Amsterdam or Bruges?

Old May 27th, 2002, 11:24 AM
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Amsterdam or Bruges?

We're considering visiting either city. However, we've read that Amsterdam, while charming in some parts, is also seedy. Bruges, on the other hand, is written up well.

Which one would be better to visit for an overnight stay? In respect to souvenir shopping, can you find the same things to buy in Bruges that you'd find in Amsterdam?
Old May 27th, 2002, 11:31 AM
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Having been to both I'd agree with what you have read. In Amasterdam we saw someone lying on the floor outside the railway station whils paramedics were literally throwing their equipment out of the ambulance. ( We never found out if it WAS an attack or mugging but it did not reassure us... ). Parts of the Red Light district ( around the bridges mainly ) did fell unsafe. However on the whole we liked Amsterdam.
Old May 27th, 2002, 11:45 AM
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We live in Amsterdam and yes the area around central station is horrible, but hey so are most central stations in most big cities. GO to Amsterdam Bruges is nice but very small and not that much to do. Amsterdam has the most grand canals and beautiful buildings. The vondelpark on a warm day is fantastic. We live here and love travelling into Amsterdam to visit.

We have also been to Bruges so I think know what we are talking about.
Old May 27th, 2002, 02:45 PM
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I'm with David on this one. Been to both, both are great, but Amsterdam wins. Never felt anything but completely safe and relaxed on the occasions I've been there.
Old May 27th, 2002, 11:47 PM
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A vote for Bruges. There is PLENTY to do. Anyone who can't find something to keep them occupied for at least one overnight trip is not trying. We have been to Bruges dozens of times over the last three years and have always found something new and interesting to do and see. It's one of the most beautiful places in Europe and absolutely magical to walk around in the evening or in the early morning when the day trippers aren't there.
Re shopping, no, you don't find the same things. And very safe. I have always felt very comfortable walking around alone at night in Bruges.
Bruges has a lot of tourist oriented shops, but there are also some excellent little art galleries, a nice handcrafted tile shop, some good clothing stores, etc. Remember, many people live in the Bruges area--it's not just a tourist town.
BTilke (Brussels)
Old May 28th, 2002, 01:14 AM
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First, both Amsterdam and Brugge are wonderful places so you can't really go wrong.
The choice should be based on your preferences. Do you prefer a quaint, small, very touristy, "museum-like" town (Brugge) or do you prefer a real, cosmopolitan city, (Amsterdam) with more "life", more things to do and see, but inevitably also some of the big city problems? (although Amsterdam's main problem are pickpockets, so if you keep cash and documents in a safe place you should be 100% safe)
The choice is yours!
Old May 28th, 2002, 05:43 AM
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I agree with Sjoerd,

While both cities have truly wonderful qualities, they really are totally different. Amsterdam has some great exhibitions coming up (and I think the Gauguin exhibit is still on at the Van Gogh museum).

Brugges is much more quaint, quiet, and undeniably lovely. However, I must admit that it always feels a little like a movie-set to me, somehow not real. (that can be good or bad)

I have lived in Amsterdam 3.5 years, and love it. For a major city, crime, poverty, homelessness is rather low (compared to other cities I have lived in the US). But do avoid the red light district and train station area.

Have fun no matter which you choose!

Old May 28th, 2002, 05:56 AM
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Bruges is the cultural capital of Europe this year, there is so much going on!! Performances almost every day of the week. We stayed in Bruges for a week last year, found lots to see and do. There are good jazz clubs and nightlife, it's not just quaint. City is not really that small either. And the area around the train station is nice
Old May 28th, 2002, 09:23 AM
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Another vote for Bruges. We went to both Bruges and Amsterdam last summer, and I preferred Bruges on the whole (but I usually prefer smaller quaint towns to larger cities, so it depends on your tastes).

Taking into consideration that you will only stay one night, Bruges would probably fit your schedule better - there is plenty to see and do in Bruges, but on a smaller scale. I think one night in Amsterdam is not enough to make it worth while.
Old May 28th, 2002, 09:30 AM
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I love Amsterdam. However, I feel that one day is not enough to truly not enough time to enjoy this wonderful city. That said, which ever you decide, enjoy!
Old May 28th, 2002, 10:04 AM
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For an overnight stay, to me it makes more sense to go to a smaller place (Bruges) where you can orient yourself more quickly and get around easily since time is limited.
Old May 28th, 2002, 10:34 AM
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We just got back from Amsterdam and Bruges. This was our second trip to Bruges and I fell in love again. It is so clean and charming,I guess I like that. The food was great! Amsterdam was nice and I loved the canals, bridges and row houses. I would go back to Bruges again but probably not to Amsterdam. Just not my cup of tea. I bought a beautiful hand painted tile in amsterdam and there was a lot of delft ware. I think there more lace work in Bruges.
Old May 28th, 2002, 12:18 PM
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"We live in Amsterdam...."

"We live here and love travelling into Amsterdam to visit...."

Slight discrepancy there, David.
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