Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg

Feb 2nd, 2012, 06:44 PM
  #1  
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Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg

(I posted this earlier without specifically tagging to Belgium/Netherlands. To those who have already responded, my thanks to you.) My husband and I are in our late 50's. We have been to Germany, Paris, Taiwan, Japan, Rome and are just starting to plan a trip for this summer. We thought we were going to Venice on a business trip but that fell through so are now thinking of other places. My husband loves history! I enjoy castles, ruins. Shopping is not important but we like good food and hubby likes good beer. We like to mingle with the locals and usually rent a car to get out into the countryside. When we went to Germany we stayed in small hotels and B&B's. Would like to hear some advice on the above locations and if staying in one central spot and doing day trips is good - or if staying in several different spots would be better. It seems to me that major cities in this area are not that far apart.
yellowrose477 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2012, 11:19 PM
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They are too far apart for day trips though .

How long are you planning to stay? DO you mainly want to visit the big cities or do you want to visit smaller places with the cities as day trips?

If you want just the big places then use the train - cars are a pain and parking is expensive. If you want to stay outside the cities and explore the country (which in the case of the Netherlands is so much more than Amsterdam/Haarlem/Delft/Den Haag for instance) then a car is ideal You can always get the train in to the city.
hetismij2 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2012, 11:47 PM
  #3  
 
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I would not restrict myself to just these 3 countries as the border areas are some of the nicest bits. But basically there are a bunch of cities which for historical/political reasons have a medieval/reformation centre you can spot these by looking on Google and the small round towns and cities are these, hence Brugges is a good example with a lovely old centre. The privations brought about by flooding and war have also offered opportunities to make lovely little centres.

However the big drawers are Luxemburg city itself, Delft, Brugges, a host in Zeeland and central netherlands

At this stage of planning I suggest borrowing a book on the area.
bilboburgler is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 03:42 AM
  #4  
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We have gotten books of the areas and they are helpful. But have always founds first hand help on Fodors to be the best source. I think we are planning on 10 days. We enjoy seeing big cities, but also love smaller places. While in Germany we stayed at a wonderful farm in the country and explored the cities during the day. Are there places in the country to stay in the Netherlands - like farm B&B? We would love that.
yellowrose477 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 04:13 AM
  #5  
 
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Netherlands has fine B&B and farmstay. I use http://www.bedandbreakfast.nl/index.php?lang=en which looks a bit tatty as a web site but has some great buildings and as long as you avoid the obviously tatty can be very good. Last year I stayed at one in the middle of Zeeland and bicycled to it late a night through a massive storm. They made sure that the restaurant stayed open for us and what turned out as the best meal that year. That one happened to be at http://www.bedandbreakfast.nl/bb/deGouw/ but there are plenty more the finest of which is http://www.bedandbreakfast.nl/bed-and-breakfast/8188/ I've not used these people and I think they are new but look the business http://www.boerenbed.nl/

I grew up holidaying in Holland and I love Zeeland (the bit to the South West) because of the large amount of water and little harbours. If you do go here I suggest you also hire a bike and enjoy some of the flatest most pleasant countryside

In Belgium there are some very good B&B websites but I would tend to chose the city and use the cities website to book noting that the prettier cities fill up 3 months ahead in the summer.
bilboburgler is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 01:49 PM
  #6  
 
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If you visit Brussels try to time your visit with the weekend - there are some good bargains on accommodation over the weekends because business / political visitors are all home on the weekends. The best bargains may well be hotels in the European district, which is a little sterile and empty after dark but nonetheless safe.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2012, 02:01 PM
  #7  
 
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Oh, and school holidays are in July. The city is a little emptier of locals in that month, as everyone is camping in the Ardennes or at the seaside.

Lavandula
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