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extra day - Brussels, Bruges, or Amsterdam

extra day - Brussels, Bruges, or Amsterdam

Old Jun 19th, 2006, 06:29 PM
  #1  
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extra day - Brussels, Bruges, or Amsterdam

We will have an extra day to spend in one of these 3 places. We will be visiting each anyways so its not that we will only spend one day in one of them. We want to do something active, such as hiking or biking. Which would be the best one to find a good hike or rent bikes and ride the countryside ?

Thanks
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Old Jun 19th, 2006, 06:35 PM
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You don't say what time of year you are going, but off the top of my head, I would pick Amsterdam -- or, I would take a short train trip out of Amsterdam to Delft or someplace simply and rent bikes there to go exploring. It is so flat in the Netherlands (and much of Belgium) that bike riding is just pure pleasure (unless it is miserably cold and rainy, although the Dutch seem not to notice).
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 05:59 AM
  #3  
ira
 
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Hi R,

How many doays will you have in each?

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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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We just returned from Prague, Hundary, Bruges and Amsterdam.

Bruges does not play fair.

After seeing Bruges it's difficult to get excited about anything else.

Every corner, canal and building is a sight. There was one spot we nicknamed "the view". It's the type of place you can retrace your steps and be happy you did it.

We were there for most of 2 days. We arrived 11:30PM, stayed the next day and night and left the following evening for Amsterdam.

We did not go into any museums.

The first day we followed a map from the Info Office (received by mail in advance). Down street and little alleys. Canals with beutiful buildings and swans. Etc. We wended our way towards the train station and bought our tickets for Amsterdam.

We then meandered our way back.

The next day we had a choice; paddle boat to Damme (passed due to inconvenient schedule), bike to Damme (passed due to time) or rent bikes for a few hours. That's what we did.

We bike through the town sharing narrow streets with pedestrian, other bikes and cars all on cobble-stoned street. We headed to the north-east part of town and bike on a bike path that surrounds the town. I chose that direction to pass the windmills. We frequently stopped to enjoy the views. We bike half-way around the town and then veered back through the middle. We returned the bikes after 2 hours. A lot of fun.

Then we wandered the same areas as if the first time.

Absolutely beautiful little city. And the residents know it.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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Please share your current itinerary and we can then more easily suggest which location needs another day. Both Amsterdam and Bruges offer great opportunities for biking in the countryside.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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I agree with Myer. I think Bruges is hard to beat.

Then again, I'm one of the few people who were not particularly impressed with Amsterdam.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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And I'm one of the few who thought a day in Brugge was plenty.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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We will be spending 3 days in Amsterdam, then splitting 4 days between Bruges and Brussels, before heading on to Paris. The trip is the last 2+ weeks of July.
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Old Jun 20th, 2006, 06:45 PM
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Consider paying a visit to Ghent and/or Antwerp as part of your Belgian stay.

I still think bicycling in Holland would be a fun way to get your exercise.
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Old Jun 21st, 2006, 07:48 AM
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I would add the extra day to Amsterdam. Make it 4 days in Amsterdam, then head to Brussels early in the morning, stay for the day and continue on to Bruges that evening, having 3 full days there. This is almost exactly what we did and it worked well. You can also do great day trips by bike from Bruges - spend one of your days there doing that.
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Old Jun 21st, 2006, 10:11 AM
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I forgot to mention. One of our days in Bruges was spent going on a tour of Flanders Fields. It was a great day. I highly recommend it.

In Amsterdam, spend 3 days in the city wandering, and visiting all the museums, and one day on a trip to Haarlem. Have your day in Brussels, then 3 days in Bruges, one seeing the town, one going to Flanders and one doing a bike ride into the country. This itinerary also means only two different hotels, which decreases the moving around. If you are going by train, the train station in Brussels has a locker area where you can easily store all your bags while you visit.
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Old Jun 21st, 2006, 10:18 AM
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You can cycle from Brugge to Damme. Or you could take the train to Knokke, on the coast (15 mins by train), rent bicycles there, cycle along the seaside, visit the Zwin nature reserve, have a very good lunch somewhere, then return to Brugge.
Amsterdam is good for cycling too.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Thanks for all the replies, was very helpful.

Tulips - Can you give me an idea on how long these rides would be ? We'd like to do 1/2 day or full day rides. Any sites to look up routes, rental places, etc.

Thanks again
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Old Jun 22nd, 2006, 10:06 AM
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When we visited Amsterdam we took the train to Harlem and rented bikes - from there we biked out to the coast - it took us about 45 minutes to get there and 25 minutes back (we got a bit lost). We could have definately biked more - there were many bike trails in the area. Another idea I have for my "next" trip is to go to Arnhem where there is a park and museum with free bikes. I think there are alot of Van Gogh paintings in the museum. Sounded like a great day trip out of Amsterdam. Hopefully someone on the board can provide the exact name of the museum.
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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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rakeir; there are lots of bike rental places. I know you can get different length cycle maps at the tourist office; have a look at www.knokke-heist.be click visitors; the site comes in English too.
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