Amsterdam to Brugges-which option?

Nov 5th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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The direct trains are shown in Thomas Cook Timetable but that could be wrong though rarely is. Presently i can't get my computer to check online schedules so am handicapped - but the trains that change at Kortrijk, and i've done it is from one platform to the Brussels-Lille Flandres train on the opposite platform

and you can book your TGV train in Bruges i believe - in anyc ase you can buy these tickets in Bruges at a price usually must cheaper than spur of the moment Thalys tickets. And my experience in SMILYS tickets show they are not always easy to get even far in advance.

I see no advantage in going via Brussels if Bruges-Paris is your goal. If you want to book 3months in advance and get a SMILYS ticket then fine - if not go the other way

The time is EXACTLY the same
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Very useful info. Thanks.
P67742 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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I quickly skimmed the posts, so I might have missed this...but did you decide to stay in Bruges? We were there in May with my family (self, husband, two young sons, my parents). We stayed at the Bed and Bruges B&B. It's off the tourist path, but was still an easy 10 minute walk to the center of of town.

We loved it and highly recommend it. There are lots of other B&B's in Bruges and you should have no problem finding a great place. Have fun!

Also, my two sons enjoyed laughing at the stinky public urinals in Bruges (kids, go figure!) and the various public sculptures around town, plus touring windmills.
NThea is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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Yes, I decided to stay for one night at Setola B&B. Can't wait to see this town! Did you see the windmills in Bruges and Amsterdam (Zaanse Schans)? If so, which one did you like better?
P67742 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 08:46 AM
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We only saw the windmills in Bruges. We stayed in Haarlem for the Netherlands part of our trip. There's great bike paths around the perimeter of the old town of Bruges that your kids will probably enjoy. Riding the path you'll pass windmills, beautiful old city gates, and high points with nice vistas overlooking the city. One caveat: the only place to rent children's bikes is in the center of town.

I've heard very good things about Setola B&B. Looking forward to hearing your trip report!

P.S. If you haven't already heard...the Fat Tire Bike Tours of Paris are fantastic. The Amsterdam tours are also supposed to be great. Our two kids loved the Paris tour. I'm sure yours will as well!
NThea is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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Bruges windmills, on the ring path thru the park and along the canal i think are solo stunners - Zaanse Schanse (sp?) is a collection of several together so IMO much more impression - also Z S is an outdoor museum of oldtime Zuider Zee life with old edifices brought and reconstructed here - it's just a few minutes by train from Amsterdam. Kids would certainly love that type of place and i believe you can go in one of the mills, not always possible in Bruges i believe in offseason.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 12:30 PM
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Kids in Amsterdam

-- take the free ferries from behind Centraal train station across the harbor - they go constantly and it's a neat feeling of crossing this busy waterway. hundreds of locals on bikes take these pedestrian/bike boats - kids will love it

--the Troppen Museum is a veritable reconstruction of scenes from third-world countries - small stores, huts, etc. Educative and fun for kids with interactive things

--Anne Frank House for sure - sobering lesson that will stay with them forever. Maybe later they'll read the Diary

--and canal boat trips for sure - nighttime may be more impressionable with all the bridges and quais lit up.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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We will be staying at the Setola B&B too in May and are looking forward to that.

Nthea - How did you like the decision to stay in Haarlem? Where did you stay? We are planning to make Haarlem our base for 6 nights, staying at Stempel's Hotel.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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Thank you. ALthough our trip isn't till next Aug, I've been reading all these great books to them. The library had a huge children's selection of kid's versions of the Anne Frank story, as well as all the artists-Van Gogh, much fun reading to them and learning at the same time. They're already excited to look for all the paintings.

My current plan:
Amsterdam-Day 1-cover both Van Gogh and Rembrandt museums, Anne Frank house

Day 2-Windmills, canal ride

I would have loved to fit Madurodam in, but not enough time.

Day 3-trip to Brussels/Bruges.
P67742 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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For those interested in Anne Frank's diary I suggest that you also read "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom. She was a Christian who lived in Haarlem and hid many Jews and Alied fliers at great risk during the war. She put herself in harm's way and fortunately survived prison camps to write this amazing book. The prison camp stories are beyond belief.

