Brussels or Amsterdam?

Old Feb 17th, 2001, 05:00 PM
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Brussels or Amsterdam?

Thinking of taking a trip to Amsterdam or Brussels on a discount ticket in mid-May this year. Not a big nightlife person. No a huge museum person either. Any thoughts? Also was thinking of combining the trip with a train to London or Paris. Advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Old Feb 17th, 2001, 05:37 PM
wes fowler
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If you are considering travel from either Amsterdam or Brussels possibly to London or Paris, I'd suggest Brussels rather than Amsterdam. It's about six hours by train from Amsterdam to London or to Paris. From Brussels, it's under three hours to London, about three to Paris, about two hours to Amsterdam. Brussels, then, is the more centralized spot from which to roam.

As neither a nightlife nor museum person, you might consider staying in Bruges, Belgium, one of Europe's most delightful small cities. Easily walkable, laced with canals, stunning Flemish architecture, many, many fine restaurants and over 400 varieties of beer to sample, Bruges would be a charming option to consider, particularly since the tourist hordes will be considerably fewer in May.
Old Feb 17th, 2001, 06:24 PM
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I vote Brussels too. Amsterdam has some interesting sights but far too much seediness- red light district, sex shops, brown cafes...
There is the modern art museum and Van Gogh museum, but I found most of my enjoyment outside of Amsterdam in places like Gouda, and Maastricht
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 02:14 PM
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Larry -- How long are you going for?

I really enjoyed Amsterdam a lot, but then I do like museums. I definitely liked Amsterdam much more than Brussels.
However, Brussels has the advantage of being more easily accessible by train to Paris and London, since it sounds like you're interested in those. I assume you are looking at the USAirways deals. I had to make the same tough decision (also considered Lufthansa's sale fares to Germany for the same time period), and finally decided on Brussels. I plan to use it to go to Bruges (my first time there) and Paris (my third time there) rather than spending any time in Brussels at all.
Old Feb 23rd, 2001, 08:04 AM
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Brussels is delightful, friendly people, and close to other places - Bruges, the Ardennes, even day trip to Luxembourg, even Paris is close. While it doesn't have the rah-rah of a Paris or Rome, it's a sweet little city for a short stay - I came away with the impression it's a place I'd like to live. Oh, and of course - chocolate! I've never had the urge to go to Amsterdam. It might be wonderful; maybe just too much tawdry press.
Old Feb 23rd, 2001, 10:09 AM
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I've never been to Brussels but was to amsterdam with my family. I did not find it seedy at all. Yes, the res light district exists but it can easily be avoided. I had my children with me and naturally we did not bring them there nor did we venture into any inappriate cafes, etc. We took the train from Paris, it is no where near 6 hrs. it was about 3. You can check the exact scedule on the thalys web site (same train goes to paris and brussels). I found amsterdam adorable. My entire family was very moved by the Anne Frank house. There was excellent food. We enjoyed just walking around, taking the canal boat tour, and did go to the van gogh museum which is just the right size for a limited museum attention span (my kids had enough art museums in paris but did durvive this one). Before this trip i never had the urge to go to amsterdam either but having been there i would certainly recommend it. Amsterdam along with a larger city is a very nice vacation.

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