Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Deciding between Naples, Brussels, or Lisbon

Deciding between Naples, Brussels, or Lisbon

May 5th, 2012, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,364
The thing about northern Europe isn't just the "damp", which can be moe than the occasional drizzle. It's also the cold, plus the early darkness. You just have fewer hours of daylight, and they tend to the grey and gloomy. But if you intend to spend most of your time in museums that shouldn't matter so much.

And I wouldn't have said Amsterdam was especially charming, certainly not compared to Bruges. Or Delft.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 5th, 2012, 07:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,037
The cold and darkness doesn't really bother me, since I'm used to that at home in Canada. I know it gets dark a lot sooner in Northern Europe, as it's much further north than Toronto, but I've been to London in December when it got dark at 3pm and it didn't bother me (it gets dark here at home around 5 in November).

I always thought Amsterdam looks so beautiful in photographs. Bruges does too, of course, but I wouldn't want to spend an entire week there. I know I'd love the museums in Brussels...

Delft would be a definite daytrip- I know some people use Haarlem or even Delft as a homebase for the Netherlands, I might look into that as an option, too.

Do you mind sharing what you didn't like about Amsterdam?

My problem is there are so many cities I'd like to see, but none more than any other one(except Naples, which is my number one)...Amsterdam, Belgium, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Lyon, Bologna, Istanbul, Marrakesh, Cairo...
Apres_Londee is offline  
May 6th, 2012, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 527
We stayed at China Hotel in Delft to visit Amserdam at a hotel called China Hotel, naturally run by Chinese. My kids love Chinese food, and the evening buffet was really good and abundant, and at a very good price, so was their Chinese breakfast. We were using a hired car, it is a short drive to Amsterdam

We did not go to the centre of Delft unfortunately as we did not have the time, we only had one full day available so we spent it in Amsterdam.
Anna_Galea is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,285
I love Amsterdam as well and find it thoroughly charming. Take one of their canal tours; you really can appreciate the architecture from the water. The museums, especially the Rijks, are wonderful. I am thoroughly envious as I am long overdue for a trip there. I enjoyed their flea markets on the weekends(?) and got some great finds/bargains there. I indulged in some herring etc. I spent one whole day getting TO the Anne Frank house (just a few blocks away) and was so distracted by this alley way and that and many boutiques and cafes and got to the destination just as it closed at 5 pm. A fond memory. Sounds like a great trip to me!
ncounty is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 03:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,285
I also think the Dutch people are gorgeous and the mixture with the Indonesian culture is very interesting. Try some Indonesian food while you are there as well. I went to a local nightclub there that was well known called the Melkeweg (sp?), I think it translates to Milky Way. I lucked out and saw Bill Withers himself performing in that intimate venue and it was only $10. My favorite concert experience ever. I even bought a poster and had him autograph it for me; wish I knew where it is now.
ncounty is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 04:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,041
Hi Apres_Londee,

My husband and MIL were in Amsterdam in early March this year. I was supposed to go too but I ended up sick and had to cancel. During the entire week in the Netherlands, they saw the sun for about 3 hours total. They still had a good time though but just be prepared for overcast weather.

While it's good news that the Rijksmuseum will be reopen by then (and most likely so will the contemporary art museum), the bad news is that Mauritshuis in Den Haag has closed for renovations and I doubt it'll be ready for reopen in 2014. If you're a Vermeer fan, it'll be a shame that you won't get to see the gems in Mauritshuis. However, there are still a handful of Vermeers at Rijksmuseum.

During their week-long stay in Amsterdam, they took side trips to Delft, Den Haag, and Leiden.
yk is online now  
May 10th, 2012, 04:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,037
Hi yk, I'm so sorry to hear you had to cancel, I do hope you're feeling better now

I did see that about the Mauritshuis, but they've moved 100 paintings from the collection to the Gemeente Musuem in the Hague where they are being displayed until the Mauritshuis reopens. They don't specify which Vermeer's are included, but they are calling the exhibit "Highlights" so hopefully that means the major pieces will be on display.

ncounty, it sounds like you have some wonderful memories of Amsterdam! The museums sure do sound wonderful and I would definitely try some Indonesian.

I love Chinese food too, and Anna that sounds like it was a fun place to stay for your kids!
Apres_Londee is offline  
May 10th, 2012, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,041
Gemeentemuseum is definitely worth a visit - even on its own right - esp if you're a Mondrian fan! Have fun with your trip planning (though sorry that you have to wait until 2014!) No trips to the UK this year?
yk is online now  
May 11th, 2012, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,319
I've been to Amsterdam three times, once in summer, once in December, once in January. Obviously any city is most pleasant in warm, but not too warm, weather, but I enjoyed Amsterdam in the winter. Lots of good museums, historic churches, brown cafes, etc.
Vttraveler is online now  
May 11th, 2012, 05:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,037
Thanks Vvtraveler, and I'm hoping that maybe there will be less crowds at the museums, too! I'm also hoping to see the Netherlands Dance Theater, a prestigious modern ballet company.

No trips for me to the UK this year now, unfortunately other things have come up that will eat up my time and money. It's been two years since I've gone to the UK/Europe and I'm going through withdrawal. But that what reading other people's trip reports is for!
Apres_Londee is offline  
May 11th, 2012, 05:55 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 12,820
Been to Naples twice, 1st time there a garbage collector strike going on so it was very dirty. 2nd time, they were back to work, still very dirty

Spent a few weeks in Brussels for work, it was fine but nothing I would encourage friends to visit on their European vacations.

Lisbon would be 1st choice, mainly because I find Portugeese history so interesting
FrankS is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:21 AM.