Brussels, Brugges, Antwerp and then???

Dec 6th, 1999, 11:58 AM
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Brussels, Brugges, Antwerp and then???

My family and I are just got offered a friend's home in Brussels the week of Christmas and New Year. We are planning on taking day trips to Brugges and Antwerp but were wondering what else to do. What's there to do in Rotterdam or The Hague? we've been to Amsterdam already. We can be away for as long as 10 days and have two small-ish boys, 6 & 8. Both kids are used to traveling and going to museums. Any ideas for restaurants, things to do etc in all locations would be appreciated. Thanks!
Dec 8th, 1999, 02:17 PM
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We were there in Oct and it was dress warmly. We enjoyed the Moderne Art Museum in Brussels. In brugge they have a tour bus that depts every hour and takes you around the city, that was nice. there was also a brewery tour Straffe henrick and that was very good (I guess the kids wouldnt like that) We stayed in Amsterdam for 4 days and liked that much more than Brussels, you could take a train and go there for a day trip or overnite the train is 3 hrs and very efficient.
Dec 9th, 1999, 10:34 AM
charles Clever
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plan to spend more than one or two days in Brugge. It is perhaps the most charming and beauitful of all european cities. Stay in the old part of course and plan to do a lot of walking and looking and holding hands. Lots of small hotels there. We stayed in the Hotel Notre Dame but many others available. Good luck.
Dec 9th, 1999, 02:10 PM
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The next best place around the Brussels area would be Ghent.
Dec 9th, 1999, 06:41 PM
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The most wonderful day I have ever spent in Europe (out of hundreds of days spent there) was the day we rented bicycles and rode along the canal going north out of Brugges. Rode along mist rising off the canal in the morning, stopped and walked through old windmills, had a spectacular lunch near the Dutch border and went off into a couple of little farm towns. We are not cyclists, not a major thing, and your boys would love it!!! I have always wanted to repeat it, but know it could never live up to the fabulous memories we have of that day.
Dec 10th, 1999, 07:35 AM
Ben Haines
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Dear Ms Donnelly

If they like snow you might go up into the Ardennes near Jemelle. Maastricht is colourful, especially around Christmas. For gadgets and early science I recommend the museum at Leiden. Each of these is just under two hours by train from Brussels.

Rotterdam has maritime museums, and museums for public transport and for the history of schools: the Hague has a museum of the history of boy scouts, including the time they ran a postal service during Hitler's war.

In Bruges when you find the reliquary of St Ursula you might buy the little English-language booklet that explains her story, and read out the story while the boys find where each scene is shown on the reliquary. It's a lively tale: I especially like the nastiness of the snowbound Alps and the pope who decides to come along for the ride. A boat trip in Bruges is good, too, so long as the boat is enclosed and warm.

I'm sure somewhere in Belgium you'll find a Christmas circus, but don't know where. Ostend ? You could put a query out (in English) on the newsgroup soc.culture.belgium.

You probably know already from Amsterdam that the great eating in Holland is a Reijstafel, a set of Indnesian dishes, spicey but not too hot -- you specify the heat when you order it. I also like a picnic made by carrying knives and paper plates and buying butter anywhere, bread at a bakers, and cheese at a speciality cheese stall in a market place, or a shop: the police can advise you. You're allowed cheese samples before you buy. You'd have to find somewhere warm to eat these, such as a railway station waiting room. Cheese sandwiches sold ready-made are a disappointment.

Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London

Dec 10th, 1999, 01:55 PM
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Our family has flown into Brussels a couple of times in November (Sabena special sales from Atlanta) and used it as a base. Other than the Grand Place at night and during the day when there is a market there (lots of Christmas decorations), Brussels may be a bit boring to children. There is a cartoon museum (name escapes me) that they might enjoy. Waterloo is a short drive south of Brussels; has big hill that is fun to climb with a view of the battlefield. Brugges has a nice market; check out websites that list market days, and try to plan your day trips to other Belgian villages that way. Also, think about Luxembourg -- nice castle in the city of the same name.
Dec 20th, 1999, 08:27 AM
Molly Donnelly
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Thanks everyone! I've been away from Fodor's doing the getting ready for Christmas thing. I didn't realize more than a couple of people responded to this posting...all with great suggestions, I might add. Thanks all. Happy Holidays!
Dec 22nd, 1999, 09:00 AM
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I just came back from a trip that was almost identical to your's. I recomend using the same train line that you would take from Brussels to Antwerp, and go to Cologne Germany. It is several hours by train. It is worth it!!!!!

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