Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Amsterdam<->Luxemburg<->Belgium<->Amsterdam Trip

Amsterdam<->Luxemburg<->Belgium<->Amsterdam Trip

Old Apr 14th, 2024, 06:31 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Amsterdam<->Luxemburg<->Belgium<->Amsterdam Trip

Hi,

I'm travelling to all these countries on a 2 week trip first 2 week's of June. This is a placeholder thread for all things related to the travel and going to update it with my questions as they come up. Thanks in advance for all the help.

My general itineary:
May 31: Arrive into Schiphol. Travel to Luxemburg the same day from the airport.
June 1 - 2: Luxemburg: Travel to Brussels in the evening.
June 3 - 4: Brussels: Travel to Ghent in the evening.
June 5 - 6: Ghent: Travel out of Ghent on 7th morning.
June 7: Antwerp: Travel to Amsterdam in the evening.
June 8 - 13: Amsterdam. Fly out of Amsterdam on the 13th.

Issues that I'm trying to solve:
1. I want to take a train to Luxemburg as soon as I get my baggage (travelling with a checked bag). So, do I get a sim @ the airport or would free wifi be available @ the airport & on the train & @ Luxemburg train station for me to get a sim the next day in Luxemburg?

2. How much time should I factor in to get out of the airport so that I can get on the earliest train to Luxemburg?

3. a. I land at 11.30am @ Schiphol and have to reach Luxemburg that same day. The cheapest trains out of Schiphol all have just a 7min transfer time @ Arlon. Schedule says the Schiphol train arrives on track 2 and the Luxemburg train leaves on train 3. Looking through google maps it looks like track 2 and track 3 are basically on the same platform. Also, are the coaches interconnected? Asking so that in case I get into the coach opposite to me as soon as I get out that I'll still be able to get to my seat. All-in-all, wondering if its wise to take such an itineary?
b. In case, I miss the transfer, do I've to get a new ticket or is there a process by which I can still use the Luxemburg ticket on the next train (seats being available)?

4. The other option google tells me to and take a bus from Amsterdam central but train is my first choice as I can take it right out of Schiphol unless the buses also go via the airport. If I've to take a bus what would you recommend?

5.
a. From Luxemburg I travel back to Brussels on the evening of Jun 2. Does the Luxemburg station have any option to store checked baggage + personal bags as I want to put the luggage and do a few hours of sight seeing?
b. Is it easy to get space in the luggage room not just @ Luxemburg but @ Antwerp, Brussels stations too?
c. Is it advisable to store the checked baggage as well as personal bags locked?
d. Any other tips regarding storing luggages.

6. Is it safe to arrive back in Brussels around 10pm? Google maps doesn't show any train/bus for Sun. So, it looks like I have to walk about 15mins or take a taxi (cost?) ?

7. Would booking each train travel separately be cost effective or is there a some kinda package that I can do to get cheaper tickets?

Thank you.

Last edited by arunkumarsivaraman24; Apr 14th, 2024 at 06:35 AM.
arunkumarsivaraman24 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2024, 07:01 AM
  #2  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,163
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can't answer all of your questions, but I would like to make one observation. You're giving a decent amount of time to Amsterdam, but the rest of your trip seems a bit rushed. Why move around Belgium so much? I would just stay in Brussels (or one of the other cities) and do day trips to the other Belgian cities.
P_M is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2024, 07:04 AM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,029
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Get a data esim before your trip from airalo dot com. 15 days with 4-5GB will cost about $10 US. From time of purchase to installing on a phone takes me all of about 5 min. You can install it before your trip and it will activate when you first connect to the local network. When traveling I make the data esim primary for data but keep my home sim active for voice calls and sms.

schiphol has free wifi. Some trains do, but it can be hit or miss.

Many stations have luggage lockers but they may have limited hours. Ditto for left luggage service. I’ve used lockers at several locations in BE/NL and it’s worked fine, but never at the stations you mention.

On my most recent trip last fall train tickets worked this way: you tap in through a gate at the departure train station, take any train to your destination, and tap out when you exit at your destination. I used the local railroad app on my phone. I was never asked to show a ticket on a train. None of my rides crossed a country border so I don’t know if thst works the same way.

A same-platform transfer is easy, and yes, cars are connected. I don't know if you even need a reserved seat. In BE/NL I've just used trains that are hop on/open seating.

Last edited by J62; Apr 14th, 2024 at 07:12 AM.
J62 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2024, 07:11 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,418
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
d. Any other tips regarding storing luggages.

There's a luggage service available globally called Bounce, https://usebounce.com

We've used it - in fact, in Antwerp a few months ago (not at the station, but at a location convenient to where we were staying). It worked well, and we plan to use it again on an upcoming trip. In Antwerp, the lockers at the station appeared fairly full, and there were quite a few people in line to get one.

You may find it useful. One tip: download and use the app, as you need it to show the QR code generated by a reservation.
ms_go is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2024, 03:29 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,155
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You do not mention your terminus in Brussels, but if you are wandering around Brussels Midi station (end station) late at night (i.e. 10pm) that's a situation I would avoid. Last year the government ploughed considerable means into trying to clean up the station and environs so now there should be a visible police presence, but I would not like to be wandering around either in the station or outside (although the station is well-lit and clean, the area is quite run down). Either catch a taxi or find a hotel near Brussels Central and transfer to there by train. You can work out your fare from one of the many taxi fare finders: https://www.taxi-calculator.com/taxi...oogle_vignette . Taxi companies are Taxis Verts, Taxis Bleus.

