Belgium, Germany, Netherlands

Sep 14th, 2014, 04:25 PM
  #1  
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Belgium, Germany, Netherlands

Hi ~~ I have posted here before, and I am trying to plan an itinerary for 8 days in Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

We arrive in Brussels on a Thursday afternoon. Taking the train to Lux, to pick up our son. Staying overnight in Lux.

Then wanted to go to Cologne, and maybe Trier. Are interested in possibly doing a river cruise of the Rhine. Not sure how many days to stay in this area. Maybe 2?

Then we were thinking of training up to Amsterdam. After reading many reviews, we are planning on 2 days in Amsterdam.

Then we were possibly going to head to Bruges, and then on to Brussels.

Wondering if all of this is possible within the 8 days that we have. Also, if we could possibly see Ghent and/or Antwerp when we are in Bruges.

Would love some suggestions, advice/recommendations as to this tentative itinerary!

Thank you!!
jlschweg is offline  
Sep 14th, 2014, 04:40 PM
  #2  
 
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I would concentrate you time seeing Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges and then off to Amsterdam.

If you want to see Germany then do the River Cruise you are thinking about from Amsterdam to say Nuremburg ( or further down to Passau)
Percy is online now  
Sep 14th, 2014, 05:55 PM
  #3  
 
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Um- in 8 days you want to do 8 cities PLUS a Rhine cruise?

No - you can't do it.

I mean, of course you can do it - it's physically possible - but you will spend the bulk of your time just getting from one place to another.

I know these places seem close together - but you can't see these cities in 3 or 4 hours. For Amsterdam you need 3 or 4 days. For Bruges you need 2 days.

You really need to make some choices if you want to see anything from trains and train stations.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 14th, 2014, 06:11 PM
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Your itinerary is still a bit full and you are doing a figure 8. You need to prune a few destinations out of your pathway.

You could think about doing this:
Option 1 (where you are mostly doing a road trip and not stopping much):
Brussels - Lux - Trier - boat up Mosel to Koblenz - boat down Rhine to Mainz / Bingen / Rüdesheim - train up to Cologne - train to Amsterdam - train to Bruges - train to Brussels.

Brussels to Lux 1 day (jet lag)
Lux - Trier - Koblenz 1 day (this is pushing it a bit but there is not much to see in Koblenz)
Koblenz - Mainz - Cologne 1 day
Cologne - Amsterdam 1 day (transit)
Amsterdam 1 day
Amsterdam - Bruges 1 day (transit)
Bruges 1 day
Bruges (day trip to Ghent) 1 day - return to Brussels for last night before flying out.

As you can see it's a bit rushed.

OR:

Option 2:

Brussels - Lux - Trier - Cologne - Amsterdam - Brussels

Brussels - Lux (transit, 1 day (jet lag))
Lux (morning), afternoon to Trier (1 day)
Trier (1 day)
Trier - Cologne (morning), stow belongings in locker and see cathedral and maybe a museum. Evening train to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam 1 day
Amsterdam 1 day
Amsterdam - Brussels (transit, last day)
Fly out on Day 8.

You would then have no time for Belgium but then it would not be such a crowded itinerary and you would have a bit more time to look around at each destination. I assume you do want to see Luxembourg - I would want my son to show me around a bit.

Of course you could drop Germany and just go for the Benelux countries.

Option 3:

Brussels - Lux - Amsterdam - Bruges - Brussels

Brussels - Lux (transit, jetlag)
Lux
Lux-Ams
Ams
Ams
Ams-Bruges
Bruges
Bruges- Brussels (and fly out). Maybe you could squeeze a trip via Ghent in there on the last day.

That would be my preferred itinerary. But if anyone sees fit to tweak these sample itineraries more, please go for it.

When is your flight out? Is it on day 8, or day 9, and what time of day? Would you need to stay near the airport?

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Sep 14th, 2014, 07:38 PM
  #5  
 
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On your other thread several people advised you are trying to do too much . . . and now you've added a River cruise

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...luxembourg.cfm

You sort of ended up that thread agreeing you needed to cut back and drop Germany.
janisj is online now  
Sep 15th, 2014, 04:17 AM
  #6  
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Janisj, Yes, I have tried to taper back! I had read that you can do a Rhine Cruise that is for just a few hours. That is why I revisited here, and asked the aforementioned questions. I don't know what is a feasible itinerary, and that is why I reposted.