BTW, Anne Frank was a German. Her father fled from Frankfurt to NL to escape the Nazis but did not get his family out of Holland in time to avoid capture after the German invasion. The Dutch surrendered in only 5 days.

hopscotch is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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Basingstoke2 - We decided on Haarlem for a couple reasons: first, we've already stayed in Amsterdam (sans kids) and we thought Haarlem might be more relaxing with kids and my parents and second, Haarlem was just that much closer to the Keukenhof Gardens. (As it turned out, all the tulips were past bloom by the time we arrived in early May. Sigh. Plus it rained every day. Sigh, again.)

We stayed at Hans de Kiefte's B&B. (Rick Steves raves about this place.) It was OK, but seemed overpriced compared to the great B&B we stayed at while visiting Amsterdam a year earlier. For that reason, I can't recommend this B&B. For Haarlem, I'd suggest staying closer to the town center. (Kiefte's B&B was an easy 10-15 minute walk from the center.) Haven't heard of your Haarlem hotel so can't comment.

Haarlem was really lovely and very laidback. We love Amsterdam, but for our family situation this time, Haarlem was just right. We found some great local taverns off the main square. Everyone was very friendly. (Could it have been my orange shoes? Hmm...) I'd seriously consider staying in Haarlem again, especially if I were doing daytrips. I'd love to be there on a sunny day!
NThea is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:17 AM
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Thanks Nthea. We are planning to stay in Haarlem for much the same reasons that you had. Hopscotch also had some interesting things to say about the city. We also have a brand new neighbor who is recently from a town just outside of Amsterdam and he also recommends that we stay in Haarlem as a more authentic Dutch experience yet convenient to Amsterdam and other places to daytrip. We will also be there the first week in May and hopefully the blooms will still be blooming and the weather better than your experience.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:36 AM
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For a really cool windmill experience, check out the Molen de Valk in Leiden, especially if you're going through Leiden to catch the bus to the Keukenhof.

The Molen de Valk is just a few minutes walk from the train station, and only costs a few Euros to tour the little museum and climb the seven stories to the top. Around the third or fourth floor you can walk out onto the deck for a beautiful view of the area. If you're lucky, they might even have the sails turning on the windmill.

Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 10:20 PM
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I recently did the similar trip as you are talking about. I went from Amsterdam to Antwrep to Brugge to Brussels.

From you are asking I would definately stay in Brugge for two nights. I found it much, much more charming than Brussels. I ave restaurant and hotel revies at
bombasticlife is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 08:09 AM
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We are in Amsterdam at the moment,4 nights, after having come from Brugge,7 nights,and Brussels,1 night. I know some people would say
1 day was enough in Brugge but we used it as a base and I wouldnt have changed anything. We dont like to rush and it was wonderful to stroll around the streets after all the crowds had left. We did a day trip to the Flanders fields and enjoyed the galleries and history of Brugge.Plus we stayed in accom near the square and could cook etc.Brussels was good for 1 night.
The locals were very friendly in Brugge. I would vote for more time there than Brussels.
huddoshols is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 02:35 PM
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There are other great places to visit nearby Amsterdam, see here:
tedandjane is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 03:39 PM
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Thank you. I have reserved my hotel night for Bruges.
P67742 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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bookmarking yet again
littlehouse is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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If you search by my name you will find a trip report for Amsterdam & Bruges with kids in summer,2005. I can't speak for Brussels but we really liked Bruges. Some of the highlights were our hotel, the Prinsenhof, absolutely lovely. We felt very comfortable there even with 2 10 yr old boys. We managed to find a park not too far from there. The kids loved the walk up the tower & the canal boat tour. If you walk the "egg", there are windmills you can go up in. Of course, the kids loved the Chocolate store, I think it was called the Chocolate Line? And we did purchase several toys knights for both boys which are still on their dressers. DD got a lace pillow cover. I loved the window boxes filled with beautiful flowers. I can't say any restuarants impressed us but we loved just sitting at the outdoor cafes for lunch, eating bagette sandwiches & a wine/beer for Mom & Dad. Have a great trip, Betsy
BetsyG is offline  

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