Bruges/Normandy from Amsterdam

Jun 27th, 2015, 11:13 AM
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Bruges/Normandy from Amsterdam

Taking a fall trip with a tour that starts in Heidelberg & ends in Munich.
Would like to arrive early and see a few sites to the north on my bucket list: Bruges & the Normandy beaches (and would love to hear some more suggestions).

Thought is to fly into Amsterdam, spend 2 days there, then would like advice on seeing Bruges, Normandy, Brussels?, before arriving in Heidelberg to start our tour?

Where to stay? Assuming we will travel by train.
Is there any place to base from & do day trips to all of these?
2idocs is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 11:21 AM
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As I look at a map, I realize that Normandy would add a lot of travel time & probably best saved for another trip.

With that in mind, how would you advise a trip from Amsterdam to Heidelberg (via Bruges) with 3 days to do it?
2idocs is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 11:36 AM
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Simple. Don't. Did you check out where Heidelberg is?
menachem is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 11:42 AM
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do take a second look at a map : Heidelberg is at midway between Bruges and Amsterdam but just 500 kms in the southeast.

Amsterdam Brugge can be done by fast train (Thalys) to Brussels then a regional train to Brugge.
About 3 hours. Visit Brugge, back to Bxl.
Sleep there. Take a fast train (ICE) to Mannheim if exists. IF not there is a Bxl-Frankfurt at something like 7 am (a little bit earlier, it just changed) and from there Mannheim.
If you do so, don't sleep close to Bruxelles midi station but close to Central (I think the train to Fkt stops at central).
Bruxelles midi is just the least agreable place in Bxl - IMHO.
pariswat is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 12:32 PM
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Not sure what you mean by this?
I realize that Heidelberg is to the southwest of Amsterdam. I'm only wondering what's the most efficient way to see the sites I mentioned if I'm starting in Amsterdam on Monday & need to be in Heidelberg on Thursday?

My initial thought is to do my 2 days in Amsterdam, then move my base camp to Brussels for 3 nights. Day trips from there until it's time to travel to Heidelberg. Make sense?
Is there another city that would serve better as a hub?

I like the idea of leaving my bags in 1 spot for 3 nights.
2idocs is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 12:44 PM
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I told you.
pariswat is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 01:05 PM
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Depending on your interests, you might consider adding a day to Amsterdam (particularly if you might have jet lag upon your arrival). And you might considering staying in Bruges itself for up to two nights. (I thought it charming, and much more so after day trippers had left.) And, depending on how much time your tour gives you in Heidelberg, you might even consider an extra day there. It really depends on what YOU want to see and experience!

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 03:51 PM
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Timing is confusing. If you arrive in Amsterdam on Monday and must be in Heidelberg on Thursday, then you do not have two days for Amsterdam and three for someplace else.

Exactly when to do you arrive in Amsterdam and exactly when must you arrive in Heidelberg? Knowing exactly how much time you have is necessary to give good advice.

I am also confused by someone's statement that Heidelberg is mid-way between Amsterdam and Bruges. I assume the OP is talking about Heidelberg, Germany, which is South of Frankfurt, in which case, no, it is not mid-way between them. Perhaps that poster was thinking of a different city.

Amsterdam is almost directly North of Brussels, which is near the center of Belgium. Bruges is NW of Brussels. Heidelberg, Germany, is way SE of Brussels, nowhere near mid-way between Amsterdam and Bruges. I have driven between these and taken trains. So, OP, do get a map for yourself. Check travel times carefully.
Sassafrass is online now  
Jun 27th, 2015, 04:31 PM
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Agree it is not clear how many days you have before the tour. Is it 3 nights? Five nights?

What day do you land in Amsterdam and what day do you have to be in Heidelberg?
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 08:11 PM
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Will have all day Sat & Sunday in Amsterdam already.
Need to be in Heidelberg by 19:00 on Thursday.

Other than Bruges being a must, am open to any suggestions on how to fill those days efficiently.
History, architecture, & scenery are the primarily goals. Will be getting enough art during other parts of trip
2idocs is offline  
Jun 27th, 2015, 08:31 PM
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And you're arriving in AMS on friday? Then saturday will be jetlaggy, which leaves you with effectively the sunday. Then you leave on monday to Brussels. Can take Thalys, but the International IC to Brussels is cheaper, though it takes longer, but you don't need to reserve seats.

On monday you'll have some time in Brussels.

Tuesday could be a daytrip to Brugge.

Wednesday something, Thursday something, then you leave friday morning for Heidelberg

There's no direct train to Mannheim from Brussels: you travel via Cologne and it takes from 5h 27m to 7h 30m depending on your connections. So a full day really.
menachem is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 01:29 AM
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The OP must be in Heidelberg by 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening.

That means the entire afternoon on Thursday will definitely be taken up with travel, perhaps a bit more including time to get to the train station. So, the OP does not have Thursday to do something, except get to Heidelberg..

A good chunk of Monday will be used for travel.

So, 2idocs, since Bruges is a high priority, I suggest three itineraries.

Monday morning, Amsterdam. See anything you missed that you want to see.
Early to mid-afternoon train to Bruges.
Tuesday, Bruges. Whole day
Wednesday, more Bruges, or Day trip to Ghent. (Or Brussels)
Thursday, head to Heidelberg

Monday, day trip from Amsterdam to a beautiful nearby town like Delft., or another whole day in Amsterdam.
Tuesday morning very early, head to Bruges. Arrive by noon.
Tuesday afternoon, Bruges
Wednesday all day, Bruges. No day trips
Thursday, head to Heidelberg

Monday, depart very early for Bruges, half day in Bruges
Tuesday, all day Bruges
Wednesday, all day Bruges or day trip to Ghent or Brussels.
Thursday, head for Heidelberg.

The first gives you have the option of more time in Bruges or a day trip to Ghent, which is a nice contrast to Bruges. You also have the option of Brussels as a day trip or a bike trip along a canal.

The second lets you visit an old town in the Netherlands, and Delft is especially lovely, but there are other equally lovely, easy to get to places. No day trips to Ghent or Brussels.

Third is more leisurely in Bruges. No extra time in/near Amsterdam, but plenty of time for Bruges and a day trip.

So, depends on what you think you would enjoy the most. You absolutely can't go wrong!
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