Brussels Airport to Brussels train trip is about 10-15 minutes. These are all regional trains, no need to buy tickets in advance.
yk is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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I haven't been to Brussels or Amsterdam but I do highly recommend Bruges. We went several years ago and immediately fell in love with it. As soon as we arrived at the hotel, my husband had me calling to see if we could get our flight pushed back so we could prolong our stay. The town is postcard pretty and they have plenty of great restaurants to choose from.

We're going again in October and planning to take day trips to Gent and Antwerp from there.
Tammil is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 04:58 PM
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Thanks to your input & sharing your experiences. We are staying in Bruges for 3 nights. Having trouble finding the cost for the train from the airport to Brussels & from Brussels to Bruges. Thinking about using a car service. Do you know of any that would be reasonable.
tex13 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:22 PM
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Have you tried Belgian Railway's website? It is very user-friendly.

You can look up fares here:

The one-way fare for adult from Brussels Airport to Bruges is €14,20. Car service will be quite expensive. The distance between the 2 is 100km.
yk is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:59 PM
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See the film, In Bruges. Not to be missed!
Eibhlin is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 05:22 AM
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Agree that you should take the train. Very easy, frequent, reservations not needed. Car service would definietly be quite expensive.

BTW - 3 days is a nice time to be in Bruges. Can really enjoy the evenings and early mornings before and after day trippers leave.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 10:51 AM
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We are taking a similar trip next month as well - we've got 2 weeks and will divide our time as follows: 4 nights Brussels, 3 nights Bruges, 6 nights Amsterdam, and 1 night Brussels. We will be back before you leave, so I will try to get my trip report out in a timely manner
november_moon is offline  
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