If you are transferring from one side of the platform to the next, then yes, you can get on any carriage and move through the train. But most stations have a chart of the carriages on the trains so you can work out where to stand to get ready for your train.

You can actually pick a base out of the four Belgian cities you are visiting as they are all close. Brussels would work well enough for this, some people like Ghent for this but they are doing some work on the tram lines I think and have changed some stops - the station is quite a way from the town. I have not been since they have started doing this, so you would need to investigate this.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2024, 06:39 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
P_M ,

The cost of round trip train tickets + cost of hotel in Brussels vs staying in Ghent were almost the same. Also, in the past after a long day I've found that even 35-45mins travel is not my cup of tea. So, trying a different itinerary this time around.

J62 ,
Thanks so much for your about airalo. I'm going to give it a shot. One question I have is how did you manage when you had to make a local call. Did you use OTT service like google voice to make a call?

As regards the local railroad app, I see Belgian train has a SNCB. So, something similar is what you used?

ms_go ,
Thank you for the tip about the Bounce app.

lavandula ,
I'll be coming to the central station. I plan to arrive around 9pm. How is the central station safety situation around its vicinity?
arunkumarsivaraman24 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2024, 07:26 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,155
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi arunkumarsivaraman24, Central is just fine. By that I mean that the area and station are safe - the tunnels leading into the station still smell of urine, but it's not rough like Midi. At 9pm you should still have lots of people walking around, and you will be OK to walk to your hotel (or catch a taxi, up to you).

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2024, 04:32 AM
  #8  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,029
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by arunkumarsivaraman24
One question I have is how did you manage when you had to make a local call. Did you use OTT service like google voice to make a call?
With the prevalance of online restaurant reservations and access to web info I rarely make actual phone calls when traveling. I have found that businesses often use WhatsApp - that's what I use to text message between iOS and Android phones, and to contact local businesses, or to make OTT/VoIP calls. My home (US) cell phone service (Spectrum) only charges a low per minute call fee, and also works OTT/VoIP when I'm on wifi. To keep things simple I'll just use Whats App for all uses so I'm not bouncing between apps, or toggling settings while traveling.

I will keep my US phone # active as my carrier (Spectrum Mobile) only charges a few cents per minute call fee, whereas my old service (Verizon) charged $10/day access simply to connect to cell towers. Spectrum mobile also enables calling over IP so if needed I have that option.
J62 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2024, 09:16 AM
  #9  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,029
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I replied earlier today but looks like my post is in moderation limbo.

Short of it I use whats app for both text messages and OTT/VoIP calling.
J62 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2024, 03:51 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks @J62 & @Lavandula for your responses.

Also, for the train travel, does booking through the country specific rail website is better or is there a common railroad app?
arunkumarsivaraman24 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2024, 06:10 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,155
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just use www.belgiantrain.be . I think they have an app you can use on your phone. It's the national train company (called SNCB in French / NMBS in Flemish).

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2024, 05:44 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 23,045
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
June 5 - 6: Ghent: Travel out of Ghent on 7th morning.
June 7: Antwerp: Travel to Amsterdam in the evening.


Antwerp deserves more than a partial day.




Michael is offline  
Old May 27th, 2024, 05:33 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can we do a windmill tour to places like Volendam, Marken by ourselves or would a tour bus be recommended?

Is Geithoorn worth a visit? Asking as 1-way travel from the hotel shows is 2.5hours.

What day trips that are nearby to Amsterdam would you recommend and what's the highlight in those places? I'm not looking for other cities but places that are culturally rich or have history.
arunkumarsivaraman24 is offline  
Old May 27th, 2024, 05:34 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Michael, thank you for your comment about Antwerp.
arunkumarsivaraman24 is offline  
Old May 28th, 2024, 10:19 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,838
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by arunkumarsivaraman24
Thanks @J62 & @Lavandula for your responses.

Also, for the train travel, does booking through the country specific rail website is better or is there a common railroad app?
your trip Ams - Lux is time consuming and needs careful planning re your connection in Brussels. Maybe fly to Lux from Schiphol. Your other days are very rushed. Amsterdam gets too much time imo
menachem is offline  
Old May 28th, 2024, 10:21 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,838
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by arunkumarsivaraman24
Can we do a windmill tour to places like Volendam, Marken by ourselves or would a tour bus be recommended?

Is Geithoorn worth a visit? Asking as 1-way travel from the hotel shows is 2.5hours.

What day trips that are nearby to Amsterdam would you recommend and what's the highlight in those places? I'm not looking for other cities but places that are culturally rich or have history.
Giethoorn is way more involved than 2.5 hours. I don't know where you get your information for travel duration
Volendam and Marken have no windmills. Both can be reached by regional bus from Amsterdam CS.
Please consider reading a travel guide or watch YT videos on Amsterdam to get an idea
menachem is offline  
Old May 28th, 2024, 05:36 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by menachem
Giethoorn is way more involved than 2.5 hours. I don't know where you get your information for travel duration
I used google maps to look at the time via train.

Originally Posted by menachem
Volendam and Marken have no windmills. Both can be reached by regional bus from Amsterdam CS.
Please consider reading a travel guide or watch YT videos on Amsterdam to get an idea
The info about Volendam & Marken was obtained through viator.
https://www.viator.com/tours/Amsterd...d525-2550LIN2A
arunkumarsivaraman24 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
sofieg
Europe
8
Aug 16th, 2017 02:15 PM
vanenechy
Europe
4
Jul 3rd, 2007 09:09 PM
italy531
Europe
6
Jan 24th, 2006 04:48 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -