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Help ! Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany itinerary

Help ! Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany itinerary

Old May 12th, 2007, 11:31 PM
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Help ! Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany itinerary

My family consisting of 2 adults and 3 teens are headed to Netherlands for 2 weeks, during which we will be staying in Eindhoven (friend's).

Besides travelling around Netherlands, we would like to go to Belgium (considering Antwerp) for 2days or so. Any suggestions of where to go or what to do would be greatly appreciated !

Also considering travelling to Germany, would Cologne or Dusseldorf be more adviseable ?

Lastly, my mother would like to visit grapevines and mountains as seen from those scenic postcards, any recommendations around the area ?

Thank you for your time.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 01:06 AM
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Cologne or Düsseldorf? Neither. Both are large cities. If you want landscapes and vineyards, you won't find them there.

Check out the Mosel valley and stay there in a small town or village. There are countless threads about the Rhine and Mosel valley on this board, so the search function will lead you to a lot of info.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for your reply, indeed I will be looking into the Rhine and Mosel valley, seems very suitable to what we're looking for !
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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traveling by car? if by train check out the Germany-Benelux Flexipass pass good for train travel in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. But you may not be traveling enough to make it pay off but doesn't take much. I always recommend Budget Europe for questions of train travel and passes (800-441-2387; www.budgeteuropetravel.com - their free European Planning & Rail guide contains chapters on Benelux and Germany with details on places you mention - great planning tool even if not going by train. www.ricksteves.com also has good train info on these places as does www.euraide.com
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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I second the suggestion of Mosel or Rhine area. I prefer the Mosel, around Cochem. There are many lovely little towns, but Cochem might be a little livelier. Lots of grapevines in the Mosel area.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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The Mosel is Europe's prettiest river valley IMO. Period. Cochem is a dream town.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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In Belgium, Brugge is a popular place for travellers. It's a small and charming town.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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When will you be there? Got dates?

How are you getting around? Train? Auto? Bike?

Do you have a guidebook? Any maps?

What do you like to do, besides viewing grapevines? Many people go to NL for legal whores and weed. You don't fit that model, but you must be able to say something about your favorite activities.

All of this is relevant and if you offer up your details Fodorites will reply in volumes.

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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:00 AM
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<Lastly, my mother would like to visit grapevines and mountains as seen from those scenic postcards, any recommendations around the area ?>

Again, the Mosel Valley fits this to a tee and not far from Holland. great for car.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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Thank you guys so much for all your responses !

I've looked into Mosel Valley, and the best deal from Netherlands to Cochem I've found takes roughly 5hours and costs 90euro/pax. Is it advisable to take a train into Germany (maybe Dusseldorf) then take another train from there to Cochem ? In terms of budget and time

Also, we may not have a car when travelling in Mosel, will this be a big deterrence? Also, without a car, would it be better to join a tour group as I'm afraid some vineyards do not open to public and we're unfamiliar with the place.


My family and I would be there in early june 1th-16th.

If we are unable to get a car, we would most probably be using trains as we are planning to purchase a train discount card (40% off local and 20% international)

Biking would be close to impossible beacuse I just remembered we will have a toddler travelling with us.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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Hire a child seat with the bike! All Dutch toddlers are transported this way, or if you prefer you can hire a trailer with a seat in it, which offers more protection from the weather. The toddler will love it, I guarantee.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Have you considered spending part of your time on a day river cruise? That's really the best way to see te vine covered hills. You could take the train from Eindhoven to Koblenz and then do a day trip on either the Rhine or Mosel. K-D Line has a lot of choices:
http://www.k-d.com/englisch/index.html
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Old May 15th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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You will need a car at the Mosel Valley, IMO.
If your mom wants to see mountains, you'll have to travel further south, to Bavaria for instance.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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those may be hills in the Mosel but to the Dutch they are mountains!
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Biking does seem fun, but to cover more distance I will try to rent a car. I'm more concerned about getting there though. Any advice on this ?

For other interests, my sister is very interested in food, especially Belgium's speciality chocolate ! Any chocolate factories worth visitng ? Besides waffles, frites, and drops, what are other other "must-try" foods ?
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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If you go to Antwerp, your teens may enjoy shopping in the Kammenstraat/Nationale Straat/Lombardenvest area. Some great, inexpensive and unusual shops. Have lunch at Berlin, corner of Kammenstraat/Oudaan.
For chocolates in Antwerp, try Marcolini on Huidevetterstraat or Swertvaegher on Schuttershofstraat; the first a modern shop, the second old fashioned, lovely chocolates at both!
All this is very close together.

There were some recent posts here about Eindhoven, try to search for those. It's not very exciting, but pleasant enough, and good transportation from there. Cologne or Dusseldorf are easy by train. I would say Cologne, but I know it better than Dusseldorf. If there's a toddler in your group, Cologne has a good zoo.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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I'd say that Antwerp is one of Europe's most overlooked cities - reeking in history - was once one of the world's most important and largest cities in its shipping heyday long ago - still a major port

Flemish art par excellence - neat city center - neat riverfront of old warehouses

and Middleheim, in the suburbs is one of Europe's finest outdoor statue parks with many famous as well as rather provocative works on display.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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I agree with the suggestion that you visit the Mosel valley for good vineyards and scenery. If you go into Luxembourg you will encounter another section of the Mosel (Moselle), also with vineyards but much drier wines. People in Luxembourg told us the Germans add sugar to their wine...
In Germany, if you continue northeast of the Mosel and Koblenz you come to the Lahn valley, also very beautiful and less visited by non-German tourists.

Belgian chocolate is the best I have ever had, and I have sampled extensively throughout Europe. I haven't visited Antwerp so can't comment on that area. Mussels are a big specialty in Belgium, and there are many good beers.

I am not sure how you are going from country to country but heading into Germany you might consider Aachen (Aix la Chapelle in french) which was the capital of the Frankish empire under Charlemagne
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Old May 20th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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I agree with PalenQ about Antwerp. People are so focused on Brussels and Bruges that they overlook this city. Beautiful town square and one of the best marine museums in Europe.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Vttraveler,

People in Luxembourg told us the Germans add sugar to their wine ...

German wine has several categories. Qualitätswein mit Prädikat, QmP, is the highest category. It is illegal to add sugar to the must of this wine. Same goes for Qualitätswein, QmA,

Tafelwein and Landwein can have sugar added.
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