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

Initial Planning - Belgium, Netherlands, Germany

Initial Planning - Belgium, Netherlands, Germany

Oct 12th, 2008, 03:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,533
Initial Planning - Belgium, Netherlands, Germany

My husband and I are in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany next August. We have just made our flight reservations - using frequent flyer miles. We have 2 weeks and fly in and out of Brussels. We will use trains to travel around and probably get a Germany-Benelux rail pass - not planning to rent a car this trip.

I am looking for some input on our preliminary itinerary - the order of destinations, possible day trips, and that sort of thing.

We will arrive in Brussels on a friday evenning and plan to spend Saturday and Sunday in Brussels - 3 nights total - drink some beer, eat some chocolate, check out some museums and neighborhoods.

Next, to the Mosel Valley - perhaps stay in Trier, but open to suggestions. We plan 3 nights in that area - tour some wineries, check out a few towns, take a boat tour on the river, and that sort of thing.

After that, to Bamberg for 3 nights. Bamberg is the geographic outlier for our trip, but I think it will be worth the travel time to get there. Two years ago we visited Nuremberg and had planned a day trip to Bamberg, but didn't make it. We are both big fans of rauchbier and have heard wonderful things about the town itself. After the Belgian beer and the wine from the Mosel Valley, some rauchbeir may round out the trip quite nicely. We are thinking of spending 1 day wandering around Bamberg and them perhaps taking a daytrip to another nearby town.

Then the plan is to go to Amsterdam for 4 nights - see Amsterdam itself and maybe take a day trip to see another area of the Netherlands before heading back to Brussels for our flight home.

So that's our preliminary plan. It does seem a little rushed - I think more rushed than we would normally do, but not too bad.

I am also thinking that we may want to stop for a couple hours in between destinations on our travel days - maybe stop someplace between Brussels and the Mosel Valley for a few hours, or on the way to Bamberg - see a few more things and make more of our travel days than just point A to point B.

Any recommendations or input greatly appreciated

november_moon is online now  
Oct 12th, 2008, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,889
So far it sounds good to me. I love northern Bavaria and Bamberg. My only suggestion would be to head off to Germany the day you get to Europe. Maybe spend the first day in Cologne. Drink some Kolsch.

Visit Brussels on your return from Amsterdam. Maybe take in Brugges (sp?) in between Amsterdam and Brussels. Try some of the Frankisch wine in Bamberg.
Dutch is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,084
Hi november_moon-

I've been to all the places you've mentioned, but of course, over the course of several trips.

First of all, if you've decided on staying in Brussels for all 3nights, please try to make a day trip to Bruges. Better yet, stay overnight in Bruges and spend 2 days there. It really is one of the most beautiful town in Europe.

I like Bamberg, so I understand why you want to go.

For Amsterdam, 4 days is a good timeframe if you're into museums. If you want to take a daytrip, I highly recommend Delft.
yk is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,812
Did you really want to stay in Brussels? Since you will be there during the weekend, you can get good hotel prices. You might want to look at several posting here on whether to stay in Brussels or Bruges. Unfortunately, the hotel prices are generally higher on weekends in Bruges.

There are two items adding to your time constraints. One is having to return back to Brussels to fly home home (extra trip without apparent added value) and traveling from Belgium/Netherland to the middle of Germany AND backtrack to Belgium/Netherland again. If I were to visit these places, I would have entered through Amsterdam, then to Belgium, then to Tier, then Bamberg, then fly home from Frankfurt or Munich. Next time, you might want to consider routing when you book your flight if your frequent-flyer program allows a multi-city option.

greg is offline  
Oct 12th, 2008, 07:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,533
Thanks for all the recommendations so far.

Flying into Amsterdam and out of another city was my first choice, but due to the constraints in the availability of FF tickets, in and out of Brussels was what we could get - didn't quite have enough miles for standard tickets, so we had to go with savers, which limited our choices. We have done other circular trips like this and although we do spend the last day travelling back to where we started, it is kind of nice to begin and end in the same spot. Life in general is rather circular.

I had thought about heading out of Brussels immediately and then spending time there at the end of the trip rather than the begining - I am wondering about jet lag though. We don't get in until 6pm and we are coming from California, so it is not a short journey. In any case, we would stay in Brussels the first night, and I am thinking it would make for a more relaxing trip to settle in the night we arrive and then hang out a couple days before moving on.

We were thinking of taking a day trip from Brussels - Burges sounds really neat. We want to see more of Belgium, but at the same time don't want to short-change Brussels itself. The usual vacation balancing act.

november_moon is online now  
Oct 15th, 2008, 06:22 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 333
I would suggest short-changing Brussels and spend 2 nights in Brugges. Its magical.
jck4 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2008, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 29
Don't pass up Bruge as it is a fascinating city.
I stayed at the Be My Guest B&B and it was very nice, very clean and Anne was a great host.
valerie218 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2008, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 29
Sorry, I forgot to attach my pixs of Brugge. I was there the first of September.
valerie218 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2008, 06:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,533
Brugges does look really fabulous.

We've made a change in our itinerary - taken out the Mosel Valley portion and added 1 night to each to Belgium, Bamberg, and Amsterdam. I know that the Mosel Valley is really worth savoring, so we've decided that we would save it for another trip when we could spend more time.
november_moon is online now  
Oct 20th, 2008, 03:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Where else would you like to visit in the Netherlands? Another city, countryside, seaside?
hetismij 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 12:13 PM.