Lavandula, I am so glad that you replied! I was so appreciative of your previous recommendations! We do fly out on day 9. That is why I only included 8 days of actual travel.

I do think that we are going to eliminate Germany altogether. I think I would opt for your "option #3".

Thank you so much for your replies! I greatly appreciate it!
jlschweg is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 05:30 AM
  #7  
 
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Lavandula's option 3 and include a day in Gent.
Fly Lux to Amsterdam.
Take train from Amsterdam to Brugge. Possibly stop in Antwerp for a day between Amsterdam and Brugge.
Tulips is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 07:05 AM
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Thank you Tulips!
jlschweg is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 07:35 AM
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I agree w/ Lavandula's option 3 as well.
janisj is online now  
Sep 15th, 2014, 09:04 AM
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check www.k-d.com for info on the most practical Rhine Gorge boat trips - a few hour cruise thru the best of the Rhine (between Rudesehim and Koblenz) - for general info on trains in those countries and rail itineraries and feasibility of travel times, etc check www.seat61.com; www.buudgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 15th, 2014, 09:10 AM
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check www.k-d.com for info on the most practical Rhine Gorge boat trips - a few hour cruise thru the best of the Rhine (between Rudesehim and Koblenz) - for general info on trains in those countries and rail itineraries and feasibility of travel times, etc check www.seat61.com; www.buudgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 15th, 2014, 10:58 AM
  #12  
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Thanks PalenQ! I appreciate your information! Now, after reading some of the replies, I think we may skip Germany.

I am so confused! I have traveled a lot, but not to this area, so I am not familiar with what to do, or where to go.

I appreciate all of the suggestions, greatly!
jlschweg is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 11:35 AM
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Well if going to Luxembourg then Trier is only a short train trip over the border in Germany - maybe stay in Luxembourg with your son and do an easy day trip to one of Europe's most historic and oldest cities - with arguably the finest Roman relic north of the Alps in the Porta Negra, or Black Gate that was the gateway to the western part of the Holy Roman Empire, from Trier the capital of the eastern part.

There is an old Roman temple that long ago was converted in the days of Charlemagne into a Christian basilica - a Roman theatre and a famous wine-teaching path behind it explaining the nuances of the vaunted Mosel-Saar-Ruwer wines.

Then either head back to Belgium or go to the Rhine for a day or two and then Cologne and then Amsterdam - fly out of there - give Amsterdam at least three dull days to get to the tip of the iceberg.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 15th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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Oh - Trier also has the not so world-famous Karl Marx House, where the economist/philosopher was I believe born and raised in - now a documentary center and Marxist museum open to the public - right in the heart of the vast pedestrian shopping zone in Trier.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 15th, 2014, 04:41 PM
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Agree that Trier is a wonderful place. We spent 4 nights there - arriving one day from Lux City, 2 days exploring Trier (the Roman mosaics and remains in the museum are incredible) plus all the current German city - and one day exploring part of the Moselle.

BUT, the OP already has way too many places to go and thing to see/do in their very short time in europe. To do this mean giving up something else - Amsterdam?
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 05:49 PM
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It would make more sense for your son to meet you in Brussels.
Arrive in Brussels, rendezvous. Brussels 1 n.
Head to Bruges, 2 n
Ghent, 1 n
Antwerp, 1 n
Amsterdam, 3 n
Fly out of Amsterdam
We recently did something very similar but spent 4 nights in Amsterdam and deleted Brussels entirely.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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Meant to say, that it is only 3 hours by Intercity train from Luxembourg to Brussels Central. So your son could easily rendezvous with you.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Sep 15th, 2014, 06:12 PM
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Sue, don't you think it would be meaningful for the OP to see where her son has been studying? Even the most jaded traveller would be interested to see his temporary home town and his university from his point of view. Nothing beats insider knowledge!

Lavandula
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Sep 16th, 2014, 10:45 AM
  #19  
 
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BUT, the OP already has way too many places to go and thing to see/do in their very short time in europe. To do this mean giving up something else - Amsterdam?>

Well I would give up Belgium and do Luxembourg - Trier - Rhine - Cologne (can be a few-hour stop to see the famous Dom en route to Amsterdam.

That would be a nice trip for that time frame and more varied than the same ole same ole type of Belgian towns.
PalenQ is online now  

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