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Benelux over New Years break, Amsterdam + Brugge, Maastricht, Antwerp

Benelux over New Years break, Amsterdam + Brugge, Maastricht, Antwerp

Oct 16th, 2014, 12:43 PM
  #21  
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Join Date: May 2006
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than that closes the case on Maastricht

Soo..last questions.. should I

1. on day 5, Stay an extra day in Amsterdam and get a free hotel and do a day trip to either Delft or Leiden or both? or another Dutch town? and then do 1 day in Brugge and 1 day in Antwerp…
or
2. Should I leave Ams on day 5 and spend 3 days/nights in Antwerp and do day trips to Brugge/Ghent
SShprints is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 12:55 PM
  #22  
 
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I don't think anyone but you can figure out what would make you happier: An extra "free" night in Amsterdam or longer time in Brussels. I know which one my mother in law would pick, and I know which one I would pick, and that's why I never traveled with my mother in law. This is a subjective call, not an objective one.

As for weather: Have you already bought your tickets? If not, forget about it and bring your best rain gear (which should include laminated maps).

If you haven't bought tickets and you are thinking non-stop cold rain and brief hours of dim sunlight would just be such an incredible drag, then you might head for some (possibly) sunnier locales.

Last year I spent the beginning of January in Palermo and it was really pleasant. Only sprinkled once and I walked everywhere in a jacket. This January (Ebola willing) I am planning on several days in Amsterdam to see the reopened museums, despite the fact that the last time I was in Amsterdam in January in sleeted sideways in my face for 4 whole days. If you like museums as much as I do, there is a lot to do indoors so the weather doesn't matter (although my husband caught a cold, so dress properly and eat soup!). If you are a "wander around and soak up the atmosphere of Europe" kind of tourist, that is hard to count on being able to do in the northern low country of Europe during the shortest days of the year.
sandralist is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 12:56 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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(sorry, I meant to type "longer time in Belgium" -- and also "if so" rather than "if not")

You'll figure it out.
sandralist is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 01:15 PM
  #24  
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well..like I said, last Xmas/New Years we went to Berlin and Paris and had a fantastic time. Europe is great anywhere, anytime lol…but just wondering if I made the right choice. My tickets are on miles and I can switch to other destinations..but I don't want Italy (going nest august), Spain (went this august), Austria (going in May), France/Germany (went last winter)…that doesn't leave me with a whole lot of options lol
SShprints is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 01:52 PM
  #25  
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I am very excited about Amsterdam btw… I don't mind if its cold..I hope it isn't a complete washout and not grey 99% of the time though
SShprints is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 02:02 PM
  #26  
 
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Haarlem is an easy 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam and is to me one of Holland's (err The Netherlands') nicest regional towns - you'll actually find mainly Dutch here vs an Amsterdam that in its tourist center English seems the lingua franca. There are so so many neat day trips - Delft, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Haarlem - easy to spend that extra day here!
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Oct 16th, 2014, 02:36 PM
  #27  
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ok…so I think the suggestion is to spend that extra day in Amsterdam and do a day trip to one of the fun Dutch towns..seems like Haarlem or Delft are what everyone recommends.

Day 6 early train to Antwerp..hang out there for the day. Day 7 day trip to Brugge and back to Antwerp..day 8 early AM train directly to the Dusseldorf airport
SShprints is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 11:08 PM
  #28  
 
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There is absolutely no way to tell what the weather is going to be like in December/January. Last year was warm and wet, but could be snow and ice.

I do think Maastricht is different and worth a stop, especially if you have to be in Dusseldorf the next day. It has a totally different vibe from the more northern Dutch cities like Delft and Leiden. Look up photos of Vrijthof square in Maastricht.
If your flight is early, you may want to be closer to Dusseldorf.
Tulips is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 11:45 PM
  #29  
 
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I am so glad you dropped that car idea. It took some time ;-)
Weather question?????? Why do folks ask them. Where you live it it the same everyday? I suppose so if you live in a desert.Impossible to answer.
Last Jan when visiting NL, we had sun and rain and about two days of frost. I took a winter coat and hat but did not need it.
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Nov 5th, 2014, 03:56 AM
  #30  
 
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Just a word of warning. Train travel in Belgium faces disruption this winter; there will be strikes. A large national strike is planned for December 15, but there may be unplanned wild strikes too. There will also be some strikes tomorrow, November 6.
Secondly, it is expected that there will be power cuts this winter. The Belgian National Railways have just announced that in case of a local planned power cut, they will have to cancel all trains, in the entire country. These power cuts will be announced in advance.

So check the Belgian rail site and news before you travel.
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Nov 5th, 2014, 10:19 AM
  #31  
 
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Sad state of affairs on Belgian Railways - not saying who or what is at fault - but power outages - why - Belgium once had IME one of the very top railways in the world but seems to have declined a bit lately - they say it still has the densest rail system in Europe - trains everywhere all the time except now strikes, power outages, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 5th, 2014, 10:27 PM
  #32  
 
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The power outages are for the entire country, not just rail - to do with problems with nuclear reactors. We've been told to expect power cuts from 5 to 8 pm on some days this winter. These will be announced in advance.
Tulips is offline  
Nov 6th, 2014, 01:56 PM
  #33  
 
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wow - kind of sounds like a 3rd World country! The whole country - not just rolling blackouts like in Iraq where some parts are served for a spell then others - may feel like the last war it seems in this kind of hardship - but I understand the nuclear part these days.

Good luck and stock up on candles!
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Nov 6th, 2014, 10:10 PM
  #34  
 
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Power outages will be local, but can happen throughout the country.
There were riots yesterday near Brussels south station - where the Eurostar leaves from. I would definitely avoid Brussels on December 15, when a national strike is planned.
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Nov 7th, 2014, 09:01 PM
  #35  
 
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It might well be easier to stay in Aachen instead of Maastricht for your last night. Train connections to Dusseldorf are better and it's a short hop across the Dutch border if you must visit Maastricht.

Can I just say that while Delft is pretty it's also a tourist trap of limited appeal. There just isn't much there. Instead of Delft consider Rotterdam

http://www.spottedbylocals.com/rotterdam/
menachem is offline  
Nov 8th, 2014, 04:22 AM
  #36  
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So the new plan is that we are arriving into Dusseldorf at 7am on Dec. 29 and taking the first train up to Amsterdam and staying in Amsterdam through the morning of Jan 3 (5 days). On Jan 3 we take an early train to Antwerp to hang out in this city for the day and night. The morning of Jan 4 we take a day trip to Brugge and back to Antwerp for dinner. Early morning on Jan 5 we take the first train to Dusseldprf and connect to our 1pm flight to NY.

Seems like the best plan
SShprints is offline  
Nov 8th, 2014, 08:34 AM
  #37  
 
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Sounds like a good plan. Just be sure to check for possible disruptions to train travel in Belgium.
Tulips is offline  
Nov 8th, 2014, 08:40 AM
  #38  
 
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Sounds like a good plan. Just be sure to check for possible disruptions to train travel in Belgium.>

AND Germany too! One strike just ended but chaos is always possible for the foreseeable future it seems.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 8th, 2014, 07:29 PM
  #39  
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yep..if there is any disruption, I may leave the night before to Dusseldorf. Will keep an eye out. Thanks everyone. I was also able to score 5 free nights at the Pulitzer in Amsterdam with points!
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